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Best Books by Agatha Christie

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    4.50 from Paddington

    • Year Released: 1957
    4.50 from Paddington is a detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in November 1957. The 1961 film Murder, She Said was based on it. Elspeth McGillicuddy, an old friend of Jane Marple, comes to meet Jane from Scotland. While travelling by train, Elspeth sees a murder occurring in a train on a parallel track. Since she could not have seen the victim or the killer and she is an old woman, the police ignore her. Only Jane believes her, but can she prove anything when there is not even a dead body present? Elspeth McGillicuddy has come from Scotland to visit her old friend Jane Marple. On the way, she sees a woman strangled in a passing train. Only Miss Marple believes her story as there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The first task is to ascertain where the body could have been hidden. Comparison of the facts of the murder with the train timetable and the local geography lead to the grounds of Rutherford Hall as the only possible location: it is shielded from the surrounding community, the railway abuts the grounds, and so on. Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a young professional housekeeper and an acquaintance of Miss Marple, is sent undercover to Rutherford Hall. Josiah
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    A Caribbean Mystery

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    A Caribbean Mystery is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 16, 1964 and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50. It features the detective Miss Marple. "Would you like to see a picture of a murderer?", Jane Marple is asked by Major Palgrave whilst on a luxurious holiday in the Caribbean. When she replies that she would like to hear the story, he explains. There once was a man who had a wife who tried to hang herself, but failed. Then she tried again later, and succeeded in killing herself. The man remarried to a woman who then tried to gas herself to death. She failed, but then tried again later and succeeded. Just as Major Palgrave is about to show the picture to her, he looks over her shoulder, appears startled, and changes the subject. The next morning, a servant, Victoria Johnson, finds him dead in his room. Doctor Graham concludes that the man died of heart failure; he showed all the symptoms, and had a bottle of serenite (a drug for high blood pressure) on his table. Miss Marple is convinced that
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    A Daughter's a Daughter

    • Year Released: 1952
    A Daughter's a Daughter is a novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Heinemann on November 24, 1952. Initially not published in the US, it was later issued as a paperback by Dell Publishing in September 1963. It was the fifth of six novels Christie wrote under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott. Initially a play written by Christie in the late 1930s, the plot tells of a daughter's opposition to her mother's plan to remarry. Christie tried to interest Peter Saunders, later the producer of The Mousetrap in the play in 1950. He suggested amendments to update some of the references which were now twenty years old and tried the play out at the Theatre Royal, Bath where it opened on July 9, 1956 and ran for one week and eight performances. It was billed under the Westmacott name but the true identity of the author slipped out resulting in good attendance figures. Saunders however felt that it would not survive in the West End and Christie didn't pursue the matter further. Following Christie's death, the copyright for the play was owned by her daughter, Rosalind Hicks, who was unenthusiastic about the play as it was believed that the main character was based on
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    A Murder Is Announced

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    A Murder Is Announced is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1950 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in the same month. The UK edition retailed at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6) and the US edition at $2.50. The novel features her detective Miss Marple and is considered a crime novel classic. The book was heavily promoted upon publication in 1950 as being Christie's fiftieth book, although in truth this figure could only be arrived at by counting in both UK and US short story collections. A strange notice appears in the morning paper of a perfectly ordinary small English village, Chipping Cleghorn: "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks, at 6:30 p.m. Friends accept this, the only intimation." This apparently comes as a great surprise to Letitia Blacklock, the owner of Little Paddocks, as she has no idea what the notice means; she didn't place it and none of her companions knows more than she. Miss Blacklock decides to take it in her stride and prepares herself to have guests that evening. Naturally, the villagers are intrigued by this notice, and
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    A Pocket Full of Rye

    • Year Released: 1953
    A Pocket Full of Rye is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 9, 1953, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6) and the US edition at $2.75. The book features her detective Miss Marple. Like several of Christie's novels (e.g., Hickory Dickory Dock, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe) the title and substantial parts of the plot reference a nursery rhyme, in this case Sing a Song of Sixpence. When a upper middle class Rex Fortescue dies while having black tea, the police are shocked. Mr. Fortescue died during his morning tea in his office and the diagnosis was that a poison, taxine - a poison found as a mixture of cardiotoxic diterpenes in the leaves, but not the berries (arils), of the European yew tree - had killed him. His wife was the main suspect in the murder, until she also was murdered, after she drank tea laced with cyanide. Her lover, Vivian Dubois, was the suspect next, as well as just about everyone that knew the family. Going on the only clue, a pocket full of rye found on the victim, Miss Marple begins investigating. Marple
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    Absent in the Spring

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    Absent in the Spring is a novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons in August 1944 and in the US by Farrar & Rinehart later in the same year. It was the third of six novels Christie wrote under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott. The title is a quotation from Shakespeare's sonnet 98: "From you have I been absent in the spring,..." Stranded between trains, Joan Scudamore finds herself reflecting upon her life, her family, and finally coming to grips with the uncomfortable truths about her life. The Times Literary Supplement's review of 19 August 1944 by Marjorie Grant Cook stated positively, "The writer has succeeded in making this novel told in retrospect, with its many technical difficulties, very readable indeed. She has not made Joan, with her shallow, scrappy mind, sympathetic, and the other characters in the tale, seen through her eyes, lack the charm they had for each other and withheld from her." J. D. Beresford's review in The Guardian of 25 August 1944 concluded, "It is a very clever and consistently interesting study of a character that not even a desert vision could permanently change." The novel was first serialised in the
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    After the Funeral

    After the Funeral

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    After the Funeral is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1953 under the title of Funerals are Fatal and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on May 18 of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6). A 1963 UK paperback issued by Fontana Books changed the title to Murder at the Gallop to tie in with the film version. It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. After the funeral of the wealthy Richard Abernethie, his remaining family assembles for the reading of the will at Enderby Hall. The death, though sudden, was not unexpected and natural causes have been given on his death certificate. Nevertheless, the tactless Cora says, "It's been hushed up very nicely ... but he was murdered, wasn't he?" The family lawyer, Mr. Entwhistle, begins to investigate. Before long there is no question that a murderer is at large. The essentials of Richard's will were told to the gathered family by Mr. Entwhistle. Richard, 68 and a widower, had lost his only child Mortimer to polio (infantile paralysis) six months earlier. The son,
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    Agatha Christie bibliography

    • Year Released:
    In addition to her novels, Christie published 150 short stories in her career. Almost all of these were written for publication in fiction magazines with over half of them first appearing in the 1920s. They were then published in book form in various collections, some of which were identical in the UK and US (e.g. The Labours of Hercules) and others where publication took place in one market but not the other. Twelve of the stories which were published in The Sketch magazine in 1924 under the sub-heading of The Man who was No. 4 were joined in one continuous narrative in the novel The Big Four in 1927. Four other stories, "The Submarine Plans" (1923), "Christmas Adventure" (1923), "The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest" (1932) and "The Second Gong" (1932), were expanded into longer narratives by Christie (respectively The Incredible Theft, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest and Dead Man's Mirror, although the shorter versions of all four have also been published in the UK). Only one short story remains unpublished in the UK in book form: "Three Blind Mice" (1948), on which Christie placed a moratorium whilst the stage play based on the story, The
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    Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

    • Year Released: 1977
    An Autobiography is the title of the recollections of crime writer Agatha Christie published posthumously by Collins in the UK and by Dodd, Mead & Company in the US in November 1977, almost two years after the writer’s death in January 1976. The UK edition retailed at £7.95 and the US edition at $15.00. It is by some considerable margin the longest of her works, the UK first edition running to 544 pages. Christie provides a foreword and an epilogue to the book in which she very clearly states the beginning and end of the composition. The book was supposedly started on April 2, 1950 at the expedition house at Nimrud where she was working on the excavation of that ancient city with her second husband, the archaeologist Max Mallowan. The narrative was then completed on October 11, 1965 at one of the Mallowan’s homes, Winterbrook House in Wallingford, Berkshire where Christie’s death occurred eleven years later. Collins included a preface to the book in which they admitted that repetitions and inconsistencies had been “tidied up” but they continued to impress on readers that the text had been composed over a fifteen-year period and was then left untouched by Christie for the remainder
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    Akhnaton

    • Year Released:
    Akhnaton is a play by Agatha Christie. It was written in 1937, around the same time she was writing Death on the Nile. It is set in Ancient Egypt, and followed the exploits of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhnaton, his wife Nefertiti and his successor Tutankhaton (who would take the name Tutankhamun when he became Pharaoh). In writing the play, Christie was assisted by the eminent Egyptologist, Stephen Glanville, who was a friend of both her and her husband, Max Mallowan. In her 1977 autobiography, Christie confessed that she never thought that the play would be produced but that she simply enjoyed writing plays or writing something different from that which she was used to. There is no record of any serious attempt to get the play staged once it had been written, but Charles Osborne, in his book The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie puts forward the theory that the publishers thought it not commercial, and was not what the public expected of Agatha Christie, who was seen at the time as purely a writer of Crime Fiction. In May 1972, Christie came across the manuscript, and sent it to her publisher in view of the interest in ancient Egypt prompted by the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition
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    Alibi

    • Year Released:
    Alibi is a 1928 play by Michael Morton based on The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a novel by British crime writer Agatha Christie. It opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London's West End on May 15, 1928, starring Charles Laughton as Hercule Poirot. It was deemed a success and ran for 250 performances closing on December 7, 1928. It was the first work of Agatha Christie's to be presented on stage and the first ever adaptation of one of her works for any medium outside of her books. Christie disagreed with the change of her favourite character Caroline Sheppard, the inspiration for Miss Marple, into a beautiful girl called Caryl Sheppard. She only permitted this change because the alternative was turning Poirot into a young man called Beau Poirot and having "lots of girls in love with him". The other major changes from the book were: The play takes place in two sets - the hall at Fernley Park and in Poirot's study in his house in the village. Sir Roger's study is situated at the back of the centre stage of the hall set with two doors which are opened at various parts in the play to reveal the corpse at his desk and are closed at other times when events in the play dictate they
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    And Then There Were None

    And Then There Were None

    • Year Released:
    And Then There Were None is a 1943 play by crime writer Agatha Christie. The play, like the 1939 book on which it is based, was originally titled and performed in the UK as Ten Little Niggers. It was also performed under the name Ten Little Indians. Christie had been pleased with the book, stating in her autobiography "I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I made of it." The book was very well received upon publication and soon after Christie received a request from Reginald Simpson to be allowed to dramatize it. Christie refused as she relished the challenge herself although she was intermittently some two years in carrying out the task. She knew the ending would have to be changed as all of the characters die in the book and therefore "I must make two of the characters innocent, to be reunited at the end and come safe out of the ordeal." The original nursery rhyme on which the book was based had an alternative ending of... ...which allowed Christie to portray a different conclusion on stage. After the play had been written, most people she discussed it with considered it impossible to produce. She received some encouragement from
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    Appointment with Death

    • Year Released: 1938
    Appointment with Death is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on May 2, 1938 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and reflects Christie's experiences travelling in the Middle East with her husband, the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan. Holidaying in Jerusalem, Poirot overhears Raymond Boynton telling his sister: "You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" Their stepmother, Mrs. Boynton, is a sadistic tyrant who dominates all the younger members of her family, and who attracts the strong dislike of a group of people outside the immediate family. But when she is found dead, Hercule Poirot proposes to solve the case in twenty-four hours, even though he has no way of even proving whether it was murder. Simon Nowell-Smith's review in the Times Literary Supplement of May 7, 1938 concluded, "Poirot, if the mellowing influence of time has softened many of his mannerisms, has lost none of his skill. His examination of the family, the psychologists
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    Appointment with Death

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    Appointment with Death is a 1945 play by crime writer Agatha Christie. It is based on her 1938 novel of the same name. Christie is silent on the writing of both the book and the play in her autobiography. Her biography states that she started writing the play in a burst of enthusiasm after being involved in the preparations for Murder on the Nile which was being presented by her actor friend Francis L. Sullivan. The writing was completed by March 1944 and preparations were made towards the end of the year for an opening in Glasgow before transferring to the West End theatre. Christie wrote to her agent, Edmund Cork, the month before that "it really seems quite impossible that the play can be ready for Glasgow!" Nevertheless the play did open there at the King's Theatre on January 29, 1945 and then opened in the West End on March 31, 1945 at the Piccadilly Theatre. The play was not well-received by the critics although box office receipts at the start were better than those for And Then There Were None eighteen months earlier. The play was directed by Terence de Marney who had played Philip Lombard in And Then There Were None. The play closed on May 5 after just 42 performances. The
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    At Bertram's Hotel

