RogerBW's Blog

Peril at End House 13 December 2022

2000 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1932 mystery, in five 30-minute episodes. While "retired" and visiting a Cornish resort, Poirot finds a young woman who has already survived several murderous attacks.

It doesn't help when one of the core tricks of the story has been used by in another mystery I've read recently. Well, that's life. But I do think this one relies on the reader not thinking of that particular evolution, because once one comes up with the idea everything slots very neatly into place with a minimum of red herrings. At the same time, this is a very puzzle-heavy story, with relatively little character to leaven it, what with all the machinery of possibly forged wills and secret engagements and all the rest.

As usual for Bakewell, the adaptation is a fairly straight one, with most of the weight put on Jenna Saunders (Nick) and Susannah Hamilton (Freddie), who do all right but don't get to stretch very far. Meanwhile, Terence Edmond and Richenda Carey as the Stocks make such unconvincing Australians that I was half waiting for an imposture to be revealed. (Were there really no actors able to manage an Australian accent, rather than a broad parody, working for the BBC in 2000?)

There are a few changes, but they're relatively minor ones, probably more for timing than anything else. As usual, all the key plot points are here and things bowl aling with reasonable liveliness even when Christie may drag.

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