By Charles Osborne, Agatha Christie
Minotaur Books - September 1999 
ISBN: 0312970072 – Paperback

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Poirot is back in a play that has been rewritten into a mystery. As in past mysteries, Poirot finds plenty of support. This time it’s in his valet George, who has a rare ability to press trousers just right, although he has no imagination, Hastings who has returned to England on a visit, and Inspector Japp who shows up later in the mystery. 

Take a secret formula, an eclectic group of people, one well-trafficked room, a Belgian investigator, his best friend and aid, a Scotland Yard investigator, and you have the makings for one of Agatha Christie’s brilliant mysteries. Premier physicist, Sir Claud Amory has decided to create a formula for his company, but he is doing so at home without any protection. Sure enough, the worst happens, and Poirot is the one he turns to. Poirot invites Hastings to join him on the train trip to the country. By the time Poirot and Hastings arrive, a murder has occurred, and no one has any sympathy for the victim, making the circumstances worse for those involved. What starts as a simple case of thievery, ends in murder, lies, and espionage. 

Author Charles Osborne, who helps with this story, includes a map of the room where the crime takes place. The camaraderie of Poirot, Hastings and Japp is charming. The mystery seems simple at first, then the usual Christie twists and turns lead the reader down another more complicated path or two.  Poirot finds the mystery to be far more than a sordid crime – it is a poignant, human drama. I found it to be an enjoyable, traditional British mystery, and highly recommend it.

Reviews of other titles by this author

The Affair of the Pink Pearl & Finessing the King [audio]
Philomel Cottage and other Stories [audio]
Black Coffee (w/Charles Osborne)
Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly
Murder on the Orient Express 1 (Murder in the Calais Coach)
Murder on the Orient Express 2 (Movie Tie-In) [book]
Murder on the Orient Express 3 (Movie Tie-In) [audio]
And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians)
While the Light Lasts
After the Funeral
The Monogram Murders (w/Sophie Hannah)
Agatha Christie; An Autobiography
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making

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