''COME AWAY COME AWAY DEATH ; AND IN 'SAD CYPRESS' LET ME BE LAID''
After positively hating Murder Is Easy, I was prepared to like almost anything that Christie could throw at me in this novel, and that’s precisely what happened. I thought the story was actually pretty good, and liked how we got to see the murder take place “on stage” so to speak, instead of occurring behind closed doors like it usually does in Christie’s works.Elinor Carlisle was a sympathetic character, so it was easy for me to root for her. Of course there’s never a doubt about Poirot getting to the bottom of any mystery he’s presented with, so once I realized he was on the scene and was working to prove Elinor’s innocence, I was sure that her name would be cleared.I have to admit that I didn’t figure out who the real murderer was before Poirot did. I got thrown off track very early on and didn’t pick up on all the clues that pointed to the actual killer.Overall, I thought Sad Cypress was a pretty good read. It’s not the best Poirot title and is usually not even mentioned as one of Christie’s most famous works, but I think it’s worth a look anyway.. The resolution is clever and, at least by me, unexpected. The final portion of the book took readers back to the courtroom where the case for the defense is laid out and we see what Poirot made of all the odd little facts he has accumulated with his seemingly random conversations with all the players in the drama. I did find the ending a bit drawn out with several unnecessary repetitions of key information.I’m struck once again by the themes that recur in Christie’s work including her observations of how different classes of English society rub along together and her depiction of the damage that old family secrets can do. Although I sometimes find her characterisations a bit dated and stereotypical here she does an above average job of depicting interesting and believable people and Poirot seemed to be at his best: egotistical but not over the top.