Mrs. McGinty’s Dead
It is 1952 and “the great, the unique Hercule Poirot” is “a very old man.” He is, however, still up for the intellectual challenge provided by yet another murder in a quaint English village. The later Christie can be pretty grim, but this is actually one of her better efforts, with a bit of light (if condescending) social comedy, and a plot that hits such familiar notes as the conservative emphases on heredity and breeding, the importance of the historical backstory, and the “pre-eminently theatrical murder” itself. I kicked myself for missing the reader’s main clue (which was dreadfully obvious, in retrospect), but found the bit of evidence that tipped Poirot off more than a little obscure. In fact, I’m not sure it even made sense. Still, this ranks as another fine entertainment for killing off the better part of a cold, rainy day.