Peril At End House

  • Hercule Poirot
  • Novel
  • 1932

Nick Buckley was an unusual name for a pretty young woman. But then she had led an unusual life. First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed. Upon discovering a bullet-hole in Nick’s sun hat, Hercule Poirot decides the girl needs his protection. At the same time, he begins to unravel the mystery of a murder that hasn’t been committed. Yet.

Evil never goes unpunished, Monsieur. But the punishment is sometimes secret.

Hercule Poirot, Peril at End House

More about this story

This was Agatha Christie’s seventh Poirot book, written at the beginning of a particularly prolific period of her life as she finally began to accept that being an author was now her profession. It uses a variety of Christie’s best known techniques and the plot was described by The New York Times Book Review in 1932 as “diabolically clever”.

Peril at End House was first published as a novel in 1932 by Dodd, Mead and Company in the US. It was later adapted for stage by Arnold Ridley in 1940 and opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End, with Francis L. Sullivan playing Poirot. In 1989 Vadim Derbenyov adapted the story for a Russian film version, titled Zagadka Endkhauza, starring Anatoliy Ravikovich as Poirot. More famously, it was adapted in 1990 for the TV series Agatha Christie’s Poirot with David Suchet in the title role. In 2007 a PC version of the story was developed; the player takes on the role of Poirot and explores both End House and the Cornwall Coast searching for clues. A graphic novel of the story was released by HarperCollins in 2008. An adaptation was made for French TV in 2009 for the series Les petits meurtres d’Agatha Christie. The episode was called La maison du peril and was only loosely based on the original story, removing the character of Poirot entirely.

Did you know?

  1. The novel is dedicated to Eden Phillpotts, a successful writer in Agatha Christie’s childhood and a family friend who encouraged her work greatly.

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