You know, I don’t really know what to make of this one. There is something energetic and compelling about it, and yet I also wanted it to just get to the point already! I think it makes itself feel more convoluted because of the various different comic turns various different characters do, and that makes it both lively and frustrating.
The plot hinges on who had a motive for an old man to die after Christmas, when everything seems to point to the fact that it would really have been more convenient for most suspects if he’d died before Christmas. Despite the inquest bringing in a verdict of accidental death, nobody’s quite satisfied because of all the weird coincidences and red herrings… and it takes an unconscionably long time to get everything sorted out because everyone’s flinging out more red herrings with every word.
I feel like the comic speeches lost their amusement value after a while; there are some really fun character sketches, but in the end it’s just too convoluted (and we spend too much time hearing from the detectives about how convoluted it is — scenes which seem to be intended to help the reader keep things straight, but which definitely kill the pace). So… fun, but outstayed its welcome.