Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #39)” as Want to Read:
Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #39)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hallowe'en Party

(Hercule Poirot #39)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  36,555 ratings  ·  2,633 reviews
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 m ...more
Paperback, Agatha Christie Signature Edition, 336 pages
Published September 3rd 2001 by Harper (first published November 1969)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hallowe'en Party, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Greg Sofia, just for fun, I'm reading the Poirot books backwards from the last (Curtain), then next to last (Elephants Can Remember) to third from last (th…moreSofia, just for fun, I'm reading the Poirot books backwards from the last (Curtain), then next to last (Elephants Can Remember) to third from last (this one). This one is fine as a stand-alone, but sort of a relief that Oliver finally gives up on apples, while Poirot, however, can't give up his vanity (his way too tight, polished shoes which cause obvious discomfort.) (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  36,555 ratings  ·  2,633 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #39)
Amalia Gkavea
''The past is the father of the present.

The ''crime'' writers who write like Christie are few. The ones who try to write mysteries similar to her own are non-existent. I may sound harsh, but those who struggle to imitate her should take a step back and reconsider. And why is that? Because she understood, embraced and elevated to a whole new level the implications of the past when facing the present. As horrible as a present situation may be, the roots of all evil lie in the deeds of the pas
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hi. Hello, Bookish Friend!

Are you always looking for 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 a couple of years ago on Halloween night and I had a lot of fun with it.

This is a Hercule Poirot mystery. If you are a Poirot fan, his calm and efficient manner, than what are you waiting for?

Pick this on
Bridgette Redman
Feb 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 plot
Ahmad Sharabiani
Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot #39, Ariadne Oliver #7), Agatha Christie

Hallowe'en Party is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in November 1969.

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 par
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirteen-year-old Joyce Reynolds is murdered at a Halloween party. She was killed by being dunked in the bucket used for bobbing for apples. Earlier in the day, Joyce was telling everyone how she saw a murder some time ago. (Joyce is known for exaggerating and lying, so no one took her seriously at the time.) But now, with her death, maybe she was telling the truth. A lady author (Ariadne Oliver) that was at the party visits Hercule Poirot and asks him if he can look into this. He agrees. Will P ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This is by no means my favorite Poirot novel, but it was fun immersing myself in the fall setting regadless.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
"May your mustaches never grow less."

I am not sure if everybody knows about this form of part entertainment. You fill a big container with water, drop some apples in there and make children get them out using only heir teeth.
apple bobbing
This is called apple bobbing. Mrs. Oliver attended such a party (on Halloween). They ended up with a girl drowned in the same tab with apples. Mrs. Oliver recalled that same girl was boasting she had witnessed a murder one time. When you have this girl murdered just a coupl
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery fans, Christie fans
While some of Agatha Christie’s mysteries remain immensely satisfying, there are a few that just don’t work, whether from cultural shift or a more experimental 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 d
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
You know i am still um-ing and ah-ing as to whether this is 4 or 5 stars. A really great detective novel, great plot and Poirot was on top form, and to cap it all he is ably assisted by Ariadne Oliver, so why am i still prevaricating as to why its 4 or 5 stars ?
I really don't know where to start, apart from repeating myself. I checked the reviews of this book, and the ratings average less than 4.0, so maybe it isn't just me.

It's good, its complex but simple, its well thought out, it doesn't rush
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2018
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 neve ...more
mark monday
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; thei
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. ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I've only got handful of Poirot's left to read and thought this would be a perfect choice to enjoy over the Halloween weekend.
It's well known that Christie found writing the Belgian detective insufferable and it's certainly telling during the 1960's.
The introduction of crime writer Ariadne Oliver in the later books does bring a breath of fresh air to the series and it's her attendance at the Halloween party for young teens that calls Poirot into his latest mystery.

The opening was so good!
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, classics
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.
Vikas Singh
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
Another block buster from the queen of crime writing. Once again Poiroit teams up with Mrs. Oliver to solve a crime where the characters have a sinister past. Slowly and skillfully the ace detective unravels the plot. Compared to her other novels, this is relatively shorter but not short on thrill
Jay Schutt
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not really feeling much of a review for this one. Just an ok read for me, perhaps because I am on vacation at the beach for a month. But an ok read from Agatha Christie is still pretty good.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been wanting to read this book for ages, just for the title alone. Luckily, it lived up to its name, featuring a Halloween party, with all kinds of themed games, and of course, murder. And who doesn't love a book that features Ariadne Oliver? I just adore her, and I wish Christie would have either written more books with her included, or featured some with her alone. She's just a peach!
This book had a lot of atmosphere, and some philosophical musings on beauty, both in people and nature, as
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very much a later Christie novel – written in 1969 and virtually one of the last Poirot novels she wrote. Poirot is very much, like the author I suspect, feeling his age. We meet him bemoaning the fact that a friend is probably cancelling a visit and contemplating another dull evening, when he gets a call from his old friend, Mrs Ariadne Oliver. Mrs Oliver, a crime author, had been visiting a friend and helping with the organisation for a joint Halloween/11+ party for some children. Duri ...more
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
While helping to decorate for an upcoming HALLOWE'EN PARTY a contentious thirteen year old comments that she once witnessed a murder, but when no one believes her, she high-tails it for home, and only a few hours later, after the party, she is found drowned in the apple-bobbing tub........hence another murder mystery to solve for ole Hercule Poirot with his manicured to perfection mustache, too tight patent leather shoes and never-ending search for the truth.

