Mystery book report again
The story takes place in several places in England in the early 20th century. The places are: Enderby Hall, an old mansion in the countryside, Lychett St. Mary, a small English village, and London.
Many descriptions of the homes and countryside and city are given which makes it believable.
There are two deaths in the
book. The first is the death of Richard Abernethie who lived in Enderby Hall. He died in his sleep. His death was quite unexpected even though he had been unwell. The second death is the brutal murder of Cora Lansquenet, the sister of Richard Abernethie. She was killed in her house in Lychett St. Mary the day after she returned from Richard Abernethie’s funeral. Cora’s death was discovered by ber companion and housekeeper, Miss Gilchrist. Miss Gilchrist had gone to the library to return some books. When she came back, she went to Cora’s room to tell her that she was back, and found her dead, horribly cut up with a hatchet. She immediately called the police and reported the crime. The killer had broken the kitchen window to enter the house; a few cheap pieces of jewelry had been stolen.
The victim is Cora Lansquenet. We do not find out until the end why she was killed. She is a kind old lady, but also very outspoken. She has a habit of blurting things out which are often true. At Richard Abernethie’s funeral, she blurts out that she thinks he was murdered. This comes as a shock to everyone, since they all thought that he had died in his sleep. Cora also has a habit of tilting her head to one side, like a bird, whenever she talks.
There are no clues like fingerprints, etc. The murderer is a very clever person! There are plenty of red herrings.
Suspects: There are many members of Richard Abernethie’s family, and they are all suspects. His sister Cora, a brother, two sisters in law, and several nieces and nephews. All of them are poor and desperately need money. When Richard dies, all of them get a lot of money from his will. This is their motive. They all have alibis since all of them were at home at the time of his death. Cora’s death is more puzzling since nobody really gains anything from it.
The person solving this mystery is Hercules Poirot, the famous Belgian detective. He is famous for his big mustache (which he is very proud of) and his very smart brain cells! He believes in observing human nature and doing a lot of thinking to solve crimes.
The murderer is Miss Gilchrist, Cora Lansquenet’s housekeeper and companion. Absolutely nobody suspects her – she is a frail, middle-aged lady who nobody pays much attention to. Her motive in killing Cora is to get one of Cora’s paintings, which is actually a very valuable Vermeer, but which Cora thinks is just some cheap painting.
Hercules Poirot solves the case by not believing obvious things. It is quite a complicated mystery with lots of red herrings! What really happened is that Miss Gilchrist pretends to be Cora Lansquenet at Richard Abernethie’s funeral. She could do that because no one had seen Cora for twenty years. However, she made one mistake, which got her caught in the end. Cora (the real one) had a habit of tilting her head to the right whenever she spoke. Miss Gilchrist turned her head to the <i>Left when she pretended to be Cora. Her sister in law felt that something was wrong, but could not figure out exactly what. Hercules Poirot figured it out with his brain cells!
This is a great story. You will never guess who committed the murder till Hercules Poirot solves it for you. You will never think that Miss Gilchrist is the murderer because the
author leads you on a completely different path. There are lots of details and descriptions given about people and places which make it interesting.
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