    • Year Released:
    At Bertram's Hotel is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 15 November 1965 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50. It features the detective Miss Marple. Jane Marple, the elderly amateur sleuth, takes a holiday at Bertram's hotel in London, to re-live her happy memories of staying there during her youth. The hotel is famous for fully preserving its Edwardian atmosphere even into the 1960s, from the proper staff to the elderly guests who frequent the tearoom. Miss Marple first sees Lady Selina Hazy, a childhood friend. Lady Hazy says she often thinks she recognizes people in the hotel but they turn out to be strangers. Miss Marple is intrigued by the other guests in the tearoom, especially a famous adventuress, Bess Sedgwick; a young woman, Elvira Blake, and her guardian Colonel Luscombe; and a forgetful clergyman, Canon Pennyfather. Elvira's late father left her a lot of money, but it's all held in trust until she, not yet 20, turns 21. Her mother, Bess Sedgwick, had abandoned her as a toddler to become a famous
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    Black Coffee

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    Black Coffee is a play by the British crime-fiction author Agatha Christie (1890–1976) which was produced initially in 1930. The first piece that Christie wrote for the stage, it launched a successful second career for her as a playwright. Twenty-two years after Christie's death, Black Coffee was re-published in the United Kingdom and the United States in the form of a novel. The novelisation was undertaken by the Australian-born writer and classical music critic Charles Osborne, with the endorsement of the Christie estate. Agatha Christie began writing Black Coffee in 1929, feeling disappointed with the portrayal of Hercule Poirot in the previous year's play Alibi, and being equally dissatisfied with the motion-picture adaptations of her short story The Coming of Mr. Quin and her novel The Secret Adversary as The Passing of Mr. Quin and Die Abenteurer GmbH. According to the foreword to the current HarperCollins edition of Black Coffee in its novelised form, she finished writing the play in late 1929. She mentions Black Coffee in her 1977 life story, Autobiography, describing it as "a conventional spy thriller ... full of cliches, it was, I think, not at all bad". Nonetheless, her
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    By the Pricking of My Thumbs

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    By The Pricking of My Thumbs is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1968 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at twenty-one shillings (21/-) and the US edition at $4.95. It features her detectives Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. Youthful in two Christie books written in the 1920s, middle-aged in a World-War II spy novel, Tommy and Tuppence were unusual in that they aged according to real time, unlike Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, whose age remained more or less the same from their first novels in the 1920s, to their last novels in the 1970s. The title of the book comes from Act 4, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, when the second witch says: In Sunny Ridge, the nursing home where Tommy Beresford's Aunt Ada lives, resident Mrs. Lancaster stirs up worry among those in charge with her bizarre, disjointed ramblings about 'your poor child' and 'something behind the fireplace'. Intrigued, Tuppence Beresford conducts an investigation when Aunt Ada dies. The novel is dedicated "to the many readers in this and other countries who write to me asking: 'What
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    Cards on the Table

    • Year Released: 1936
    Cards on the Table is a detective novel by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 2 1936 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year . The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features the recurring characters of Hercule Poirot, Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle and the bumbling crime writer Ariadne Oliver, making her first appearance in a Poirot novel (she previously had a role in the Parker Pyne short story The Case of the Discontented Soldier). At an exhibition of snuff boxes, Hercule Poirot meets Mr. Shaitana, a mysterious foreign man who is consistently described as devil-like in appearance and manner. Shaitana jokes about Poirot's visit to the snuff box exhibition, and claims that he has a better "collection" that Poirot would enjoy: individuals who have got away with murder. He arranges a dinner party to show off this collection; Poirot is apprehensive. Upon arrival at Shaitana's house on the appointed day, Poirot is joined by three other guests: mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver, Scotland Yard's Superintendent Battle, and Colonel Race of His Majesty's
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    Cat Among the Pigeons

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    Cat Among the Pigeons is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 2, 1959, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1960 with a copyright date of 1959. The UK edition retailed at twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6), and the US edition at $2.95. It features Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who makes a very late appearance in the final third of the novel. The emphasis on espionage in the early part of the novel relates it to Christie’s international adventures (most notably They Came to Baghdad) and to the Tommy and Tuppence stories. At the start of the summer term at Meadowbank School for Girls, a prestigious prep school in England, there is no reason for Miss Bulstrode, the popular but aging headmistress, to believe that the challenges facing her will be more than the occasional irate or inebriated parent. She scarcely listens when Mrs Upjohn, a parent, recognizes someone that she sees from her wartime days in the intelligence service. But there is a killer at the school who does not wait long to strike. The story flashes back three months to Ramat, one of the richest countries of the
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    Chimneys

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    Chimneys is a play by crime writer Agatha Christie and is based upon her own 1925 novel The Secret of Chimneys. The play was written in 1931 and was due to open at the Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage in December of that year. One year previously, Black Coffee, Christie's first performed stage play, had opened at the same theatre. As was the law at the time, the play was vetted by the Lord Chamberlain's Office and passed for performance. Several press articles referred to the new play but suddenly, and without explanation, the theatre substituted Mary Broome, a four-act comedy from 1912 by Allan Monkhouse, in its place. The play was all-but-forgotten until December 2001 when John Paul Fischbach, the artistic director of the Vertigo Mystery Theatre in Calgary, Canada was looking to re-launch the company after it had been forced to vacate its home in the Calgary Science Centre and was opening in its new home of the Vertigo Theatre Centre. In looking for something special and relatively unknown to celebrate the opening, Fischbach contacted Agatha Christie Limited, who handle the author's rights, and was told by its chairman (and Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard) that the only
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    Come, Tell Me How You Live

    • Year Released: 1983
    Come, Tell Me How You Live is a short book of autobiography and travel literature by crime writer Agatha Christie. It is one of only two books she wrote and had published under both of her married names of "Christie" and "Mallowan" (the other being Star Over Bethlehem and other stories) and was first published in the UK in November 1946 by William Collins and Sons and in the same year in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company. The UK edition retailed for ten shillings and sixpence (10/6) and the US edition at $3.00. The book's title, a quote from verse three of the White Knight’s poem, Haddocks' Eyes from chapter eight of Through the Looking-Glass (1871) by Lewis Carroll, is also word play on the word "Tell", used to describe an archaeological mound or site. Christie first thought of writing the book in 1938 and wrote to her literary agent, Edmund Cork, in July of that year, suggesting the project and telling him that it would be "not at all serious or archaeological". In the event, she wrote the book during the Second World War after her husband, Max Mallowan, had been posted to Egypt with the British Council in February 1942 and she was living alone in London. She occupied her hours by
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    Crooked House

    Crooked House

    • Year Released: 1949
    Crooked House is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1949 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on May 23 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6). The action takes place in and near London in the autumn of 1947. Christie has said that this was one of her two favourites of her own works, the other being Ordeal by Innocence. The title is a reference to a nursery rhyme ("There Was a Crooked Man"), a common theme of Christie's. Three generations of the Anglo-Greek Leonides family live together in a large, seemingly crooked house, under the patriarchy of Aristide. He is an ageing millionaire who originally moved to England from Smyrna and, in the novel, spends his remaining days in the company of his second wife Brenda, fifty years his junior. After the old man is poisoned with his own eye medicine (eserine), his granddaughter Sophia tells her fiancé Charles Hayward, the story's first person narrator, that she can't marry him until the killer is apprehended; so, desperate for her hand in marriage, he begins his own investigation... The first
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    Curtain

    • Year Released: 1975
    Curtain: Poirot's Last Case is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in September 1975 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The novel features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings in their final appearances in Christie's works (see below). Christie wrote the novel in the early 1940s, during World War II. Partly fearing for her own survival, and partly wanting to have a fitting end to Poirot's series of novels, Christie had the novel locked away in a bank vault for over thirty years. The final Poirot novel that Christie wrote, Elephants Can Remember, was published in 1972, followed by Christie's last novel, Postern of Fate. Knowing that she could no longer write any novels, the elderly Christie authorised Curtain's removal from the vault and subsequent publication. It was the last of her books to be published during her lifetime. Not only does the novel return the characters to the setting of her first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but it reunites Poirot and Hastings, who had not appeared together since Dumb Witness in 1937. After a year apart Hercule Poirot, now crippled with arthritis, is
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    Dead Man's Folly

    Dead Man's Folly

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    Dead Man's Folly is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October 1956 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 5 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.95 and the UK edition at twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6). It features Hercule Poirot, her famous Belgian detective, and Ariadne Oliver. The house where the story is set was based on Christie's Devon home, Greenway House on the Greenway Estate. When Ariadne Oliver, the mystery novelist, summons Poirot to join her at a country house in Devon, he is respectful enough of her “intuition” to do so. When she tells him, however, that she is at Nasse House to stage a Murder Hunt at a fête, he is at first peeved that she is wasting his time. But it is not long before he realises that Mrs Oliver's fears are fully justified. En route to Nasse House, Poirot gives a lift to two female hitch-hikers – one Dutch and one Italian – who are staying at the youth hostel adjoining the Nasse House grounds. When he arrives, Mrs Oliver explains that she feels that her plans for the Murder Hunt have been, almost imperceptibly, influenced by the advice that she has
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    Death Comes as the End

    Death Comes as the End

    • Year Released: 1944
    Death Comes as the End is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October 1944 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in March of the following year. The US Edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). It is the only one of Christie's novels not to be set in the 20th century, and - unusually for her - also features no European characters. Instead, the novel is set in Thebes in 2000 BC, a setting for which Christie gained an appreciation of while working with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan in the Middle East. The novel is notable for its very high number of deaths and is comparable to And Then There Were None from this standpoint. The suggestion to base the story in ancient Egypt came from noted Egyptologist and family friend Stephen Glanville. He also assisted Christie with details of daily household life in Egypt 4000 years ago. In addition he made forceful suggestions to Christie to change the ending of the book. This she did but regretted the fact afterwards, feeling that her (unpublished) ending was better. The novel is based on some real letters, translated by
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    Death in the Clouds

    Death in the Clouds

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    Death in the Clouds is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company on March 10 1935 under the title of Death in the Air and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in the July of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Chief Inspector Japp. In the book, Poirot is a passenger on board a flight from Paris to Croydon. Some time before landing, one of the passengers, Madame Giselle — a moneylender — is found dead. Initially, a reaction to a wasp sting is postulated, but Poirot spies the true cause of death: a poison-tipped dart, apparently fired from a blowgun. It becomes apparent that the victim has been murdered. Frustrated with the evident artificiality of the blowpipe, an item that could hardly have been used without being seen by another passenger, Poirot suggests that the means of delivering the dart may have been something else. Is it the flute of one passenger, or perhaps one of the ancient tubes carried by one of the two French archaeologists on board? Or maybe Lady
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    49

    Death on the Nile

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    Death on the Nile is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 1, 1937 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The action takes place in Egypt, mostly on the Nile River. While dining out in London one evening, Hercule Poirot notices a young woman, Jacqueline de Bellefort, dining and dancing with her fiancé, Simon Doyle. Poirot also notices that Jackie (a nickname given to her and used by intimates; short for Jacqueline) is very much smitten and is in love with Simon. The next day, Jacqueline takes Simon to meet her best friend, wealthy young heiress Linnet Ridgeway, in the hopes that Linnet will offer Simon a job. Three months later, Simon has broken off his engagement to Jacqueline and married Linnet. Poirot happens to encounter the couple on their honeymoon to Egypt, where he himself is on holiday. At their shared hotel in Cairo, Poirot sees an apparent chance meeting between the Doyles and Jacqueline. Afterwards, Linnet approaches Poirot and
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    Destination Unknown

    • Year Released: 1954
    Destination Unknown is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 1, 1954 and in US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1955 under the title of So Many Steps to Death. The UK edition retailed at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6) and the US edition at $2.75. Hilary Craven, a deserted wife and bereaved mother, is planning suicide in a Moroccan hotel, when she is asked by British secret agent Jessop to undertake a dangerous mission as an alternative to taking an overdose of sleeping pills. The task, which she accepts, is to impersonate a dying woman to help find the woman's husband, Thomas Betterton, a nuclear scientist who has disappeared and may have defected to the Soviet Union. Soon she finds herself in a group of travellers being transported to the unknown destination of the title. The destination turns out to be a secret scientific research facility disguised as a modern leper colony and leprosy research center at a remote location in the Atlas Mountains. The fabulously wealthy Mr Aristides has built the facility and lured the world's best young scientists to it so that he can later sell their services back to the
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    Double Sin and Other Stories

