Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot #8), by Agatha Christie

Eight stars

Working through the Hercule Poirot series, I am constantly amazed at the work Dame Agatha Christie has put into the stories. Each seems able to stand on its own, though there is something exciting about reading a series in order, as the reader picks up small breadcrumbs left by the author throughout the experience. Poirot is in fine form, accompanied by his friend, Captain Arthur Hastings, as they explore a unique mystery while on vacation in the English countryside. Christie dazzles once again and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

While on vacation along the coast, Hercule Poirot and Captain Arthur Hastings encounter a young and quite beautiful woman. Nick Buckley is able to converse with the retired Belgian detective easily and reveals that she his the mistress of End House, a massive piece of real estate set up along the cliffs of St. Loo. Poirot is enthralled, both with the description of End House and by Nick herself, which has Hastings wondering if the mighty detective could be falling in love.

Poirot is keen to learn that Nick has been full of luck lately, having dodged numerous accidents that came close to killing her. After another occurs while they are seated together, a shot rings out in her direction that passes through Nick’s hat. Poirot is all but sure that these are anything but accidental happenings. Rather, they are likely clues that Nick Buckley is the target of some crazed killer.

Poirot takes it upon himself to investigate End House a little more and to learn precisely what’s going on, as well as how Nick Buckley could play into it all. He learns of the property’s darker side, including many who live there. As Poirot investigates, more goings-on occur that lead him to believe that Nick, and others, could be in grave danger, should he not reveal the killer swiftly. As always, Hastings is sure that if anyone can find the culprit, it will be Hercule Poirot. Agatha Christie does a fabulous job at spinning yet another story for all to enjoy!

I have become addicted to the many stories Agatha Christie offers up in this easy flowing series. A well-developed plot finds itself within a strong narrative. Poirot’s encounter with many characters keeps the reader entertained, while forcing them to wonder what awaits them around the next corner. Even though there is a great deal left in the series, I am eager to forge onwards to see how things progress with the stories, the characters, and what clues I might gather as I piece together the larger Hercule Poirot character.

Poirot keeps his ego in check, letting it out only every other page. His relaxed nature is always on offer and there is no shortage of wit flowing from him as the stories progress. With little backstory, the reader is forced to love in the moment with him, as he pushes through to drop small hints about his personality and ideals. This is one Belgian whose keen commentary about the world around him is worth noting every time he speaks.

Christie delivers again with a strong story that does nort take much time to develop. Readers of the series are treated to a strong mystery without too much fluff as things take shape. A strong narrative provides the pathway for a sensational mystery, full of twists and turns that few could have seen coming. A set of worthy characters provides just what the reader needs to remain entertained, while Poirot pieces everything together. I am eager to see how things will progress, as it is only a matter of time before Christie is sure to run out of ideas. Then again, the Dame of Mystery appears to have a great deal to share, so one can surmise that Poirot is far from being a boring old Belgian just yet!

Kudos, Dame Christie, for another strong mystery. I’m reaching for the next to see if it dazzles just as much.