Dumb Witness

After finishing up The Blind Assassin yesterday, I decided that I needed to read something a little lighter next.  So while looking through my stack of books to read, I decided on Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie.  This is my fourth Hercule Poirot novel, and I’ve enjoyed them all to varying degrees, but they’re all well written, and they’re quick reads as well.

Book Stats

317 pages

Stand Alone

Mystery

Characters

Hercule Poirot is once again the driving force of this book, but the book was told through the eyes of his assistant Hastings.  Much like the Sherlock Holmes books are told from Watson’s point of view (at one point Hastings even refers to himself as the humble Watson).  For whatever reason, Poirot’s character came across as extremely cocky in this book.  But it was still recognizable as Poirot and the book worked well overall.

Setting

The town of Market Basing, a small town just outside of London.

Characters

The book begins with a few short scenes describing Emily Arundell dealing with some of her relatives, who are all after her money.  She knows this, and her relatives know that she knows, so they really don’t try to hide it.  She suffers a fall, and everyone is quick to blame her terrier leaving his ball at the top of the steps.  She doesn’t blame her dog and begins to suspect her family.  She writes a letter to Hercule Poirot seeking his help, but for some reason, Poirot doesn’t receive the letter until two months later, when Emily is already dead.

Enjoyment

If you’ve read other Poirot novels before, this one isn’t going to do anything to surprise you.  It’s always interesting to see how Poirot figures everything out, and in this book as opposed to the last one I read (Death on the Nile) I wasn’t able to figure out who the killer was in advance.  The book also included some interesting parts dealing with Emily Arundell’s terrier Bob.  In several scenes Hastings heavily anthropomorphizes Bob to the point where he interprets his barking and his actions as full conversation.  Personally, I’ve never met anyone who was fluent in terrier, but it’s nice to know they exist.

Overall Grade

Definitely nothing groundbreaking, but it was a quick and fun read.

7/10

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