    Double Sin and Other Stories

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    Double Sin and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1961 and retailed for $3.50. The collection contains eight short stories and was not published in the UK; however all of the stories were published in other UK collections (see UK book appearances of stories below). For first publications in the UK, see the applicable UK collections below. The stories contained in Double Sin and Other Stories appear in the following UK collections:
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    61

    Dumb Witness

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    Dumb Witness is a detective fiction novel by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on July 5 1937 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of Poirot Loses a Client . The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and is the second to last Poirot novel (the last being 1975's Curtain: Poirot's Last Case) to be published that features Hastings as narrator. Dumb Witness was based on a short story entitled The Incident of the Dog's Ball. This short story was lost for many years but found by the authoress' daughter in a crate of her personal effects, in 2004. The Incident of the Dog's Ball was published in Britain in September 2009 in John Curran's Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years Of Mysteries. The short story was also published by The Strand Magazine in their tenth anniversary issue. The story is set in Berkshire and centers on Emily Arundell, a woman of a considerable fortune who is surrounded by grasping young relatives. She is injured by falling down a staircase, and everyone believes that
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    Elephants Can Remember

    • Year Released: 1972
    Elephants Can Remember is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1972 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for £1.60 and the US edition at $6.95. It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the recurring character Ariadne Oliver. This was the last of Christie's novels to feature either of these characters, although in terms of publication it was succeeded by Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, which had been written in the early 1940s. The novel is notable for its concentration on memory and oral testimony. At a literary luncheon, the celebrated author Ariadne Oliver is asked a blunt question by a complete stranger: Mrs. Burton-Cox’s son is considering marriage to one of Mrs. Oliver’s god-daughters, Celia Ravenscroft. The question is: did Celia’s mother murder her father, or was it the other way around? The bodies of General Alistair Ravenscroft and his wife were found near their manor house in Overcliffe. Both had bullet wounds, and a revolver with only their fingerprints left between them. In the original investigation no one was able to prove whether the
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    67

    Endless Night

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    Endless Night is a work of crime fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on October 30, 1967 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at eighteen shillings (18/-) and the US edition at $4.95. It was one of her favorites of her own works and received some of the warmest critical notices of her career upon publication. The title comes from William Blake's Auguries of Innocence: Ambitious young Michael Rogers - the narrator of the story - falls in love with Fenella Guteman (Ellie) the first time he sets eyes on her in the mysterious yet scenic 'Gipsy's Acre', complete with its sea-view and dark fir trees. Before long, he has both the land and the woman, but rumors are spreading of a curse hanging over the land. Not heeding the locals' warnings, the couple take up residence at 'Gipsy's Acre', leading to a devastating tragedy. The novel is dedicated: "To Nora Prichard from whom I first heard the legend of Gipsy's Acre." Nora Prichard was the paternal grandmother of Matthew, Christie's only grandson. Gipsy's Acre was a field located on a Welsh moorland. The Times Literary Supplement of November 16, 1967
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    69

    Evil Under the Sun

    • Year Released: 1941
    Evil Under the Sun is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1941 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October of the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. A quiet holiday at a secluded hotel in Devon is all that Hercule Poirot wants, but amongst his fellow guests is a beautiful and vain woman who, seemingly oblivious to her own husband, revels in the attention of another woman's husband. The scene is set for murder, but can the field of suspects really be as narrow as it first appears? Arlena is a very beautiful retired actress and a flirtatious young woman with many men attracted to her. She goes to the Jolly Roger Hotel with her husband and step daughter, Kenneth and Linda Marshall. Linda Marshall, a sixteen-year-old girl, dislikes her stepmother. Arlena flirts in the hotel with handsome Patrick Redfern, to the evident fury of his wife, Christine (a teacher). Also staying at the hotel are Poirot, "Sir" Horace Blatt (a very rich man), Major Barry (a retired Anglo-Indian army man), Rosamund Darnley (a dressmaker and Kenneth Marshall's
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    70

    Fiddlers Three

    • Year Released:
    Fiddlers Three is a play written by Agatha Christie in 1972. The play was first written and performed as Fiddlers Five, which toured briefly in 1971 after opening in Bristol. The revised version toured in the provinces for several weeks after its premiere at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on August 1, 1972, but failed to meet with success. Christie pushed for the play to be performed, much against the wishes of her daughter, Rosalind Hicks, who was protective of her mother's reputation and felt that this production would damage it. The revised version of the play incorporated several suggestions from its director, Allan Davis, who had seen the previous 1971 version. The play was never transferred to the West End and remains unpublished. Director: Allan Davis Cast: Doris Hare Raymond Francis Arthur Howard Mark Wing-Davey Gabor Baraker Julia Vidler
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    71

    Five Little Pigs

    • Year Released: 1942
    Five Little Pigs is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in May 1942 under the title of Murder in Retrospect and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in January 1943 although some sources state that publication occurred in November 1942. The UK first edition carries a copyright date of 1942 and retailed at eight shillings (8/-) while the US edition was priced at $2.00. The book features Hercule Poirot. The novel is notable as a rigorous attempt to demonstrate Poirot’s repeatedly stated contention that it is possible to solve a mystery purely by reflecting upon the testimony of the participants, and without access to the scene of the crime. This was the last novel of an especially prolific phase of Christie's work on Poirot. She published thirteen Poirot novels between 1935 and 1942 out of a total of eighteen novels in that period. By contrast, she published only two Poirot novels in the next eight years, indicating the possibility that she was experiencing some frustration with her most popular character. Five Little Pigs is unusual in the way that the same events are retold from several standpoints. Sixteen years after
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    72

    Giant's Bread

    • Year Released: 1930
    Giant's Bread is a tragedy novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons in April 1930 and in the US by Doubleday later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $1.00. It is the first of six novels Christie published under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott. At London’s National Opera House, the opening of the building is celebrated by the first performance of a new composition, The Giant, in front of a specially-invited audience of Royalty, society figures and the press. Somewhat in the style of a Russian opera, the audience are either puzzled or ecstatic about this modernist piece. One man who does not personally like the composition, but can see the genius that scored it, is Carl Bowerman, the elderly and distinguished Music critic who joins the owner of the Opera House, Sebastian Levinne, for a private drink. Despite the foreign nature of the music, Bowerman recognises that the composer, known as Boris Groen, must be English because "Nationality in music is unmistakable." He states that Groen is the natural successor to a man called Vernon Deyre who was killed in the war.
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    74

    Hallowe'en Party

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    Hallowe'en Party is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1969 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for twenty-five shillings. In preparation for decimalisation on February 15, 1971, it was also priced on the dustjacket at £1.25. The US edition retailed at $5.95. The novel features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver. The novel focuses on child murder (with its possible sexual motivation), the irresponsibility of teenagers and the crisis in crime and punishment. This book was dedicated to P.G. Wodehouse. During the preparation of a Hallowe'en party, a girl named Joyce Reynolds tells everyone, including Mrs. Oliver, that she saw a murder once, but only recently realized that it was a murder that she had seen. At the end of the party, Joyce is found drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. With Mrs. Oliver's help, Hercule Poirot must unmask the real evil of the night. The story starts out inside Rowena Drake's house, which is called "Apple Trees". There, Ariadne Oliver and others are preparing a Hallowe'en party for children.
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    75

    Hercule Poirot's Christmas

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    Hercule Poirot's Christmas is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on December 19, 1938 (although the first edition is copyright dated 1939). It retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). It was published in US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1939 under the title of Murder for Christmas. This edition retailed at $2.00. A paperback edition in the US by Avon books in 1947 changed the title again to A Holiday for Murder. The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and is a locked room mystery. When multi-millionaire Simeon Lee unexpectedly invites his family to gather at his home for Christmas, the gesture is met with suspicion by many of the guests. Simeon is not given to family sentiment, and not all of the family are on good terms with one another. To make things worse, he has invited the black sheep of the family, Harry, and Simeon’s granddaughter, Pilar, whom none of them has ever met before. Simeon is intent on playing a sadistic game with his family's emotions. An unexpected guest – Stephen Farr, son of Simeon Lee's former partner in the diamond mines – means that the house is full of
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    76

    Hickory Dickory Dock

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    Hickory Dickory Dock is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on October 31, 1955 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in November of the same year under the title of Hickory Dickory Death. The UK edition retailed at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6) and the US edition at $3.00. It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The novel is notable for featuring Poirot’s efficient secretary, Miss Felicity Lemon, who had previously only appeared in the Poirot short stories. An outbreak of apparent kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest. But when he sees the bizarre list of stolen and vandalized items - including a stethoscope, some lightbulbs, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack, some boracic powder and a diamond ring later found in a bowl of a soup - he congratulates the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a 'unique and beautiful problem'. It is nevertheless not long before the crime of theft is the least of Poirot’s concerns. The title is taken, as are other of Christie’s titles, from a nursery rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock. This is
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    98

    Lord Edgware Dies

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    Lord Edgware Dies is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in September 1933 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of Thirteen at Dinner. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The novel features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp. Jane Wilkinson, an actress, is suspected of murdering her husband, the fourth Baron Edgware, so that she can marry the Duke of Merton. The plot begins with Jane asking Poirot to convince her husband to agree to a divorce. When Poirot reluctantly does so, Edgware says that he has already agreed to a divorce and written a letter to Jane informing her of the fact. When Poirot reports this to Jane, she denies ever having received such a letter. Lord Edgware is portrayed as a rather unsympathetic character. On the night of the murder, Wilkinson supposedly goes to the Edgware house, announces herself to the butler, and goes into her husband's study. The next day, Lord Edgware is found murdered and Chief Inspector Japp tells Poirot all about it. Numerous friends and acquaintances of
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    99
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    100

    Love from a Stranger

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    Love from a Stranger is a 1936 play based on Philomel Cottage, a 1924 short story by British mystery writer Agatha Christie. The play was adapted by Frank Vosper and opened at the New Theatre on March 31, 1936. Vosper himself starred in the play which was later turned into a successful film. Promotional extracts were broadcast on the BBC Regional Programme on Friday May 1, 1936 in a twenty minute programme starting at 7.10pm with members of the then-current stage cast. On May 9, 1936, the final performance was given at the New Theatre and the play immediately transferred to the Queen's Theatre on Monday, May 11 where it ran until Saturday, August 8, 1936. It reopened two days later at the Streatham Hill Theatre for one week. The play garnered good reviews with the Daily Herald stating that it was "a brilliant terror play" and "our blood was gloriously curdled last night". The Times was equally enthusiastic stating "The final act is very sure of its effect. The suspense is maintained; each turn of the story is clear and striking; the terror-stricken self-control of the girl and the man's gross and abominable insanity are depicted by Miss Marie Ney and Mr Vosper with every refinement
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    104

    Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories

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    Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in October 1979 retailing at £4.50. It was the last Christie book to be published under the Collins Crime Club imprint although HarperCollins continue to be the writer's UK publishers. The book contains eight short stories and did not appear in the United States. Robert Barnard: "Posthumous collection, containing several good and good-ish Marple cases previously only available in the States. Also two supernatural stories, which Christie did not have the stylistic resources to bring off successfully." The first UK magazine publication of all the stories is as follows:
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    111
    Mrs McGinty's Dead

    Mrs McGinty's Dead

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    Mrs. McGinty's Dead is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1952 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on March 3 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition nine shillings and sixpence (9/6). The Detective Book Club issued an edition, also in 1952, as Blood Will Tell. The novel features the characters Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver. The story is a “village mystery”, a sub-genre of whodunit which Christie usually reserved for Miss Marple. The novel is notable for its wit and comic detail, something that had been little in evidence in the Poirot novels of the thirties and forties. Poirot's misery in the run-down guesthouse, and Mrs. Oliver's observations on the life of a detective novelist, provide considerable entertainment in the early part of the novel. The publication of Mrs. McGinty’s Dead may be considered as marking the start of Poirot's final phase, in which Ariadne Oliver plays a large part. Although she had appeared in Cards on the Table in 1936, Mrs. Oliver's most significant appearances in Christie's work begin here. She appears in five of the last nine Christie
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    112
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    114

    Murder at the Vicarage

    • Year Released: 1949
    Murder at the Vicarage is a 1949 play by Moie Charles and Barbara Toy based on the 1930 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. Christie's official biography suggests that the play was written by Christie with changes then made by Charles and Toy, presumably enough for them to claim the credit. Whatever the truth of the authorship, Christie was enthusiastic about the play and attended its rehearsals and first night It was first performed at the New Theatre, Northampton on October 17, 1949 prior to moving to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End where it opened on December 16, 1949. The play was the first time that the character of Miss Marple had been depicted outside the original books and she was portrayed by Barbara Mullen. The director was Reginald Tate who also played the part of Lawrence Redding. The play enjoyed a run of 126 performances, closing on April 1, 1950. In its issue of December 15, 1949, The Times gave an unenthusiastic review which began, "Everyone has a motive for killing. Nobody, unhappily, has any good stage reason for living. It is not until the final scene - the pressure of events then forcing two of the characters into melodramatic life - that we become
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    115
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    116

