This is one of my most favouritest Agatha Christie novels. I adore Poirot (although not more than Miss Marple) and I’m quite fond of Ariadne Oliver with all her foibles, so this makes for a comfy, cosy mystery with characters I love.
A bossy, bully of a woman approaches Mrs. Oliver at a luncheon and has the audacity to request Mrs. Oliver to ask her goddaughter who killed whom in her parent’s double suicide some 10 years before. Mrs. Burton-Cox feels she has a right to know since her son will be marrying Mrs. Oliver’s goddaughter. Despite being incensed about such an intrusion, Mrs. Oliver’s curiosity is aroused and she presents the question to Hercule Poirot. Together they set off on a hunt for elephants who can remember back to days past. Their search leads them into a labyrinth of sisters, dead children, travel abroad and absent children. It takes Poirot’s little grey cells to unravel the stories that elephants tell.
This one is clever. Very clever. The clues are all there, but it’s a matter of sorting out which are relevant, what order they come in and what really happened instead of what was perceived to have happened. It’s a case of “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” (Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four). Elementary, or not if you’re not Christie or Doyle. I give this one 5 out of 5.