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

by Agatha Christie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,427412,554 (3.73)89
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, Golden Age

Work details

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie (1942)

  1. 10
    Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham (cmbohn)
  2. 01
    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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» See also 89 mentions

English (36)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Well known & egotistical artist is in the midst of painting a most fantastic portrait of an equally (if not more so) egotistical young woman..... Hence a triangle of love? Which of course leads to his murder..... Very cold blooded....

However there are men who love the artist's wife w/ devotion & hate....... two more triangles. The wife, is heard to say: "You & your women.....One day I'll kill you." Evidence enough to convict her of murder?

The wife does nothing, says nothing to defend herself..... a price/debt to pay? Her daughter, receiving a letter from her mother stating her innocence, hires M. Poirot to clear her mother's name......

Is it possible? Who really "done it"? I figured it out...... But it was a dull story told in first person narration verbally then in letters by the witnesses...... People who were basically detestable.... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
The story features a private investigator, Hercule Poirot, who is commissioned to investigate a crime which took place 16 years earlier.
The novel is laid out in 4 sections, consisting of an introduction, book 1, 2 and 3.
In the introduction, his client declares, "It's psychology that interest you isn't it (Poirot)?". This interest is key to the solving the crime.
Book 1 is set out in 10 chapters, the 1st 5 of which, record Poirot's interviews with the key officials in the case ranging from the defence counsel and lawyers, the prosecutor and the police. During these interviews, 5 key players are identified and Poirot, in the last 5 chap in the 10, interviews each in turn ending with an invitation to each to record their memories in writing.
Book 2 consists of the narratives from each of the 5 key players set out in one chapter each.
In book 3, Poirot poses a supplementary question to each of the 5 and invites them to a reunion at which she intends to reveal the truth. Reveals the truth, deploying his knowledge of people behaviour.

The perpetrator of the crime is detectable from the interviews, written accounts and 5 supplementary answers. The difficulty posed to the reader is to decide, using psychological means, what veracity should be applied to the evidence provided e.g. truth, poor memory or downright lie.

As for my own detective skills, I could see the familial motivation but did not fully unravel the romantic entanglements. ( )
  NeilT | Jan 16, 2016 |
An enjoyable Agatha Christie whodunit. ( )
  cazfrancis | Dec 4, 2015 |
The Moon and Sixpence meets Rashomon. Though there are several more enjoyable and/or ingeniously plotted Poirot novels, this one may be the most perfectly crafted as well as the most affecting, its only serious blemish the superfluous and irritating nursery rhyme gimmick. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
Substance: Poirot is asked to solve an old case, and prove that the woman convicted of murder was innocent. Interviews and written accounts create a "Rashomen" style view of the crime, but are boring in repetition. However, the clues are fairly laid.
Style: The change in title totally obscures a carefully constructed use of the "Five Little Pigs" nursery rhyme in the text. Otherwise, it is a standard Christie, with perhaps a little more liveliness in characterization. ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome 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
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:10 -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 10 descriptions

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