The Jolly Roger Hotel on Smugglers Island close to the coast of Devon sounds like the ideal location for a relaxing vacation. Hercule Poirot like several other guests is here for this purpose but like so many other of his holidays finds himself a the centre of human drama and murder.
The victim is an actress who is found strangled on a secluded beach accessible to no one except hotel guests. It does not help that she was part of a love triangle.
Like most of Agatha ‘s books, the suspects are all part of the closed community of guests and staff at the hotel. Motives abound: the murdered actress Arlena is hated by her step daughter and resented by Christine, wife of Arlena ‘s admirer Patrick Redfern.
At first the crime seems unsolvable with all the suspects having alibis. Hercule Poirot manages to cut through this fog by straightening out timings and alibis. He also manages to tie this murder with the killing of a young woman earlier in the year. The murderer turns out to be the same and Poirot baffles everyone when he wraps up the case at the end.
This book is one of my favourites because of the location and also the colourful cast of characters. The movie adaptation starring Peter Ustinov is a must watch although departing slightly from the original story.
Images courtesy google.com
Featured image shows the victim Arlena with Patrick Redfern.