Cart

The A.B.C. Murders PDF, ePub eBook


Hot Best Seller
Title: The A.B.C. Murders
Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: Published September 1st 2006 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (first published January 6th 1936)
ISBN: 9781579126247
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

16322.The_A_B_C_Murders.pdf

In order to read or download eBook, you need to create FREE account.
eBook available in PDF, ePub, MOBI and Kindle versions


reward
How to download?
FREE registration for 1 month TRIAL Account.
DOWNLOAD as many books as you like (Personal use).
CANCEL the membership at ANY TIME if not satisfied.
Join Over 150.000 Happy Readers.


When Alice Ascher is murdered in Andover, Hercule Poirot is already on to the clues. Alphabetically speaking, it's one down, twenty-five to go. There's a serial killer on the loose. His macabre calling card is to leave the ABC Railway guide beside each victim's body. But if A is for Alice Asher, bludgeoned to death in Andover; and B is for Betty Bernard, strangled with her When Alice Ascher is murdered in Andover, Hercule Poirot is already on to the clues. Alphabetically speaking, it's one down, twenty-five to go. There's a serial killer on the loose. His macabre calling card is to leave the ABC Railway guide beside each victim's body. But if A is for Alice Asher, bludgeoned to death in Andover; and B is for Betty Bernard, strangled with her belt on the beach at Bexhill; then who will Victim C be?

30 review for The A.B.C. Murders

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    Back when I had an Audible subscription I acquired 2 literature courses and one of them is called The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction. It is a history of the genre and its many ramifications. There are quite a few books mentioned and I am planning to read most of them as they appear in the lectures. Since Agatha Christie is one of the most important personalities in the history of Crime fiction (among Poe, Doyle, Hammett and Chandler) her works are extensively present in these lect Back when I had an Audible subscription I acquired 2 literature courses and one of them is called The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction. It is a history of the genre and its many ramifications. There are quite a few books mentioned and I am planning to read most of them as they appear in the lectures. Since Agatha Christie is one of the most important personalities in the history of Crime fiction (among Poe, Doyle, Hammett and Chandler) her works are extensively present in these lectures. The first novel I encountered by her is the ABC murders and this is why I decided to read it as my 2nd Christie. I doubt anyone contests her talent to write amazing, clever, twisting crime novels. Time passed well over the pages of her works and I feel that they will continue to be enjoyed many years from now. She managed to surprise me this time as well and I enjoyed the reveal at the end although I had intuited who the murderer was. This time, Hercule Poirot faces a direct challenge from a serial killer. He is sent letters from the perpetrator announcing in advance where the murders will take place. As the title suggest, the killer chooses his/her victims and crime location in alphabetic order. I enjoyed reading this little book and my only regret was that I had no time to absorb it in one go and had to settle for a few pages/day. My next Christie will probably be The murder of Roger Akcroyd.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Agatha Christie is such a crafty devil that midway through a novel she might have you believing that YOU are the murderer! Indeed, The ABC Murders uses slight-of-hand most deftly. Again, I was thrown off the scent of the real killer and was ready to blame others. I feel a bit foolish when she dangles bait in front of me, and although I guess it for what it is, I take it anyway. And yet, if ever it felt good to be played the fool, it's while reading a cracking good mystery. Ah, but never fear, Her Agatha Christie is such a crafty devil that midway through a novel she might have you believing that YOU are the murderer! Indeed, The ABC Murders uses slight-of-hand most deftly. Again, I was thrown off the scent of the real killer and was ready to blame others. I feel a bit foolish when she dangles bait in front of me, and although I guess it for what it is, I take it anyway. And yet, if ever it felt good to be played the fool, it's while reading a cracking good mystery. Ah, but never fear, Hercule Poirot is here! Christie may make him out to be the retired old sleuth past his prime, but she's used that line on us before and we know the little man with the peculiar accent and fantastic mustaches won't let us down! In this story, he is put on his guard by the personal nature of the murderer's actions. He is not quite as flippant as he can be, in fact, he seems downright disconcerted at times. It makes for a nice change in the character. After sampling a few shorter Poirot stories, it felt liberating to read something that stretched and breathed a bit more. While the shorts feel like wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, this makes you feel like you've been wined and dined. Christie even gets all psychological on this one! Not only in how she delves into the minds of the suspects, but the 1st person/3rd person narration switches made The ABC Murders seem that much more cerebral! Seriously, she may not go down as the most clever author of all time, but I like that she tried these sorts of techniques. Rating: A 4 star book that gets an extra star for captivating me almost from start to finish!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The A.B.C. Murders, Agatha Christie The A.B.C. Murders is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, featuring her characters Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp, as they contend with a series of killings by a mysterious murderer known only as "A.B.C.". The book was first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 6 January 1936. The form of the novel is unusual, combining first-person narrative and third-person narrative. This approach was famously The A.B.C. Murders, Agatha Christie The A.B.C. Murders is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, featuring her characters Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp, as they contend with a series of killings by a mysterious murderer known only as "A.B.C.". The book was first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 6 January 1936. The form of the novel is unusual, combining first-person narrative and third-person narrative. This approach was famously pioneered by Charles Dickens in Bleak House, and was tried by Agatha Christie in 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 of the story, Arthur Hastings. This approach shows Christie's commitment to experimenting with point of view, exemplified by The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه اکتبر سال 2014 میلادی عنوان: قتلهای الفبایی؛ نویسنده: آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: محمدعلی ایزدی؛ تهران، هرمس، کارآگاه، 1392، در 278 ص؛ در این داستان: هرکول پوآرو، آرتور هستینگز، و سربازرس جپ، هستند. سبک نگارش داستان: اول شخص و در مواقعی سوم شخص است. این روش را نخستین بار، چارلز دیکنز نویسنده ی مشهور انگلیسی، در کتاب «خانه ی غمزده»، به کار گرفته بودند و بانو آگاتا کریستی نیز، این روش را در «مردی با لباس قهوه‌ ای» آزمودند. دیوید سوشی، هنرپیشه ی معروف نقش «هرکول پوآرو»، قتلهای الفبایی را، یکی از بهترین رمانهای بانو کریستی میدانند. اما چکیده ی داستان: قاتلی سریالی، سه نفر را در سه شهر به قتل میرساند: آلیس اشر، در شهر آندور، همپشایر، بتی برنارد از شهربکسیل-ان-هیل، و سومین نفر «سر کارمیل کلارک» از شهر چرچستون. این قاتل پیش از هر قتل، به پوآرو نامه می‌نویسد. و ... فردی هم که گمان می‌رود روانی است، دستگیر می‌شود، ولی پوآرو باور دارد، که وی قاتل نبوده، و در پایان قاتل را دستگیر می‌کند. ا. شربیانی

