Five Little Pigs

I feel as though I have been away from my blog for weeks and in truth I have. This does not mean I haven’t been busy reading, I have just been swept away preparing my Year 11s for an early entry exam and all the other hectic little dilemmas that come from a new term at school. I have written a guest review for Dot Scribbles , which I will post once it has appeared on her blog and then, as I wanted to avoid anything too taxing I decided a return to Agatha Christie was in order.

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I visited Greenway House, Christie’s home in Devon, back in August and I came back loaded with many new crime stories and mysteries to escape into when work inevitably became a tad stressful. Five Little Pigs is part of The Greenway Collection, three books for which Greenway was the inspiration and as I reflect on my reading I am instantly transported back to the lazy, warm summer days of my holiday, strolling, well being pulled around by two enthusiastic dogs, the grounds of Greenway and the surrounding area. Alas I am sat on the sofa, candles lit, watching the heavy raindrops pound the window and the wind twist and turn the leaves of the trees and bushes, what a difference!

In Five Little Pigs Poirot is called upon to prove the innocence of a woman accused of poisoning her husband sixteen years earlier; unfortunately Caroline Crale died shortly after her trial. Their daughter, Carla, learns of her parents’ fate on her twenty-first birthday and is determined to discover the truth, thus enlisting the help of the most celebrated Belgian detective. And so Poirot begins to piece together the parts of the puzzle; how Amyas Crale was falling in love with a younger woman he was painting; how he was planning to leave his wife and young daughter for this woman and how he was discovered dead on the battery in the grounds of his family home, poisoned when he was so close to completing his masterpiece. On learning of the details of this murder, Poirot soon identifies five possible, living suspects, the five little pigs of the title, thus the mystery commences.

How can one not enjoy an Agatha Christie novel? Her writing and characters are so deeply ingrained in modern British culture that it is difficult for me to criticise them. Whenever I pick one up I know I am guaranteed an enjoyable read, full of intrigue, red herrings and a great who dunnit! Five Little Pigs did not disappoint. I particularly liked the narrative style; we were given all the facts in the first section of the book, then each of the five suspects sent Poirot a written account of their memories of that fateful period and then we ended with a typical gathering of the suspects and a great reveal. I couldn’t ask for anything more from a cosy murder mystery. As I have mentioned reading Five Little Pigs evoked memories of my summer holiday in Devon, especially as the murder took place on the battery, a small balcony type feature in the gardens overlooking the river, and this added to my enjoyment when reading this particular Christie novel.

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Agatha and her second husband Max on the battery at Greenway.

So there has been a murder in the boathouse and one on the battery, I wonder what the third and final book from The greenway Collection has in store.

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