I am a big fan of Agatha Christie I love her writing and have read piles and piles of her books.So I feel a bit queasy when my first review of one of her books is panning it.But I can t recommend this book to anyone especially not to anyone who hasn t read Agatha Christie before You might get the impression that she is a hack, formulaic writer with cardboard characters who all spout the same dialog You might read this book and think that Agatha Christie writes mysteries with predictable plots and too large of a social agenda.You would be right if you based your judgement solely on this novel In fact, there is a part of me that desperately wants to believe that this book is a forgery Perhaps Christie decided to loan her irascible detective Hercule Poirot and the self parodying Ariadne Oliver out to another author, an apprentice perhaps That might explain the travesty that is this novel.Yet, I look at the date of this novel 1969 and realize that perhaps one of my favorite mystery authors was simply getting tired of her characters and writing to meet a deadline Perhaps she had used up all of her suspenseful endings and gripping characterizations Granted, Curtain a novel that ranks with her best works was still to come, but I think this novel was part of the reason she was so ready to give Poirot his send off The book begins slowly, pouring all sorts of irrelevant details and descriptions over us as if Christie hadn t yet decided in which direction she was going to take the novel and what information would end up being useful Even when the murder takes place the murder of a 13 year old girl at a Hallowe en party there isn t a lot of drama The book gets worse as we have to listen to each and every character spew forth the popular drivel about criminals not being responsible for their actions and that the murder must have been committed by an insane person let out too early from a mental institution due to overcrowding It wouldn t have been so bad if only two or three people had proposed this as a solution, but to have every person interviewed jump on this bandwagon and speak almost identical dialog made for a boring read Indeed, the only diversity in opinion came from Poirot himself, who maintained that this was a murder with a motive.As the readers, we have no doubt Dame Agatha does not write murders without motives So it would have been nice if at least a few of the characters Poirot interviewed could have had a distinct voice I was also disappointed because typically Christie is able to produce an ending that is both surprising and memorable In this novel, I was able to figure out who the murderer was when Poirot was first given a list of past murders There was one slight twist at the end, but it was neither surprising nor interesting.The ending of the book was nothing but painful Christie labored at building suspense using all sorts of techniques to the point where the techniques got in the way and the reading was simply wearisome She holds off on revealing who dun it until long after the reader has any doubts, making the denouement simply a relief that the book was almost over, rather than a delightful surprise.Agatha Christie writes wonderful mysteries I encourage anyone to read them But don t read this book Try instead one of these novels Witness for the ProsecutionThe MousetrapAnd Then There Were NoneDeath on the NileThe ABC MurdersMurder on the Orient ExpressThe Murder of Roger AckroydVerdictThe Mirror Crack d From Side to SideAll of those books are immensely satisfying and are wonderful examples of Christie s craft I may even go re read some of those to get the taste of Hallowe en Party out of my mouth. Hallowe en Party Hercule Poirot 39, Ariadne Oliver 7 , Agatha ChristieHallowe en Party is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1969 The novel features Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver, who begins the novel in attendance at a Hallowe en party A girl at the party claims she witnessed a murder, which, at the time, she was too young to realize was a murder Soon, the girl herself is found murdered, and Oliver calls in Poirot At a Hallowe en party held at Rowena Drake s home in Woodleigh Common, thirteen year old Joyce Reynolds tells everyone attending she had once seen a murder, but had not realised it was one until later When the party ends, Joyce is found dead, having been drowned in an apple bobbing tub Ariadne Oliver, attending the party while visiting her friend Judith Butler, calls on Hercule Poirot to investigate the murder and Joyce s claim With help from retired Superintendent Spence, Poirot makes a list of deaths and disappearances for the last few years in Woodleigh Common Rowena s aunt, Mrs Llewellyn Smythe, died suddenly her au pair Olga Seminoff disappeared, when a codicil that favoured her in her employer s will was found to be a forgery Leslie Ferrier, a lawyer s clerk, was stabbed in the back by an unknown assailant Charlotte Benfield, a sixteen year old shop assistant, was found dead with multiple head injuries and Janet White, a teacher at Elms School, was strangled to death 2012 1372 542 20 1390 316 9789643637569 1395 444 9789643801588 1395 46 9786008075929 . Are you trying to find that perfect Autumnal read Maybe you aren t a fan of horror, you don t want to be literally afraid, but still want the feeling of the Halloween season If this is the case, than this may be the perfect book for you I read Hallowe en Party last year on Halloween night and I had a lot of fun with it This is a Hercule Poirot mystery and if you are a fan of him, his calm and efficient manner, than what are you waiting for Pick this one up The main plot revolves around a children s Halloween Party and what one child claims to have witnessed during that party A murder dun dun dun Is this kid full of it or what The atmosphere is definitely Halloweenie but without being frightening and intimidating Perfect for fans of Christie s classic whodunit formula While some of Agatha Christie s mysteries remain immensely satisfying, there are a few that just don t work, whether from cultural shift or aexperimental approach I was worried when I picked up Hallowe en Party I had been operating with a suspicion that her best work was earlier in her extensive career However, it wasn t long before my concern was dismissed as I settled into an engrossing tale of Hercule Poirot investigating a murder at a Halloween party.Poor Joyce thirteen and a bit desperate for attention, she s become known for telling tales Perhaps hoping to impress Mrs Oliver during the preparations for a Halloween party, she claims to have seen a murder When the Halloween party is over, Joyce is discovered dead, but