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Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
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Poirot Buddy Reads > Poirot Buddy Read 9 SPOILER THREAD: Peril at End House

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Jessica | 379 comments Go ahead and discuss all the juicy spoilers here!


Susan | 10531 comments Mod
I was just thinking what a great title this has.


Tara  | 831 comments Another "surprise" ending, which I think Christie pulled off very well. In some parts it seems like Nick is too cavalier with her own safety, but I suppose there are people who are really that frivolous. I think the TV adaptation does a better job of portraying the tragic cousin (she seems totally unappealing in the book), but otherwise I enjoyed it.


message 4: by Robin (new) - added it

Robin I usually feel annoyed at foolhardy protagonists, but not in this case. It's possible that because Nick did not drink herself into a challenging situation, as happens with so many modern novels, she is less aggravating. She just seems brightly brave and enduring, a perfect ploy. I didn't find the 'good' cousin so difficult. A thought, was Christie giving the secondary female figure a positive aspect to assuage some of her problems with her own character after the personal drama in her life?


Susan | 10531 comments Mod
That's a really interesting point, Robin. In two books time, we will have Orient Express, one of her best novels (so pleased Jessica fitted that in as a Christmas treat!). She had already met Max Mallowan by this point, if I recall correctly? I think she met him 1930 and this was published 1932?


Tara  | 831 comments What did everyone think of the fact that Poirot knowingly let Nick commit suicide? Its definitely a morally grey area, as in one sense it is escaping justice, but in another, it is a harsher punishment than she otherwise might have gotten. And is it within Poirot's power to make that decision?


Susan | 10531 comments Mod
This seems to happen quite a lot in GA novels, doesn't it? I am reminded of The Beast Must Die where the murderer is 'allowed,' to choose their own way out.

I think Poirot was fond of Nick and he was willing to allow her to kill herself. It was all a bit obvious - her asking for Freddie's watch in front of the assembled cast of characters. Surely someone might have realised - thought of a cyanide capsule or something?


Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2181 comments I thought that Nick committing suicide would have hurt the cousin's parents even more, as it is not something that people in the church take lightly


Elizabeth (Alaska) I don't see how she escaped justice. Is it better for the taxpayers to fund a big trial and commit murder itself with the death penalty?

I, of course, remembered the TV episode and had vivid pictures throughout. Usually I'd prefer to use my own imagination rather than someone else's, but in this case it couldn't be helped. And though I remembered everything up to and including the seance, I still didn't remember exactly who did it. I knew there was something fishy about Mrs. Croft, but again, didn't remember what it was.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I have not yet written my review, but will later. I have a rule for myself that the review must be written before the next book started.


Tara  | 831 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I don't see how she escaped justice. Is it better for the taxpayers to fund a big trial and commit murder itself with the death penalty?

I, of course, remembered the TV episode and had vivid pictu..."


It's true she does not escape ultimate justice. But in some cases, the victim's family feels robbed of closure if they do not have a trail and conviction. Poirot seems morally strict in other cases (such as The Affair at the Victory Ball), it is interesting to me when he seems to deviate from that code.

I also vividly called the TV episode, which I thought was well done. Its impossible to unsee it once its in your mind.


Pamela (bibliohound) | 395 comments I found Poirot's attitude rather odd, possibly as I couldn't understand why he still seemed protective towards Nick. All her so-called bravery and sparkle was proven to be based on a pack of lies, as she knew she was never in danger, and she callously killed someone completely harmless and kind for the sake of greed.

I didn't really enjoy this book, it wasn't very convincing and the characters were a pretty awful bunch, except poor Maggie.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I didn't read any characterization of Maggie, so I couldn't say whether I liked/disliked her.


message 13: by Jill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2181 comments I thought very little of Maggie's character was shown , and thought we weren't supposed to feel for her, because she wouldn't be around for long


message 14: by Pamela (last edited Sep 05, 2018 11:26AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pamela (bibliohound) | 395 comments Well, we had Hastings' positive view of her (though his judgement isn't always to be trusted), but she did also seem to be genuinely fond of Nick. I felt sorry for her anyway :)


Elizabeth (Alaska) I think we can count on Hasting's opinions to be pretty nearly 180 degrees wrong, but it's hard not to feel sorry for someone who gets murdered. Even when we don't like a character, they don't usually deserve to be murdered. (Yes, there might be exceptions.)


Roman Clodia | 905 comments I really like this one and its clever plot that stumps even Poirot for most of the book. Christie is absolutely scrupulous about leaving her clues in plain sight in the letters, and I like the way she plays on possible prejudices in making the bluff Naval officer the drug dealer rather than the smooth art dealer: we can always rely on Hastings to misplace his judgement!

I was less surprised about Poirot letting Nick take the watch than him letting Challenger go altogether: she's going to die either way, he just gets off free.


Susan | 10531 comments Mod
Do you think that one of the reasons why she dropped Hastings (or used him less in future novels) was because readers learnt to mistrust his judgement?


Roman Clodia | 905 comments That's an interesting theory, Susan - it's a shame that he disappears as I love the interplay between Poirot and Hastings but he is sometimes made to be unfeasibly naive and stupid, far more so than Sherlock's Watson. It's true though that the moment Hastings likes and admires a character, my suspicions are aroused!


Susan | 10531 comments Mod
He does pop up here and there - interesting for the finale of the final case, so I suspect Christie was fond of him.


Jessica | 379 comments I also wondered why Agatha Christie would drop Hastings as he has such a nice comic interplay with Poirot, but it also is almost always a variation of the same and perhaps Hastings is too limiting in the end. Indeed, we now know that his instinct is always wrong, and we know that no matter what Hastings might tell us Poirot has not become confused or too rusty for the job.

I haven't seen the TV episode yet, I think I might watch it tonight!


Sandy | 3016 comments Mod
I wish Christie had kept Hastings as I love the two together. I think Christie could have developed his character and their relationship if she had wanted him to continue.


Susan | 10531 comments Mod
I am always happy when Hastings pops up in a book!


Tara  | 831 comments Jessica wrote: "I also wondered why Agatha Christie would drop Hastings as he has such a nice comic interplay with Poirot, but it also is almost always a variation of the same and perhaps Hastings is too limiting ..."

I've decided to re-watch the TV episodes as we read the books, and I think this one was done quite well. It stays close to the plotline, and fleshes out some of the characters that I just didn't get much of a mental image of from the reading.


Frances (francesab) | 415 comments Very late to the discussion.

I think that Maggie was made insignificant intentionally, so that we never consider that she might have been the intended victim or have inspired the love of the dashing aviator.

I think that Poirot allowing Nick to commit suicide is a realistic touch-he had been fond of her, and the thought of her enduring a trial and hanging was probably too much to consider. It's interesting that those positive feelings persist, even knowing that so much of her apparent character was a put-on (as Pamela mentioned earlier).

I didn't realize that Hastings doesn't stick around for a lot of the later novels-however his personal situation in Argentina has been left somewhat ambiguous-is his wife still his wife/alive and if so why is he spending so much time in England? I guess Christie never worried too much about consistency from book to book (as happens with Poirot's and Miss Marple's ages).

I did enjoy this mystery, and am enjoying the sequential read.


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