Poirot can never take a vacation, it seems, because even when he is holidaying, some murder catches up on him.
Poirot is enjoying a quiet seaside holiday in Jolly Roger Hotel, Devon with a diverse and interesting set of guests, most of them seemingly pleasant and friendly.
Arlena Stuart, who is flirtatious and a magnet for men with a reputation of breaking up marriages is the center of most conversations. Her husband, Kenneth Marshall, who is reserved and quiet but observant of her coquettish ways.
Patrick Redfern, a newly married man, who has come to the resort to enjoy a vacation with his wife, Christine. But Arlena has an eye for him and he, almost openly, follows her around like a pet dog, much to the chagrin of his wife, who seems to be a sensible and practical woman – almost diametrically opposite to Arlena.
There is also Rosamund, Marshall’s childhood friend, who clearly is still in love with the man. His daughter Linda, who hates Arlena, and is fond of Rosamund. There’s a priest who talks of evil and thinks Arlena is the personification of one.
Poirot senses a sexual tension in the air even before anything happens and knows that some evil is bound to happen. And then, of course, there is the murder. Arlena is found dead, strangulated at Pixy Cove.
Written in a typical Agatha Christie style, you are kept guessing till the end about who could have perpetrated the crime. The characters are warm and have their unique personalities, from the garrulous Mrs Gardener, to the Major who keeps talking about his army life. The conversations are entertaining and the plot has a lot of twists and turns. Overall, a light, entertaining and enjoyable read!
Recommended to all mystery lovers!