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on December 24, 2014
One of my favorite Christies and one I haven't read in quite a while. I remember the cover of my old paperback had the gruesome image of a screaming, skeletal old man in chair surrounded by flying objects. Ugh. That's the main reason I gave the book away. The murder is one of Christie's more interesting, not to mention puzzling.

The story revolves around the Lee family. The Lee patriarch is the colorful, cruel, and charismatic Simeon, who sadistically toys with his children, none of whom have lived up to his expectations. Things come to a head one fateful Christmas when all of his surviving children converge for a nice family get together - the ever faithful Alfred, the eldest son and resident doormat, and his cool, elegant wife, Lydia; the rakish Harry, the family blacksheep (who always reminds me of George Sanders for some reason); miserly politician George with his much younger (and quite expensive) wife Magdalene; David, an artistic, overly sensitive Mama's boy who still mourns his mother and hates his father a passion; David's loyal, very motherly wife Hilda; and Pilar, the half-Spanish daughter of Simeon's only daughter, Jennifer, who passed away a year earlier. Also entering the mix is the mysterious Stephen Farr, son of Simeon's former business partner in South Africa. Then, of course, there are the servants, especially the very loyal, ever present butler, Tressilian, and the valet, Horbury, who is described by Magdalene as "Sneaking round like a cat and smirking.”

Once the family is assembled, old Simeon lets loose and tells them all what he thinks of them.

“You’re not worth a penny piece, any of you! I’m sick of you all! You’re not men! You’re weaklings—a set of namby -pamby weaklings. Pilar’s worth any two of you put together! I’ll swear to heaven I’ve got a better son somewhere in the world than any of you, even if you are born the right side of the blanket!”

His daughter-in-law Hilda tries to warn him:

"Hilda Lee said slowly: 'I’m afraid. . . .'

Simeon said: 'You’re afraid— of me?'

Hilda said: 'Not of you. I’m afraid— for you!'

Like a judge who has delivered sentence, she turned away. She marched, slowly and heavily, out of the room. . . ."

Of course, Simeon gets his comeuppance in a surprisingly dramatic and violent - for Christie anyway - manner. This is one of the more enjoyable Poirot outings and is really a lot of fun. The murderer is very surprising and Christie does an excellent job with the clues.

Very recommended.
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on April 20, 2017
In today's era of international turmoil, secret agents, lurid love affairs and high tech munitions and explosions, Agatha Christie still reigns as the queen of mystery writers. Nothing exceeds her well planned tightly constructed plots.
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on March 20, 2013
(This book was originally titled "Murder for Christmas", which I like better.)

If you're looking for a sentimental holiday read....this isn't it! If you're looking for a murder mystery that will have you scratching your head and gasping at the end, you're in the right place.

The story focuses on the murder of patriarch Simeon Lee, a bitter and hateful old man who traumatizes his children and is brutally murdered in a locked room. This has all the other classic markers of a Christie tale: unlikeable victim that many people would want to kill; murder in a selaed room; family that hate one another; secret siblings and offspring; family secrets; secret family treasure, etc. World-famous detective Hercule Poirot is on the case, but acts much different than his usual modus operandi. He holds all the cards close to his chest and gives us, the readers, very little to go on. The ending was complete shock. While I had plenty of guesses, none of them even came close.

I loved the way this book starts. It opens with an unknown character and the reader watches and watches for him/her to return and tries to figure out how all these pieces fit together. I am not one of those really smart readers who keep track of all the clues and try to solve the mystery. For most mysteries, I'm just in it for the ride and this one is no exception. What a thrill ride from beginning to end! The Dame does it again.
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on December 7, 2014
If there's one guy who Santa should give a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking, it would be Simeon Lee. Just by the nature of how Agatha Christie depicts the odious old man, you know he's going to meet an untimely end. The story takes place in 1938 London. There are a mixture of clearly distinct suspects so the reader will not become confused as to who is whom. It also helps that the author continues to revisit and summarize what is known at certain points in the story when it comes to clues.