  4. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I try to get my math students to read mysteries, because the logical skills of finding a pattern and using inductive and deductive reasoning are often skillfully laid out. If you've read this book, you know why its one that I use to illustrate that point in my class. Sadly, the point is underappreciated by my high school students.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    The book starts off with a methodical, serial killer sending Hercule Poirot a letter of a future murder! Did a person just die and how do they find the victim? Enter the mind of the great Agatha Christie. I loved that Agatha Christie went in a completely new direction with this plot. She usually does a singular murder, not a manhunt on stopping a serial killer. The last part of the book made this a 4-star book for me! It was lagging in the middle for me. I didn’t think the serial killer was who we w The book starts off with a methodical, serial killer sending Hercule Poirot a letter of a future murder! Did a person just die and how do they find the victim? Enter the mind of the great Agatha Christie. I loved that Agatha Christie went in a completely new direction with this plot. She usually does a singular murder, not a manhunt on stopping a serial killer. The last part of the book made this a 4-star book for me! It was lagging in the middle for me. I didn’t think the serial killer was who we were expecting it to be and I’m glad I stuck it out. The mystery of the killer was not so obvious. I had a feeling that AC would try to fool me because of the past books that I've read! She's clever like that. I had my suspicions of who it was at about 85% in the book and when Poirot started stating all the facts at the end, I did a fist bump! I love how AC can take a murder mystery and put all the facts and assumptions together seamlessly. Her brain is brilliant and she's the GOAT of mysteries. Hahaha!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vikas Singh

    One of the most engrossing Poirot stories. It has a great beginning and as the plot progresses you stay glued trying to make a sense of it all. Tantalizingly, clues are scattered loosely to off track you. And then finally with a flourish Poirot reveals the murderer you are left gaping at the cleverness of author in steering such a plot. I loved Poirot's quote at the end ' … but for myself I consider your crime not an English crime at all- not above board- not sporting'

  7. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    My review of the actual story is over here: Murder-Go-Round: Thirteen at Dinner, The A.B.C. Murders, Funerals are Fatal SO DON'T ANYONE SNARK AT ME ABOUT THIS POST. I'LL DELETE YOUR POST IMMEDIATELY. There's yet another unnecessary, unwanted remake of this book into a 3-part miniseries being made; John Malkovich will appear as Poirot, which is as ludicrous as that Brannagh dude and his mustachios appearing in the unnecessary, unwanted remake of Murder on the Orient Express that carbuncled itself o My review of the actual story is over here: Murder-Go-Round: Thirteen at Dinner, The A.B.C. Murders, Funerals are Fatal SO DON'T ANYONE SNARK AT ME ABOUT THIS POST. I'LL DELETE YOUR POST IMMEDIATELY. There's yet another unnecessary, unwanted remake of this book into a 3-part miniseries being made; John Malkovich will appear as Poirot, which is as ludicrous as that Brannagh dude and his mustachios appearing in the unnecessary, unwanted remake of Murder on the Orient Express that carbuncled itself onto screens last year. Rupert Grint, of Harry Potter fame, will also appear. Amazon Prime will stream in the US, though I'm not sure about international markets. End of this year. Why they can't leave it with David Suchet, who filmed all the Poirot stories in 25 years as the little Belgian, I cannot fathom. He **was** Poirot. *annoyed sigh*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shobhit Sharad

    Agatha Christie is a WITCH! I don't know how but she manages to confound me EVERY TIME I read one of her books. Specially, with this one. You're going with the story, reading with a flow, building up to the climax, and then suddenly whatever you were thinking is snatched away from you, and you begin to look at the things in a way that you never thought of until now. And to do her justice, not only was this story (and any of her others) thrilling, but it had an element of reality better than most Agatha Christie is a WITCH! I don't know how but she manages to confound me EVERY TIME I read one of her books. Specially, with this one. You're going with the story, reading with a flow, building up to the climax, and then suddenly whatever you were thinking is snatched away from you, and you begin to look at the things in a way that you never thought of until now. And to do her justice, not only was this story (and any of her others) thrilling, but it had an element of reality better than most of her counterparts (no comparisons). And here's an example, in the words of Poirot- "And it is very true—when a young girl is dead, that is the kind of thing that is said. She was bright. She was happy. She was sweet-tempered. She had not a care in the world. She had no undesirable acquaintances. There is a great charity always to the dead. Do you know what I should like this minute? I should like to find someone who knew Elizabeth Barnard and who does not know she is dead! Then, perhaps, I should hear what is useful to me—the truth.” (Skip this paragraph to avoid spoilers.) At one point of time in the book, I felt I was going to be disappointed, because up to the last the crimes were attributed to mental illness, and what fun is in that? I had my doubts deep within, but they were too deep to have any effect on what I was reading. But when we came to the typical Christie climax scene, a room full of people, and Poirot giving his dramatic explanation, that is when the cloud from in front of my eyes cleared and I praised one of the best writers of detective stories ever!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aditi

