So, here we are with the next book in my Great Agatha Christie Challenge. Cards On The Table is a Poirot mystery, which also features the fabulous Ariadne Oliver. Oliver is Christie's lovely character which pokes fun at mystery writers.
Poirot meets Mr Shaitana, famous about town as a party host. He boasts to Poirot that he knows four people who have literally got away with murder. Poirot, is not too impressed, but still agrees to dinner with Mr Shaitana.
When Poirot arrives for dinner he finds Ariadne Oliver there, along with another couple of gentlemen involved in crime fighting. Another four guests arrive and over dinner Mr Shaitana starts to drop not so thinly veiled hints that he knows that someone around the table has got way with bumping someone else off. This makes four of the guests somewhat jittery and the others rather curious.
After dinner, Shaitana splits the crime fighters from the suspected murderers and gets them to play bridge in separate rooms. He sits by the fired in a chair, and sometime in the evening is stabbed through the heart. Nobody sees a thing, although it is clear that one of the suspicious four must have done it.
So, our intrepid crime fighters set off to find out who has done what and start to uncover secrets left, right and centre.
I delayed reading this for quite a while. I was put off by the cover, which I know is very superficial, and not a good way to go about ones reading, but there we have it. Once I did pick it up I was hooked. Mr Shaitana is an irritating know it all, although he probably didn't deserve to be murdered. The four suspects are really interesting characters in themselves, each with a clever backstory which casts long shadows over their potential guilt.
Poirot is as knowing as ever, and Ariadne Oliver completely bats, but rather loveable. Many of the clues revolve around the rules of bridge, which was unfortunate, as I don't have a clue about bridge. Or at least I didn't. I spent quite a lot of time on the internet learning the basic ideas, meaning I now know more about bridge that you would expect given I have never played a game in my life.
I enjoyed this mystery very much, lack of bridge knowledge not withstanding, it is as easy read with a great series of revelations.