only Mrs Oliver connects the earlier boast to the death the rest of the village is prefers to blame an anonymous unstable person She calls on dear, aging Hercule He concurs with her fine instincts and arranges to stay with retired Inspector Spence, coincidentally living in the same village.Hercule focuses on Jane s tall tale, convinced the solution lies in the past He digs into the history of the village a disappearing au pair girl, a wealthy widow who died unexpectedly, a forger who was stabbed, a man killed in a hit and run, a strangled girl in a gravel pit As he talks with the villagers, the ominous atmosphere increases.Almost everything about the book is lovely The writing shines, the characters are complex Christie can paint a portrait in only a few sentences His friend, Mrs Oliver, sounded in a highly excitable condition Whatever was the matter with her, she would no doubt spend a very long time pouring out her grievances, her woes, her frustrations or whatever was ailing her The things that excited Mrs Oliver were so numerous and frequently so unexpected that one had to be careful how one embarked upon a discussion of them The atmosphere is sinister, and the setting feels fully realized, although I still don t understand why snap dragon would be the capstone to a children s party Once again Mrs Oliver serves as a authorial voice, particularly when Hercule notes how an author tends to co opt characters from real people Her bits calling out Hercule are particularly amusing The trouble with you is, said Mrs Oliver the trouble with you is that you insist on being smart You mindabout your clothes and your moustaches and how you look and what you wear than comfort Now comfort is really the great thing Once you ve passed, say, fifty, comfort is the only thing that matters Straight from the mouth of a seventy nine year old.An excellent read, and well worth re reading. What started out as a unique and interesting mystery soon turned into a rather tedious read with bland characters and a repetitive storyline The resolution was acceptable yet disappointing as it seemed to be a jumble of happenings that an amateur detective or reader could not have pieced together I was left feeling like there was absolutely no way I could have figured it out, like the clues were never given Maybe they were there though as I found the book to be so disjointed that I was never interested enough to try and figure out the clues I chose this as a Halloween read but other than the murder occurring on Halloween, there is no Halloween element to the book The lack of suspense paired with the meandering plot warrants only a 2 star rating from me It definitely didn t grab me and in my opinion, it s not one of Christie s best works. What a fun Halloween read this one was A fan of Agatha Christie, I ve had this one on my TBR pile for too long For the last three years I have checked this book out for Halloween with grand plans to read it And something always comes up Last year, my mother in law snagged it from me and read it while visiting This year I was determined and I m so happy I finally finished it Hallowe en Party tells the story of a Halloween Party thrown for some teenage kids where things go horribly wrong and one child ends up drowned in the bobbing for apples bucket The child just earlier that evening had been boasting that she had seen a murder Naturally, no one believed her But then she is murdered herself Low and behold, one of the guests at the part is a famous mystery writer who just happens to be friends with none other than Mr Hercule Poirot And from there, this wonderful storm just steamrolls through this haunting mystery The town doesn t appear as idyllic as most think as Poirot finds as he begins his investigation.there have been other murders too But the famous detective is on the case, which will soon be solved.Oh I really enjoyed this one I used to read Agatha Christie so long ago and frankly, I m not sure why I moved away from her books I really enjoy them Which is odd as I m not a huge mystery fan but always make an exception for Ms Christie Not being a mystery fan.but found it shocking that I pegged the culprit early on in the story Probably just dumb luck on my part Ha I listened to the audio version of this and it s great The narrator, Hugh Fraser, does an amazing job building the atmosphere for this one, doing so many voices, sending one completely over the top, but so fitting for the character I was so drawn into the narration that at times, I stopped paying attention to what tasks I was doing I usually listen while I cook A highlight of a read, eh listen for me And a perfect Halloween story for the season And now, on to my next Agatha Christie novel. Read for my IRL book club Based on the publisher s blurb that Dame Agatha s sales are exceeded only by Shakespeare s and the Bible, my failure to appreciate what the entire reading world cherishes no doubt speaks to some dark blot on my soul. A Teenage Murder Witness Is Drowned In A Tub Of Apples At A Hallowe En Party, Joyce A Hostile Thirteen Year Old Boasts That She Once Witnessed A Murder When No One Believes Her, She Storms Off Home But Within Hours Her Body Is Found, Still In The House, Drowned In An Apple Bobbing Tub That Night, Hercule Poirot Is Called In To Find The Evil Presence But First He Must Establish Whether He Is Looking For A Murderer Or A Double Murderer Choose Your Own Adventure You are a truly annoying little girl A busybody, a liar Who can trust you For the good of the community, a bobbin for apples you must go like permanently But death is not the end From on high you witness the actions of a strange mustached man and his flighty authoress sidekick Together they vow to avenge your murder and lay your lovely bones to rest They believe in your tale of dastardly deeds and murder, the tale that brought you to such an untimely end their quest for vengeance will lead them to all who once stood in judgment of you Unfortunately, your legacy remains that of an unrepentant liar and even your avengers soon grow weary of your string of lies and deception Turn from the truth, little soul, fly away But wherever shall you go If you decide to follow the demented authoress on a path filled with psychics, s ances and black magic, choose you decide to follow the mustached weirdo in his never ending quest for cr me de cacao, choose 3.5 stars I had my hunches and finally figured out most of the mystery, with a 1 4 of the book left.It can happen friends but is very rare with AC books It s so rare, it s kind of like seeing a yeti for the first time This was a fun book and an interesting ending.Not one of her best books but still highly entertaining.