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Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

Five Little Pigs (1942)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (25)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,029582,886 (3.77)142
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)
  1. 10
    Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham (cmbohn)
  2. 11
    Hickory Dickory Death 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 142 mentions

English (53)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Sort a peculiar one for Poirot to be involved with, a murder that happened some 16 years prior to the time of this story being told. Poirot gathers up the remaining participants of the suspicious time frame. He has them each produce a narrative of what went on during the time in question. It is from these, plus his interviews with each person that he extracts the truth of the whole matter. ( )
  krgulick | Jun 19, 2019 |
Just recently reread this Christie book. I really enjoyed it! Piorot solves a 16 year old crime with 5 suspects. ( )
  loraineo | Jun 2, 2019 |
"Five Little Pigs" is my favourite Hercule Poirot book, and probably my 2nd favourite Christie work (beyond the dazzling "And Then There Were None").

Years after her mother died in a jail cell, a murderess' daughter comes to Poirot to ask him to re-open the case. Through lengthy interviews with the five others present on the day of an artist's murder, Poirot must unravel the haze of time present and past to uncover the true murderer. There is something so psychologically compelling in these characters, particularly the artist's self-absorbed mistress, that draws this above Christie's usual output. And although the artist and his wife are only seen through five different accounts, they come across as some of the most layered characters Christie ever produced. Poirot himself isn't all that relevant (indeed, many of the post-war novels seem to wish he wasn't in them), but only someone of his decades of experience could have unravelled this one.

Poirot ranking: 1st of 38. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Average plot, nothing thrilling but of course Poirot never ceases to impress. ( )
  Denicbt | Feb 5, 2018 |
Sixteen years ago everyone believed it was an open and shut case. The evidence irrefutably pointed at Caroline Crale poisoning her husband, Amayas. Caroline simply had enough of her husband’s cheating ways, which everyone kept trying to justify as the painter’s “artistic personality”. Every clue traced back to Caroline: the staged fingerprints, the stolen poison, the motive. Now that her daughter, Carla, has become of age and is preparing to marry, she receives a posthumous letter in the mail from her mother stating that she was innocent. Carla petitions the famous Hercule Poirot to find out the truth.

In an age without DNA databases, fingerprint scanners, and high-tech equipment, reopening a long closed case would be a daunting task for any detective. Hercule Poirot doesn’t see the Crale case that way. He sees this case as a challenge in to the psychology of murder and quickly begins to track down those involved. There are five very clear key players who were present at the time of the murder. Poirot enlists each of them to provide their side of the story through both interview and written narrative. What he finds are conflicting memories and motives associated with each person. Did Caroline Crale actually murder her husband or was it one of the five other people closest to him?

Chrsitie strikes again! I was so confident I knew the truth about the case this time. The style of writing in FIVE LITTLE PIGS was a mixture between Poirot interviewing the five eyewitnesses and them also each writing their own narrative about the events. This unique mixture let the reader see multiple points of view and spot differences between the retellings in an easy-to-read format. As usual, my favorite part of the story was when Poirot gathers everyone in the same room and reveals the truth behind the case and calls each character out on the lies they have been telling. I highly recommend this tale to anyone looking for an introduction to Agatha Christie and her famous detective, Hercule Poirot! ( )
  jess_reads_books | Feb 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (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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First words
Hercule Poirot looked with interest and appreciation at the young woman who was being ushered into the room.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"Five little Pigs" and "Murder in Retrospect" are the same work. It was first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in May 1942 under the title of Murder in Retrospect, and later in UK by the Collins Crime Club as Five Little Pigs.
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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."
"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]

Carla, Caroline and Amyas' daughter, who was five at the time of the murder, has returned from Canada and wants to know the truth, especially as her mother wrote her a deathbed letter swearing that she had not killed her husband. Carla persuades a reluctant Poirot to take the case, although he warns her that she will get the truth, even if it isn't what she wants it to be.
Haiku summary
After sixteen years
five eyewitnesses point Poirot
to the true killer.

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