Agatha Christie was a master of deception and one of the world’s most famous mystery writers. At the time of year associated with ghosts, witches and murder, it is only fitting to turn to a book by the queen of mysteries. Hallowe’en Party, a Hercule Poirot murder mystery, is about a murder that takes place at a Halloween party.
Woodleigh Common, a small village about 30 miles from London, is quiet and peaceful. The apple loving Mrs. Oliver is there visiting a friend. The day before the party, while all the young people are making preparations for it, one of the young girls announces that she was witness to a murder, one that had taken place quite a while ago, though she hadn’t realized it was murder until a few months ago. Joyce’s reputation is that of a child who will say anything to draw attention to herself, so no one takes her seriously. They believe that she is trying to impress Mrs. Oliver, a famous mystery writer.
The next evening after the party, Mrs. Oliver and some of the other ladies are cleaning up and they find Joyce obviously murdered - kneeling with her head bobbing in a galvanized bucket full of water and apples. Even worse, this has happened at a house called Apple Trees. Now Mrs. Oliver takes seriously what Joyce said the day before about being a witness to a murder.
A rattled Mrs. Oliver calls on master detective Hercule Poirot to solve the crime and declares that she never wanted to see another apple.
He immediately comes to the conclusion that Joyce was murdered because of the statement she made before the party. Now all he has to do is find the murder she was talking about, then he will know who murdered her.
The unworldly Miranda Butler was the best friend of the once boastful, now dead Joyce Reynolds. Olga Seminoff, a foreign au pair girl, suspected of forgery disappears mysteriously. Rowena Drake is the hostess of the Halloween party that turns deadly. Michael Garfield is a landscape gardener who will sacrifice anything in the name of beauty. These are just a few of the intriguing characters, one of whom is guilty of murder.
From a list of those who have been murdered over the past few years and the use of his little grey cells, Hercule Poirot solves the murder of this little girl at the same time he uncovers a years-old web of intrigue and wrongful death. With the help of some local young men, this murderer is stopped from killing yet again. And Mrs. Oliver does give up her beloved apples - at least for a little while.
This book will not leave you sitting on the edge of your seat biting your nails in terror, but it is a comfortable read. The mystery is wrapped up nicely and it has a very satisfactory ending. I have read this book at least half a dozen times and will read it at least that many times again.
A copy of Hallowe’en Party can be bought from Amazon by clicking on the below link.
Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot)