Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Hallowe’en Party, Agatha Christie, 1969


My favorite quote: “You and I have a principle in common. We do not approve of murder.”

Notable characters: Hercule Poirot, the sleuth with a really, really great mustache; Ariadne Oliver, an author who calls on Poirot for help; Joyce Reynolds, a bratty little busybody with whom you should never bob for apples

Most memorable scene: Bobbing for apples gone wrong. Only Agatha Christie could turn something so innocuous into a life-and-death situation. I mean, I never liked bobbing for apples anyway, but after this I was like, never again, dude, never again. If I come to your Halloween party — and that’s a really big if — I’m staying clear the hell away from your apple bobbing shenanigans … especially if that bratty little busybody, Joyce Reynolds, is around. I’ve never wanted an apple so bad I’d be willing to risk my life for one, anyway

Greatest strengths: The fall setting. I love Agatha Christie and I love all things fall. Put them together and BAM! It’s almost guaranteed I’m really gonna like it. The only way I could have liked it more is if a masked madman with an ax showed up and gave that bratty little busybody, Joyce Reynolds, a dose of her own medicine

Standout achievements: While some argue that Hallowe’en Party doesn’t show Agatha Christie at the peak of her prowess, I thought the mystery was pretty solid. There are a lot of iron-clad alibis to contend with here …

Fun Facts: Agatha Christie dedicated Hallowe’en Party to P.G. Wodehouse. It’s the 39th Christie novel to feature Hercule Poirot, and the 7th featuring Ariadne Oliver

Other media: This novel was adapted as part of the series, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, starring David Suchet. It was also released as a graphic novel by HarperCollins in 2008. Personally, I’d like to see it as a musical, but alas, you can’t have it all … 

What it taught me: I love this book for the glimpses it gave me into mid-century Halloween party traditions. I didn’t know what “snap-dragon” was until I read this. (spoiler alert: it’s an old parlor game that was most popular around the 16th century and it sounds terribly, terribly boring)

How it inspired me: Aside from making me want to write more murder mysteries, this book has also given me serious misgivings about attending apple-bobbing parties. Especially if that bratty little busybody, Joyce Reynolds, is going to be there

Additional thoughts: Hallowe’en Party has a certain darkness to it that a lot of Agatha Christie’s earlier work doesn’t — and I, for one, really like that. Again, all it needed was a masked madman with an ax

Hit or miss: Let’s be honest here: it’s Agatha Christie. Of course it’s a hit

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read Hallowe’en Party

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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