Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor by Agatha Christie #AgathaChristieSS24

🔫 Poirot was asked to investigate the death of a Mr. Maltraverse, who had bought a life insurance policy for a huge amount only two weeks ago. He was found dead in the grounds of his house, Marsdon Manor, with a rook rifle near his body. Cause of death from the doctor is of internal hemorrhage.

🔫 Poirot and Hastings then interview the local doctor, Mrs. Maltraverse, and a young soldier who had visited the Manor few days later. From them Poirot found a discrepancy, upon which to build his case. Was it death by natural cause, or suicide? Or worse, could it's been murder?

🔫 Despite of the rather dry premise, I actually enjoyed this story. I could guess how it had happened, though narrowly missed to guess the perpetrator. It's a simple plot, but without Poirot's brilliant deduction and knowledge of human psychology, it would take longer to solve the mystery. The way of denouement is very clever on Poirot's side. And as usual, Hastings is conveniently there solely to guide us, readers, to wrong conclusion. If you ignore him, you would get nearer to the truth!

🔫 Regardless of that, I still love the dear old Hastings, because when he's around, the story becomes more charming. And I always cherish Poirot-Hastings hilarious banter like this one:

"And what do you think of Dr. Bernard, Hastings?"
"Rather an old ass."
"Exactly. Your judgements of character are always profound, my friend."
I glanced at him uneasily, but he seemed perfectly serious. A twinkle, however, came into his eye, and he added slyly:
"That is to say, when there is no question of a beautiful woman!"
I looked at him coldly.

🔫 It's a banter like this that makes Hastings one of my favorite sidekicks, though he is a terribly unreliable narrator!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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