    Murder in Mesopotamia

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    Murder in Mesopotamia is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on July 6, 1936 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The novel is set at an archaeological excavation in Iraq, and descriptive details derive from the author's visit to the Royal Cemetery at Ur where she met her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, and other British archaeologists. Dr. Leidner is a Swedish American archaeologist on a dig near Hassanieh, Iraq, then a British protectorate. A middle aged man, he is married just two years to a beautiful woman. His wife Louise was married briefly during the Great War 15 years earlier in 1918, to a Frederick Bosner. He was a young man who worked for the U.S. State Department but was actually a spy for Germany. He was caught, tried and sentenced to death. He managed to escape while he was being transported. It was to no avail as he ended up on a train that crashed; a body bearing his identification was found in the wreckage. Amy Leatheran is a nurse
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    117

    Murder in the Mews

    • Year Released: 1937
    Murder in the Mews and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club on 15 March 1937 In the U.S., the book was published by Dodd, Mead and Company under the title Dead Man's Mirror in June 1937 with one story missing (The Incredible Theft); the 1987 Berkeley Books edition of the same title has all four stories. All of the tales feature Hercule Poirot. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the first U.S. edition at $2.00. Japp asks Poirot to join him at a house in Bardsley Garden Mews where a Mrs Barbara Allen shot herself the previous evening – Guy Fawkes Night – the moment of death being disguised by the noise of fireworks. Once there they find that the doctor thinks there is something strange about the death of the woman, a young widow. Mrs Allen was found by a housemate, Miss Jane Plenderleith, who had been away in the country the previous night. The victim was locked in her room and was shot through the head with an automatic, the weapon being found in her hand. The doctor however points out that the gun is in her right hand while the wound is above the left ear – an
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    118

    Murder Is Easy

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    Murder is Easy is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on June 5, 1939 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in September of the same year under the title of Easy to Kill. Christie's recurring character, Superintendent Battle, has a cameo appearance at the end, but plays no part in either the solution of the mystery or the apprehension of the criminal. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. Luke Fitzwilliam happens to share a London bound train carriage with Miss Pinkerton, a seemingly dotty but sweet elderly lady, who reminds Luke of his own aunt. She talks to him about a series of murders—disguised as accidents—taking place in her home village of Wychwood-under-Ashe. Miss Pinkerton says that although the local police are out of their depth, she knows the identity of the murderer because of a telling gaze that this person fixes on the intended victim. She is on her way to Scotland Yard to reveal the guilty party. Unfortunately, she does not inform Luke who it is. Luke learns the next day that Miss Pinkerton was killed in a hit-and-run car accident before reaching
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    119

    Murder on the Nile/Hidden Horizon

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    Murder on the Nile (1944) is a murder mystery play by crime writer Agatha Christie, based on her 1937 novel Death on the Nile. The play is based on her 1937 novel Death on the Nile which in itself started off as a play which Christie called Moon on the Nile. Once written, she decided it would do better as a book and she only resurrected the play version in 1942 when she was in the middle of writing the theatrical version of And Then There Were None and her actor friend Francis L. Sullivan was looking for a play in which Hercule Poirot might feature. Discussions took place until October as Christie was tired of the character of Poirot and wanted to exclude him from the drama altogether. She managed to persuade Sullivan of this plan when she promised to write into the play the part of a church canon for him to play. Once backing had been found, rehearsals for the play began in January 1944 in Dundee in which Christie enthusiastically joined in, now that she was thoroughly enamoured of the theatre and its people. It premiered there on January 17 at the Dundee Repertory Theatre and the title of the play had also been changed to Hidden Horizon. For reasons not specified in her
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    120

    Murder on the Orient Express

    • Year Released: 1934
    Murder on the Orient Express is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. It was first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club on January 1, 1934 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of Murder in the Calais Coach. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The US title of Murder on the Calais Coach was used to avoid confusion with the 1932 Graham Greene novel Stamboul Train which had been published in the US as Orient Express. Returning from an important case in Palestine, Hercule Poirot boards the Orient Express in Constantinople. The train is unusually crowded for the time of year. Poirot secures a berth only with the help of his friend M. Bouc, a director of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. When a Mr. Harris fails to show up, Poirot takes his place. On the second night, Poirot gets a compartment to himself. That night, in Vinkovci, at about twenty-three minutes before 1:00 am, Poirot wakes to the sound of a loud noise. It seems to come from the compartment next to his, which is occupied by Mr. Ratchett. When
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    121
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    N or M?

    N or M?

    • Year Released: 1941
    N or M? is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1941 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November of the same year. The U.S. edition retailed $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The title is taken from a catechism in the Book of Common Prayer which asks, "What is your Christian name? Answer N. or M." The novel is the first to feature the mature versions of her detectives Tommy and Tuppence, whose previous appearances had been in the adventure The Secret Adversary (1922) and the short story collection Partners in Crime (1929). After the outbreak of the Second World War and many years after they worked for British intelligence, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford feel useless and sidelined. When Tommy is approached to go undercover once more, however, Tuppence decides to join him on his mission whether she is wanted or not. The duo begin a search for a German agent who may have infiltrated British command. Another British agent that was following these Germans left a cryptic message on his deathbed: "N or M. Song Susie". Grant knew that "Song Susie" stood for Sans Souci, a hotel in
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    Nemesis

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    Nemesis is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie (1890–1976) and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1971 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at £1.50 and the US edition at $6.95. It was the last Miss Marple novel the author wrote, although Sleeping Murder was the last published. Miss Marple receives a post card from the recently deceased Mr Jason Rafiel, a millionaire whom she had met during a holiday on which she had encountered a murder, which asks her to look into an unspecified crime; if she succeeds in solving the crime, she will inherit £20,000. Rafiel, however, has left her few clues, not even when or where the crime was committed and who was involved. Miss Marple's first clue is a tour of famous houses and gardens of Great Britain, arranged for her by Mr. Rafiel prior to his death. She is accompanied on the trip by fourteen other people, at least one of whom she suspects to be related to her enquiries. She learns that one of her companions, Elizabeth Temple, is the retired headmistress of the school which a girl who was engaged to Rafiel's ne'er-do-well son, Michael, attended. Another
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    One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

    • Year Released:
    One, Two, Buckle My Shoe is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club in November 1940 and in US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1941 under the title of The Patriotic Murders. A paperback edition in the US by Dell books in 1953 changed the title again to An Overdose of Death. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) while the United States edition retailed at $2.00. It is one of several of Christie's crime fiction novels to feature both the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Chief Inspector Japp. This is Japp's final novel appearance. When Hercule Poirot’s own dentist, Henry Morley, is found dead from a gunshot wound, the official verdict is that he has killed himself; a verdict apparently supported when it appears that he has given one of his patients a fatal overdose of anaesthetic. Poirot suspects, however, that there is more to the case than at first appears, and soon events confirm his worst suspicions. The book's UK title is derived from a well-known children's nursery rhyme of the same name, and the chapters each correspond to a line of that rhyme. Other Agatha Christie
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    Ordeal by Innocence

    • Year Released: 1958
    Ordeal by Innocence is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 3 1958 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6) and the US edition at $2.95. It is regarded by critics as one of the best of her later works, and was also one of Christie's two favorites of her own novels, the other being Crooked House. The novel is also noted for being one of Christie's darkest works, alongside such classics as Ten Little Indians, with a strong focus on the psychology of innocence. While serving a sentence for killing his foster mother – a crime he insisted he didn't commit – Jacko Argyle dies in prison. Two years later, the man who could have supported Jacko's alibi suddenly turns up; and the family must come to terms with the fact not only that one of them is the real murderer, but also that suspicion falls upon each of them. Christie's focus in this novel is upon the psychology of innocence, as the family members struggle with their suspicions of one another. The witness, Arthur Calgary, believes that, when he clears the name of their son, the
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    Parker Pyne Investigates

    • Year Released:
    Parker Pyne Investigates is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins and Sons in November 1934. Along with The Listerdale Mystery, this collection did not appear under the usual imprint of the Collins Crime Club but instead appeared as part of the Collins Mystery series. It appeared in the US later in the same year published by Dodd, Mead and Company under the title Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective . The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The collection comprises twelve of her fourteen stories featuring detective James Parker Pyne; the two remaining stories, Problem at Pollensa Bay and The Regatta Mystery were later collected in The Regatta Mystery in 1939 in the US and in Problem at Pollensa Bay in the UK in 1991 although these were originally stories featuring Hercule Poirot when they were first published in the Strand Magazine in 1935 and 1936 respectively. The book also features the first appearance of the characters of Ariadne Oliver, and Miss Felicity Lemon, both of whom would go on to have working relationships with Hercule Poirot in later books. James Parker Pyne is a
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    Partners in Crime

    Partners in Crime

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    Partners in Crime is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published by Dodd, Mead and Company in the US in 1929 and in the UK by William Collins & Sons on September 16 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). All of the stories in the collection had previously been published in magazines (see First publication of stories below) and feature her detectives Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, first introduced in The Secret Adversary (1922). The Beresfords' old friend, Mr. Carter (who works for an unnamed government intelligence agency) arrives bearing a proposition for the adventurous duo. They are to take over 'The International Detective Agency', a recently cleaned out spy stronghold, and pose as the owners so as to intercept any enemy messages coming through. But until such a message arrives, Tommy and Tuppence are to do with the detective agency as they please - an opportunity that delights the young couple. They employ the hapless but well-meaning Albert, a young man also introduced in The Secret Adversary, as their assistant at the agency. Eager and willing, the two set out to tackle several
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    Passenger to Frankfurt

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    Passenger to Frankfurt: An Extravanganza is a spy novel by Agatha Christie first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in September 1970 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at twenty-five shillings. In preparation for decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it was concurrently priced on the dustjacket at £1.25. The US edition retailed at $5.95. It was published to mark Christie's eightieth birthday and, by counting up both UK and US short-story collections to reach the desired total, was also advertised as her eightieth book. It is the last of her spy novels. At the beginning of the book there is a quote by Jan Smuts :- "Leadership, besides being a great creative force, can be diabolical ..." Sir Stafford Nye's flight home from Malaya takes an unexpected twist when the bored diplomat is approached in an airport by a woman whose life is in danger, he agrees to lend her his passport and boarding ticket. Suddenly, Stafford has unwittingly entered a web of international intrigue, from which the only escape is to outwit the power-crazed Countess von Waldsausen who is hell-bent on world domination through the manipulation and arming
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    Peril at End House

    Peril at End House

    • Year Released: 1932
    Peril at End House is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by the Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1932 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in March of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The book features her famous character Hercule Poirot, as well as Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp, and was the seventh book featuring Poirot. Detective Hercule Poirot and Captain Arthur Hastings are spending a week's holiday at the Cornish resort of St. Loo, staying at the Majestic Hotel. They meet the young 'Nick' Buckley (her real first name being Magdala), who lives in End House, a slightly ramshackle house on a point in the bay. Nick casually mentions that she had three lucky escapes from death in as many days. Nick thinks nothing of this, but Poirot believes someone is out to kill her. This is confirmed when Poirot finds a bullet that Nick had thought to be a wasp shooting past her head. Poirot explains his concern to Nick, who does not believe him until the bullet is revealed to be from Nick’s gun, which has gone missing. Because the attacks on Nick’s life have been
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    Poems

    • Year Released:
    Poems is the second of two collections of poetry by crime writer Agatha Christie, the first being The Road of Dreams in January 1925. It was published in October 1973 at the same time as the novel Postern of Fate, the final work she ever wrote. The book is divided into two volumes with the first part, which occupies over half of the book, being titled Volume I and is stated on the copyright page to be a reprint of the contents of The Road of Dreams (incorrectly dated to 1924) however there are several differences between the two publications. They are: The remainder of the 1973 publication, titled Volume II was, like its predecessor, divided into four sections: One of the poems in the sequence Love Poems and Others is entitled To M.E.L.M. in Absence. The dedicatee of this poem is Christie's second husband Max Mallowan or Max Edgar Lucien Mallowan to give him his full name. It is not known when the poem was written however the only prolonged absence the married coupled ever suffered was in the Second World War when Max was sent to Egypt with the British Council in February 1942 and after several years and different postings in North Africa, did not return home until May 1945. Both
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    Poirot Investigates

