Well, this one may not be a gem, but it’s still pretty good!
An associate of Hastings has managed to find a flat for a dirt cheap price. But there are multiple curious oddities about the place. More than enough to pique Poirot’s interest. Just what is going on with this cheap flat?
This one is a nice departure from the usual formula. Instead of Poirot being presented with a problem and being left to unravel it, he instead needs to piece it together for himself with virtually no information to go on. We’re not trying to unravel a puzzle, but put one together.
And it’s actually pretty interesting! Sure, you don’t get that ‘ah-ha!’ moment that makes mysteries interesting. But as the story goes on, you can’t help but want to know what’s going on.
Plus, we get plenty of Poirot being charming this time around. Forceful. But charming.
I wonder: does he make a habit of breaking into people’s apartments?
The one thing I’m not a huge fan of is the ending. Sure, the ending to the mystery itself is alright. But the story literally concludes with some dude saying “Hello.” No falling action or epilogue. A dude we’ve never met before just says “Hi,” then the story is over. It was so abrupt that I actually did a double-take!
Still, as a whole, this story isn’t bad. It’s fairly entertaining and engaging, if not wholly satisfying. If you need a quick mysterious read, this is a fairly strong pick.