The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

Christie, A. (1962). The pale horse. London: Collins.

This is a wonderful mystery featuring Mark Easterbrook. He is not a detective and doesn’t even claim to be an amateur detective.  He is an author who stumbles upon a strange sequence of events and decides he must look into it because in the beginning the police cannot.  

A dying woman confesses to a priest and he writes down a list of names – all of whom died. The priest is coshed in the head before he can tell anyone anything. A pharmacist insists that he saw a man following the priest, but the man he describes in a polio victim in a wheel chair.  People mention strange goings on at a place called The Pale Horse. It is a former pub now a home to 3 older women with a reputation as witches and mediums. One claims she can cause people to die by somehow thinking the suggestion to them and letting their body’s natural desire for death take over.

Mark Easterbrook and his friend Ginger and the police detectives do some undercover work and uncover the ring of people who are offering to get rid of someone for a price. The process is covered in layers of deception and ritual, but how it is actually done and by whom is much simpler and down to earth.

A wonderful read, different from the more popular Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries, but quite enjoyable.