    • Year Released:
    Poirot Investigates is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in March 1924. In the eleven stories, famed eccentric detective Hercule Poirot solves a variety of mysteries involving greed, jealousy and revenge. The American version of this book, published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1925, featured a further three stories. The UK first edition of the book featured an illustration of Poirot on the dustjacket reprinted from the March 21, 1923 issue of The Sketch magazine by W. Smithson Broadhead. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) while the 1925 US edition was $2.00. Poirot receives a visit from Miss Mary Marvell, the famous American film star on her visit to London. She has received three letters, handed to her by a Chinese man, which warn her to return her fabulous diamond jewel, the "Western Star", to where it came from – the left eye of an idol – before the next full moon. Her husband, Gregory Rolf, who bought it from a Chinese man in San Francisco, gave Mary the jewel three years ago. The pair are going to stay at Yardly Chase, the home of Lord and Lady Yardly when the moon is next full to
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    Poirot's Early Cases

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    Poirot's Early Cases is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in September 1974. The book retailed at £2.25. Although the stories contained within the volume had all appeared in previous US collections, the book also appeared there later in 1974 under the slightly different title of Hercule Poirot's Early Cases in an edition retailing at $6.95. In the collection, Christie charts some of the cases from Hercule Poirot's early career, before he was internationally renowned as a detective. All the stories had first been published in periodicals between 1923 and 1935. Chief Inspector Japp asks Poirot to assist Scotland Yard in the strange events which took place at a recent costumed Victory Ball. A group of six people, headed by the young Viscount Cronshaw, attended dressed in the costume of the Commedia dell'arte. Lord Cronshaw was Harlequin, his uncle, the honourable Eustace Beltane, was Punchinello and Mrs Mallaby, an American widow, was Punchinella. In the roles of Pierrot and Pierette were Mr and Mrs Christopher Davidson (he being a stage actor) and finally, Miss "Coco" Courtenay, an actress rumoured to be engaged to
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    Postern of Fate

    • Year Released: 1973
    Postern of Fate is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie that was first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1973 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at £2.00 and the US edition at $6.95. The book features her detectives Tommy and Tuppence Beresford and is the detectives' last appearance. It is the final novel Christie ever wrote, but it was not the last to be published. The title comes from the poem Gates of Damascus by James Elroy Flecker. The poem is also referenced in the short story The Gate of Baghdad in the 1934 collection Parker Pyne Investigates. Now in their seventies (though the authoress never states their age clearly), Tommy and Tuppence move to a quiet English village, looking forward to a peaceful retirement. But, as they soon discover, their rambling old house holds secrets. Who is Mary Jordan? And why has someone left a code message in an old book about her 'unnatural' death? Once more, ingenuity and insight are called for as they are drawn into old mysteries and new dangers. Most critics remarked how noticeable Agatha Christie's old age is in this book. For example the main characters
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    152

    Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories

    • Year Released:
    Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories is a short story collection by Agatha Christie published in the UK only in 1991 by Harper Collins. Not published in the US. All the titles previously published in American volumes. It contains eight short stories. Problem at Pollensa Bay
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    153

    Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories

    • Year Released:
    Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories is a short story collection by Agatha Christie published in the UK only in November 1991 by HarperCollins. It was not published in the US but all the stories contained within it had previously been published in American volumes. The UK edition retailed at £13.99. It contains two stories with Hercule Poirot, two with Parker Pyne,. two with Harley Quin and two gothic tales. The first UK magazine publication of all the stories has not been fully documented. The known listing is as follows: No magazine publication of The Harlequin Tea Set has yet been traced; the story was first published in book form in the UK in Winter's Crimes #3 in 1971 by MacMillan (ISBN 0-333-12871-0).
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    Sad Cypress

    • Year Released: 1940
    Sad Cypress is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in March 1940 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at eight shillings and threepence (8/3) – the first price rise for a UK Christie edition since her 1921 debut - and the US edition retailed at $2.00. The novel is notable for being the first courtroom drama in the Poirot series. The title comes from a song from Act II, Scene IV of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night which is printed as an epigraph to the novel. The novel is written in three parts: in the first place an account, largely from the perspective of the subsequent defendant, Elinor Carlisle, of the death of her aunt, Laura Welman, and the subsequent death of the victim, Mary Gerrard; secondly an account of Poirot's investigation; and, thirdly, a sequence in court, again mainly from Elinor's dazed perspective. In the first part, distant cousins Elinor Carlisle and Roddy Welman are happily engaged to be married when they receive an anonymous letter claiming that someone is "sucking up" to their wealthy aunt, Laura Welman, from whom Elinor and Roddy expect to inherit
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    Sleeping Murder

    • Year Released: 1976
    Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple's Last Case is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1976 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for £3.50 and the US edition for $7.95. The book features Miss Marple in her last mystery. It was the last Christie novel published— posthumously — although not the last one Christie actually wrote. "Let sleeping murder lie": this is the proverb (a variation on "Let sleeping dogs lie") which is not obeyed by twenty-one year old New Zealander Gwenda Reed (née Halliday), who has recently married and now comes to England to settle down there. She believes that her father took her directly from India to New Zealand when she was a two year-old girl and that she has never been in England before. While her husband Giles is still abroad on business, she drives around the countryside looking for a suitable house. She finds an old house in the small seaside resort of Dillmouth, in Devon, which instantly appeals to her, and she buys it. After moving in, Gwenda begins to believe that she must be psychic, as she seems to know things about the house
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    Sparkling Cyanide

    Sparkling Cyanide

    • Year Released: 1945
    Sparkling Cyanide is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1945 under the title of Remembered Death and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in the December of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6 - 42½p). The book features the recurring character of Colonel Race for the last time and was an expansion of a Hercule Poirot short story entitled Yellow Iris which had previously been published in issue 559 of the Strand Magazine in July 1937 and in book form in The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories in the US in 1939. It was published in the UK in Problem at Pollensa Bay in 1991. The full-length novel omits the character of Poirot, substituting Colonel Race as the central investigative character instead. The novel uses the basics of the short story, including the method of the poisoning, but changes the identity of the culprit(s) - not for the first time, when Agatha Christie rewrote her own work. One year ago on 2 November, seven people sat down to dinner at the restaurant "Luxembourg". One of them, Rosemary Barton,
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    164

    Spider's Web

    • Year Released: 2000
    Spider's Web is a novelization by Charles Osborne of the 1954 play of the same name by crime fiction writer Agatha Christie and was first published in the UK by HarperCollins in September 2000 and on November 11, 2000 in the US by St. Martin's Press. The book was written following the successful publication of the novelizations of the 1930 play Black Coffee in 1998 and the 1958 play The Unexpected Guest in 1999. Like those books, the novelization is a straightforward transfer of the stage lines and directions of Christie's script into a written narrative. Osborne chose not to add characters, lines or scenes which would alter in any substantial way what had been presented on the stage although minor amendments were made to produce suitable chapter endings. Osborne contributed a section to the book on the history of Christie's plays. Clarissa Hailsham-Brown, the wife of a foreign office diplomat finds herself having to deceive the police when she finds the dead body of a blackmailer in the drawing room of her house in Kent. Her teenage stepdaughter confesses to the crime and she utilises all of her wits and charm to inveigle her house guests into helping protect her, but the police
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    Spider's Web

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    Spider's Web is a 1954 play by crime writer Agatha Christie. Spider's Web was written at the request of its star, Margaret Lockwood, whose main body of work was in films and who had never appeared in a West End production aside from Peter Pan. In 1953, Lockwood asked her agent, Herbert de Leon, to speak with Peter Saunders, who was the main producer of Christie's work on the stage after the successes of The Hollow and The Mousetrap, and see if Christie would be interested in writing a play for her. Saunders arranged a meeting between Christie and Lockwood at the Mirabelle restaurant. During the conversation, Lockwood requested that she didn't play a sinister or wicked part again (for which she was well known) but a role in a "comedy thriller". She also requested a part for Wilfrid Hyde-White who she wanted to act with and who was also on the books of de Leon. In the event, although the part was written, Hyde-White declined the role and Felix Aylmer was cast instead. Christie wrote the play during the period of the final rehearsals for Witness for the Prosecution which opened to rave reviews in London on 28 October 1953. Lockwood's character was given the name of Clarissa, the name
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    Star Over Bethlehem

    • Year Released: 1965
    Star Over Bethlehem is an illustrated book of poetry and short stories on a religious theme by crime writer Agatha Christie. It was published under the name "Agatha Christie Mallowan" (whose only other book to be published under this by-line was the 1946 short autobiography Come, Tell Me How You Live). It was published in the UK by Collins on November 1, 1965 in an edition priced at thirteen shillings and sixpence (13/6) and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in an edition retailing at $4.95. The volume contains five poems and six short stories, all on the theme of Christianity. Some of the poems can be taken as comments or epilogues on the short stories (e.g. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh refers to the gifts in the stable which The Naughty Donkey in the preceding story attempts to eat). Although relatively unknown, this work, when referred to at all, is often stated as being for children; however the stories it contains are firmly aimed at an adult audience and with adult themes, especially for 1965. For instance, in the story The Water Bus, Mrs Hargreaves’s cleaner tries to offload her woes to her employer, the main one of which is that her daughter is dying in hospital after an
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    Taken at the Flood

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    Taken at the Flood is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1948 under the title of There is a Tide... and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in the November of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6). It features her famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and is set in 1946. After Gordon Cloade dies in a blitz without leaving a will his young wife Rosaleen inherits his entire fortune, infuriating his relatives, all of whom desperately need the money. So when a violent murder occurs, not many people are surprised. However, Rosaleen is not the victim... The title of the book in both the UK and US markets is a line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in a speech by Brutus in Act IV: "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune...". The quotation is given in full as the epigraph to the novel. In a flashback from late Spring to early Spring, Lynn Marchmont, newly demobilised from the Women's Royal Naval Service, finds difficulty settling into the village life of
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    The A.B.C. Murders

    • Year Released: 1936
    The A.B.C. Murders is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on January 6, 1936 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company on February 14 of the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features the characters of Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp. The form of the novel is unusual, combining first and third-person narrative. Christie had previously experimented with this approach (famously pioneered by Charles Dickens in Bleak House), in her novel The Man in the Brown Suit. What is unusual in The A.B.C. Murders is that the third-person narrative is supposedly reconstructed by the first-person narrator, Hastings. This approach shows Christie's commitment to experimenting with point of view, famously exemplified by The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. When an unknown killer nicknamed ABC makes veiled threats through typewritten letters, Poirot takes the matter in his own hands, with help of his old friends Hastings & Japp. However, ABC succeeds in killing three innocent and totally unrelated people, effectively challenging Poirot's "little
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    178

    The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

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    The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and a Selection of Entrées is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on October 24 1960. It is the only Christie first edition published in the UK that contains stories with both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the writer's two most famous detectives. It retailed in the UK for twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6) and comprises six cases. It was not published in the US although the stories it contains were published in other volumes there. Poirot is asked by a Mr Jesmond, who is acting as an intermediary to an eastern prince, to help that unfortunate young man with a problem he is having. The prince is due soon to be married to a cousin and he has been enjoying his final days of freedom with a dubious young woman in London. The prince brought several expensive jewels with him to London for resetting by Cartiers and one of them, a fabulous ruby, was stolen by the young woman. If it cannot be retrieved a scandal will ensue and because of this the police cannot be involved. The mystery can be solved at an old English country house called Kings Lacey where it will be arranged for
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    179

    The Big Four

    • Year Released: 1927
    The Big Four is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on 27 January, 1927 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, and Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The structure of the book is different from that of most Christie novels in that The Big Four is a series of short cases involving the Big Four villains rather than the investigation of a single crime. This is because it is derived from a series of linked short stories that first appeared in The Sketch magazine (see First publication of stories below) and which were amalgamated into one narrative. Captain Hastings visits Poirot and finds that Poirot is leaving for America. He has been offered a huge amount of money by the American 'soap king' millionaire Abe Ryland. Poirot inquires if Hastings has ever heard the phrase the Big Four. Hastings responds incooperatively. At the eleventh hour an unexpected visitor called Mayerling comes in saying only "M. Hercule Poirot, 14 Farraway Street." When he is given a
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    The Body in the Library

    The Body in the Library

    • Year Released:
    The Body in the Library is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1942 and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in May of the same year. The U.S. edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The novel features her fictional amateur detective, Miss Marple. On a quiet morning in the fictional English village of St Mary Mead, a maid finds a body in the library. She wakes retired Colonel Bantry and his wife to inform them that a young woman, whom they do not know, is dead in their library. The police are called and a complex investigation ensues, spanning the two fictional counties of Radfordshire, where St Mary Mead is located, and neighbouring Glenshire. The victim is dressed flamboyantly in a tawdry satin evening dress, with hair dyed platinum blonde and heavy make-up. Medical tests show the cause of death to be strangulation, preceded by a heavy sedative. Despite the worldly appearance of the victim, examination reveals that she died virgo intacta. Nevertheless, Mrs Bantry realises that as long as the murder remains unsolved her husband will be a target for suspicion and
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    183

