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Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #32)
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Poirot Buddy Reads > Poirot buddy read 36: SPOILER thread for Hallowe'en Party

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Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9186 comments Mod
This is the spoiler thread for Hallowe'en Party - post your spoilers here!


Tara  | 819 comments I was concerned this book might be a bit like Hercule Poirot's Christmas, in that despite the obvious nod to certain seasons and activities, you wouldn't get the feel that that holiday is supposed to convey. Luckily however, Christie was able to create an eerie atmosphere, even though the titular Halloween party happens at the very beginning of the book. There was something creepy about the people and the place, and you really felt like it could have been anyone. I had suspected Mrs. Drake early on, but then dismissed her as being too obvious. I didn't suspect that she had an accomplice though.
Is this Christie's only book with child murders? Despite its popularity (and overuse IMO) in today's mysteries, it certainly was not a common GA trope (at least in what I have read), and another bold decision on her part, as you could see some readers being turned off by that.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9186 comments Mod
I've just mentioned in the main thread that we had a previous discussion of this book in 2016 - here is a link to the old spoiler thread for anyone who is interested:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 4: by Frances (last edited Oct 04, 2020 01:30PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Frances (francesab) | 393 comments This was one of my least favourite Poirot's so far-I felt there was too much strange Psychologizing, Mrs Oliver just started to grate on my nerves after a while with her inability to get to the point (and she must be an organized enough woman to be able to write successful mysteries), and it felt like it could use a good editing-some parts seemed to drag on for ever. There wasn't enough information about the will mix-up-for instance did the old woman disinherit her niece as she found out she was dangerous, how could the original will just have been lost, why weren't the witnesses ever interviewed.

One nice touch-though she seemed to disapprove of the young men in some ways, she did make them heroes at the end, and clearly Poirot had trusted them to protect Miranda (although again was that made clear?)

Part of the problem may be that, due to some library issues of all books arriving at the same time, I've read the 3 most recent Poirot's all within a couple of weeks-a pause until next month will do me good!


Tara  | 819 comments Frances wrote: "This was one of my least favourite Poirot's so far-I felt there was too much strange Psychologizing, Mrs Oliver just started to grate on my nerves after a while with her inability to get to the poi..."

I was also reading/listening to 3 Christie books at once, which although I didn't get too muddled, was a bit much. But now, no more Poirot until November!


Piyangie | 116 comments This particularly Poirot novel seems a bit of a bore. I've read only about one-third of the book yet and nothing seriously happening except Poirot going on collecting background information. I'm also getting a bit of tired (I think Poirot is too) of everybody's harping that the murder was committed by a "psychologically affected" person.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3022 comments I listened to this one also, but I’ve reread it a few times so it was fresher in my memory. I agree with everyone above, I really sensed Poirot (and Christie) were expressing Contempt for so many postwar changes in society, especially the criminal justice system and the increasing emphasis on a killer’s motives, not just punishment.

I did enjoy Poirot getting back out and personally interviewing characters, though.


Piyangie | 116 comments Frances wrote: "This was one of my least favourite Poirot's so far-I felt there was too much strange Psychologizing, Mrs Oliver just started to grate on my nerves after a while with her inability to get to the poi..."

I too wondered where the two young men Donald and Nicholas appeared from? It must be Poirot's doing of of course, but it wasn't made clear. Were they the ones that passed Micheal's car when he was taking Miranda away?


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3022 comments Piyangie wrote: "Frances wrote: "This was one of my least favourite Poirot's so far-I felt there was too much strange Psychologizing, Mrs Oliver just started to grate on my nerves after a while with her inability t..."

Yes, he asked someone, I think Spence or his sister, if they were trustworthy, so he put them to work with their disguises to tail Miranda and Michael.Not sure how the police would’ve felt about using teenaged civilians in a murder investigation, but...


Doris (webgeekstress) | 43 comments The death of Mrs. Drake's husband in an anonymous hit-and-run seems all too convenient; I'm surprised that Poirot didn't pursue that point.


message 11: by Piyangie (last edited Oct 17, 2020 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Piyangie | 116 comments I finished reading. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it towards the end. But there were certain lose ends I thought. Mr. Drake's death as Doris pointed out, and Mrs. Llewellyn-Smith's death was left unexplained. Their deaths were considered suspicious at some point, if I understood properly, and the doubt raised was not cleared.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3022 comments Doris wrote: "The death of Mrs. Drake's husband in an anonymous hit-and-run seems all too convenient; I'm surprised that Poirot didn't pursue that point."

Good catch, Doris.


Tracey | 254 comments While I very much enjoyed the party, Poirot complaining about his feet, and some of the characters (especially the teenage boys who become heroes). I found the mystery conclusion a bit poor.


Tracey | 254 comments Plus, they were all so mean about Joyce!


Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 799 comments For me, Golden Age Detectives work best when the entire cast of suspects are of a superior class, with servants and villagers just having walk on parts (generally properly deferential). Christie isn't the worst - some have grotesque locals, added apparently just for humorous mockery - but the less well-born characters do tend to end up as caricatures, not real-life. Joyce and her brother don't get the sympathy they would receive if they were gentle-folk.


Jessica | 367 comments They were very mean about Joyce and then her brother dies and everything is like ‘yeah whatever it’s his own fault’, not one word of sympathy for the mother even.


message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9186 comments Mod
I haven't reread the book, but this is definitely what I remember most about this mystery, that everyone is horrible about the children who die!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3022 comments Jessica wrote: "They were very mean about Joyce and then her brother dies and everything is like ‘yeah whatever it’s his own fault’, not one word of sympathy for the mother even."

True, I couldn’t help thinking, even if the village thought they were rather awful kids, the poor mother and father must be devastated, losing two children, in such a short span of time.


message 19: by Susan in NC (last edited Oct 21, 2020 12:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3022 comments Judy wrote: "I haven't reread the book, but this is definitely what I remember most about this mystery, that everyone is horrible about the children who die!"

I did get the impression, though, that everyone was trying to be polite at first, but Poirot was pushing to get past the “don’t speak ill of the dead” front, because he knew the reason for the murders would lay among their own actions.


Robin Susan in NC wrote: "Jessica wrote: "They were very mean about Joyce and then her brother dies and everything is like ‘yeah whatever it’s his own fault’, not one word of sympathy for the mother even."

True, I couldn’t..."

I didn't like this aspect of the novel at all. Very, very classist - almost as if 'the lower classes don't have the same feelings that we do'. Also, I found the Miranda sequences really unappealing, almost grubby, with the relationship between her and the perpetrator. - also involved with an older woman. Ironically, the young men who save her, despite their being depicted as 'typical teenagers' were so decent.


Piyangie | 116 comments I too didn't like everyone's low opinion of the two dead children. It was so cruel. They ought to have more consideration for the dead and their parents.


Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 799 comments Robin wrote: "Also, I found the Miranda sequences really unappealing, almost grubby, with the relationship between her and the perpetrator"

It did all seem rather unbelievable as a 'dramatic' ending, and I found it hard to accept that, having worked out that the girl was in danger Poirot took no great care to prevent the danger, merely lining up a couple of teenage boys to watch over her. I realise the police were also around, but it's the boys who actually prevent Miranda swallowing the poison! The police could, I suppose, have arrested her murderer after the fact.


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