Front Cover Flap: "It's Christmas and Simon Lee has demanded that his four sons and their wives return home for the holiday. But Lee, a wealthy and tyrannical patriarch, has anything but a heartwarming family fathering in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults, lavishes attention on his attractive, long-lost granddaughter, and finally announces he is cutting off his sons' allowances and changing his will. So when the old man is found lying in a pool of blood on Christmas Eve, there is no lack of suspects. Did Lee's taunts push one of the sons to a desperate act of murder? Or was the killer really after the fortune in uncut diamonds Lee kept locked away in his safe? And how did the murderer escape from the locked room where Lee was found dead? The intrepid Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate and quickly finds that nearly everyone present had a reason to kill the old man. However, Poirot is determined to solve this chilling holiday crime before more blood is spilled."
Don't all the crimes seem to take place behind a locked door?
Hercule Poirot's Christmas is an enjoyable read. Poirot is visiting Colonel Johnson, chief constable for Middleshire and is asked to provide his assistance in helping the local police solve the murder of Simon Lee. Poirot always seem to be in the right place at the right time to provide his valuable knowledge. The four sons and their wives are all acting suspicious. As poirot ferrets out who is lying and why, all he has to do is stand out in the garden. One at the time, the wives all come to him trying to protect their husbands and provide some explanation for why they all disliked Simon Lee. After all, he was a rather mean old man who loved stirring up trouble and playing one brother off the other.
As convuluted as Agatha Christie's books get, I'll just leave you with this.
"Poirot said, with a sudden ring of authority in his voice: "I have had to show you the possibilities! These are the things that might have happened! Which of them actually did happen we can only tell by passing from the outside appearance to the inside reality...."
He paused and then said slowly: We must come back, as I said before, to the character of Simeon Lee himself...." (excerpt pg 250)