Writer: Agatha Christie
Publishing House: HarperCollins
Date of Publication: November 1969
Rating: 5 stars
”The past is the father of the present.
The ”crime” writers who write like Christie are few. The ones who try to write mysteries similar to her own are non-existent. I may sound harsh, but those who struggle to imitate her should take a step back and reconsider. And why is that? Because she understood, embraced and elevated to a whole new level the implications of the past when facing the present. As horrible as a present situation may be, the roots of all evil lie in the deeds of the past. This is present to every work of the Queen of Crime. In my opinion, ”Hallowe’en Party” delivers this notion in a highly atmospheric manner and presents one of the most elaborate crimes Agatha ever delivered.
13 year old Joyce, a little busybody who wants to be in the centre of attention, is found murdered in a tub filled with apples, in a twisted apple-bobbing game on Halloween. Hercule and the wonderful Ariadne Oliver are called to solve the crime. In this work, sexual passion and obsession are the motives that guide each suspect and there is a plethora of fascinating stories of people attracted to beauty, vice and a twisted notion of love. Agatha creates a unique atmosphere, with prominent descriptions of the Halloween festivities, the beautiful garden, the temptations that guide the characters to questionable deeds. The snapdragon scene, a haunting game that isn’t included in many works of Fiction, is among my favourites in all of Christie’s novels and stories. Not to mention that I love Ariadne to pieces. I think she’s an exciting character on her own and the proper equivalent to our beloved Hercule. And, naturally, the ITV film production was perfect, despite some deviations from the novel.
If you want to experience Halloween through Crime Fiction, don’t look further. ”Hallowe’en Party” is just what you want, with a healthy dose of good old British mystery. Can’t get any more perfect than that…
(Don’t you just love these two?)