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Murder In Retrospect by Agatha Christie
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Murder In Retrospect (original 1942; edition 1942)

by Agatha Christie (Author)

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2,160343,017 (3.73)74
Member:RedQueen
Title:Murder In Retrospect
Authors:Agatha Christie (Author)
Info:Bantam Books (1985), Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Mystery, Favorites
Rating:****
Tags:classic British, detective, England, Hercule Poirot, mystery, 12

Work details

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie (1942)

  1. 10
    Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham (cmbohn)
  2. 00
    Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both books are similar with their references to nursery rhymes. Though the books are different in its scenarios.
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English (30)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
I like the ending but the second third of the story is a waste of time. The crime took place sixteen years before the time of the story and Poirot spends his time interviewing the little pigs to get their version of what had happened. The book could then easily go right to the reconstruction (third part of the book) chapters but instead it choses to languish for another hundred pages on written accounts of the interviews we've just read! ARGH!!!! Do yourself a favor and skip the second act for the third. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 22, 2014 |
Hercule Poirot faces perhaps his biggest challenge yet – a 16-year-old cold case. Caroline Crale was convicted of murdering her artist husband, Amyas Crale, over his affair with a much younger woman. Caroline Crale died a year later, leaving a letter to be given to their young daughter when she came of age. The daughter, Carla, has just received the letter in which her mother assures her of her innocence. Carla believes her mother's statement, but she thinks her fiance has doubts. Hercule Poirot may be the only person who could get to the truth of what happened all those years ago. There are five other suspects, and all are still living: brothers Phillip and Meredith Blake, the Crale's nearest neighbors; Elsa Greer, Amyas Crale's model and the “other woman”; Angela Warren, Caroline Crale's younger half sister; and Cecilia Williams, Angela's governess. Poirot asks each of the five for their account of the events leading to Amyas Crale's death and he reaches a surprising conclusion.

In many ways this is a typical country house mystery. There is no doubt that Amyas Crale was poisoned. Other than Amyas and Caroline Crale, only the five living witnesses had access to the poison. If Caroline Crale didn't murder her husband, one of them must have done it. I thought I had the murder all figured out, only to discover that I had fallen for one of the red herrings that Christie so skillfully creates. Christie worked in a pharmacy during World War I, and she is at her best when she writes about poisons. Although this isn't as well known as several of Poirot's other cases, it's still a solid mystery and is characteristic of Christie's work. ( )
  cbl_tn | May 14, 2014 |
This is not my favourite Christie, it's not even my favourite Poirot, but it's definitely a masterwork. This is where Poirot gets to show he doesn't need the cigarette ash and bits of cloth to solve a mystery as he re-investigates a murder that occured 16 years before. It's also a nice antidote to those mysteries where the detective is given more information than the reader. Here we are given exactly the same information as Poirot and allowed to try to figure out whodunit along with him.

It's not perfect, I found the characterisation of Philip Blake a bit flat, but I love all the little character details for Poirot, like when he tells himself off for thinking in nursery rhymes (again) and how he chooses to present himself to the five people present on the day of the murder.

Definitely worth a read. ( )
1 vote redfiona | May 11, 2014 |
This is only the second Christie novel I have read, and it doesn't have the immediate impact of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, but it is a pretty good example of the clear, simple prose and laying of clues for which she is famous and is a great page turner. The resemblance of the five suspects in the murder of Amyas Crale to the five little pigs of the nursery rhyme is fairly tenuous. ( )
  john257hopper | Jan 26, 2014 |
Oooo very good though I didn't appreciate Christie's strange stance on feminism being the same as misandry. Quite a different novel from her previous seeing as here Poirot investigates a murder in a purely psychological way seeing as it happened 16 years earlier and obviously no clues are left and all there is to due is to interrogate people. The end is very interesting and gives a lot to think about regarding the privileges of the peerage. Caroline and Angela are both very interesting female characters. ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
López Hipkiss, GuillermoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hercule Poirot looked with interest and appreciation at the young woman who was being ushered into the room.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Five little Pigs" and "Murder in Retrospect" are the same work
This should be linked with the other records for Five Little Pigs in the Hercule Poirot Mysteries, but trying to do a link on an Agatha Christie is very difficult due to the numbers of books.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Amyas Crale had een famous as a painter ... and infamous as a lover. his fiery wife, Caroline, had been as jealous as she was devoted. So naturally it was she who was tried and convicted for his murder.
Now their daughter, Carla, presents the brilliant Hercule Poirot with the greatest challenge of his career - to clear her mother's name by finding the fatal flaw in what, after sixteen years, appears to be the perfect crime!
    ------------------------------

Meredith Blake stared at Poirot. "My dear man, if she didn't - "
"Well, if she didn't?"
"I can't imagine any alternative solution. Accident? Surely impossible."
"Quite impossible."
"And I can't believe in the suicide theory. It had to be brought forward, but it was quite unconvincing to anyone who knew Crale."
"Quite."
"So what remains?" asked Meredtih Blake.
Poirot said coolly, "There remains hte possibilty of his having been killed by somebody else.."
Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, yet there were five other suspects: Philip Blake (the stockbroker) who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist) who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee) who had roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess) who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister) who cried 'wee wee wee' all the way home.

It is sixteen years later, but Hercule Poirot just can't get that nursery rhyme out of his mind…

[retrieved 5/25/13 from Amazon.com]
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425093255, Mass Market Paperback)

Take one dead lothario; add his jealous wife accused of his murder; toss in a devoted daughter who wants to clear her mother's name, and you get one of the greatest challenges of Hercule Poirot's career.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:57 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Fourteen years after the wife of the renowned painter Amyas Crale was sent to the gallows for poisoning her husband, their daughter Lucy returns from Canada. Lucy carries with her a letter that suggests that her mother might have been innocent. Poirot agrees to dig up the past, but he warns Lucy that she may not like what he finds.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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