After finishing Endless Night and really liking it, I was pretty excited to begin reading Peril at End House. Buuut unfortunately, it didn’t really catch my interest right away so I literally put off reading it for 2-3 weeks. On the bright side, I did get around to eventually reading and finishing it and so I’m here to review it.
Peril at End House is a Hercule Poirot mystery. For those unfamiliar with that name or Agatha Christie, he’s basically a fictitious famous mystery detective she created. Kinda like Sherlock Holmes, Poirot has the uncanny ability to make astute observations about the most seemingly normal phenomena. For example, within this book [SPOILER ALERT], a character complains about a bee near her head, in her bonnet, and only Poirot figures out that the bee wasn’t really a bee but a bullet. Eh, I’m not explaining it as eloquently as he did in the book, but that’s an example of his powers of observation and deduction. Because Poirot is so smart and famous, he’s also kind off an asshole to his friend/ fellow detective Hastings. Hastings is an English police officer (or so I assumed) who goes around with Poirot (who is a Belgian detective) to solve mysteries. While Poirot can appear nice to others, in my opinion, he treated Hastings pretty badly. Think like snide comments on Hasting’s capabilities. Or maybe I’m just a really sensitive person, but I wasn’t a big fan of his treatment. And Poirot is also really boastful and kinda arrogant (although in this book, I do find him to be a bit humanized as he suffers a sort-of existential crisis/ failure). If you can’t tell, I’m not the biggest fan of Poirot, despite his amazing ability as a detective. But just to be clear, this doesn’t mean that Poirot is a horrible person or character to read about. On the contrary, he can be very nice and charming to others. I think it all really depends on personal taste and perceptions. My friend, who initially recommended Agatha Christie’s novel’s to me, is actually quite fond of Poirot and finds him to be a humorous and entertaining fellow. This is just strictly my opinion on Poirot and how I perceived him (i.e. kinda annoyed by him). Hence I’m pretty sure that some of my dislike of this book stems from my dislike of Poirot.
That said, the plot is reasonably interesting. In the story, Hercule Poirot has come to have a relaxing vacation with Hastings by his side, but both end getting caught up with a beautiful heiress and the idea that someone is trying to murder her. Sort of a typical murder mystery style I think, as you have a number of people involved (we’re introduced to various friends, servants, helpers of the heiress) and thus a number of people that can be the murderer. And like all Agatha Christie stories, the ending is a complete surprise that you don’t see coming. Like seriously, you think the book has ended and then BAM turns out that you were wrong and that the ending is something completely different. I think the ending is actually the best part about the entire story. I mean, the writing is nice as always and the characters are fine as well, but nothing holds a candle to the ending. All in all, a pretty average book. Not one that I was particularly happy to read.
My rating: read it if you want to experience the Agatha Christie style (surprise ending) but you can miss it otherwise.