Dodd, Mead & Company, 1941
Hercule Poirot had an appointment with his dentist. It seems to be a fairly normal busy day for the dentist, Dr. Morley. Poirot sees several people come and go while he is there. As it turns out, this is important. Somewhere in the middle of all of this the dentist dies.
At first, the police believe Dr. Morley’s death was a suicide. Poirot, plus the people who knew the dentist best, don’t believe that’s true. The dentist didn’t behave like a person contemplating killing himself. The police go with the suicide theory, leaving Poirot to conduct his own investigation.
Poirot’s investigation leads him down quite a few paths and introduces him to numerous suspects. It’s quite the story involving a very rich man, missing women, swapped identities, and even more murders. I won’t say more and spoil it for you.
This novel is just one of the many nursery rhyme titled books Agatha Christie wrote. Each chapter begins with another line from the rhyme. The first part of the story I thought a little bit humorous. Everyone who has dreaded a visit to a dentist can identify with Poirot and give a little smile.
As the story progresses however, it seems a bit dark and sad. My only explanation for this is that the story was written in the early years of World War II and that surely must have affected the author. Overall though. it’s still a good mystery. After all, it’s Agatha Christie.
This is Book #37 in my quest to read all of Agatha’s novels and short stories. Only 50 to go!