DISAPPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
So, as I've said recently on this blog, I am currently reading all the Hercule Poirot mystery novels by Agatha Christie. I have just completed Appointment With Death and I must say that this is the first Poirot novel that I can honestly say I was disappointed with.
The main reason is that the murderer seems a little far-fetched and the way it was done was a little bit unbelievable, but this mystery does have a very interesting premise as it is the mystery in which everyone had a motive, everyone had the opportunity and everyone was lying about the events surrounding the murder. Accordingly, it is left to Poirot to sort out all the mess and get at the truth but once the truth is revealed, I felt it didn't really work as smoothly as some of her other books.
Additionally, I mention this novel specifically because there was a movie of this novel made in 1988 starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot. It was his 6th time playing Poirot as he had made two feature films prior to this one and 3 made-for-TV movies. Despite the fact that Ustinov presents a grey-haired and mustachioed Poirot instead of the traditional black (such as Albert Finney in the movie version of The Murder on the Orient Express), I like Ustinov as Poirot and he does his usual fine job with the part. Also it is interesting to note that the movie version of Appointment With Death is the only Ustinov-Poirot movie to never be released on DVD while all his other movies have been released on DVD. Now the movie version both streamlines and complicates the plot presenting a version which is about as non-convincing as the book.
In conclusion, I must say that I was disappointed in Appointment With Death and that also brings up another question: What appointment with death? The title is never explained and I don't understand it. If anyone can enlighten me after reading the book, let me know because I'm completely in the dark here.
As a side note, here is the movie poster for Appointment With Death: