Book 48, a book set at Christmas: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
Although the novel takes place at Christmas, it definitely doesn’t have much of a Christmasy vibe. Typical of every Christie novel I’ve ever read, there’s a grueling murder at the center of the plot. The rest of the time is spent untangling an intricate web of facts, complete with numerous red herrings, to find the culprit. Since I’ve been having a pretty rough year, this anti-Christmas novel actually suited my frame of mind quite well. True to form, Christie delivers an intriguing murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the last page.
In this tale, invalid millionaire Simeon Lee calls all of his estranged children home for Christmas. Believing it may be one of the old man’s last Christmases, the children all return hoping he wishes to make amends. However, there is no love lost on the old man’s part. He states, in no uncertain terms, that he is disappointed in all of them and hints that he plans to change the will, implying they are all going to be cut out. Unsurprisingly, that same evening, Simeon is brutally murdered in his rooms. The door is locked from the inside, and the police are baffled as to what could have happened. It is ruled a murder rather than a suicide based on the furniture strewn about and the struggle that ensued. But who could have done it? Enter our favorite investigator, Hercule Poirot. Each character has a clear and solid motive for killing the old man, but only Poirot’s impenetrable mind is up to the task of sorting it out. In the process, the family’s dirty laundry is aired and more than one character is unveiled as a fake. The ending will truly surprise you.