After the Funeral

It's been sometime since I've read an Agatha Christie mystery. So long in fact that I'm out of the phase where I see similarities in all novels and can appreciate each one separately!
Rating: ***

After the Funeral is one of those mysteries that I always fail to appreciate. I can't like it although it is well written, and has a strong plot and character portrayal. It just doesn't sit right with me and I don't know why. Maybe it's the grey atmosphere, the sadness that somehow pervades the novel that I can't like. Whatever it is, After the Funeral is not one of my favorites.

It is a sad day (or is it?) when the family gets together to attend the funeral of Richard Abernethie, the eldest Abernethie. Having been wealthy beyond measure, the remaining relatives: a brother, a sister, two nieces and a nephew have only one thing on their minds - how much has he left them? In this 'solemn' atmosphere, the irrepressible Cora Lansquenet blurts out the revealing phrase "It's been hushed up very nicely ... but he was murdered, wasn't he?" 

So begins a maze of theories and suspicion....was he murdered? was it one of them? who was it? The initial doubt soon evaporates with the brutal murder of Cora herself. With another murder, the faithful old family lawyer, Mr. Entwhistle calls in a trusted friend: Hercule Poirot.

Who needed the money the most? Was it the brother - always inferior to his successful brother? or was it the sister - still resentful about the nonacceptance of her painter husband? It could be any one of the next generation - all in need of money for one reason or another (there is never a lack of motive in an Agatha Christie novel). Hercule Poirot must sift through the various motives to find the real murderer ...... someone who has been very clever, and yet not clever enough.

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