    “Our weapon is our knowledge. But remember, it may be a knowledge we may not know that we possess.” ----Agatha Christie Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery, has spun and extremely intriguing crime fiction and the thirteenth tale from her Hercule Poirot series called, The A.B.C. Murders that revolves around the anonymous letters stating as well as challenging Poirot that a murder will take place in the alphabetical order in a random town, and that intrigues the clever Poirot to come out of his “Our weapon is our knowledge. But remember, it may be a knowledge we may not know that we possess.” ----Agatha Christie Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery, has spun and extremely intriguing crime fiction and the thirteenth tale from her Hercule Poirot series called, The A.B.C. Murders that revolves around the anonymous letters stating as well as challenging Poirot that a murder will take place in the alphabetical order in a random town, and that intrigues the clever Poirot to come out of his early retirement to catch the mad serial killer striking random people in the alphabetical manner. Synopsis: There's a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim's corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught - until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans. Poirot is tempted by the anonymous letter addressed to him stating about a murder that is going to take place is a particular town on a particular date and signed as ABC. And within no time, the letter's each word comes true as the murder of an old lady takes place on the letter's said date and place, and it seems the killer has left an ABC railway guide book beside the dead body. And pretty soon one after another murder takes place that Poirot could not stop those from happening. So four murders later, Poirot finally manages to lure the serial killer onto his trap. Although this time, Poirot uses his gray matters and logic more than the clues to come to a conclusion about this baffling serial killing case. One of my absolute favorite Agatha Christie books that, no matter, how many times I read it, always leave me awestruck with the intensity of the thrill and with Poirot's unmatched wits that comes out strikingly only in few of the books from the Hercule Poirot series. Although the book opens bit slow, still somewhere in the middle of the story, the complexity of the plot will drown its readers and leave them anticipating till the very last page. The writing style is eloquent and is laced with so many layers that makes this plot challenging and interesting that will keep the readers glued to the pages of this book. The narrative is equally engaging with that light French flair mixed heavily with the English undertone thereby making the story line real and enthralling for the readers. The pacing is quite fast as the author unravels her plot through so many twists and turns that will leave the readers guessing till the very end. The mystery part is extremely well concocted by the author, in fact, I've never ever came across such a mystery book where the plot is so thick and keeps getting thicker until it deludes the readers into its unknown depth and finally in the climax, the plot gradually begins to unravel through the author's smart and clever perspective that is highly absorbing and justifiable. The mystery is one hell of a roller coaster ride filled with some highly anticipating scenes, adrenaline rushing moments and some challenging events. The characters are, no doubt, very much well crafted through their flaws, psychological challenges, and their thorough mindset, so while reading, it will feel like taking a trip inside the head of the secondary characters apart from Poirot and his friend, Hastings. The author depicts her characters with a clear insight into the minds of those characters, thereby making her readers contemplate with the characters' demeanor easily. Poirot's charm, his French exclamations and his wit simply steals the show. Oui! In a nutshell, this book is one of the few showstopper crime fiction books that is not only riveting but also enlightening enough for the readers to look beyond the characters demeanor and the fictional plot's development and right into the mind of such an excellent and flawless writer of all times. Verdict: Poirot and Christie at their best!

  10. 4 out of 5

    zahra haji

    ..هذه الرواية مختلفة بكل تفاصيلها من طريقة القتل لصعوبة معرفة القاتل للنهاية الصادمة وستنضم لتلك الجرائم التي لن انساها مهما مرت الأعوام ( جريمة في قطار الشرق ( ثم لم يبقى أحد ..مقتل روجر أكرويد تدور الرواية حول القاتل "اي بي سي" والذي يختار ضحاياه تبعا لتسلسل أحرف الأبجدية "وعلى غرار القاتل الشهير " جاك السفاح " الذي روع مدينة لندن ,يرسل "اي بي سي قبل تنفيذ جريمته رسالة فيها مكان وتاريخ وقوع الجريمة للمحق الشهير بوارو الرسائل المستفزة والمحيرة لبوارو تكون السبب بإيقاد خلاياه الرمادية أكثر وأكثر و ..هذه الرواية مختلفة بكل تفاصيلها من طريقة القتل لصعوبة معرفة القاتل للنهاية الصادمة وستنضم لتلك الجرائم التي لن انساها مهما مرت الأعوام ( جريمة في قطار الشرق ( ثم لم يبقى أحد ..مقتل روجر أكرويد تدور الرواية حول القاتل "اي بي سي" والذي يختار ضحاياه تبعا لتسلسل أحرف الأبجدية "وعلى غرار القاتل الشهير " جاك السفاح " الذي روع مدينة لندن ,يرسل "اي بي سي قبل تنفيذ جريمته رسالة فيها مكان وتاريخ وقوع الجريمة للمحق الشهير بوارو الرسائل المستفزة والمحيرة لبوارو تكون السبب بإيقاد خلاياه الرمادية أكثر وأكثر وإن كان جاك السفاح بقي مجهولا حتى يومنا هذا ,فمع العبقري بوارو لا وجود لقاتل يبقى طليقا دون أن ينال العقاب

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Was the killer working his way through the alphabet? That’s what M. Hercule Poirot wanted to know. And his offsider Captain Hastings was of the same mind. Andover and the elderly Mrs Ascher; Bexhill and a young Miss Betty Barnard and Churston and a gentleman by the name of Sir Carmichael Clarke had all met untimely deaths at the hands of a maniac who would leave the ABC Railway guide near to or on the body, showing each destination as proof he was once again bettering the police, but especially M Was the killer working his way through the alphabet? That’s what M. Hercule Poirot wanted to know. And his offsider Captain Hastings was of the same mind. Andover and the elderly Mrs Ascher; Bexhill and a young Miss Betty Barnard and Churston and a gentleman by the name of Sir Carmichael Clarke had all met untimely deaths at the hands of a maniac who would leave the ABC Railway guide near to or on the body, showing each destination as proof he was once again bettering the police, but especially M. Poirot. With Scotland Yard involved, plus Poirot and Hastings – surely they would get to the bottom of the dastardly murders before “D” arrived. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie is #13 in the Hercule Poirot series and another excellent crime novel. I always enjoy M. Poirot’s deductions; the way his little grey cells get a work-out. Highly entertaining, and once again, highly recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jay Schutt

    What genius Agatha Christie is! To lead us all around, this way and that, just to tie a murder mystery up in a neat little bow. Excellent!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    These alphabetical serial murders are a bit different from the usual Christie crimes -- or ARE they? For once I solved the murder before the end. My little gray cells must be working harder...or I've simply read enough of these stories to be a better guesser.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    One of the best HP cases.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy | shoutame

    Agatha Christie is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and definitely a go-to author for when I fancy a quick pick-me-up! This novel is the 13th book in the Hercule Poirot series, I am reading them out of order as I'm just grabbing them from my library's e-book collection when they become available - although I don't think it matters too much if you read them slightly out of order! - This novel follows Poirot as he endeavours to solve a series of mysterious murders. After receiving an ano Agatha Christie is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and definitely a go-to author for when I fancy a quick pick-me-up! This novel is the 13th book in the Hercule Poirot series, I am reading them out of order as I'm just grabbing them from my library's e-book collection when they become available - although I don't think it matters too much if you read them slightly out of order! - This novel follows Poirot as he endeavours to solve a series of mysterious murders. After receiving an anonymous later hinting that death may be coming Poirot is left a little befuddled. Soon after it is reported that a woman has been murdered and left beside her body was an ABC Railway Guide. This leads to a series of murders all following a similar pattern - the murderer is going through the alphabet, murdering people with names beginning with the specified letter, working his way from A-Z. Not only does the name of the person play a part but also the place that they live in - as the news becomes more publicized everyone is trying to guess where the next murder will take place and which unfortunate person will be chosen. Poirot and his trusty friend Hastings get on the case...how far into the alphabet will the murderer get? - As always with Christie novels I got such a feeling of nostalgia whilst reading - it's such a bizarre sense of happiness I just love it! Poirot was on top form and did his usual slow release of information - I still didn't manage to work out who the murderer was! - I really enjoyed the fact that there was more than one murder - it seemed to give the novel a lot more excitement and more places where the murderer could be caught out! In saying that though it did mean there were a lot of characters involved so some of them we didn't get know as well as in some of the other Poirot stories I've read. - I would highly recommend to any lover of Christie or to anyone looking for a good brain-teaser! - 4 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to read my next one!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Poonam