    The Burden

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    The Burden is a novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Heinemann on November 12, 1956. Initially not published in the US, it was later issued as a paperback by Dell Publishing in September 1963. It was the last of six novels Christie wrote under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott. The title of the novel is taken from Chapter 11, Verse 30 of the Gospel of Matthew. The full line, as quoted in the Epigraph to the novel, is: When Laura Franklin's younger sister Shirley comes into the world, Laura instantly resents her, and soon begins wish and even to pray that her baby sister will die. But after saving Shirley's life in a fire, she experiences a complete change of feeling, and becomes very affectionate and protective towards her. Later, as the sisters grow up and fall in love, Laura begins to realise that the burden of her love for Shirley has had a dramatic effect on both their lives. Siriol Hart's review in the Times Literary Supplement of December 7, 1956, said, "The Burden is by a writer who has been Mary Westmacott for six books and Agatha Christie for more than anyone can count. In spite of the modern smart trimmings, this seems very much the art of
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    184

    The Clocks

    • Year Released:
    The Clocks is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 7, 1963 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. It features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50. The novel is notable for the fact that Poirot never visits any of the crime scenes or speaks to any of the witnesses or suspects. He is challenged to prove his oft-made boast that a crime can be solved by the exercise of the intellect alone. The novel also marks the return of partial first-person narrative, a technique that Christie had largely abandoned earlier in the Poirot sequence but which she had employed in the previous Ariadne Oliver novel, The Pale Horse (1961). There are two interwoven plots: the mystery Poirot works on from his armchair while the police work on the spot, and a Cold War spy story told in the first person narrative. Sheila Webb, a typist-for-hire, arrives at her afternoon appointment on Wilbraham Crescent in Crowdean on the Sussex coast to find a well-dressed corpse surrounded by six clocks, four of which are stopped at 4:13, while
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    185

    The Floating Admiral

    • Year Released: 1931
    The Floating Admiral is a collaborative detective novel written by fourteen members of the Detection Club in 1931. The twelve chapters of the story were each written by a different author, in the following sequence: Canon Victor Whitechurch, G. D. H. Cole and Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Agatha Christie, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Clemence Dane and Anthony Berkeley. G. K. Chesterton contributed a Prologue, which was written after the novel had been completed. In a literary game of consequences, each author would write one chapter, leaving G.K. Chesterton to write a typically paradoxical prologue and Anthony Berkeley to tie up all the loose ends. In addition, each of the authors provided their own solution in a sealed envelope, all of which appeared at the end of the book, with Agatha Christie’s ingenious conclusion acknowledged at the time to be ‘enough to make the book worth buying on its own’. As Sayers explained in the introduction to the book, "Each writer must construct his instalment with a definite solution in view—that is, he must not introduce new complications merely 'to make it more difficult' ... [E]ach
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    186
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    187
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    188
    The Golden Ball and Other Stories

    The Golden Ball and Other Stories

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    The Golden Ball and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1971 in an edition priced at $5.95. It contains fifteen short stories.
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    189
    The Harlequin Tea Set

    The Harlequin Tea Set

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    The Harlequin Tea Set is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by G. P. Putnam's Sons on April 14, 1997. It contains nine short stories each of which involves a separate mystery. With the exception of The Harlequin Tea Set, which was published in the collection Problem at Pollensa Bay, all stories were published in the UK in 1997 in the anthology While the Light Lasts and Other Stories. The collection of nine stories include:
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    190
    The Hollow

    The Hollow

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    The Hollow is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1946 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6). A paperback edition in the US by Dell books in 1954 changed the title to Murder after Hours. The novel is a fine example of a "country house mystery" and was the first of her novels in four years to feature Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot—one of the longest gaps in the entire series. Christie, who often admitted that she did not like Poirot (a fact parodied by her recurring novelist character Ariadne Oliver), particularly disliked his appearance in this novel. His late arrival, jarring, given the established atmosphere, led her to claim in her Autobiography that she "ruined [the novel] by the introduction of Poirot". On the morning that he and his downtrodden wife, Gerda, are due to travel down to the country to weekend with friends, John Christow allows his little daughter to tell his fortune with cards. When the death card is drawn, he pays no attention, but the appearance of an old
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    191

    The Hollow

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    The Hollow is a 1951 play by crime writer Agatha Christie. It is based on the 1946 book of the same name. In her Autobiography, Christie claimed that the success of And Then There Were None set her on the path of being a playwright as well as a writer of books and that only she would adapt her works for the stage from then on and that The Hollow would be her next play. In writing this, Christie forgot her intervening plays of Appointment with Death (1945) and Murder on the Nile (1946) in addition to Moie Charles and Barbara Toy's 1949 adaptation of Murder at the Vicarage. Christie had always felt that The Hollow would make a good play but she came up against the opposition of her daughter, Rosalind Hicks, who Christie affectionately described as having "had the valuable role in life of eternally trying to discourage me without success". Christie was determined to turn the book, which both she and Rosalind liked, into a play but was equally adamant that in doing so it would lose the character of Hercule Poirot whose appearance in the book she thought had "ruined it". The parts of the policemen were changed from the book as well from Inspector Grange and Sergeant Clark to Inspector
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    192

    The Hound of Death

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    The Hound of Death and Other Stories is a collection of twelve short stories by Agatha Christie first published in the United Kingdom in October 1933. Unusually, the collection was not published by Christie's regular publishers, William Collins & Sons, but by Odhams Press and was not available to purchase in shops (see Publication of book collection below). This was the first time that a Christie book had been published in the UK but not in the US although all of the stories contained within it appeared in later US collections (see US book appearances of stories below). Unusually, most of these are tales of fate and the supernatural with comparatively little detective content. This collection is most notable for the first appearance in a book of Christie's famous short story The Witness for the Prosecution. The author subsequently wrote an award-winning play based on this story which has been adapted for film and twice for television. William P. Ryan, an American journalist is having lunch with a friend called Anstruther when he hears that the latter is about to visit his sister in Folbridge, Cornwall at her house called "Treane". Ryan has heard of the place and tells a story from
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    193
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    194

    The Labours of Hercules

    • Year Released: 1947
    The Labours of Hercules is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1947 and in the UK by Collins Crime Club in September of the same year. The U.S. edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6). It features Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and gives an account of twelve cases with which he intends to close his career as a private detective. His regular sidekicks (his secretary, Miss Lemon, and valet, Georges) make cameo appearances, as does Chief Inspector Japp. The stories were all first published in periodicals between 1939 and 1947. In the Foreword to the volume, Poirot declares that he will carefully choose the cases in order to conform to the mythological sequence of the Twelve Labours of Hercules. In some cases (such as The Nemean Lion) the connection is a highly tenuous one, while in others the choice of case is more or less forced upon Poirot by circumstances. By the end, The Capture of Cerberus has events that correspond with the twelfth labour with almost self-satirical convenience. Hercule Poirot is enjoying a social visit by Dr Burton, a fellow of All Souls who
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    195

    The Listerdale Mystery

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    The Listerdale Mystery is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins and Sons in June 1934. The book retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The collection did not appear in the US however all of the stories contained within it did appear in other collections only published there. The collection is notable for the first book appearance of the story Philomel Cottage which was turned into a highly successful play, two feature films and was also televised twice in the UK. Mrs St. Vincent is a genteel lady living in reduced circumstances with her son and daughter, Rupert and Barbara. After her husband's financial speculations went wrong, he died and they were forced to vacate the house, which had been in their family for generations. They now live in rooms in a boarding house, which has seen better times and, due to these surroundings, are unable to entertain people of similar class and upbringing. Rupert has just started a job in the city with excellent prospects but at this moment in time, only a small income. Barbara had enjoyed a trip to Egypt the previous winter with, and paid for by, her richer cousin where she met
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    196
    The Man in the Brown Suit

    The Man in the Brown Suit

    • Year Released: 1924
    The Man in the Brown Suit is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and was first published in the UK by The Bodley Head on August 22 1924 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. Like The Secret Adversary, the novel concentrates less on pure detection, and is more a thriller of the period. It follows the adventures of Anne Beddingfeld as she gets involved in a world of diamond thieves, murderers and political intrigue in this tale set in exotic Southern Africa. Colonel Race makes his first appearance in the novel; he later appears in Cards on the Table, Sparkling Cyanide, and Death on the Nile. Nadina, a "Russian" dancer receives a visit in her dressing room from Count Sergius Paulovitch. Both are in the service of a man they call "the Colonel", an international agent provocateur and criminal. After many years, 'the Colonel' is retiring, leaving his agents high and dry. Nadina has double-crossed the Colonel, however, keeping some De Beers diamonds from a crime years before. She now plans to blackmail the Colonel with the diamonds. Anne Beddingfeld, a young
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    197

    The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side

    • Year Released: 1962
    The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 12 November 1962 and in the U.S. by Dodd, Mead and Company in September 1963 under the shorter title of The Mirror Crack'd and with a copyright date of 1962. The UK edition retailed at fifteen shillings (15/-) and the US edition at $3.75. It is set in the fictional English village of St. Mary Mead and features Miss Marple. It was dedicated by Christie: "To Margaret Rutherford, in admiration." Miss Marple investigates the murder of Heather Badcock, who consumed a poisoned cocktail apparently meant for American film actress Marina Gregg, Heather's idol. As Marple investigates, she discovers dark secrets in Marina's past, secrets which also link to other seemingly innocent citizens of St. Mary Mead. The title of the novel comes from the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It is referred to by name several times in the novel, with these lines being frequently quoted: At the end, Miss Marple quotes the last three lines: Marina Gregg is a famous, temperamental, much loved movie star who has come to settle down in the village of
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    198
    The Mousetrap

    The Mousetrap

    • Year Released:
    The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie. The Mousetrap opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. It has the longest initial run of any play in history, with over 24,500 performances so far. It is the longest running show (of any type) of the modern era. The play is also known for its twist ending, which at the end of every performance the audience is asked not to reveal. The play began life as a short radio play broadcast on 30 May 1947 called Three Blind Mice in honour of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. The play had its origins in the real-life case of the death of a boy, Dennis O'Neill, who died while in the foster care of a Shropshire farmer and his wife in 1945. The play is based on a short story, itself based on the radio play, but Christie asked that the story not be published as long as it ran as a play in the West End of London. The short story has still not been published within the United Kingdom but it has appeared in the United States in the 1950 collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories. When she wrote the play, Christie gave the rights to her grandson Matthew Prichard as a birthday present.
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    199

    The Moving Finger

    • Year Released:
    The Moving Finger is detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in July 1942 and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1943 The U.S. edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). It features the elderly detective Miss Marple in a relatively minor, deus ex machina-like role, appearing more than halfway through and in only a handful of scenes. The book takes its name from verse 51 of Edward FitzGerald's translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: The poem, in turn, refers to Belshazzar's feast as related in the Book of Daniel, where the expression the writing on the wall originated. Jerry and Joanna Burton, brother and sister from London society, take a country house in idyllic Lymstock so that Jerry can rest from injuries received in a wartime plane crash. They are just getting to know the town's strange cast of characters when an anonymous letter arrives, rudely accusing the two of being lovers, not siblings. They quickly discover that these letters have been recently circulating around town, indiscriminate and completely inaccurate. Things flare up when Mrs Symmington, the wife of the
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    200

    The Murder at the Vicarage

    • Year Released:
    The Murder at the Vicarage is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1930 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. It is the first novel to feature the character of Miss Marple although the character had previously appeared in short stories published in The Royal Magazine and The Story-Teller Magazine starting in December 1927. These earlier stories would later appear in book form in The Thirteen Problems in 1932. In St. Mary Mead, no one is more despised than Colonel Protheroe. Even the local vicar has said that killing him would be doing a service to the townsfolk. So when Protheroe is found murdered in the same vicar's study, and two different people confess to the crime, it is time for the elderly spinster Jane Marple to exercise her detective abilities. The vicar and his wife, Leonard and Griselda Clement respectively, who made their first appearance in this novel, continue to show up in Miss Marple stories: notably, in The Body in the Library (1942) and 4.50 from Paddington (1957) The Times
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    201

