Tuesday, 3 December 2013

''Cards on the Table''- Book review

Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1936

Genres: Novel, Mystery, Thriller, Crime

Rating: 4 out of 5


It had been some time since I last read a Hercule Poirot novel (the last I read was Sad Cypress, which I read back in September). It was a great experience reading Cards on the Table! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it had a wonderful premise and character development.

The great detective, Poirot, comes across Mr Shaitana, a well known, notorious man, whom everybody is, for some unknown reason, afraid of, but who gives excellent and memorable parties. Mr Shaitana tells Poirot something rather odd: that he knows some murderers, murderers who escaped punishment. Poirot is curious, and Mr Shaitana invites him to his home for dinner.

As asked, Poirot goes to Mr Shaitana's house for dinner. The other guests present are Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle, and Ariadne Oliver, a well known detective novelist. The remaining guests arrive soon: Dr Roberts, Mrs Lorrimer (a woman in her sixties), Miss Anne Meredith (a young woman, in her mid-twenties), and Major Despard). 

After dinner, the group of guests play bridge: Poirot, Race, Battle and Oliver play in one room, and Robert, Lorrimer, Despard, and Meredith in another, while Mr Shaitana sits in the latter room.

Poirot, Race, Battle, and Oliver go to the other room, somebody says something to Mr Shaitana... only to realize that he is dead!

Anybody could have murdered Shaitana. Roberts, Lorrimer, Meredith, Despard. Anyone of them could have done it. Poirot remembers something that Shaitana had told him, that the purpose of the invitation was that he (Shaitana) wanted to show something to Poirot: Shaitana wanted to show him murderers who had escpaed punishment. Apparently, these four people where those whom Shaitana had referred to. And that means, one of these four people understood that Shaitana knew his/her big secret, and murdered him.

But who did it? 

The four sleuths, Poirot, Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle, and Ariadne Oliver, investigate...

''Cards on the Table'' had a great premise and it was actually really very, very unpredictable. There are four suspects--- and just these four suspects, nobody else could have done it--- and any one of these four could have done it. Each of them had the motive, each of them had the oppotunity. And so it becomes a complicated case with a wonderful investigation and unpredictable solution.

I really liked the character development. I liked reading a Poirot novel after such a long time! In this novel, Hercule Poirot hardly shows any arrogance! Ariadne Oliver--- I had heard of her before, but this is the first time I haveread a novel featuring her!

It was a cleverly crafted, cleverly written, really interesting and engrossing novel. There are a few moments when there is plenty of suspense--- and by the the time the mystery was solved, I was really impressed. 

4 out of 5


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