Release Date: September 2007, Black Dog and Leventhal (this edition)
Format: Hardcover, 303 pages
Source: Purchased from Barnes & Noble
When Richard Abernethie, the master of Enderby Hall, dies his heirs assemble at the vast Victorian mansion to hear the reading of the will. It is then that Cora, Abernethie's sister, comes out with an alarming proposal: "But he was murdered, wasn't he?" The next day Cora is found brutally bludgeoned to death in her home.
None other than Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot is summoned to Enderby in pursuit of the murderer. Suspects abound including a wayward nephew unlucky with women and horses, a favorite and seemingly blameless sister-in-law, two feuding nieces, a nosey housekeeper, and a disingenuous art collector.
Poirot must conjure all of his deductive powers in order to unmask the killer and his final conclusion is a brilliant and unexpected as ever.
When I'm in the mood for a mystery novel, I find that I can never go wrong by choosing an Agatha Christie, and Hercule Poirot is generally my detective of choice (though I have enjoyed some Miss Marple mysteries, too). It is rare that I can ever guess who the culprit is, though I came oh-so-close this time, changing my mind towards the end thanks to Christie trying to throw us off the scent. Christie's key clues to solving her mysteries are almost always so subtle that I tend to miss most of them. Naturally, Poirot doesn't miss even the tiniest detail before stunning the gathered "suspects" with his (in this story) unsuspected brilliance.
Not only can she map out a great "whodunnit?" story, but Christie also throws in quite a bit of humor in the process, which makes for a fun read. Sure, the victim was bludgeoned with a hatchet -- rather gory stuff -- but you can't help but laugh out loud at the quirky characters in the story, most especially the victim herself. I was rather sorry that she didn't get to stick around the entire time, I can only imagine what else she would have said (in addition to the teaser I posted on Tuesday). You can always count on Poirot to be an amusing character, a bit foppish, arrogant (but rightfully so), and seemingly dimwitted when he wants to go unnoticed.
Overall, I very much enjoyed After The Funeral. It didn't blow me away like some of Christie's other mysteries, but it is a solid story that provided much entertainment.
Read this book if you like...
~ Mysteries that are NOT easy to solve until the clues are all laid out in the end (very much in the style of Clue, in my opinion)
~ Clean mysteries with quirky characters and a bit of British humor
~ Any of Agatha Christie's other mysteries, Poirot or otherwise
**This is my fourth book towards the #TakeControl March 2013 TBR Challenge