Rating: 3 stars
It had been a while since I had read an Hercule Poirot mystery, and I picked this to read because it fulfilled one of the clues on the Reader’s Room Winter Scavenger Hunt challenge. This was a particularly fun clue to do, because I needed to visit a local place with a literary connection and take a selfie there (no, I’m not sharing it here).
A friend just happened to have taken up a new job based in a former mansion which used to be owned by Agatha Christie’s brother in law, and I discovered that Mrs Christie had written After The Funeral while staying at Abney Hall. There’s even a dedication in the front of the book to her brother in law James that refers to happy times at Abney. In the book itself, Enderby Hall stands for Abney Hall, so it was interesting to be able to visualise the story unfolding based on what I had seen of Abney on my visit.
This was a good, solid Poirot mystery, made more interesting because of its setting and because it included a reference to a food supplement that we hold the archive for at the museum I work at.
There were plenty of blind alleys and potential suspects. As usual, I pegged the wrong person, but I picked up on the significant clues. It was a little disappointing that Poirot didn’t make an appearance until a quarter of the way through the book and seemed more subdued than usual. Poirot is older, less well known, and he seems to suffer for that. He isn’t his usual dazzling self, perhaps because his captive audience don’t reflect back his glory, having never heard of him!
I love Poirot as a character. I suppose Christie was writing him as a man whose fame was on the wane and who was technically in retirement. I missed the foil of Captain Hastings, as well. All in all, though, it was an entertaining read.