    3.5 stars Even though this book belongs to the Poirot series it is very different to the other Poirot books. Most of the books in this series belong to the cozy mystery genre and the only other time I have read Christie attempt something different in the Poirot series was in The Big Four. That was not something I enjoyed but relieved to say I actually enjoyed this attempt. In this the murderer sends letters to Poirot himself issuing a challenge. Reminded me of the infamous Zodiac Killer. The whole 3.5 stars Even though this book belongs to the Poirot series it is very different to the other Poirot books. Most of the books in this series belong to the cozy mystery genre and the only other time I have read Christie attempt something different in the Poirot series was in The Big Four. That was not something I enjoyed but relieved to say I actually enjoyed this attempt. In this the murderer sends letters to Poirot himself issuing a challenge. Reminded me of the infamous Zodiac Killer. The whole city is in uproar over the string of murders and there is an added pressure to nab the culprit in time before another murder is committed. Here goes the typical cozy mystery feel out of the window. I did enjoy this for a change. There are chapters from the killers perspective which is unexpected and again a new in Christie's novel (from the one's I have read). Loved the chase, the turn of events and the overall excitement. But at the end do remember it's Poirot and his grey cells that always win!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    This is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable of the Poirot novels. Christie takes the usual formula and puts a bit of a different spin on it, creating one of her most compelling stories as well as one of the most unique. Prior to this novel, all of Poirot’s cases have been of a more “intimate” nature (Poirot’s own words). They’ve all been classic locked room mysteries where we had all our suspects lined in a row. It was all a mater of finding motive and opportunity. Here Poirot is dealing w This is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable of the Poirot novels. Christie takes the usual formula and puts a bit of a different spin on it, creating one of her most compelling stories as well as one of the most unique. Prior to this novel, all of Poirot’s cases have been of a more “intimate” nature (Poirot’s own words). They’ve all been classic locked room mysteries where we had all our suspects lined in a row. It was all a mater of finding motive and opportunity. Here Poirot is dealing with a serial killer sending him taunting letters and killing unconnected people in alphabetical order. This time the killer could be anyone, and Poirot’s only method it to approach the psychology of the killer. Find out the reason “why.” Why send the letters to Poirot? Is it for fame? To cause chaos? Did Poirot one time foil him (intentionally or unintentionally) and it is a matter of revenge? These become the questions rather than solving alibis. This approach is refreshingly different for the Poirot series. While the serial killer is a common antagonist for mysteries, they are typically police procedurals rather than private detective stories… yet, this new approach fits Poirot and his love of psychology. It is different, but not a jarring change. The letters Poirot receives are well done, with both a taunting air and a bit of childishness in their insults. They create a tension that many books in this series do not have. Poirot fits into the classic cozy mystery, there may be a few murders, but tensions do not typically run this high in the series. The solution is rather brilliant as well, and ranks up with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in terms of clever solutions. In fact, now that I've mentioned The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, I’ll go ahead and make the bold statement that this is my second favorite Poirot novel only after the Ackroyd case. The ABC Murders receives a full 5 stars and my highest recommendation to all mystery fans.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Noha Badawi

