The one that started it all.
I think, later, she had regrets about Poirot. It’s an open secret that Ariadne Oliver is her alter ego and Oliver is always complaining about the idiosyncrasies of her fictional foreign detective.
Regardless, this is the first of her mystery novels. It introduces Poirot and his sidekick. Full disclosure: I don’t like Hastings. He’s just so SLOW. I expect him to be slower than Poirot, but I’d like to see some intelligence somewhere. *sigh*
Hastings is visiting some friends in the country to recover from a wound he took in the war–this is World War 1, mind you–and whilst there, the lady of the house is murdered.
Poirot, whom Hastings had met somewhere previously, is nearby as a Belgian refugee and is happy to help.
There are lots of suspects, but really only one motive: money. They all lived off her, and they all got rich when she died. This includes two sons and their wives, her husband, and to a lesser extent, her companion. The only one not making out like a bandit is some random girl that’s staying with them that the old lady had liked but not yet put in her will.
The house is big, the servants abundant and everyone is complaining about how they’ve had to cut back since the war. Rich people, they’re different than the rest of us.
Poirot solves it, of course. Hastings is astonished and amazed, of course.
Trivia time! The book again offers no assistance so I’ll give you one of my own, off the top of my head because I’m talented like that. Poirot spent a lot of time talking about a scrap of dark green fabric that he found caught in the dead woman’s doorway. Where did that fabric come from?