Having read her mother’s letter, Carla is certain that Caroline was wrongfully convicted of murdering Amyas Crale, Caroline’s husband.
She approaches Poirot to solve this case that occurred 16 years ago and soon realizes just how tangled the mystery is.
Read if you like: mystery novels with a group of friends, Poirot’s wit, themes of false accusation & infidelity
This was a lot more fun to read than Christie’s Halloween Party, but certainly not comparable to And Then There Were None.
Although it’s Poirot at the helm of this case, and you know that nothing will get past his calculative thinking, I couldn’t help but wonder how he’d manage to solve a case that is decades old. But in his own words –
‘“One does not, you know, employ merely the muscles. I do not need to bend and measure the footprints and pick up the cigarette ends and examine the bent blades of grass. It is enough for me to sit back in my chair and think. It is this – ” he tapped his egg-shaped head – “this, that functions!”’
The author’s typical extravagance of expression is sprinkled throughout the book with several passages taking on a dramatic flair in the rhythm with which they are narrated.
The plot here is a lot more contained because from the beginning the author lays out the details of the case and introduces us to the only five suspects that are being interviewed.
In each chapter, we see Poirot speak with one of them. And you know that he is observing more than he is letting on.
Unlike most mystery novels, Christie doesn’t play the red herring game here. The suspicion doesn’t shift from one character to the other. And except for the last few chapters, no one character is made to be evidently more culpable.
While I had correctly figured out the reason why Caroline had been arrested for poisoning her husband, I couldn’t guess the exact conclusion to the case.
If you’ve been looking for a quick mystery read, I’m sure Five Little Pigs will keep you engrossed for a couple of hours.