    I get it now why people call her, the queen of crime

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    “There is nothing so terrible as to live in an atmosphere of suspicion - to see eyes watching you and the love in them changing to fear - nothing so terrible as to suspect those near and dear to you - It is poisonous - a miasma.” Hercule Poirot gets a few surprises – his old friend Hastings has come for an extended stay and visit, and a serial killer has decided to target him with teasing notes before he strikes. As always, clever. The point of this one was the journey and not the destination/cu “There is nothing so terrible as to live in an atmosphere of suspicion - to see eyes watching you and the love in them changing to fear - nothing so terrible as to suspect those near and dear to you - It is poisonous - a miasma.” Hercule Poirot gets a few surprises – his old friend Hastings has come for an extended stay and visit, and a serial killer has decided to target him with teasing notes before he strikes. As always, clever. The point of this one was the journey and not the destination/culprit. I didn't guess the killer exactly, it's complicated with this one, but there was a surprising twist that made a diabolical sense. Christie shows the viewpoint of the supposed culprit from the start. Poirot wasn’t trying to figure out who the killer was so much as he was trying to figure out a possible motive other than a ‘madman is doing it because he’s mad.’ It was a treat to see Poirot and Hastings meet up again when both are older and still friends - poor Hastings is apparently losing his hair, which makes one of several amusing moments. Their comical exchanges bring spice to the page - even if Hastings isn't the most fascinating character, their friendship is a joy in these books. He’s definitely grown to enjoy the sleuthing business more than he used to. We don’t get into the head of the great detective this time, and Christie uses a multiple viewpoint between two people, but it works well. The ABC Murders would make a clever movie adaptation – have they done it already? – although the mystery itself isn’t the strongest of her works. Poirot being there solving the puzzle makes it all the better – he’s definitely my favorite detective. He will live on.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    Between loving the recent movie Murder in the Orient Express and reading Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, I am once again enthralled by Agatha Christie’s mysteries. I’m still smiling and feeling as smugly satisfied as Hercule himself at the way she thoroughly captivated me on so many levels in The A.B.C. Murders. A plot that felt comfortably yet intriguingly straight forward was anything but and I found myself muttering aloud several times until I exploded in laughter at her pulling the rug ou Between loving the recent movie Murder in the Orient Express and reading Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, I am once again enthralled by Agatha Christie’s mysteries. I’m still smiling and feeling as smugly satisfied as Hercule himself at the way she thoroughly captivated me on so many levels in The A.B.C. Murders. A plot that felt comfortably yet intriguingly straight forward was anything but and I found myself muttering aloud several times until I exploded in laughter at her pulling the rug out from under my feet. Poirot received a series of typed letters challenging him to uncover crimes about to be committed ... crimes with an alphabetic pattern, Railroad time tables as a calling card and the dire threat of serial killings. For once he is rather at a loss of what to make of this. Is this personal. about him? What is the madness behind this method? Along the way are a cast of interesting characters from different walks of life, Dame Agatha’s thoughts on beautiful women, and always her deep reflections on the human condition. I like her interplay of humor, irony, and yet deeply relevant dialogues on the nature of crime. Throughout the story there are multiple references to the unremarkable appearance of a criminal, to the nature of madness and obsessions that tilt people over the edge. She may have written this in 1936, but the reflections in this police procedural are all relevant today from greater crimes to the wild insanity of the shooting recently at YouTube. Poirot was perhaps the first psychological profiler - she mentions the police hiring an alienist and it made me think of a couple of TV series. And then there is Poirot. The more I read him, the more I like him. He is above all a man of reason - it is not enough to solve the crime, he must also understand the reasoning behind the crime. He is both man of steel will and a sensitivity to the hearts of others. He sees people clearly because he seeks to understand. By turns compassionate and stern, and a man you can entrust yourself to. And in this mystery quite joyful at the conclusion: “so Hastings - we went hunting once more, did we not? Vive le sport.” A favorite quote from Poirot: “...there is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation! Speech,so a wise old Frenchman said to me once, is an invention of man’s to prevent him from thinking. It is also an infallible means of discovering that which he wishes to hide. A human being, Hastings, cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him.”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    Before I begin my review, let me start off my saying I am a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie. Throughout the years I have always used her novels as "go to" books if I am in a literary dry spell and yearn to read something I am guarentee to enjoy. My girl Aggie usually hits the spot! However, sadly, I must say that "The A.B.C. Murders" is thus far my least favourite of all her books. The following may contain spoilers: Poirot, everyone's favourite detective, receives a mysterious letter warning him of Before I begin my review, let me start off my saying I am a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie. Throughout the years I have always used her novels as "go to" books if I am in a literary dry spell and yearn to read something I am guarentee to enjoy. My girl Aggie usually hits the spot! However, sadly, I must say that "The A.B.C. Murders" is thus far my least favourite of all her books. The following may contain spoilers: Poirot, everyone's favourite detective, receives a mysterious letter warning him of a crime to hit Adover: and Hercule correctly predicts murder. Soon a string of murders spread out among different cities and a variety of victims begins to occur. The only thing in common is that the murderer sends a letter prior to the tragedies, each victim's name corresponds to the next letter of the alphabet, and an A.B.C. train book is always at the scene of every crime. Now Poirot teams up with the friends and family of the victims to try to prevent the killer from moving his way up the alphabet! Now, the premise and general story are quite interesting. However, I just felt like this book was different from many of the other that I love. Call me old fashioned, but I like the "Oh no, there is a murder! I will gather clues, interview each person one by one, and then gather them together and spring the answer on everyone with the killer present!" And although this book also sort of follows that formula, it just isn't as...hmmm effective I guess as other books like "Murder on the Orient Express" or "Appointment with Death". I don't know...something just seemed missing and I didn't feel invested with any of the characters. So, Aggie my girl, I love ya, but this one was just so-so for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    In The ABC Murders Poirot is challenged by a serial killer, or it seems to be the case. The murderer is so bold that he even informs Poirot in advance where the murder is to take place. Moreover, the murderer chooses the place and the victim in alphabetical order. Written as a first person and third person narrative by Arthur Hastings, the story marks a different writing approach by Agatha Christie. From the outset, the story presents us with a possible killer. There is no evidence but only su In The ABC Murders Poirot is challenged by a serial killer, or it seems to be the case. The murderer is so bold that he even informs Poirot in advance where the murder is to take place. Moreover, the murderer chooses the place and the victim in alphabetical order. Written as a first person and third person narrative by Arthur Hastings, the story marks a different writing approach by Agatha Christie. From the outset, the story presents us with a possible killer. There is no evidence but only suggestive inferences to intrigue the reader. But at the same time, this person is hidden from the Poirot and the Police, and they carry their own investigations on the murders that so painstakingly have taken place. The baffled police conclude that they are the action of homicidal lunatic. But Poirot has reservations. In the absence of a clear motive, he feels that the Police are in error. And of course, he is right as always! The ABC murders has a complex plot. More than in any other Poirot reads, here we see the great detective a little rattled. He cannot comprehend the motive behind the unnatural killings. Poirot's temperament due to this incomprehension, Hastings constant nagging for action and reproaches for inaction produces humourous dialogues that entertain the reader pretty much. And Poirot's brilliance is once again displayed when he cleverly summarizes the evidence which coupled with his power of deduction enlightens all as to the real murderer and the motive behind the murders. There is no doubt that the plot is ingenious. There is also no doubt as to my enjoyment of the story. But somehow I felt a little cheated with the final revelation. It was an unexpected surprise. Throughout the read I cannot recall any possible clue that pointed toward the real murderer. It seemed that Agatha Christie has deliberately kept some vital clues away from the readers. And I felt that that was not fair play. My detective mind was sadly plagued.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Even though The ABC Murders was entertaining, I was slightly underwhelmed. It's strange, since Murder on the Orient Express impressed me so much. I had a blast reading it last year, and I knew immediately after finishing that I wasn't done with Hercule Poirot's mysteries. Sadly, this book was only just alright to me. The mystery was intriguing, but I found the overall reveal to be slightly underwhelming. It was...sort of predictable? Poirot's charm was one of the aspects of this book that really k Even though The ABC Murders was entertaining, I was slightly underwhelmed. It's strange, since Murder on the Orient Express impressed me so much. I had a blast reading it last year, and I knew immediately after finishing that I wasn't done with Hercule Poirot's mysteries. Sadly, this book was only just alright to me. The mystery was intriguing, but I found the overall reveal to be slightly underwhelming. It was...sort of predictable? Poirot's charm was one of the aspects of this book that really kept me reading. For one, I wasn't a huge fan of the main perspective of the story. The reader was no longer in Hercule Poirot's mind; instead, we're following one of his associates. I didn't really care for him. He's alright, but the absence of Poirot was definitely disappointing. I had fun reading this, but other than that, it wasn't really the mind blowing mystery I was looking for.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bắp