    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons in June 1926 and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company on the 19th of the same month. It features Hercule Poirot as the lead detective. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. It is one of Christie's best known and most controversial novels, its innovative twist ending having a significant impact on the genre. The short biography of Christie which is included in the present UK printings of all of her books states that this novel is her masterpiece. Howard Haycraft, in his seminal 1941 work, Murder for Pleasure, included the novel in his "cornerstones" list of the most influential crime novels ever written. The character of Caroline Sheppard was later acknowledged by Christie as a possible precursor to her famous detective Miss Marple. The book is set in the fictional village of King's Abbott in England. It is narrated by Dr. James Sheppard, who becomes Poirot's assistant (a role filled by Captain Hastings in several other Poirot novels). The story begins with the death of Mrs. Ferrars, a
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    202
    The Murder on the Links

    The Murder on the Links

    • Year Released: 1923
    The Murder on the Links is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in May 1923 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in of the same year. It features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $1.75. The book is notable for a subplot in which Hastings meets his future wife, Dulcie Duveen, a development "greatly desired on Agatha's part … parcelling off Hastings to wedded bliss in the Argentine." Captain Hastings arrives in the flat that he now shares with Poirot in London, eager to tell the Belgian detective about a woman with whom he has fallen hopelessly in love on the train from Paris to Calais. But Poirot is busy sorting his mail, impatiently tossing aside bills and banal requests "recovering lost lap dogs for fashionable ladies". Then he finds an extraordinary letter from the south of France: "For God's sake, come!" writes Monsieur Paul Renauld. Poirot decides to investigate and he takes Hastings to France and the Villa Genevieve in Merlinville-sur-Mer on the northern French coast where Renauld wrote from. Asking for directions near the Villa
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    203

    The Mysterious Affair at Styles

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    The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in 1916 and was first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head (John Lane's UK company) on 21 January 1921. The U.S. edition retailed at US$2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). Styles was Christie's first published novel, introducing Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp, and Lieutenant Hastings (later, Captain). The story is told in first person by Hastings and features many of the elements that have become icons of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, largely due to Christie's influence. It is set in a large, isolated country manor. There are a half-dozen suspects, most of whom are hiding facts about themselves. The book includes maps of the house, the murder scene, and a drawing of a fragment of a will, as well as a number of red herrings and surprise plot twists. The novel is set in England during World War I at Styles Court, an Essex country manor (also the setting of Curtain, Poirot's last case). Upon her husband's death, the wealthy widow, Emily Cavendish, inherited a life estate in
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    204

    The Mysterious Mr Quin

    • Year Released: 1930
    The Mysterious Mr Quin is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on 14 April 1930 and in the U.S. by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $ 2.00 Each chapter or story involves a separate mystery that is solved through the interaction between the characters of Mr Satterthwaite, a socialite, and the eponymous Mr Quin who appears almost magically at the most opportune moments and disappears just as mysteriously. Satterthwaite is a small, observant man who is able to wrap up each mystery through the careful prodding and apposite questions of Quin, who serves as a catalyst every time the men meet. In Agatha Christie's Autobiography, she claims that Quin and Satterthwaite became two of her favourite characters. The latter character reappeared in the 1935 novel, Three Act Tragedy. Outside of this collection, Quin appeared in two further short stories The Harlequin Tea Set and The Love Detectives which were both included in the 1992 UK collection Problem at Pollensa Bay. In the US, the former story appeared as the title story in
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    205

    The Mystery of the Blue Train

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    The Mystery of the Blue Train is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on March 29, 1928 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features her detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot boards Le Train Bleu, bound for the French Riviera. So does Katherine Grey, who is having her first winter out of England, after having inherited a huge sum. While on board she meets Ruth Kettering, an American heiress bailing out from a marriage to meet her lover. The next morning, though, Ruth is found dead in her compartment, a victim of strangulation. The famous ruby, "Heart of Fire", which had recently been given to Ruth by her father, is discovered to be missing. Ruth's father, the American millionaire Rufus Van Aldin, and his secretary, Major Knighton, convince Poirot to take on the case. Ruth's maid, Ada Mason, says she saw a man in Ruth's compartment but could not see who he was. The police suspect that Ruth's lover, the Comte de la Roche, killed her and stole the rubies, but Poirot does not think he is guilty. He
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    206
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    207
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    208

    The Pale Horse

    • Year Released: 1961
    The Pale Horse is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 6 November 1961 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at fifteen shillings (15/-) and the US edition at $3.75. The novel features her novelist detective Ariadne Oliver as a minor character, and reflects in tone the supernatural novels of Dennis Wheatley who was then at the height of his popularity. The Pale Horse is mentioned in Revelation 6:8, where it is ridden by Death. A dying woman, Mrs Davis, gives her last confession to Father Gorman, a Catholic priest, but along with her confession she gives him a list of names and a terrible secret. Before he can take action, however, he is struck dead in the fog. As the police begin to investigate, a young hero begins to piece together evidence that sets him upon a converging path. In the following summary, events are not given in strict narrative order. Mark Easterbrook, the hero of the book and its principal narrator, sees a fight between two girls in a Chelsea coffee-bar during which one pulls out some of the other's hair at the roots. Soon afterwards he learns that
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    209
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    210
    The Regatta Mystery

    The Regatta Mystery

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    The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1939. The first edition retailed at $2.00. The stories feature, with one exception (In a Glass Darkly), Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Parker Pyne, Christie's famed detectives. The collection was not published in the UK and was the first time a Christie book was published in the US without a comparable publication in the UK; however all of the stories in the collection were published in later UK collections (see UK book appearances of stories below). The Regatta Mystery (the title story) has Mr. Parker Pyne catch a diamond thief during regatta festivities at Dartmouth harbor. The Mystery of the Bagdad Chest concerns how a dead body found its way into the titular chest in the midst of a dance party. Arthur Hastings chronicles Hercule Poirot's unraveling of the mystery. How Does Your Garden Grow? is a line from the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary", which Poirot is reminded of when visiting a country house with a beautifully maintained garden whose mistress has just died — after writing a cryptic letter requesting his
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    211

    The Road of Dreams

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    The Road of Dreams is a book of poetry by crime writer Agatha Christie. It was published at her own expense by Geoffrey Bles in January 1925 priced at five shillings (5/-). Only one edition of the 112-page volume was ever published and this was undated. Christie wrote poetry for most of her life and the first traceable published works by her are three poems in 1919 - World Hymn in The Poetry Review issue for March/April, Dark Sheila in Poetry Today issue for May/June and A Passing in the same journal for November/December. All three poems are reprinted in The Road of Dreams (with the first of these three under the slightly amended title of World Hymn, 1914). The book is divided into four sections: The final section includes a poem entitled In a Dispensary which mentions many of the poisons that Christie would use in her long fictional career. The Times Literary Supplement in its issue of February 26, 1925 praised A Masque from Italy and other selected poems whilst stating that "her talent, however, is too delicate to turn a ballad convincingly" and World Hymn, 1914 was a "subject too large for her hand to grasp". It did conclude however by stating that in poems such as Beatrice
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    212

    The Rose and the Yew Tree

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    The Rose and the Yew Tree is a tragedy novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Heinemann Ltd in November 1948 and in the US by Farrar & Rinehart later in the same year. It is the fourth of six novels Christie published under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott. The title of the novel is taken from Section V of Little Gidding from T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets. The full line, as quoted in the epigraph to the novel, is: Hugh Norreys, a self-described “cripple” watches John Gabriel run for parliament from his couch in the small Cornish town of St. Loo. Hugh’s invalid status seems to encourage his visitors to reveal their secrets and emotions. Hugh is mystified by Gabriel, an ugly little man who, nevertheless, is attractive to women. He is also intrigued by Isabella, a beautiful young woman from the castle down the road. So, Hugh and most of St. Loo are shocked when, shortly after Gabriel wins the election, he and Isabella run away together and Gabriel resigns as a member of parliament. The novel explores love, caring for others, and a gothic tragedy of one woman and the men who love her. The Times Literary Supplement's review of 6 November 1948, by Sir
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    213

    The Scoop and Behind the Screen

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    The Scoop & Behind The Screen are both collaborative detective serials written by members of the Detection Club which were broadcast weekly by their authors on the BBC National Programme in 1930 and 1931 with the scripts then being published in The Listener within a week after broadcast. The two serials were first published in book form in the UK by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1983 and in the US by Harper & Row in 1984. The UK edition retailed at £6.95. Julian Symons, then President of the club [1983], explains in his introduction: "...The present volume... was written to provide funds so that club premises might be acquired. Other books with the same purpose, also the product of several hands, were The Floating Admiral (1931), ... Ask A Policeman (1933), ... and ... Verdict of Thirteen. ..." The episodes, contributors, transmission and magazine publication details of this serial are as follows (all episodes were transmitted from 9.25pm to 9.40pm): In The Listener (and subsequently in the book version), four of the episodes were untitled, the exceptions being the fourth and sixth, which were given the titles In the Aspidistra and Mr Parsons on the Case respectively. As announced in The
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    214

    The Secret Adversary

    • Year Released: 1922
    The Secret Adversary is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head in January 1922 and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company later in that same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $1.75. The book introduces the characters of Tommy and Tuppence who feature in three other Christie books and one collection of short stories written throughout her writing career. Set in 1919 London and various other outlying locales throughout Britain, young couple Tommy Beresford and Prudence "Tuppence" Cowley, out of work and money, form the "The Young Adventurers, Ltd." planning to hiring themselves out as "adventurers … [w]illing to do anything, go anywhere … [n]o unreasonable offer refused." Being overheard by Mr. Whittington, Tuppence is offered a comfortable position, only to be rejected after she gives her name as "Jane Finn", a name Tommy overheard when he and Tuppence earlier entered Lyons for tea and a bite and were walking to their table ("funny scraps one does overhear"). Lyons was the same restaurant at which Whittington overheard Tommy and Tuppence's plan for
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    215

    The Secret of Chimneys

    • Year Released: 1925
    The Secret of Chimneys is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in June 1925 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It introduces the characters of, among others, Superintendent Battle and Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. Christie later used the "Chimneys" mansion, along with the characters Bill Eversleigh, Bundle, George Lomax, Tredwell and Lord Caterham from this book in the 1929 novel The Seven Dials Mystery. Seven years previously, the Balkan state of Herzoslovakia had one of its periodic revolutions that resulted in the death and bodily mutilation of its monarch, King Nicholas IV and his wife Queen Varaga. The latter formerly was Angèle Mory, a dancer at the Folies Bergère, who had been bribed by the Herzoslovakian revolutionary organisation "Comrades of the Red Hand" to lure the King into a trap when he visited Paris, but instead double-crossed them, seduced and married Nicholas, and was introduced in Herzoslovakia as a Countess and descendant of the Romanoffs. When realizing the deception, the populace
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    216

    The Seven Dials Mystery

    • Year Released: 1929
    The Seven Dials Mystery is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on January 24, 1929 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. In it, Christie brings back the characters from an earlier novel, The Secret of Chimneys: Lady Eileen (Bundle) Brent, Lord Caterham, Bill Eversleigh, George Lomax, Tredwell and Superintendent Battle. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. A house party is taking place at Chimneys which has been rented out by the Marquess of Caterham for two years to Sir Oswald Coote, a self-made millionaire and his wife. As well as the couple, there is a party of young people staying there, three girls and four young men. One of them, Gerald "Gerry" Wade, has a deserved reputation for sleeping in very late in the morning, much to the annoyance of Lady Coote. The six youngsters plan a joke on Gerald by buying eight alarm clocks and putting them in his room that night after he has fallen asleep but timed to go off at irregular intervals the next morning, starting at 6.30 am. The next morning, all the clocks having rung at the prescribed
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    217
    The Sittaford Mystery

    The Sittaford Mystery

    • Year Released:
    The Sittaford Mystery is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1931 under the title of The Murder at Hazelmoor and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on 7 September of the same year under Christie's original title. It is the first Christie novel to be given a different title for the US market. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). Sittaford is a tiny village on the fringe of Dartmoor. Mrs Willett and her daughter Violet are the newly installed tenants of Sittaford House, a residence owned by a Trevelyan, a retired Army captain. They invite four people to tea on Friday afternoon: Captain Trevelyan's long-standing friend, Major Burnaby, Mr Rycroft, Mr Ronnie Garfield and Mr Duke. At the suggestion of Mr Garfield, the six of them decide to play a game of table-turning. During this séance, at 5.25 pm, a spirit announces that Captain Trevelyan has just been murdered. Concerned for the Captain's safety, Major Burnaby says that he intends to walk to Exhampton, a village six miles away, to see if Captain Trevelyan is alright. After four days of snow, there is already a
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    The Thirteen Problems

