Poirot just can’t take a vacation! Every time he shows up anywhere, no business in mind, just relaxing, a dead body shows up!
This time he is at a seaside hotel where the usual cross-section of British society is taking their holiday and, as seems to be usual in an Agatha Christie novel, there are a couple of Americans also.
One of the guests is an actress known for collecting men. A young newlywed seems to be the man du jour. Unfortunately, her husband and the wife of the newlywed don’t seem too happy with the arrangement. When she turns up dead in a sheltered cove, the suspects are many. Poirot pulls together many obscure clues such as a bottle thrown out of a window and a pair of scissors found on the beach to capably assist the local police in apprehending the killer in a plot that feels somewhat familiar. The ending will surprise those who are not familiar with Agatha Christie’s style and will be satisfying but not surprising to those who are.
After reading two Poirot novels in a row that do not have Captain Hastings in them, I find that I am missing him. I think he humanizes Poirot in a way that is missing from this book. That being said, any Poirot book is better than a lot of what is being written today. If I were new to Poirot, I wouldn’t start with this one. I would start with The Mysterious Affair at Styles. If you are a fan of Poirot, you’ll enjoy this outing with the Belgian.