When Simeon Lee, a mean-spirited, tyrannical patriarch of a dysfunctional family, summons his offspring to his country manor house in Kent for Christmas, he employs Poirot to attend the reunion. The detective is not given a full explanation for his assignment, but he soon observes the palpable animosity, suspicion, and resentment among the three Lee sons. Also in attendance is the beautiful Pilar Estravados, the only surviving child of Lee's daughter, who recently passed away after living in exile in Spain. The ruthless Senior Lee, who made his fortune in the South African diamond fields, sadistically treats his progeny with deliberate cruelty and obviously relishes pitting one against the other. It comes as no surprise when the old man's throat is mysteriously cut in an apparently locked room, and although he was frail and wheelchair-bound, there appears to be evidence of a great struggle. Poirot is aided in his quest for a solution to the baffling mystery by Chief Inspector Japp and... Written by
Alternate titles for "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" include "Murder for Christmas" and "A Holiday for Murder". See more »
When Sugden is at the room where Pilar is being interrogated, he says: "I better find Sgt Coombes" and leaves immediately the room. Later, when Poirot explains the solution, this scene is shown again, but Sugden, after saying that, doesn't leave immediately the room and waits a few seconds. See more »
Four days before Christmas, Hercule Poirot receives a phone call from Mr Simeon Lee, a mining magnate. He is inviting all his family over to his mansion in Shropshire for Christmas and needs Poirot around, as he fears someone will try to kill him. With nothing significant planned for Christmas and his central heating broken, Poirot agrees. Upon his arrival at the mansion, it is immediately apparent that Lee and his family don't see eye-to-eye at all. Lee calls a family meeting in which he mentions that he is about to change his will. That night he is murdered. Poirot is immediately on the case and enlists the help of Chief Inspector Japp, who is on holiday in nearby Wales with his family.
Clever and, as always, intriguing. The murder method is particularly ingenious. The murderer is given away reasonably early, if you concentrate hard enough (there is no padding in a Poirot mystery, remember...). Still, even if you figure you know who the murderer is, you never know how they did it or what their motive was, and its these elements which make it so interesting.
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