“What are you going to do?”
“I am going to visit these five people – and from each one I am going to get his or her own story.”
Superintendent Hale sighed with a deep melancholy.
He said: “Man, you’re nuts! None of their stories are going to agree! Don’t you grasp that elementary fact? No two people remember a thing in the same order anyway. And after all this time! Why, you’ll hear five accounts of five separate murders!
“That,” said Poirot, “is what I am counting upon. It will be very instructive.”
Anytime I have trouble focusing on reading, I grab an Agatha Christie mystery to get back in the swing of things. This time around I picked up Five Little Pigs, and it was the perfect book and the perfect time to read it. I quickly became immersed in the mystery and could not put it down until all the answers were revealed.
In Five Little Pigs, the daughter of a woman convicted of murder asks Hercule Poirot to find out the truth regarding her deceased mother’s case. It is sixteen years after the fact, and having been just a child when the crime occurred, she remembers little and wants the facts set straight as she embarks on her own future. Poirot decides to take on the case, carefully interviewing those involved, with the focus on five main suspects who bring to mind an old nursery rhyme:
Philip Blake (the stockbroker) who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist) who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee) who had roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess) who had none; and Angela Warren (the sister) who cried ‘wee wee wee’ all the way home.
The reconstruction of a crime that occurred sixteen years prior is captured through Poirot’s conversations with the five suspects. I thought that perhaps this may start to feel repetitive or dull as each person recounted the events of the same day, however that was not the case. In fact, it was interesting to experience the different perspectives, noting the similarities and slight differences. I was certain that I had it all figured out, but just as I was about to declare myself a mystery genius, Agatha Christie did what she does best and surprised me with the conclusion. Truly delightful.
While I absolutely love the Poirot character and his series of books are among my favourites, I haven’t read all of them. After enjoying this one so much I decided to tackle the complete Hercule Poirot reading list, minus the short story collections (for now). If you are a mystery fan, especially of Agatha Christie novels, I hope you will follow me on my quest. 🙂
Have you read Five Little Pigs? Do you have a favourite Agatha Christie novel?