The 23rd Hercule Poirot story, but only the fourth Christie I’ve ever read. Perhaps I should have started in sequence of publication, I don’t know, but no matter. The story here begins with pain. Dental pain that Hercule Poirot faces, like every man and is eyeing his fellow patients as he waits at a dentist’s’, with great suspicion. It is true and AC displays some brilliant observational skills of the human psyche when she relates personal pain as being projected onto the world, giving one a negative view of everyone while in that state. Shortly after being freed of said pain, Poirot is given news of the passing of his dentist, Dr. Morley and this is really where our story begins. An innocent dentist is dead; did he kill himself or was he killed? The see-saw of this question keeps shifting sides throughout the story till the very end and every co-patient of Poirot’s or co-inhabitant of Dr.Morley’s establishment at the time of the death is understandably a piece of the puzzle. There aren’t many remarkable characters in this book, save Poirot himself. Inspector Japp (who I’ve not seen in any of the other books I’ve read) and Poirot share a something of a cross between a Sherlock-Lestrade-and-Sherlock-Watson-ish bond, chiefly because of Poirot’s more amiable personality and that is nice to see. The story is fast paced for a while but towards the 60% mark, it seems to start dragging a little. I haven’t felt this in the other 3 works of hers I’ve read. But towards the end, it accelerates again to the point of impossibility of putting the book down because “you Just Have to Know”.
On the whole, a pretty good mystery. I liked it.
Subjective Rating: 4.2/5