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The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
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Title:The Mousetrap
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Dell (1977), Paperback
Collections:My Library

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Three Blind Mice and Other Stories by Agatha Christie (1952)



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The Mousetrap, a play by Agatha Christie opened in London’s West End in 1952 and has been running continuously since then. It has the longest first run of any play and has firmly established that Agatha Christie was not only a superb mystery writer but an excellent playwright as well.

The setting is classic Christie, a group of people gather in a large country house cut off by a snow storm. To their horror they discover a murderer is in their midst. One by one their background and identities are established until it become obvious who the murderer is. The twist at the end has long been an open secret but was considered quite shocking when it was originally revealed.

Plays are written as a visual art and so I would really love to see this one performed live. As it is I enjoyed The Mousetrap in much the same way as I enjoy Agatha Christie’s short stories, light and tasty but not quite the full meal deal that her novels are. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | May 24, 2016 |

Many of these stories were published in other anthologies so there may be duplication of reviews.

Three Blind Mice - Residents of a guest home are snowed in, among them is a murderer

Strange Jest - Marple: Two nephews Edward Rossiter and Charmain Stroud, promised by their Uncle to receive an inheritance, seem to have been left nothing in their uncle's will. Miss Marple intends to investigate

The Tape-Measure Murder - Marple: Mr. Spenlow's wife is murdered while he is visiting Miss Marple, yet he is a prime suspect

The Case of the Perfect Maid - Marple: A maid is fired for stealing, but how is it that her replacement is stealing as well?

The Case of the Caretaker - Marple: While bedridden, Miss Marple reads Dr Haycock's manuscript of an accident which turns out to be murder

The Third Floor Flat - Poirot: Four young people, accidentally locked out of their 4th floor flat, take the coal trolley up but end up accidentally in the 3rd floor flat and discover the body of a murdered woman

The Adventure of Johnny Waverly - Poirot: A family threatened with the kidnapping of their 3 year old son take every precaution to prevent the occurrence, unfortunately when the child is taken it becomes apparent that it is an "inside" job

Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds - Poirot: A man eats the same food at the same restaurant on the same day of the week for 20 years. On the day he changes his meal choice he is found dead.... how can that be?

The Love Detectives - Mr. Quinn: A messy love triangle, a murder, and the implication of the lovers has Mr. Quinn investigating (Mr. Quinn is another of Christie's detectives that I find to be a refreshing change from M. Poirot & Miss Marple) ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |

This is a collection of short stories, the title story being the basis for The Mousetrap - the longest running play, ever. It’s a suspenseful tale of a group of strangers trapped in an English Manor House during a blizzard, with an obvious “homicidal maniac” among them. I was certain I had it figured out – twice (with two different culprits) – but Christie surprised me once again.

The rest of the stories are not quite as good as the title tale, but still show why Christie was named the Queen of Crime. Some of the them feature Miss Marple, whose keen observation of human nature frequently give her insight which the police overlook (but which they DO follow-up upon once she points these things out to them). A few of the stories feature Hercule Poirot, exercising his little grey cells, and astonishing the perpetrators as much as the police. All of the stories challenge the reader to figure out the puzzle before the story ends.

The entire collection can be read in one day (as I did), but would be great to have handy whenever you wanted a short fix of good mystery writing.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
I can see why this play enjoyed such a long run! Great take on the country home mystery, a new guest house (sort of like a bed & breakfast but serving all meals) opens one winter day, coincidentally when a blizzard is occurring. On the radio as the play opens is the news of a murder in London...

I am a Christie fan but for some reason have never read this play before. It is very well done and she manages to make the audience suspect each person in turn and yet the guilty person is still a surprise! Sadly, it might not appeal to today's young people as the plot does depend on the murderer cutting the telephone wire to isolate the house even more -- the prevalence today of cell phones has made this whole subgenre of mysteries obsolete (or at least dependent on exotic circumstances).

Note: I read this in the omnibus "The Mousetrap and Other Plays" ( )
  leslie.98 | Sep 4, 2015 |
This story is the basis for the West End play The Mouse Trap which had its first performance in 1952.
From Wikipedia

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. In the United Kingdom, only one production of the play in addition to the West End production can be performed annually,[2] and under the contract terms of the play, no film adaptation can be produced until the West End production has been closed for at least six months.

The story Three Blind Mice was written in 1947, and published in the US in 1950.

The story is really a novella and the action slips past very quickly. Once the guest house becomes cut off by a snow storm, the tension builds and a murder takes place. There is a dramatic quality to the events, or is it just that I know that it is the basis of The Mouse Trap? One can imagine these events being played out on a stage.

Following the tradition with The Mouse Trap there will be no revealing of how the plot works out here. For the record, I did work out who the murderer was.
I am glad I read it. ( )
  smik | Jul 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kattelus, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mononen, SatuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Räsänen, TuijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeberg, Axel S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
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Alternative titles
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Three Blind Mice
Three Blind Mice

See how they run
See how they run

They all ran after the farmer's wife
She cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life
As three blind mice
First words
It was very cold. (Three Blind Mice)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published as The Mousetrap. Do not combine with the short story Three blind mice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Three blind mice
Miss Jane Marple
The Case of the caretaker
The Case of the perfect maid
Strange Jest
Tape-measure Murder
M. Hercule Poirot
The Third-floor Flat
The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly
Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Mr. Quin & Mr. Satterthwaite
The Love Detectives

Wikipedia page

A building snowstorm was not an auspicious beginning, but Molly and Giles Davis were determined to make a go of tier new guest house.  How could they know that among their first guests at snowbound Monkswell Manor was a murderer - a fiend who had already killed one "blind mouse" and was now waiting to pounce on numbers 2 & 3.

"Three Blind Mice" is the basis for the famous play "The Mousetrap", which opened in London in 1952, and is not the longest-running play in the English language.

It was very cold. THe sky was dark and heavy with unshed snow.
a man in a dark overcoat, with his muffler pulled up round his face, and his hat pulled down over his eyes, came along Culver St and went up the steps of number 74. He put his finger on the bell and heard it shrilling in the basement below.
Wheezing a little, Mrs. Casey toiled up the basement stairs and opened the door.
The man asked in a whisper "Mrs. Lyon?"
"Second Floor," said Mrs. Casey. "Go on up and knock."
When the man got round the bend of the staircase he began to whistle softly. The time he whistled was "Three Blind Mice." ....
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425068064, Mass Market Paperback)

Nine short mysteries feature sleuths Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, in a collection whose title story finds the guests of Monkswell Manor trapped inside by a snowstorm while a killer is on the loose. Reissue.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:46 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Ablinding snowstorm--and a homicidal maniac--traps a small party of friends in an isolated estate. Out of this deceptively simple setup, Agatha Christie fashioned one of her most ingenious puzzlers, which in turn would provide the basis for The MousetrapNew York Times).… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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