I saw all of the clues in Agatha Christie’s Five Little Pigs but couldn’t put them together to work out who had murdered Amyas Crale nearly fifteen years before Hercule Poirot commenced his investigations into the case.
Crale’s long-suffering wife Caroline was convicted of the murder at the time and had died in jail. Caroline and Amyas’ daughter, Carla engaged Poirot to learn the truth, since she was convinced that her mother was innocent of the crime.
The ‘Five Little Pigs’ of the case were Amyas’ best friend who was a stockbroker, making him the little pig who went to market. The stockbroker’s brother was the little pig who stayed home, a beautiful young woman having an affair with Amyas was the little pig who ate roast beef, while Carla’s governess was the little pig who had none. Caroline’s younger sister was the little pig who cried ‘wee, wee, wee, all the way home.’
Hercule Poirot features heavily in this story. He interviewed the five suspects as well as the police who had managed the investigation at the time, then convinced those involved to write their recollections of the event for him to study. My only quibble with this story was understanding why each character, supposing one of them was the murderer, or was protecting someone else, or had something else they wanted to hide would take part in Poirot’s investigation? Surely anyone who had something to lose would quickly leave the country for an extended tour of Europe, or change their name and move to the most remote village they could find rather than risking Poirot learning the truth? However, vanity and the false idea that they are cleverer than Hercule Poirot often bring Agatha Christie’s murderers undone and this story was no different.
I read Five Little Pigs very quickly, sitting up late to finish because I just had to know which of the characters (if it wasn’t Caroline), had poisoned Amyas.