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Hallowe'en Party Review
A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples...
A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples... At a Hallowe'en party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the 'evil presence'. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer…
I’m honestly not sure what to make of this book. It’s definitely odd. I was completely off on what happened. Well, I was right about one thing. My initial guess about who murdered Joyce was right. Everything else I guessed was way off.
I’m happy they went and put all the pieces together at the end. Having Poirot explains everything from why Joyce was killed to who was involved and everything in between was extremely helpful. Otherwise, I probably would have not enjoyed this at all. After the halfway point, I was utterly confused. Unsure of anything, of who had done it or why. Nothing made sense. I just wasn’t enjoying reading this as I had during the first part. Until the end when they explained everything, then I enjoyed it again.
Plus the thought process of Poirot was so secretive. I had hoped to see more thoughts on who he thought had done it besides it all coming out at the end. At the start, we had seen some of his thoughts and impressions on the stories and accounts of those who were at the party. We were able to gauge if something might be deemed as important by how he reacted or thought something. Though near the end, we lost all of that. Then, all of sudden he basically goes “Oh, I know exactly what happened!” Okay, um… Share?
Even though this book is already on the shorter side, there were some parts of it that just seemed to drag. Almost as if it was just a distraction, it added nothing to the story. I felt this book could have been even shorter and that would have been fine.
That being said the flow of this was adequate. The middle was slow for my tastes, but the beginning and end flowed really well. The writing style was definitely not something I was used to. I couldn’t say I didn’t like it, it was just different. It was like we were shown all these puzzle pieces and not how they were fit together until the very end. There were also completely unrelated pieces that were shared and it was like how do these fit? Did they fit at all?
The writing style was definitely not something I was used to. I couldn’t say I didn’t like it, it was just different. It was like we were shown all these puzzle pieces and not how they were fit together until the very end.
Overall, I liked this whodunit mystery. I didn’t love it, it was odd. It felt longer than it needed to be. I definitely feel like I need to read a few more Agatha Christie books before I can say I like her writing style. Anyone who’s a fan of Agatha Christie or enjoys whodunit and mystery books might enjoy this one!
Keep reading for more of my thoughts on Hallowe’en Party!
Warning! Spoilers :)
Back to those pieces of the story that didn’t seem to fit. One that comes to mind, was the death of a teacher, shortly after Poirot was introduced, he made a point to find all the murder cases that Joyce could have claimed she saw. She said she had seen a murder, but never explained what exactly she had seen. One of the murders Poirot discovers is the death of a teacher, in fact, he zeroes in on this particular murder for a portion of the book. Then, it was as if it was completely forgotten by the end and never mentioned again. Everything else seemed to fit into the death of Joyce, except this teacher.
Another thing that I found odd was the initial conversation that had occurred with Joyce claiming she witnessed a murder. There just seemed to be details missing that were then added later on. The summary says “Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub.” This scene happens within the first 15 pages of the book but it wasn’t at all how it was described in the summary. The conversation wasn’t heated, Joyce didn’t storm off, she didn’t even leave the party. It just felt like a normal conversation where Joyce stated she saw a murder and that was that. Then, later Mrs. Oliver a crime-mystery author who had attended the party explains the scene to Poirot, it felt like she caked on more details than initially was there saying the whole exchange was heated and Joyce was extremely angry that no one had believed her.
I reread the scene multiple times of Joyce’s claim of witnessing a murder, it didn’t feel that way at all. And others at the party never really claim that the exchange was heated, more of acting like “Yeah, I guess she was angry.” It felt more of second thought the way the others described the scene. Even Joyce’s siblings said they weren’t really paying attention, if they weren’t paying attention, how could the conversation have been so heated as Mrs. Oliver claims? The way Mrs. Oliver described it, it came across like a scene where everyone would be watching silently to see how it ends.