Hastings is on leave from the war and bumps in to an old acquaintance, John Cavendish. All is not right at Styles Hall. John's mother has remarried and all are convinced that he is only after her money. Meanwhile John himself is tight for money and having to rely on his mother. Hi wife is acting strangely with a doctor famed for his knowledge of poisons. Brother Lawrence, a nervous young man, is also behaving rather strangely and good old companion, Evelyn, has walked out after telling Mrs Inglethorp exactly what she thinks of her new husband. All this comes to a head a few weeks into Hastings stay when poor Mrs Inglethorp is murdered in a seemingly locked room. Who could have done it? Luckily Hasting bumps into old friend Poirot who happily helps them out.
Have I mentioned before just how much I love Poirot? Yet I have read very few of these books. Something I must rectify. I loved all the cliche characters. The money grabbing husband, the money pinched sons, the young ward beholden to the mistress of the house and so many more. All these things appeal to me which is just as well as it's exactly what I got. Yet it was still a surprise for whilst I was admonishing Hastings for his stupidity I myself got it wrong.
I think if anyone wants to have a go at reading Christie (and I do recommend them as good old fashioned fun) then this is a good one to start with. It's Poirot's first case which was why I bought this one in the first place.