Book: Five Little Pigs
Author: Agatha Christie
Summary: Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, but just like the nursery rhyme, there were five other "little pigs" who could have done it: Philip Blake (the stockbroker), who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist), who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee), who had her roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess), who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister), who cried all the way home. Sixteen years later, Caroline's daughter is determined to prove her mother's innocence, and Poirot just can't get that nursery rhyme out of his mind. -William Morrow, 1943.
Reading an Agatha Christie novel is always a treat, simply because they are so unlike modern mystery novels. Rather than setting up a place and scene, Christie cuts right to the heart of the matter: the mystery.
This particular Poirot mystery is one of my favorites. I must confess that before I read any of the Christie novels (apart from And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Hallow'een Party), I watched the BBC's Poirot series with David Suchet playing the famous Belgian detective. Five Little Pigs was a story I couldn't forget - it made that deep of an impression on me. After watching the dramatization of the story, I wanted to read the original novel.
The novel's plot is really quite clever and refreshing. Rather than trying to solve a murder that has just been committed, Poirot must look into a murder that has already been solved and the "murderer" already punished. He must find out if the person truly did the crime, or if one of the "five little pigs" who were there at the time was the true culprit.
I enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed the dramatization. Yes, the television episode changed a few character motivations and removed some characters from the novel (arguably unnecessary ones), but it stays true to the novel and the novel truly shows Christie's genius.
I highly recommend it for someone who is either a Christie fan, or someone who wants an unusual mystery novel. It's a clever plot with a truly surprising ending.
I give Five Little Pigs an A+.
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Thanks for reading!