Book Review: Halloween Party, by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, to date, is my favorite author when it comes to crime fiction. Not many, if any, compare to her and her style of writing. Of the detectives she has created, my favorite is Poirot, and I continue to read the novels featuring him whenever I can.

Halloween Party begins with a sense of fun. A festival that is much celebrated in the United States and at quite a few places across the world brings with its own traditions that are quite eagerly followed. One such tradition is a trick or treating, another is a Halloween party. In this novel, such a party is organized, but rather than a treat, one of the children ends up brutally tricked. Joyce, who claims to have seen a murder, is murdered by being drowned in a tub of apples. One of the village’s residents knows Hercule Poirot and asks him to come find the evil that is responsible. Poirot comes, and begins his investigations, and his suspicion heads to the girl Joyce’s claim. To solve this murder, he must ascertain if that claim by the girl was correct, and if he’s solving a double murder instead.

When it comes to Poirot, more often than not, the pace of the novel will not be quick. Instead, like the Belgian detective’s methods, the novel will tend to pick at details with a fine toothed comb. This novel is no different. The girl’s claim to seeing a murder may be true, so Poirot goes to great lengths to put a timeline and a face to that missing victim, if there was one. His methods are admirable, and most of the residents of the village are helpful towards the investigation. Where a mixed bag of characters reside, it’s difficult to point at one person as a suspect. The novel is an engaging one, but more at the start, and towards the end. The middle portion lacks that grip factor which I love in some novels featuring Poirot. And I didn’t like that. I like the characters of Ariadne and Miranda, and both play prominent parts in the novel. The setting of a small village is interesting, as it leaves only a limited number of people in the suspect pool. And the conclusion to the case is quite thrilling.

I feel this is one of Poirot’s better novels, but the middle portion of the novel does bring the novel down a lot. Quite entertaining nonetheless.


A score of 7 out of 10
A score of 7 out of 10
Book Details
Title: Hallowe’en Party Series: Poirot #36
Author(s): Agatha Christie Genre: Crime Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: 9780007120680 Publisher: Harper Collins

I own a copy of the book. The views expressed here are my own, frank and uninfluenced.


(© 4th June 2016)

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