    Trước khi 2 chương cuối cùng mở ra, cảm giác của mình là hoàn toàn không thỏa mãn :3 Tính tới thời điểm đó thì mình thấy 1 sự may mắn ngập tràn dành cho những người thuộc team phá án. Mình mong chờ việc ông Poirot sử dụng 1 chút chất xám như thường lệ, cùng với sự trợ giúp đắc lực về mặt chân tay của đội quân nhí nhố Scotland Yard, để bắt tận tay day tận trán gã nhân vật X đó. Ở đây, vào 1 ngày đẹp trời, nhân dạng và nơi chốn cư trú của gã bỗng "ngã vào vòng tay" của cảnh sát. Và cũng ở cái ngày Trước khi 2 chương cuối cùng mở ra, cảm giác của mình là hoàn toàn không thỏa mãn :3 Tính tới thời điểm đó thì mình thấy 1 sự may mắn ngập tràn dành cho những người thuộc team phá án. Mình mong chờ việc ông Poirot sử dụng 1 chút chất xám như thường lệ, cùng với sự trợ giúp đắc lực về mặt chân tay của đội quân nhí nhố Scotland Yard, để bắt tận tay day tận trán gã nhân vật X đó. Ở đây, vào 1 ngày đẹp trời, nhân dạng và nơi chốn cư trú của gã bỗng "ngã vào vòng tay" của cảnh sát. Và cũng ở cái ngày đẹp trời ấy, mặc dù đã đi trốn nhưng rốt cục chính gã cũng ngã vào vòng tay cảnh sát theo đúng cả nghĩa bóng lẫn nghĩa đen :3 Nhưng cuối cùng cái kết...chẹp :3 Agatha Christie, như thường thấy, lại vặn sườn độc giả khi trọng tài đã giơ biển chỉ còn vài phút bù giờ. -_- Lượn qua 1 vài review tìm được trên gút le thì mình thấy có bạn nói khai thác chủ đề sát nhân hàng loạt mà diễn tiến truyện bình thường quá, chẳng giật gân gay cấn gì :3 mình đồng ý với ý kiến đó và mình thích nó phải như thế vì không như thế sao còn là Agatha Christie, vì người ta gọi bà ấy là nữ hoàng trinh thám CỔ ĐIỂN cơ mà :> Kết luận rút ra : nhiều khi không nên ngó những review trên tiki vì mình thấy trên đấy có nhiều bạn review rất vui tính. Như có 1 bạn nọ, cảm thấy thất vọng về truyện và chê truyện vì bạn ấy thường có thói quen đoán hung thủ vậy mà lần này ai dè đoán trật lất :| ô lạ kỳ. Cuộc đời không có đạo diễn còn đầy rẫy những cú lừa thế kỷ nữa là mấy cuốn sách có "đạo diễn" chấp bút từ A tới Z. Không nên thất vọng làm gì, cho dù kể cả khi quay vào ô mất lượt, mà hãy thực hiện phương châm tối 10h đi ngủ, sáng sớm chạy mấy vòng, về nhà tắm nước lạnh, thôi nghĩ điều viển vông, thỉnh thoảng ra bờ sông, cho nguôi lòng mình lại, cuộc đời ai sầu mãi, cau mày mà làm chi :>

  25. 4 out of 5

    imts

    "Words, madmoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas." Agatha Christie isn't called the Queen of Crime for nothing, you know, and this book was a prime example of her proficiency. Generally, her books have an array of suspects, and we readers have to guess who the culprit is before the ending arrives, but this book was quite different. How, might you ask? You see, this time Christie handed us the murderer (view spoiler)[or so we thought (hide spoiler)] on a silver platter. Most of the myster "Words, madmoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas." Agatha Christie isn't called the Queen of Crime for nothing, you know, and this book was a prime example of her proficiency. Generally, her books have an array of suspects, and we readers have to guess who the culprit is before the ending arrives, but this book was quite different. How, might you ask? You see, this time Christie handed us the murderer (view spoiler)[or so we thought (hide spoiler)] on a silver platter. Most of the mystery was about how Poirot would arrive at the correct solution. Arrive at it he did, of course, as every reader who knows him in the slightest expected, and gave us a most satisfactory ending. I've got more Agatha Christies sitting in my cupboard, just waiting to be read, and I eagerly anticipate beginning them!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reference Notes Series: Hercule Poirot #14 (1936) Narrator: Hastings Recurring Character: Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector James Japp Victims: Mrs. Alice Ascher (COD: heavy blow on the back of the head) Ms. Elizabeth "Betty" Barnard (COD: strangulation) Sir Carmichael Clarke (COD: heavy blow on the back of the head) Mr. George Earlsfield (COD: stabbing) Suspects: Mr. Alexander Bonaparte Cust Ms. Mary Drower (Mrs. Ascher's niece) Ms. Megan Barnard (Betty's sister) Mr. Donald Fraser (Betty's boyfriend) Mr. Frank Reference Notes Series: Hercule Poirot #14 (1936) Narrator: Hastings Recurring Character: Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector James Japp Victims: Mrs. Alice Ascher (COD: heavy blow on the back of the head) Ms. Elizabeth "Betty" Barnard (COD: strangulation) Sir Carmichael Clarke (COD: heavy blow on the back of the head) Mr. George Earlsfield (COD: stabbing) Suspects: Mr. Alexander Bonaparte Cust Ms. Mary Drower (Mrs. Ascher's niece) Ms. Megan Barnard (Betty's sister) Mr. Donald Fraser (Betty's boyfriend) Mr. Franklin Clarke (Sir Carmichael's brother) Ms. Thora Grey (Sir Carmichael's secretary) Fun Fact: In this book, Scotland Yard's Inspector Japp is addressed as Chief Inspector and not as Detective Inspector like in the previous books. I guess he was promoted. Congrats to him! :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    "Let us see, Mr. Clever Poirot, just how clever you can be." This is the 13th novel in the Hercule Poirot series and, I believe, is Agatha Christie at her prime. Some of the best Hercule Poirot stories (IMHO) are those in which Poirot's friend Captain Arthur Hastings appears and acts as narrator. One of the unusual aspects of this story is that it is told in both the first and third person narrative. And the third person narrative is reconstructed by the first person (Hastings). The story opens w "Let us see, Mr. Clever Poirot, just how clever you can be." This is the 13th novel in the Hercule Poirot series and, I believe, is Agatha Christie at her prime. Some of the best Hercule Poirot stories (IMHO) are those in which Poirot's friend Captain Arthur Hastings appears and acts as narrator. One of the unusual aspects of this story is that it is told in both the first and third person narrative. And the third person narrative is reconstructed by the first person (Hastings). The story opens with Hastings returning to London and stopping by to visit his old friend. They reflect back on some of the cases they had worked on when Poirot shows Hastings a letter he has received. It is signed by "A.B.C." and stating that there will be a murder in Andover on a specific date. The letter taunts Poirot and whether he is clever enough to prevent the murder from happening. Poirot had showed the letter to the police and they believed it to be a hoax. On the specified date Alice Ascher, an elderly tobacco shop owner, is killed in her shop. Next Betty Barnard, a flirty waitress, is killed in Bexhill, and then Sir Carmichael Clarke is killed at his home in Churston. At each crime scene the murderer leaves an open ABC railway guide. The next letter sent by A.B.C. states his next location and victim will be in Doncaster, the same day as the St. Leger horse race. By this time the newspapers and public realize there is a serial killer on the loose. The third person narratives as reconstructed by Hastings center around Alexander Bonaparte Cust, a travelling salesman, who was discharged from the Army after a head injury which left him prone to memory blackouts and constant headaches. To his landlady and those who know him Cust is perceived as harmless and a little odd. Cust was in each location on the date the murder took place. A man selling silk stockings had appeared at or near each crime scene. Is Alexander Bonaparte Cust the murderer? Is he "A.B.C."? Poirot enlists a "Legion" of relatives of the victims from the first three crimes in hopes of uncovering new information and to try and prevent a fourth murder in Doncaster. With the first couple of murders the luck was with the murderer but Poirot knows that sooner or later the murderer will make a mistake and after each crime Poirot will learn more about the murderer and his motive and then the murderer will find out just how clever Poirot is!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wasee