'Hercule Poirot's Christmas' is a quick whodunit that will keep many readers in the dark until the very end. However, one important clue in the solution was obscure to me and I had to look it up on the Internet. It may have been a common item in 1938 when Ms. Christie wrote it, but it does not hold up well in 2014. I enjoyed the book except for the aforementioned outdated clue. As usual, the colorful vain Hercule Poirot is a delight.
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on December 19, 2013
Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot was one of my first favorite detectives as a teenager. I cut my wisdom teeth on mysteries. A strong branch of my family tree is Belgian and an astute detective from Belgium appealed to me. When I recently came across the author’s ebook, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mysteries), available for Kindle, it seemed the perfect choice for a middle-of-December read.
Ms. Christie did a fabulous job of setting up a locked-door murder mystery. Her red herrings had me guessing all over the board for the true culprit, or was it two culprits? She also offered a delightful cast of characters, diverse and colorful. The plot was intricate and complex enough to hold my interest throughout the story.

A mild disappointment lay in the lack of Christmas in Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. Granted, no one is in a festive mood once a body takes center stage, but the title raised my expectations and I would have liked a bit of holiday spirit, at least before the murder scene.

Within Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, there is still the holiday madness, however, and this author’s superb writing is worth the read.
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on January 4, 2013
Agatha Christie, did it again. People, this is a must read. We have Simeon Lee, a rich and powerful man. He had five children, four boys and a daughter,who died the previous year, a grown granddaughter, whom he never met, from his deceased daughter. Of his sons, there is a kiss up, mama's boy, money hungry one and a wild one.
Now all of them have left home except the eldest one,(the kiss up). Simeon decided to invite all of his other sons and his granddaughter to come home for Christmas and for the granddaughter to come and live there. The sons agreed, thinking the old man was going to bury the hatchet and they would be a family again.
After every one was settled, the old man summoned them to his room. The old man proceeded to lam into them, telling them that they were worthless and blasted his deceased wife for being weak and giving him worthless sons, and that his granddaughter was worth two of them.Now you know that this pissed the sons off, especially the mama's boy. He demanded they leave his room and he will see them in the morning.
Everyone was in the dinning room when they heard this loud crash and furniture being flung about. Everyone raced upstairs to the father's room only to find the door locked. The fellers tried to shoulder ram the door, but it would not budge. So they used something else to break the door down. Now this door is a heavy mahogany wood When they entered the room they found their dad lying on the floor with his throat slit from ear to ear, and so much blood,from such a frail man.
Now mind you the door was locked, one window was latched,the other open about 6 inches, was that way for decades, because it was stuck and the furniture in the room was of the same mahogany wood.
Not one of his sons, except the kiss up, liked the dad, and after that blow out in the old mans room. All I can say is so many suspects and so many motives.
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on August 19, 2015
Nothing is more riveting than trying to solve an Agatha Christie murder mystery on one's morning commute to work! I love her body of work. I can understand why she is the MOST published writer IN HISTORY! I have listened to Agatha Christie's novels on CD. There is just something about having a book read to you. Most of the Poirot books are read by Hugh Fraser. He's my favorite. But, I still like all of them.
This book is about a family gathered for Christmas at the behest of the family patriarch. A tyrannical man that no one seem to especially like. When he winds up dead, it is up to Hercule Poirot to solve the dastardly deed. This one kept me guessing up until the final reveal.
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on June 10, 2013
Many in my family are huge Agatha Christie fans, and this story is one of our top favorites. The mystery is great, and our beloved Poirot is worth observing, with or without any murder to solve. My wife thinks he is just plain adorably cute and sweet. She just loves him, but she loves her darling Miss Marple equally well. She absolutely loves Agatha Christie and started reading all her mysteries decades ago. We watch the David Suchet BBC movie version of this story every winter, early on in the Christmas season to get `in the mood' along with `The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding' with Poirot once again. In fact, at our house, Agatha Christie has become a part of our Autumn season. She kicks it off for us, for some strange reason. Well, her stuff is great for the Halloween season! Her books are read, movie versions are watched, and this story is tops in the murderous mysterious heap, along with `The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding'.
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on February 7, 2017
I'm an Agatha Christie fan and am slowly replacing my extensive hardback collection to my Kindle. I also love that I don't have to worry about graphic details concerning violence or obscene language. The extent of the violence is someone is killed, but it's never described in details. Also, sexual content is limited to kissing and perhaps, as in all mysteries, there maybe hints of affairs - but no descriptions. There is a description of a blood filled room.
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on July 13, 2017
Agatha, You are always a good time. So enjoy most everything you write because there is no filth or disgusting reading.
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