My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Five Little Pigs is the 25th book in the Hercule Poirot series by Dame Agatha Christie. My friend Medhat reminded me that Christie’s birthday was this month, so we agreed to read a few of her books together. I’ve probably finished at least 50% of her novels and usually read them out of order (a rarity for me). First up was Five Little Pigs, and it was quite a fun story. Let’s dive into my review.
Caroline Crale went to prison for killing her husband. The jury felt sorry for her and rather than sentence her to death, she was kept in jail for life. Sixteen years later, she passed away. Her young daughter receives a letter, just as she turns 21, from her mother, who basically says… “I promise, I didn’t kill your father.” The daughter tracks down Hercule Poirot and hires him to investigate the past. Poirot is intrigued, quickly agreeing and meeting with the lawyers and police detectives who’d been involved in the case. By the time he’s finished, he learns there were 5 other people at the house the day of the death. Poirot conducts his inquiries, and in the end discovers the true killer.
The book is divided into three parts: (1) Introduction & discussion with the cops and lawyers, (2) Meetings with each of the 5 people who’d been at the house, and (c) Bringing everyone together for Poirot to reveal what he’s learned. It’s classic Agatha Christie format, and I adore it. The setup might be frequently used, but it’s a perfectly logical approach to solving the crime. It can, at times, create a bit of redundancy and duplication, but that helps keep the main points in your mind. Or prevents you from thinking about the strange things you learned along the path, usually the biggest clues to the truth.
The mystery was simple. I guessed it this time. It took a little while, but it hit me as soon as all the interviews were completed. My reasoning was mostly accurate, but Christie tossed in a little surprise that changed the exact root cause. Still, it was clever and intriguing. The backdrop for the story was pleasant and engaging. The victim was an artist who’d been having an affair (known by his wife and others) with his subject. The subject was onsite when he was murdered, as were the victim’s much younger sister-in-law, the girl’s governess, and two neighbors / friends. A few secrets come to light, highlighting what really happened on that crazy day nearly sixteen years ago.
For me, Christie’s books are always easy and immersive reads. She knows how to craft a story. The plots are usually methodical and direct, even when there are red herrings and side stories. There is an intelligence in the design of her phrasing and structure, not like the stories we see today. I like both approaches, but there has never been a Christie tale I didn’t like or devour quickly. I ended up at around 4 stars because I compared it to other classics of hers that I adore. This one was good, but it could’ve tied together the three different sections more tightly. I also would’ve liked to get more in the end, specifically reactions from everybody when they learned the truth about who killed the man. The ending was slightly different, as it wasn’t about convicting the true killer but simply getting the answer so the daughter knew the truth: Her mom was or was not innocent.
I can’t wait to start our next buddy read in the coming days – The Thirteen Problems.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.