    বই বিষয়ে বলার আগে, আগাথা করিসটির সমপরকে কিছু কথা বলে নেই। রহসয,রোমাঞচ,করাইম থরিলার,গোয়েনদা কাহিনী, মারডার মিসটরি - আমার পড়া বেশিরভাগ বই-ই এই ঘরানার ভেতর আবদধ। সবাভাবিক কারণেই নানান রকম গোয়েনদা চরিতরের সাথে পরিচিত হয়েছি, একটু একটু করে উপলবধি করেছি লেখকভেদে কীভাবে রহসযের গাথুনীর বহুমাতরিকতা দেখা যায়। বিভিনন দেশের,বিভিনন কালের, বিভিনন বয়সী কালপনিক গোয়েনদা চরিতরগুলো আমাদের মনে বাসতবের চেয়েও বেশী পরভাব ফেলে। তবে, দিনের শেষে নিরদিষট কোনো চরিতর ঠিকই মনে দাগ কেটে যায়। শারলক হোমস আর এরকুল পোয়ারোর ভেতর বে বই বিষয়ে বলার আগে, আগাথা ক্রিস্টির সম্পর্কে কিছু কথা বলে নেই। রহস্য,রোমাঞ্চ,ক্রাইম থ্রিলার,গোয়েন্দা কাহিনী, মার্ডার মিস্ট্রি - আমার পড়া বেশিরভাগ বই-ই এই ঘরানার ভেতর আবদ্ধ। স্বাভাবিক কারণেই নানান রকম গোয়েন্দা চরিত্রের সাথে পরিচিত হয়েছি, একটু একটু করে উপলব্ধি করেছি লেখকভেদে কীভাবে রহস্যের গাথুনীর বহুমাত্রিকতা দেখা যায়। বিভিন্ন দেশের,বিভিন্ন কালের, বিভিন্ন বয়সী কাল্পনিক গোয়েন্দা চরিত্রগুলো আমাদের মনে বাস্তবের চেয়েও বেশী প্রভাব ফেলে। তবে, দিনের শেষে নির্দিষ্ট কোনো চরিত্র ঠিকই মনে দাগ কেটে যায়। শার্লক হোমস আর এরকুল পোয়ারোর ভেতর বেছে নিতে গেলে, ব্যক্তিত্ব এবং বৈশিষ্ট্যগত দিক বিবেচনা করে আমি হোমস কে প্রাধান্য দেই। ব্যক্তি এরকুল পোয়ারোকে আমার বিশেষ পছন্দ নয় (এমনকি পোয়ারোর স্রষ্টা স্বয়ং ক্রিস্টি-ও পোয়ারোকে খুব একটা পছন্দ করতেন না।) তবে, রহস্য সমাধানের ক্ষেত্রে এই অহংকারী বেলজিয়ান ভদ্রলোকের কোনো তুলনা সম্ভব নয়। কোনো অতীন্দ্রিয় ক্ষমতায় নয়, স্বাভাবিক বিচার বিশ্লেষণের মাধ্যমে একের পর এক অপরাধীর মুখোশ উন্মোচন করে দেন পোয়ারো। আগাথা ক্রিস্টির লেখার যে দিকটা আমি সবচেয়ে বেশি পছন্দ করি- শুরু হবে বেশ সোজাসাপ্টাভাবে, এরপর রহস্য ঘনীভূত হতে থাকবে, পাঠকের চোখের সামনে অমীমাংসিত ধাধা আসতেই থাকবে। হঠাত সমাধানটা আপনার কাছে জলবৎ তরলং বলে মনে হবে। অত:পর শেষে গিয়ে বিরাট বড় টুইস্টের সম্মুখীন হয়ে আপনি মেনে নিতে বাধ্য হবেন, "Dame Agatha Christie is the queen of murder mysteries indeed" আর হ্যা, আপনি ভুলে যেতে পারেন, তবে ছোট ছোট সব প্রশ্নের উত্তর দিয়ে যেতে আগাথা ক্রিস্টি কখনোই ভোলেন না! সিরিয়াল কিলার (মূল উপন্যাস: এবিসি মার্ডারস) বইটা নি:সন্দেহে ক্রিস্টির সেরা বইগুলোর একটা। মার্ডার মিস্ট্রি/ সাইকোলজিক্যাল ম্যানিপুলেশন - যেদিক থেকেই দেখুন, এ ধরনের "সুস্বাদু" বইয়ের জুড়ি মেলা ভার। স্বয়ং পোয়ারোকে চ্যালেঞ্জ ছুড়ে দিয়ে তার নাকের ডগায় হতে থাকে একের পর এক খুন। খুনের কায়দাটাও অভিনব - বর্ণমালার ক্রম অনুযায়ী। শুরু হয় ইদুর বেড়াল খেলা, ঘটতে থাকে একের পর এক রহস্যময় খুন। সমাধান চোখের সামনে পেয়েও.... থাক, বাকিটা বললে স্পয়লার হয়ে যায়!!! রুপান্তর প্রসংগে আসি- প্রিয় লেখিকা, প্রিয় বই, প্রিয় অনুবাদক ( মাইটি ট্রিনিটি বলা যায় বোধহয় :) )। ফুয়াদ ভাইয়ের রুপান্তর/অনুবাদ বরাবরের মতোই সাবলীল এবং প্রাণবন্ত। রাকিব ভাইয়ের সাথে যুগলবন্দীতে একেবারে সোনায় সোহাগা'ই বলব। সবচেয়ে খুশি হয়েছি, সুযোগ্য হাতে সঠিক বইয়ের অনুবাদ হয়েছে - এটা ভেবেই।

