Christmas is a time for love, joy, and togetherness—unless you are a member of the Lee family. Sadistic patriarch, Simeon Lee, has gathered his expansive family around him for the holiday, including his four sons, their wives, and a long lost granddaughter. This gathering is a troubled one full of old grudges, financial squabbling, and petty arguments, which is just what Simeon needed to make this Christmas fun! However, when the old multi-millionaire implies that he is re-writing his will, he is asking for trouble, and it predictably arrives in the form of a murder on Christmas Eve.
Not too far away, world-famous detective, Hercule Poirot, is enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve with his friend Colonel Johnson, the Chief Constable of the area. Their evening is unpleasantly interrupted by a call commanding Colonel Johnson to inspect the crime scene at the Lee mansion. Johnson asks for Poirot’s assistance, and he is all too happy to oblige.
This is not a conventional Christmas story; the murder is violent, and every family member is a suspect. Additionally, most of the characters are utterly despicable. It certainly makes for a confounding mystery, with ample clues to point to the murderer, along with many more distracting red herrings. Ultimately, when the murderer was revealed I was surprised and pleased. The book ends on a light note, with all the remaining characters rallying together to make the most of what is left of the holiday, making this a story that delivers and a murder mystery, and a heartwarming Christmas tale.