Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
Sad Cypress is an Hercule Poirot mystery. Elinor Carlisle is accused of murdering Mary Gerrard, a young woman who had been a protege of Elinor's aunt. When Elinor and her fiance, Roddy Winter, who is also a relation by Elinor's aunt's marriage to Roddy's uncle, get an anonymous letter about Mary Gerrard cozying up to the sick aunt, they go to visit the aunt to see what's going on. Roddy winds up falling for Mary, and when the aunt dies suddenly after a second debilitating stroke, Elinor is the sole heir. The aunt died without a will, but she did express an interest in taking care of Mary Gerrard. Elinor breaks off her engagement because Roddy is in love with Mary, and Roddy also seems upset that Elinor has all the money. Roddy is rebuffed by Mary, and Elinor encourages Roddy to go to Europe. When Elinor goes down to sell her aunt's house and invites Mary and Nurse Hopkins to lunch, Mary winds up dead. Elinor is instantly suspected because of jealousy over the loss of Roddy. The local doctor, who is smitten with Elinor, enlists the help of Poirot to prove Elinor is innocent. Can Poirot do it? More importantly, is Elinor innocent?
Sad Cypress was an enjoyable mystery. The clues are all there, and when Poirot gives the recap at the end, it makes perfect sense. I know that I found myself smacking my palm to my forehead over clues that I overlooked, or didn't even realize were clues. Christie was the master of weaving a great mystery, and in this case, she created some believable characters. Elinor may not always seem very likable, but I did feel sympathy for her. Not only that, but I could see myself have the same reaction to losing my fiance. All in all, Sad Cypress was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery that I would recommend to any who haven't experienced Christie or Poirot.