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Book: Poirot Loses a Client

I started reading Hercule Poirot novels when I was about 13 or 14 years old. Started with Murder on the Orient Express (because I understood it was considered a classic) and devoured as many as our library had. Somehow in all this, however, I never read this one.

If you don’t know Poirot, a quick introduction: he’s a Belgian detective with large moustaches and a fastidious nature. He’s Agatha Christie’s dandy version of Sherlock Holmes, really. In a number of the novels about him—including this one—he has a kind of Watson in the form of Captain Hastings, who accompanies Poirot on his investigations and narrates the story.

This particular tale is of an older woman (70, I think?) named Emily Arundell who writes to Poirot after believing one of her family members has tried to murder her for her money. Alas, the letter arrives too late for Poirot to save her from liver failure, but he launches an investigation all the same. (And was it a natural death after all?)

I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy any Hercule Poirot novel. It has the usual collection of suspects and, per the typical cozy mystery of this sort, ends with them all in a drawing room as Poirot spins out the whodunit and how. These books are fine poolside reading, quick and not terribly demanding on, as Poirot would say, “the little grey cells.”

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