Book Review: Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

Never travel with Hercule Poirot. Boats, trains and planes, none are safe when the Belgian detective is aboard. Here he’s flying from Paris to Croydon when one of the other passengers is bumped off. The first class passengers are all suspects but none seem to have much motive. And as the victim was seemingly killed with a poisoned dart shot from a blowpipe somebody would have seen something, surely?

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An inquest leans towards Poirot being the guilty man as the blowpipe was found under his seat, but this is dismissed due to his history of working with the police. Which is kinda dodgy that the judge overrules the jury, but I guess it’s not what you know but who you know.

Partly due to his being suspected, but also due to the elaborate murder weapon and the mystery, Poirot sets out to solve the case. Also looking into it are two of the other passengers, who have developed a strong attraction to one another. They team up with the detective, and slowly begin to look into who might gain from the murder.

The victim turns out to be a French money lender who would loan cash out and then get it back because she would collect blackmail material on the people who owed her. So, someone with a long list of potential enemies.

I was a little disappointed with this book, as why there is some humour and clever red herring plots, the finale feels weak and Christie does that thing of revealing a bunch of stuff right at the end which stops the reader from having had a chance of guessing what happened. I did pick up on one clue which is dropped in, but then a bunch of stuff is just trotted out.

It’s nowhere near as gripping as Murder on the Orient Express which had a much clearer plot and claustrophobic setting, even if the same trick of a few last minute secrets is similar.

It’s a decent read but not being able to solve it is frustrating. Still, an enjoyable read nonetheless.

Verdict: Amusing in places and generally involving, Christie holds too much hidden and the twists seem to come from nowhere. A decent read despite that. 7/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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