Evil under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot, #23

Source: Purchased rating

Set at the Jolly Roger, a posh vacation resort for the rich and famous on the southern coast of England, Evil Under the Sun is one of Agatha Christie’s most intriguing mysteries. When a gorgeous young bride is brutally strangled to death on the beach, only Hercule Poirot can sift through the secrets that shroud each of the guests and unravel the macabre mystery at this playground by the sea.

“To count - really and truly to count - a woman must have goodness or brains.”

All Agatha Christie readers by now know that Hercule Poirot can't go on vacation without a murder popping up. This time the detective has retreated to a mini island thing (sort-of) with history, and he finds himself trying to solve the crime of a woman who uses her charms to lure in men. Or does she?

I like how he twisted a misconception of woman who lure and trick men into something else at the end. Never guessed the guilty culprit, which is a pleasant surprise for a mystery. The author tends to follow the formula of having the least suspected, but really all of them was least expected except for the husband. There was a mislead here and there to keep it interesting.

Despite the cove and vacation spot being cut off from the inland a bit, it lacks a truly secluded and cut-off feel that you had with And Then There Were None or Murder in the Orient Express types. Cops and help came in easily to the vacation spot, after all, and for awhile the detectives assume someone who is not one of the vacationing guests could be responsible.

The book has fun with gossips wagging their tongues and strange romantic ties on the side, including a stepdaughter who may eye magic in an old-fashioned way. As always I'm impressed by how Christie does her characters and reveals the genuine honesty of human flaws, such as people using looks to trick others and get ahead.

Despite being another good mystery and having my favorite detective grace the pages, it wasn't as enjoyable as some of her other greats. Poirot is his usual marvel, but he seems almost in the background sometimes and keeps some comments to himself. The characters gossiping and general lives didn't suck me in as much as some of her other fiction did either, but still another recommended Christie enjoyment.

   Book Quotes:

“It is deplorable...to remove all the romance - all the mystery!”

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