The abrasive old man, Simeon Lee, has invited all his family for Christmas. It is unusual, as the old man is not very cozy with his family. Among the guests are his estranged son, Harry, and his granddaughter Pilar whom none of the family members have ever set eyes on.
The atmosphere in the house is uneasy, as the family members do not get along well with each other. Simeon Lee is extremely rich and deliberately obnoxious. He delights in baiting his sons and seeing them squirm. He drops hints that there might be changes to his will.
The tension in the house builds up and reaches its climax with a loud shattering of furniture and a horrible scream. The family rushes upstairs to the old man’s room, only to find it locked. They break the door open, and find the old man dead, with his throat slit.
Superintendent Sugden, who visited the house earlier to see the old man, says he was called in by Simeon Lee about the theft of some uncut diamonds. Now, there seems to be one more motive, theft.
Poirot is visiting a friend in the neighborhood, and is called in to lend a hand in the investigation. And he finds that each and every person in that house had a motive for eliminating Simeon Lee. The old man definitely did not have an endearing personality and took delight in tormenting his own children.
But, the door was locked when the murder was committed, and it seems everyone in the house at that moment was elsewhere and could not have been in Simeon Lee’s room, committing the murder.
Is there something else, some other angle to this puzzle, that everybody, including Poirot, is missing?
About Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie was a British author.
Other books by Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Crooked House, Death on the Nile, A Murder is Announced, Murder Is Easy, Five Little Pigs, Peril at End House, and The Mystery of the Blue Train.
Christie wrote crime stories, detective fiction.
Agatha Christie was born in 1890 in Devon, England. She was homeschooled and was also trained in music. A fan of detective fiction, Christie decided to create her own detective character, the quirky but likeable Hercule Poirot and wrote her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair At Styles. It was a long time before the novel was published, but it became a bestseller, and Christie’s career as a crime/detective fiction writer soon began to take off. Unfortunately, she did not foresee the popularity of Poirot and made him a man of at least middle age in his first book. This led to problems later on, as she had to feature him in several detective stories for many more decades.