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    Hercule Poirot receives a letter which warns about a murder to take place in a named town on a set date and signed only as ABC. The police think it a hoax and pay little mind to it until a woman is murdered in that town on that same date. At the crime site, an A.B.C. Railroad Guide is left behind. The crime attracts very little attention until a second letter arrives for Poirot, a second crime is committed and the railroad guide is left behind once again. This serial killer is working their way Hercule Poirot receives a letter which warns about a murder to take place in a named town on a set date and signed only as ABC. The police think it a hoax and pay little mind to it until a woman is murdered in that town on that same date. At the crime site, an A.B.C. Railroad Guide is left behind. The crime attracts very little attention until a second letter arrives for Poirot, a second crime is committed and the railroad guide is left behind once again. This serial killer is working their way through the alphabet. Can Poirot stop the murders before more lives are claimed? This is the thirtienth installment of the Hercule Poirot series and I gotta say, Christie has yet to dissapoint me. This book was different in the sense that it had multiple points of view and a strong suspect was named earlier on than usual. Hastings (from the first book) is back and following Poirot as he works his way through this series of murders. The victims are of different genders, backgrounds and economic situations. They were murdered in different ways as well. The only consistent element is the A.B.C. Railroad Guide and the fact that the names of the victims and towns follow an alphabetical order. Most believe that the choosing of victims is completely random but not Poirot. He suspects something is amiss about the cases. Again, I was guessing til the very end and genuinely shocked at the reveal. I have no idea how Christie does it. Man, am I glad that I still have THIRTY books left in the series to read. They are, without a doubt, among the best books ever.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “Who are you? You don't belong to the police?' “I am better than the police,” said Poirot. He said it without conscious arrogance. It was, to him, a simple statement of fact. Poirot #13 is one I had read many years ago, but am re-reading anyway, since I am not reading them all in order. In this one Christie creates an idea followed by hundreds of others in different ways: Having a killer use the alphabet to associate with his killings--Mrs. Ascher in Andover, then Betty Barnhard in Bexhill, and so “Who are you? You don't belong to the police?' “I am better than the police,” said Poirot. He said it without conscious arrogance. It was, to him, a simple statement of fact. Poirot #13 is one I had read many years ago, but am re-reading anyway, since I am not reading them all in order. In this one Christie creates an idea followed by hundreds of others in different ways: Having a killer use the alphabet to associate with his killings--Mrs. Ascher in Andover, then Betty Barnhard in Bexhill, and so on. There’s also an ABC travel guide left by each victim. There’s also a character suspected of murder with ABC as his initials. . . It’s a serial killer, so we have to reference Jack the Ripper, of course. This killer writes notes to Poirot taunting him, telling him he will kill someone in three days. So it's the first big "public" murder story for Poirot, where newspapers follow the events. And it's pretty good, overall, maybe 3.5 or so, but: A narrative problem/interesting dilemma Christie creates for herself: Captain Hastings, Poirot’s sidekick, is unimaginative, clueless AND he is also typically the narrator of any story he appears in, so he is either frustratingly or comically unreliable. This is a narrative strategy Christie uses in sort of comic fashion for delaying any idea of our guessing what is going on so we will keep reading until the last pages when she/Poirot reveals whodunnit. In this volume Christie adds another challenge. Not only is Hastings a dope as Watson-ish sidekick to Poirot, Christie also has him try “fiction,” to try and tell the story of the crime, short chapters told that would seem to indicate the person he—Hastings--believes from the beginning dunnit. The problem as Hastings relates it is to use this device to try and get into the mind of various characters and see things from a perspective he couldn’t know, but could only guess at. Okay. . . So there’s this meta-fiction element, but it’s not always so well handled, and in the end, all these “insights,” it’s just another smokescreen for all he does not know. And as usual, how can a dope like Hastings be a convincingly good writer? “Words are only the clothing of ideas,” says Poirot, by which he suggests there are meanings underneath words that could be something different than even we know. But if for Hastings words are the clothing of ideas, he is that mythical emperor with no clothes. Since we know he is likely wrong in following this one character, why should we even pay attention to these chapters that she/he invariably titles, “Not From Captain Hastings’ Personal Narrative.” This idea could be seen as experimental, I guess, but is really imo dumb. In these little narrative interludes Hastings leads us in clunky red herring ways down the wrong path, just as he does in all other investigative aspects of the case, with Poirot or alone. I guess this inter-calary approach could be seen as clever to some, but I thought it was largely annoying. But it's still well done over all. And there's nice touches throughout. For instance, as usual in this book, there is some reflection about the nature of mysteries themselves. At one point Poirot and Hastings imagine themselves as possible writers of a mystery, and Hastings says “I admit," I said, "that a second murder in a book often cheers things up.” And then we actually hear of the second murder, of course. Cute! Clever! Smile-worthy! There is more than the usual amount in this book of reflection about criminal psychology, and it's interesting. I was curious if this was in vogue in 1936, or not. But as with today, many in the book suspect the serial killer is “mad,” by which I mean insane. Are people who kill multiple people crazy? In some sense, sure . . . unless they try to get off by using the insanity defense, those scallywags! We are supposed to suspect crazy people throughout, because. . . well, they are obviously unstable people who kill, right?! Are unstable people capable of possessing any insights whatsoever? Are “normal”-seeming people ever killers? Who knows the answer to these questions? Poirot, of course. So this is a good one, not a great one, flawed but still fun. Part of my bump up from 3 to 4 stars finally is my just liking that Poirot. And in some ways Christie just is getting better.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In order to read or download eBook, you need to create FREE account.
eBook available in PDF, ePub, MOBI and Kindle versions



Loading...