My first read of the Summer.
It is nearly a year since the eventful birthday party of Rosemarie Barton, a beautiful but vapid socialite, after which, Rosemarie had seemingly committed suicide due to post-flu-induced depression. A year on, however, things seem less black and white.
The dead woman's sister finds evidence unearthing that quite a few people had cause to want Rosemarie dead. In writing a chapter from the point of view of all present at Rosemarie's birthday party, Christie retells the inner monologues of Iris, the younger sister, George Barton, Rosemarie's long-suffering husband, Ruth, the secretary of George, Anthony Browne, a dark and dashing but dangerous acquaintance of Rosemarie's, Steven Farraday, an ambitious up-and-coming politician whom Rosemarie was having an affair with, etc etc.
Nobody is without a motive for wanting Rosemarie dead: Ruth was secretly in love with her employer and believed he deserved better, Sandra Farraday, Steven's wife, knew he was having an affair, Ruth stood to gain financially.
Agatha Christie captures the inner psyche of all her characters so well, re-telling their stories from the grass roots and making us feel totally caught up with the story.
George Barton goes a little gaga a year down the line and schemes to "recreate" the birthday party, and in doing so, he consumes cyanide and dies himself, treating us to a delicious double murder.
That in itself is a little too preposterous (especially the explanation of how it is carried out), but as ever, trying to figure out who the guilty party is is absolutely enthralling. Top class from Christie as usual!