Book Review: Murder in the Mews

Four short stories, but interesting ones at that, take up Agatha Christie's 18th book featuring Hercule Poirot. In the titular story, the Belgian private detective accompanies inspector Japp to investigate what appears to be a straightforward suicide, only the manner the victim has shot herself doesn't fit, leading Poirot to look for clues concerning a missing blotting paper. If The Incredible Theft is all about an astutely staged theft of a fighter aircraft plans made by Lord Charles Mayfield from his home, Dead Man's Mirror virtually reintroduces the same plot device as The Second Gong (another short story of hers) to superb results.

Triangle at Rhodes is the shortest and also the weakest, dealing with a love triangle that results in a death. But under the ever watchful eyes of Poirot, who had been holidaying at the Greek island wanting to give his grey cells a time off, you can rest assured that the murderer will be nabbed. This story in particular required strong character development and should have had more details, but instead it feels condensed and rushed as if Christie was confined by the limits she set for herself, thus not giving enough room for the mystery to be fully fleshed out. Murder in the Mews - an altogether clever, if not brilliant, outing from the Dame that succeeds in confounding and satisfying the reader.