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    The Thirteen Problems is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in June 1932 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1933 under the title The Tuesday Club Murders. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The thirteen stories feature her detective Miss Marple and feature the earliest stories she wrote about the detective. As in some of her other short story collections (e.g. Partners in Crime), Christie employs an over-arching narrative, making the book more like an episodic novel. There are three sets of narrative, though they themselves interrelate. The first set of six are stories told by the Tuesday Night Club, a random gathering of people at the house of Miss Marple. Each week the group tell thrilling tales of mystery, which are always solved by Miss Marple, from the comfort of her armchair. One of the guests is Sir Henry Clithering, an ex-commissioner of Scotland Yard, and this allows Christie to resolve the story, with him usually pointing out that the criminals were caught. The next set of six occur as part of a dinner party Miss Marple is invited to at the
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    The Under Dog and Other Stories

    The Under Dog and Other Stories

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    The Under Dog and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1951. The first edition retailed at $2.50. It contains works from the early days of Christie's career, all featuring Hercule Poirot. All the stories were published in British and American magazines between 1923 and 1926. The title story appeared in book form in England for the first time in the 1960 collection, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. The other stories were to appear again in 1974 in the British and American collections, Poirot's Early Cases. With the exception of The Under Dog, all of the stories were first published in the UK in The Sketch magazine (see Poirot's Early Cases for details). All the remaining stories in the collection were first published in the US in the monthly Blue Book Magazine with uncredited illustrations as follows:
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    The Unexpected Guest

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    The Unexpected Guest is a 1958 play by crime writer Agatha Christie. The play opened in the West End at the Duchess Theatre on 12 August 1958 after a previous try-out at the Bristol Hippodrome. It was directed by Hubert Gregg. On a foggy night, Michael Starkwedder enters the home of the Warwicks through a window in the study. He finds the dead body of Richard Warwick, and finds Warwick's wife, Laura, holding a gun that supposedly killed him. Despite the murder being obvious, and overwhelming evidence pointing towards it, Starkwedder does not believe she killed him, and she soon tells him she's innocent. The two decide to place the blame on an enemy from the past, MacGregor, a man whose son was run over by Richard while he was drunk. As the story progresses, the two fake the fact that they were just finding out about the murder, and others in the house were introduced. It is revealed Laura was having an affair due to Richard's cruel nature, and was vouching for the man she was cheating with when she claimed to have killed Richard. But there are other suspects as well - Warwick's mother, his simple half-brother, the sinister Angell or the apparently goody-goody Miss Bennett. The real
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    The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories

    The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories

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    The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1948. The first edition retailed at $2.50. The story The Second Gong features Hercule Poirot, the only character in the stories who appears in any other of Christie's works. Each story, has also appeared in either of the UK collections The Hound of Death, The Listerdale Mystery or Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories and therefore this collection was not published in the UK. Some of the stories are fantasy fiction rather than mysteries. The first US magazine publication of all the stories has not been fully documented. A partial listing is as follows: In addition, the following were published unillustrated in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine: For first publications in the UK, see the applicable UK collections referenced above.
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    They Came to Baghdad

    • Year Released: 1951
    They Came to Baghdad is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on March 5, 1951 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6) and the US edition at $2.50. The book was inspired by Christie's own trips to Baghdad with her second husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan, and is also one of few Christie novels belonging to the action and spy drama genres, rather than to mysteries and whodunnits. A secret summit of superpowers is to be held in Baghdad, but it is no longer secret, and a shadowy fascist group is plotting to sabotage the event. Things get complicated when enthusiastic young tourist Victoria Jones discovers a dying secret British agent Henry "Fakir" Carmichael in her hotel room, his last words - "Lucifer...Basrah...Lefarge" - propel her into investigation. "Lucifer" refers to the mastermind, Victoria's false lover Edward, who is behind the plot. "Basrah" refers to the city where certain documents were handed to certain people. "Lefarge" turns out to actually be "Defarge" and is a reference to a Charles Dickens character; it is a clue to
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    They Do It with Mirrors

    They Do It with Mirrors

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    They Do It With Mirrors is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1952 under the title of Murder with Mirrors and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 17 in the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6). The book features her detective Miss Marple. As the story opens, Jane Marple is paying a visit to her old friend Ruth Van Rydock. Miss Marple, Ruth, and Ruth's sister Carrie Louise were all friends together at the same school in Italy when they were girls. Ruth is worried that something is very wrong at Stonygates, the Victorian mansion where Carrie Louise lives with her husband Lewis Serrocold. She can't explain any real reason for these worries, but she fears that Carrie Louise may be in danger of some kind. Ruth asks Miss Marple to visit her and find out what is going on. Carrie Louise is delighted to have Jane Marple for a visit at Stonygates. The old Victorian mansion, though owned outright by Carrie Louise, has been converted into a home for delinquent boys which is run by Carrie Louise's husband, Lewis Serrocold.
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    Third Girl

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    Third Girl is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1966 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at eighteen shillings (18/-) and the US edition at $4.50. It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the recurring character Ariadne Oliver. The novel is notable for being the first in many years in which Poirot is more or less present from beginning to end. It is also notable in that there is no clear crime to be investigated until comparatively late in the novel. When a young woman visits Hercule Poirot to seek his help regarding a murder that she believes herself to have committed, she is appalled by his age and leaves with her story untold. Poirot is keen to track her down … but who is she, and what, if anything, has she done? Poirot's acquaintance, the mystery writer Ariadne Oliver, provides him with a number of key clues in the novel, beginning with the identity of the girl, Norma Restarick, whom she had met at a party. Mrs. Oliver and Poirot begin to investigate Norma, but soon find that she has apparently gone missing. Mrs. Oliver meets the girls
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    Three Act Tragedy

    Three Act Tragedy

    • Year Released: 1934
    Three Act Tragedy is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1934 under the title Murder in Three Acts and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in January 1935 under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The book features Hercule Poirot, supported by his friend Satterthwaite, and is the one book in which Satterthwaite collaborates with Poirot. He previously appeared in the stories featuring Harley Quin, in particular those collected in The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930). When a clergyman dies at a dinner party thrown by stage actor Sir Charles Cartwright, it is thought by nearly everyone (Poirot included) to be an accidental death. Shortly afterwards, however, a second death in suspiciously similar circumstances and with many of the same people present puts both Poirot and a team of sleuths on the trail of a poisoner whose motive is not clear. The solution to this mystery is one of Christie's classic pieces of misdirection and relies on a plot device which has been widely imitated. Poirot reveals that the first murder - in which the
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    Three Blind Mice and Other Stories

    Three Blind Mice and Other Stories

    • Year Released: 1950
    Three Blind Mice and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1950. The first edition retailed at $2.50. The later collections The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960), Poirot's Early Cases (1974), Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories (1979), and Problem at Pollensa Bay (1992) reprint between them all the stories in this collection except the title story Three Blind Mice - which is an alternate version of the play The Mousetrap and which is the only Christie short story not to have been published in the UK. For first publications in the UK, see the applicable UK collections referenced above.
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    Towards Zero

    • Year Released: 1944
    Towards Zero is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the U.S. by Dodd, Mead and Company in June 1944 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in July of the same year The book is the last to feature her recurring character of Superintendent Battle. Lady Tressilian, an old and humourless woman confined to her bed, invites several guests into her seaside home of Gull's Point for two weeks at the end of the summer. Tennis star Nevile Strange, former ward of Lady Tressilian's deceased husband, incurs her displeasure by bringing his new wife, Kay, and his ex, Audrey, under her roof together, thus causing awkward romantic misunderstandings. But events soon turn when Lady Tressilian is killed and Superintendent Battle, who is vacationing nearby in the home of his nephew, Inspector James Leach, finds himself in a labyrinthine maze of clues and deception. The novel was first serialised in Collier's Weekly in three installments from 6 May (Volume 113, Number 19) to 20 May 1944 (Volume 113, Number 21) under the title Come and Be Hanged! with illustrations by Charles La Salle. The first U.S. edition of the novel retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven
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    Unfinished Portrait

    • Year Released: 1934
    Unfinished Portrait is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons in March 1934 and in the US by Doubleday later in the same year. The British edition retailed for seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. It is the second of six novels Christie wrote under the pen name Mary Westmacott. In the midst of divorce, bereft of the only people in her life she cares for, Celia considers taking her life. But, while on an exotic island, Celia meets a successful portrait painter Larraby, who spends a night talking with her, and learning her deepest fears, leaving Celia with the hope that he may be the one to help her come to terms with her past. The Times Literary Supplement review of April 12, 1934 outlined the plot and stated that, "The artist who re-tells Celia's story ends several sentences in every paragraph with dots, a mannerism that irritates; but we must forgive him, since, in the final chapter, he heals Celia's soul in one unpredictable instant." The New York Times Book Review of December 9, 1934 said of the plot construction of Celia telling Larraby her life history that, "This literary
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    Verdict

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    Verdict is a 1958 play by British mystery writer Agatha Christie. It is unusual for Agatha Christie plays in more than one way: for example, it is an original play, not based on a story or novel; and though there is a murder in the story, it is a melodrama more than a typical 'whodunnit' mystery as the murder takes place on stage. It was first produced by Peter Saunders and directed by Charles Hickman, with decor by Joan Jefferson Farjeon. The play premiered at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton on 25 February 1958, before moving to the Strand Theatre, London on May 22, 1958. It ran for 250 performances. In 1987 the play ran in the Arena Players Main Stage Theater in East Farmingdale, New York, and in May 2009 it premiered with an international cast in Luxembourg's Abbaye de Neumunster. The play tells the story of Karl Hendryk, a brilliant professor who, with his wife and her cousin, have fled persecution in their country. It is not explicitly mentioned that they are Germans persecuted by Nazis — and Agatha Christie has probably deliberately given the characters names that are not evidently traceable to any national origin. The professor is contentedly ensconced in a British
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    While the Light Lasts and Other Stories

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    While the Light Lasts and Other Stories is a short story collection by Agatha Christie first published in the UK on August 4 1997 by HarperCollins. It contains nine short stories. In addition to detailed notes by the renowned Christie scholar Tony Medawar, the collection comprises the following stories Details of the first UK publication of the stories published in While the Light Lasts are as follows: Manx Gold was one of the most unusual commissions undertaken by Christie in her career. As described in detail in an editorial note, the idea of a treasure hunting story was prompted by a wish on the part of Manx politicians to promote tourism to the Isle of Man. Christie wrote a short story which was serialised in the Daily Dispatch in five instalments on May 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28, 1930. The story gave the clues to the location of four snuffboxes hidden on the island, each of which contained a voucher for £100 - a considerable sum in 1930. Island residents were barred from taking part. To further promote the hunt, the story was then published in a promotional booklet entitled June in Douglas which was distributed at guesthouses and other tourist spots. Although a quarter of a
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    Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

    • Year Released: 1934
    Why Didn't They Ask Evans? is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club in September 1934 and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1935 under the title of The Boomerang Clue. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. Bobby Jones, the son of the vicar of the Welsh seaside town of Marchbolt, is playing a game of golf with a friend. He chips the ball over a cliff edge and when he goes to look for the ball he sees a man lying unconscious below. Bobby's companion goes for help while Bobby stays with the badly injured man. The man soon dies, but not before briefly regaining consciousness and saying “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” This, and a photograph of a beautiful woman Bobby finds in the man's coat pocket, are the only clues to his identity. While Bobby is waiting with the body another man finds him there. He introduces himself as Roger Bassington-ffrench and offers to stay with the body so Bobby will not be late to play the organ at his father's church. The dead man is identified as Alex Pritchard by his sister, Amelia Cayman. She is said to be the woman
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    Witness for the Prosecution

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    Witness for the Prosecution is a play adapted by Agatha Christie based upon her short story titled "The Witness for the Prosecution". The play opened in London on 28 October 1953 at the Winter Garden Theatre (although the first performance had actually been in Nottingham on 28 September). It was produced by Peter Saunders. The Times of 29 October 1953 was enthusiastic in its praise stating, "The author has two ends in view, and she attains them both. She takes us now into the Old Bailey during an exciting trial for murder, now into chambers where the human reactions of the lawyers engaged in the case may be studied; and when the trial is over and there seems no more to be said, she swiftly ravels again the skein which the law has confidently unravelled and leaves herself with a denouement which is at once surprising and credible." The reviewer outlined the basics of the plot, commenting that Patricia Jessel's performance in the dock was "cold-blooded" and that she "makes a clear-cut image of hatred releasing itself suddenly from inhibitions which have become intolerable" and that Derek Blomfield was "equally good". The greatest praise was reserved for the climax; "Mrs Christie has
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