Dead Man's Folly

Rating: ***
A folly - I admit I always thought it meant a foolish mistake; apparently it is also some sort of structure! Dead Man's Folly features Hercule Poirot who is summoned peremptorily by the famous detective author Ariadne Oliver to Nasse House. Once he arrives at his destination, Mrs. Oliver tells him her fear: she thinks someone is working behind the scenes, manipulating her murder hunt, to bring about a real murder!

Poirot, never skeptical of his friend's insights, takes a look at the people assembled at Nasse House for the big fete. Things take a turn for the worse when Poirot, unable to avert the disaster, finds the body of young Marlene Tucker; the girl who had been playing the part of the victim is now the real victim. The key to the mystery, Poirot is certain, lies with Mrs. Folliat, the former owner of Nasse House who now lives in the lodge of her former residence. "There will always be Folliats at Nasse House", murmurs an old man. Some sort of message? or curse?

Mrs. Folliat is a unique character and holds the central interest. Being relegated to the outskirts of the house she was once mistress of, she still carries herself with self-assurance and is recognized as the mistress of Nasse House. What secrets she holds is for Poirot to discover - she won't reveal them.

Dead Man's Folly is mostly centered around relationships: the relationship between mother and child, and husband and wife. What people do for family and how much they are willing to accept. Hercule Poirot, always sympathetic, gives his little talks and tries to bring people together. I love his little match-making parts in the novels.

1 comment:

Irene said...

I love that you looked at this book as relationships, I'm sure I've read it, but I can't quite remember. Thanks for a great review.