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Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) Paperback – October 25, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062074016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062074010
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"How dreadful that the holidays should begin with a wailing scream and a deathly gurgle! Never has Poirot's mighty brain functioned more brilliantly than in Hercule Poirot's Christmas."—The New York Times (The New York Times ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Christmas Eve, and the Lee family’s reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture and a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, histhroat slashed.

When Hercule Poirot offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hatethe old man. . . .

More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

Customer Reviews

Great Agatha Christie/Hercule Poirot movie.
Katherine A KuhlmanLu
The characters were solid and the ending was a complete surprise.
I can't wait until I've read every single one of her books!
Marina Sweet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on June 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever gotten one of those easy-to-assemble kits and discovered that no matter how you try, the pieces just will not go together? Have you ever labored to solve a puzzle only to find a piece or two missing?
In this case Christie assembles a cast of suspects, gives them ample motive and opportunity, gives them all reasons to lie, throws in a group of clues that simply cannot be reconciled in any logical fashion, and then brings off a solution which explains everything and exposes a killer you'd never suspect.
The story (originally titled "Murder for Christmas") was written in 1938, the same year Christie wrote "Appointment with Death." The two stories share much in common. "Appointment" features a fabulously wealthy, tyrannical matriarch who delights in tormenting her children. "Christmas" features a fabulously wealthy, tyrannical patriarch who delights in tormenting his children. By the time the matriarch/patriarch is bumped off, the reader is ready help kill him/her. The children in both stories are all pathetic weaklings. Despite their weakness, the reader can develop affection for some of them.
"Appointment" featured a rather straightforward, easily achieved modus operandi and Christie's favorite murder weapon--poison. "Christmas" served up a locked room mystery with a diabolically clever methodology fraught with the peril of miscarriage.
One feature of the murder was the vast amount of blood shed when the victim was stabbed. The murderer would have been covered with blood, but none of the suspects seems to have any blood on them. Having read "Murder on the Orient Express," I was familiar with Christie's seeming lack of understanding of the dynamics of blood spatter in stabbing cases.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'll have to agree with the first reviewer of this novel. The title is a bit misleading. However, I do believe that Agatha meant it to be that way. I have studied literature for a while and know that the everything that is in the novel is meant for something. To all the people wanting to read this novel, here's a tip: Everything that is stated in the book, diaglogue, details, etc. are all key to solving the mystery. To all of us Agatha fans, it proves to be true. The characters are very well developed, much better than any other Agatha novel I've read to date. The plot is priceless, the identities confusing (deliciously so!), and the conclusion is a shocking. Agatha knows how to lead her readers on, and proves so with this tale of murder and mayhem around Christmas time. At the beginning of the conclusion, who think it's Suspect A, but then you lean towards Suspect B, and at the end, Poirot reveals in all grandness the killer, and you're sitting there kicking yourself saying, "Why didn't I think of that!" The pacing of the book is good and I read it in two days. The suspense builds and the storytelling is at it's finest. For those of you waiting for a plot summary, read the synopsis above. I won't reveal anything for it'll ruin the surprise of the novel. Though not one of her famous books, it's one her best, this one definitely deserves your money!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Austin VINE VOICE on May 21, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although generally regarded as typifying the cozy murder mystery writer in whose books there is either a murder in a locked room or a murder at a family reunion in a country house, Agatha Christie rarely tried her hand at either of these murder mystery genres. In "Hercule Poirot's Christmas", however, she combines both.
The family is the dysfunctional Lee family, summoned to pass Christmas together in the house of old Simeon Lee, the patriarch. During this stressful reunion, a commotion followed by a blood-curdling scream is heard from the room on the first floor occupied by old Simeon. When the locked door is forced open, the furniture is found upended, the safe rifled, and Simeon is found lying dead with his throat cut. The door key is in place, on the inside of the door.
Having depicted how the family members despise, hate, or resent each other up to this point, Agatha Christie next allows the investigations and theories to develop. Poirot is on hand, but she cleverly allows other police inspectors and investigators to do most of the work and make most of the mistakes.
The solution is one you will never forget, but also one that you will probably never arrive at before Poirot reveals all. Agatha Christie is wonderfully clever at laying out all the clues in an arrangement that directs the reader away from the vital ones.
Apart from a few lines of description, almost everything in the text is dialogue. To anyone in the world who has not yet read this 1940 mystery nothing more need be said. To those who are re-reading it, I suggest they notice how cleverly it is plotted and planned.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sicurella VINE VOICE on July 29, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hercule Poirot's Christmas is another Agatha Christie novel that leaves you wanting more - more Christmas, more Poirot, more useful clues and a more realistic ending.

While the murder takes place at Christmas time, the holiday is in the background. The suspects all happen to be at the crime scene because of it and it is mentioned occasionally, but I didn't fell a big holiday focus. Poirot arrives about a third of the way through the novel, causing a large portion of the beginning of the book to be mostly set-up and contain little actual detection. The book is ripe with red herrings to the point where you stop believing that any clue is a clue at all.

The clues end up not being an issue because the killer is a total surprise. It's virtually impossible to figure it out before the big reveal. Even after Poirot accuses the guilty, you're left wondering how that could have possibly happened. While I loved the surprise, I would have rather had the evidence support the guilt better.

Not a bad mystery, but not of the same caliber of other Agatha Christie novels. If you won't be reading the entire Christie backlist, I'd skip this one in favor of another.
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