Home > Book, Book Review, Mystery, Reviews > Book Review – After the Funeral: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie

Book Review – After the Funeral: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Book Description:

When Richard Abernethie, the master of Enderby Hall, dies his heirs assemble at the vast Victorian mansion to hear the reading of the will. It is then that Cora, Abernethie’s sister, comes out with an alarming proposal: “But he was murdered, wasn’t he?” The next day Cora is found brutally bludgeoned to death in her home.

None other than Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot is summoned to Enderby in pursuit of the murderer. Suspects abound including a wayward nephew unlucky with women and horses, a favorite and seemingly blameless sister-in-law, two feuding nieces, a nosey housekeeper, and a disingenuous art collector.

Poirot must conjure all of his deductive powers in order to unmask the killer and his final conclusion is a brilliant and unexpected as ever. After the Funeral is classic Christie at her best.


So, after getting reacquainted with Agatha Christie‘s Miss Marple recently, I thought I’d touch base again with her great Belgian detective Hercule Poirot – a character I have admired since I was a kid 🙂 I borrowed After the Funeral: A Hercule Poirot Mystery from the library as its one of Christie’s books that I don’t recall reading before. I guess there’s something to be said about a mystery book being just all about the mystery, since I did enjoy this one even with a practically retired Poirot not being a major player (he mostly just sits in a chair doing his heavy thinking).

After the Funeral is a clever little mystery, and Agatha Christie definitely kept me guessing until the big reveal. It’s written in the usual Christie style – she presents us with the case of the Abernethie family gathered together for the reading of patriarch Richard Abernethie’s will, and one of the heirs blurts out “But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”. Of course that nitwit ends up murdered herself and that’s when things get interesting. Virtually everyone present in the will-reading is a suspect (with strong motives and doubtful alibis), and Christie knows to throw her readers red-herrings right and left to confuse us. Like I said, I was really surprised when the identity of the murderer was revealed in the end (*I have to admit that it does take some suspension of disbelief as to how Poirot solves the case, and the solution does hinge on a peculiar aspect of the English upper class [Spoiler]).

This isn’t one of Christie’s best, but it’s an entertaining mystery (with Poirot’s “little grey cells” getting a good work-out). And I do love Christie’s way with the English language – writing stuff like: “Miss Gilchrist’s memory seemed to be almost wholly culinary.” So clever and elegant at the same time. Admittedly, I’m massively  non-objective about this book with all my Poirot-love, so I’m definitely reviewing this book with rose-colored glasses on.

After the Funeral: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie (HarperCollins) is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Hardcover edition, Paperback edition, and Audible Audio Edition. *Also available at Amazon UK.

The eBook is also available at B&N, Kobo books, and Apple iBooks

For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of After the Funeral by other bloggers:

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