Book 47: “a book set during Christmas”

I figured another Poirot novel would be a fun quick read to get me in the Christmas spirit. However, there actually wasn’t much Christmas involved, since the patriarch of the family was murdered on the 24th and they spent their Christmas trying to catch his killer. There were a couple of discussions about the decorations and gifts that didn’t end up getting put up, but mostly, the Christmas spirit came as a dark look at the murderous consequences of getting a large estranged family back together for the holidays. Everyone in the family has motive for murder, and it falls to Poirot to figure out the whodunit, with the aid of a balloon and a portrait of the dead man.

I’ll admit, I found the culprit reveal for this one to be a bit far-fetched, even for a Poirot novel. The method of doing the deed was imaginative for what was essentially a locked-room puzzle, but overall, I think I enjoyed the Affair at Styles more.