Book Review – Third Girl: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
Three young women share a London flat. The first is a coolly efficient secretary. The second is an artist. The third interrupts Hercule Poirot’s breakfast confessing that she is a murderer — and then promptly disappears.
Slowly, Poirot learns of the rumors surrounding the mysterious third girl, her family, and her disappearance. Yet hard evidence is needed before the great detective can pronounce her guilty, innocent, or insane.
A near-fatal dose of poison, a blood-stained knife, a revolver, and a family who are not what they seem figure in an extraordinary case that takes celebrated detective Hercule Poirot from a village estate to the bohemian streets of London — in a matter of life and death.
Okay, so I’m still on a mission trying to read outlying Christie books that I hadn’t read before. And I stumbled onto this one – Third Girl: A Hercule Poirot Mystery. Never heard of it? Yeah, me too, and I suspect the reason for that is because it’s not good at all! This is definitely one of the weakest books in the Poirot series. Pity too, since the setting is the Swinging Sixties in London and I thought that was an interesting change for Christie.
In Third Girl, a young woman disturbs Poirot’s peaceful morning by confessing that she *might* have committed a murder, then abruptly runs off after deciding that Poirot was *too old* to help her … What follows is a confusing and convoluted plot where Poirot (teaming up with his scatterbrained mystery writer friend Ariadne Oliver) spends the rest of the book tracking down the girl (Norma Restarick), her friends and family – all to figure out whether the poor little rich girl is actually innocent or guilty or if a *murder* was committed at all. Unfortunately for Poirot, Norma is no help at all, being all flaky and vague and high as a kite all the time… and I just couldn’t bring myself to care about her at all or for her *maybe* crime. Ugh – not even my love for Poirot could save this book for me.
The only good thing I can say about Third Girl is that Poirot solves the case as brilliantly as ever in the end. I particularly loved the business with the *portraits*. I won’t spoil anything, but that was the point where I went – aha! Clever Christie’s back!
Third Girl: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie (William Morrow Paperbacks) is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Paperback edition, and Audible audio edition. *Also available at Amazon UK.
The eBook is also available at B&N.
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