Name: Cards on the Table
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Crime
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Agatha Christie’s fictional detective, Hercule Poirot, is a snarky, elderly man from Belgium who is now a consulting P.I. for Britain’s Scotland Yard. He’s a lot like Sherlock Holmes, including having a not-so-intelligent sidekick (who unfortunately doesn’t appear in Cards on the Table), a maid who has to put up with his eccentricities, and police officers who begrudgingly ask for his help.
He’s intelligent and incredibly observant, both of which he won’t hesitant to tell you. His attitude can be annoying at times, but he’s overall a very lovable character.
And like SH, Poirot has a very good opinion of himself. He’s levels above the average person intellectually, but he -usually- has the tact to keep that to himself. He also is very proud of his prim appearance, especially one particular feature:
A fine mustache–a very fine mustache–the only mustache in London, perhaps, that could compete with that of M. Hercule Poirot.
In Cards on the Table, Poirot (pronounced Puh-roh) is invited to a bridge party hosted by Mr. Shaitana, a man infamous for being both rich and a little strange. His newest entertainment: bring together people who “got away with murder” and make snide hints at how they did it, essentially egging them into some kind of reaction. To spice up the action, he also invites Poirot, Mrs. Ariadne (seriously, how is this pronounced? It irritates the crap out of me) Oliver, a well-known mystery writer, and Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard.
Things go off without a hitch and the guests gather around the bridge tables…
……Until the host, Mr. Shaitana, is found dead in his chair with an object sticking out of his chest.
Now it’s up to Poirot, with the help of Scotland Yard, to figure out which of the potentially murderous guests decided to do away with their meddling host.
Each member of this deadly game gradually had to give up their secrets, which was the only entertaining portion of this book. And when the murderer was finally revealed, I wasn’t fazed. To anyone who reads mysteries on a regular basis, the solution should have been obvious.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Agatha Christie and have read just about every Hercule Poirot mystery, but this one just doesn’t match up to the others.