Book Review: Five Little Pigs

FIVE LITTLE PIGS | Agatha Christie
02.01.2011 (first published May 1942) | William Morrow
Rating: 5/5 stars

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Sixteen years ago everyone believed it was an open and shut case. The evidence irrefutably pointed at Caroline Crale poisoning her husband, Amayas. Caroline simply had enough of her husband’s cheating ways, which everyone kept trying to justify as the painter’s “artistic personality”. Every clue traced back to Caroline: the staged fingerprints, the stolen poison, the motive. Now that her daughter, Carla, has become of age and is preparing to marry, she receives a posthumous letter in the mail from her mother stating that she was innocent. Carla petitions the famous Hercule Poirot to find out the truth.

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Do you not realize that amongst every one’s ancestors there has been violence and evil?

In an age without DNA databases, fingerprint scanners, and high-tech equipment, reopening a long closed case would be a daunting task for any detective. Hercule Poirot doesn’t see the Crale case that way. He sees this case as a challenge in to the psychology of murder and quickly begins to track down those involved. There are five very clear key players who were present at the time of the murder. Poirot enlists each of them to provide their side of the story through both interview and written narrative. What he finds are conflicting memories and motives associated with each person. Did Caroline Crale actually murder her husband or was it one of the five other people closest to him?

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It is always better to face the truth. It is no use evading unhappiness by tampering with facts.

Chrsitie strikes again! I was so confident I knew the truth about the case this time. The style of writing in FIVE LITTLE PIGS was a mixture between Poirot interviewing the five eyewitnesses and them also each writing their own narrative about the events. This unique mixture let the reader see multiple points of view and spot differences between the retellings in an easy-to-read format. As usual, my favorite part of the story was when Poirot gathers everyone in the same room and reveals the truth behind the case and calls each character out on the lies they have been telling. I highly recommend this tale to anyone looking for an introduction to Agatha Christie and her famous detective, Hercule Poirot!

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