Really enjoyed this one! (perhaps bc

Hallowe'en Party is one of the darker mystery stories in the Poirot series. The chosen subject matter and the victims of the story, especially the child victims produced an uncanny feeling throughout the story.

A child dies at a Halloween party setting in motion a past hidden crime. At least that is what Ariadne Oliver thinks when she summons Poirot, and Poirot's "little grey cells" are quite in agreement. The local police are skeptical whether the present crime has any connection with a past un
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shortly after confessing she had once witnessed a murder, thirteen year old Joyce is found having drowned in an apple-bobbing tub during a Halloween Party.  Famed investigator Hercule Poirot is brought in to uncover the killer.

I’m not going to lie, for a book that seems to be heavily marketed as a Halloween-centric novel, I was disappointed to discover that the story has little to do with Halloween.  Yes, the inciting incident takes place during a Halloween party, but the season is dropped prett
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An interesting story with a solid plot and cast of characters.

Joyce, a young schoolgirl, says she has seen a murder. Later at a Halloween party her body lies lifeless in the library where the apple-bobbing had been held. Poirot is called to assist an old friend who is worried that the killer is loose and possibly disturbed.

Although not considered a premier Christie mystery it is enjoyable, and also shows something of how the author's approach to subjects that would have been taboo when she firs
Short enough to read in one sitting, on Halloween day. Fun Halloween read.
I personally don’t think Agatha Christie wrote children very well - I’ve thought this before, whenever one of her books has a child in it, they never seem real - but aside from that, a good story.
Stephanie Anze
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Joyce is a 13-year-old girl helping set up for a Halloween party. Amid the preparations, she brags about having witnessed a murder once. Most that hear her simply suppose that she is trying to impress Adriadne Oliver, a noted murder mystery author that is in attendance, so they pay litte mind to her. Joyce storms off only to be found dead in the library, by the bobbing-for-apples game later that evening. Its Mrs. Oliver that contacts Hercule Poirot. Poirot is ever as eager to pursue the case and ...more
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it

Feeling a bit torn about this one.

On one side I very much enjoyed this story with our Poirot doing his thing. The mystery was a good one, suitably horrible with the death of a child, and for once I got the identity of the killer (yippee - but not the exact motive).

On the other however, I found the many references to this contemporary time quite jarring. I expected one type of vocabulary and got sometimes something quite different. I know that Christie carried on writing until her death in 19
Sheila Beaumont
It had been more than 10 years since I last read this one, so I had forgotten much of it, though I did remember the girl being drowned while bobbing for apples. Originally published in 1969, this is one of Agatha Christie's later mysteries, and the 36th in the Poirot series. I found it amusing that Mrs. Ariadne Oliver (reportedly a stand-in for the author herself) tells Poirot that his mind is like a programmed computer. I'm not sure how many times I've read this, but it's still as enjoyable as ...more
Stephanie Swint
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: halloween
It is Autumn, this week there have been storm clouds in the sky and wind pulling leaves off branches. I am preparing for Halloween and hopefully a horde of trick or treaters who will be knocking on doors in the near future. In my preparation, I was also listening to Christie’s ‘Hallowe’en Party.’ It is a book I have not read by an author I consider an old friend – even if I never met her. Agatha Christie and her beloved Belgian Hercule Poirot are special to me. I watched the series with Hugh Fra ...more
Mansuriah Hassan
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you're following me, you would know how much I love Agatha Christie's books. This is one of my favourite of all the Poirot mysteries. The pacing is good, and the plot has some unexpected twists that keep it interesting.

In this novel, a fun Halloween party ends in tragedy. Young Joyce has been drowned in the apple dunking trough. Earlier in the day, she was boasting about witnessing a murder. Poirot's friend, the quirky Ariadne Oliver, a mystery writer, thinks there's something more sinister
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Ariadane Oliver should really stop attending parties or planning any special events because once again Hercule Poiriot was needed. This time to try and solve the murder of a young girl that hours before her death claimed that she "had seen a murder once." Turns out this English village has more than a few missing people, forgers, accidents, and murderers. My head was spinning!

I love the relationship between Olivier and Poiriot as they have these "downtime " moments in the midst of cri
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #45.5)
  • Closed Casket (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries, #2)
  • The Unexpected Guest
  • The Killings at Kingfisher Hill (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries, #4)
  • The Monogram Murders (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries, #1)
  • Причината
  • The Mystery of Three Quarters (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries, #3)
  • Spider's Web
  • The Halloween Tree
  • Guest From Hell (Dev Haskell - Private Investigator Book 20)
  • الطاحونة
See similar books…
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t

Other books in the series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 45 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

Related Articles

If you ask us, it's always the perfect time to lose yourself in a page-turning mystery. To help you sleuth out a new read, we asked the...
145 likes · 96 comments
“I know there's a proverb which that says 'To err is human,' but a human error is nothing to what a computer can do if it tries.” 233 likes
“The past is the father of the present.” 36 likes
More quotes…