Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie

(Hercules Poirot, #11)

Sir Charles Cartwright should have known better than to allow thirteen guests to sit down for dinner. For at the end of the evening one of them is dead—choked by a cocktail that contained no trace of poison.
Predictable, says Hercule Poirot, the great detective. But entirely unpredictable is that he can find absolutely no motive for murder.

This book was a bit frustrating for awhile. Hardly any Hercule Poirot was in it! Even so, I grew a bit bored and not just because of the absence of the detective. At first the story was all over the place before the middle act, which was distracting. The characters and scenes were interesting enough for a bit, but meh...I kept wanting to skim ahead after awhile. Much of it was thoughtful dialogue among secondary characters without any continuing ties to go on. 

After page 128, seriously, Hercule Poirot started appearing for real. There was a minor scene with him at the beginning but nothing fancy. Once he came on stage the story started to come together even more so, even if it wasn't from his usual detective-type meddling. At first I was afraid this would be another disappointing mystery type where a solution is found without any clever clues to help the reader...however, it turned not to be so when the case was explained.
The clues instead were so very minor and subtle it was almost impossible to pick up on them. Interesting and much better after the second act, the ending was a dramatic one that surprised me on who the culprit was. Leave it to Christie to stun the reader.  

Despite the redemption, still left this one as three stars and a least favorite of the series. Too slow, disjointed, not enough of the infamous Belgian detective, and while the ending was great, it did not hold enough power to excel the rest of the book.

   Book Quotes:

“I was such a foolish girl - girls are foolish, Mr. Satterthwaite. They are so sure of themselves, so convinced they know best. People write and talk a lot of a ‘woman’s instinct.’ I don’t believe, Mr.Satterthwaite, that there is any such thing. There doesn’t seem to be anything that warns girls against a certain type of man. Nothing in themselves, I mean. Their parents warn them, but that’s no good - one doesn’t believe. It seems dreadful to say so, but there is something attractive to a girl in being told anyone is a bad man. She thinks at once that her love will reform him.”

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