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The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

The Pale Horse (original 1961; edition 1963)

by Agatha Christie

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1,720304,123 (3.58)82
Title:The Pale Horse
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Pocket Books (1963), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie (1961)

  1. 20
    The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie (Porua)
    Porua: The narrator of The Pale Horse, Mark Easterbrook, reminds me of the narrator of another Agatha Christie book. Jerry Barton from The Moving Finger. In both of these stories the urban hero goes to a small town and gets entangled in a spine chilling mystery. Another thing that these two books have in common is an unconventional old lady named Mrs. Dane Calthrop, one of the more unique creations of Christie.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I'm surprised by how much I enjoy the non-Poirot and non-Marple mysteries. PBS did a version of this novel, but with Miss Marple. I'm glad that this version was different enough to have me guessing who the killer was. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
I was discouraged at the beginning of this story because I forgot it had Ariadne Oliver in it. She is not my favorite Agatha Christie character. Fortunately, she plays a minor role so she didn't drag the storyline at all. The mystery was intriguing and the ending was unexpected. Another classic Christie novel to enjoy. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
I saw it coming. I am so proud of myself with this one, because I knew who did it!
This is not her most original nor her most intricate (and I am lowering my self esteem again . . . ), but it is a fun read. Be warned it talks a lot about witches and cursing, and there is one frightening scene in which characters "curse" a person to die. I am a Christian, and while I did not find it off putting enough to make me think I shouldn't be reading it, I am sure that there will be some who might think so. Also, don't give this particular book to young readers late at night. It's just not a good combination.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed Christie's red herrings, false leads, and lovable main characters, even as stupid as I might have thought them for not catching on quicker. It switches POV, but focuses mainly on a first person from the MC, and also features as a side character a certain Ariadne Oliver that some other Agatha Christie fans might be familiar with. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Audio book read by Hugh Fraser

Is it possible to kill someone by remote control – that is, black magic?

A woman on her deathbed asks for a priest – a Roman Catholic priest to be exact. After he leaves her bedside he stops in a café to ponder what she told him. He scribbles down a list of names on a scrap of paper, and because he has a hole in his pocket, puts the paper inside his shoe. On his way back to the parish, however, he is brutally murdered – a seeming robbery. But that scrap of paper wasn’t found by the robber, and it piques the interest of the police, and that of Mark Easterbrook and his sidekick, Ginger Corrigan. The mystery involves three middle-aged women living in a former tavern – The Pale Horse – and dabbling in the occult, a disbarred attorney who likes to take odd wagers, a wealthy industrialist crippled by polio, and a list of people connected only by the fact that they are all deceased. Mrs. Ariadne Oliver makes a brief appearance, and does provide some valuable assistance. Still, I was caught completely unawares at the ending. I just love how Agatha Christie weaves her plots. She really deserves her reputation as the Queen of Mystery Writers.

Hugh Fraser – known to millions as Captain Hastings, assisting Hercule Poirot in A&E’s [i]Poirot[/i] and in the Agatha Christie [i]Mystery![/i] series on PBS – does a fine job of narrating. He has good pacing and an expressive voice which he moderates wonderfully to distinguish the various characters.

( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
"Evil is not something superhuman, it's something less than human."

A priest takes a confession from a dying woman in a boarding house. How much of what he's just heard is true and how much is delirium. What he does know is that he must write down a list of names the woman has given him before he forgets them which he does at a small cafe. However, on his way home, he is murdered but the culprit does not find the list secreted in his shoe. This then becomes the only clue into his murder.

Mark Easterbrook is friends with the police pathologist working on the case, Jim Corrigan, and finds himself drawn into the mystery by a few mysterious coincidences. Moving from chic Chelsea coffee houses to an old inn known as The Pale Horse in the sleepy countryside outside of Bournemouth. The inn has closed and is now lived in by a trio of women akin to the witches in MacBeth who claim to have super-natural gifts. Easterbrook realises that something sinister is linked with the Pale Horse and suspects that there is a criminal mastermind behind the operation so along with a female friend sets out to try and unmask this murdering maniac. All appears to be failing until a chance remark suddenly sets everything into place with typical Agatha Christie twist and style.

The book was first published in the early 1960's and the reader clearly gets a feel for place and time. You can just imagine yourself sat in the chic coffee houses of Chelsea surrounded by their "cool" clientele but also the rural countryside where the vicarage becomes the centre of village life with their fetes etc.

Most of the characters are well developed and perhaps best of all there is no Marple or Poirot in sight. There is no flowery sequences and the plot line is taut throughout. I felt like a fish on a hook being methodically reeled in. What the three witches profess to be able to do initially sounds totally far-fetched yet as the action progresses you cannot help but wonder as to whether or not there really is any truth in it.

I did NOT guess the identity of the killer and was totally caught out by the final twist. Each time I thought that I had worked it out I was proved wrong which is as it should be. If I had one complaint it is that the end came a bit too quickly. Murder mysteries are not really my usual fayre but all the same I found this an enjoyable read and believe that any real fans of the genre will do so too. ( )
  PilgrimJess | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nuuttila, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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John and Helen Mildmay White
with many thanks for the opportunity
given me to see justice done
First words
There are two methods, it seems to me, of approaching this strange business of the Pale Horse.
Your criminal is someone who wants to be important, but who will never be important, because he’ll always be less than a man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description

The dying woman turned to Father Gorman with agony in her eyes, "Stopped ... It must be stopped ... You will ... "
The priest spoke with reassuring authority. "I will do what is necessary. You can trust me."
Father Gorman tucked the list of names she had given him into his shoe. It was a meaningless list: the names were of people who had nothing in common.
On his way home, Father Gorman was murdered. But the police found the list, and when Mark Easterbrook came to inquire into the circumstances of the people listed, he began to discover a connection between them, and an ominous pattern:

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312981716, Mass Market Paperback)

Was it really the Thomasina Tuckerton--dropout heiress turned bohemian beat girl--seen in a cafe brawl with another woman? Her obituary confirms it. Thomasina's unfortunate demise would have passed unnoticed if it hadn't been for the priest who suffered a fatal blow at the hand of a stranger only days later. What's the connection? A list of names hidden in father Gorman's shoes--among them, Miss Tuckerton's. It leads to a former country inn, now a house called, The Pale Horse, and a sinister pattern woven by three unusual ladies--a psychic, a medium, and a witch--each with a secret of her own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

After a priest is murdered, Mark Easterbrook investigates the peculiar list of names found on the body.

(summary from another edition)

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