End House was most appropriately named. Its young mistress nearly met her end...three times in three days. But the fourth "accident" is witnessed by Hercule Poirot himself -and that's when his investigation begins...
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William Morrow Paperbacks
June 04, 2001
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Excerpt from Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
The Majestic Hotel
No seaside town in the south of England is, I think, as attractive as St Loo. It is well named the Queen of Watering Places and reminds one forcibly of the Riviera. The Cornish coast is to my mind every bit as fascinating as that of the south of France. I remarked as much to my friend, Hercule Poirot. 'So it said on our menu in the restaurant car yesterday, mon ami. Your remark is not original.'
'But don't you agree?'
He was smiling to himself and did not at once answer my question. I repeated it.
'A thousand pardons, Hastings. My thoughts were wandering. Wandering indeed to that part of the world you mentioned just now.'
'The south of France?'
'Yes. I was thinking of that last winter that I spent there and of the events which occurred.'
I remembered. A murder had been committed on the Blue Train, and the mystery -- a complicated and baffling one -- had been solved by Poirot with his usual unerring acumen.
'How I wish I had been with you,' I said with deep regret.
'I too,' said Poirot. 'Your experience would have been invaluable to me.'
I looked at him sideways. As a result of long habit, I distrust his compliments, but he appeared perfectly serious. And after all, why not? I have a very long experience of the methods he employs.
'What I particularly missed was your vivid imagination, Hastings,' he went on dreamily. 'One needs a certain amount of light relief. My valet, Georges, an admirable man with whom I sometimes permitted myself to discuss a point, has no imagination whatever.' This remark seemed to me quite irrelevant.
'Tell me, Poirot,' I said. 'Are you never tempted to renew your activities? This passive life--'
'Suits me admirably, my friend. To sit in the sun -- what could be more charming? To step from your pedestal at the zenith of your fame -- what could be a grander gesture? They say of me: "That is Hercule Poirot! -- The great -- the unique! -- There was never any one like him, there never will be!" Eh bien -- I am satisfied. I ask no more. I am modest.'