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Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot) by Agatha…

Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot) (original 1937; edition 1986)

by Agatha Christie

Series: Hercule Poirot (16)

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2,692543,994 (3.67)101
Everyone blamed Emily's accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn't receive the letter until June 28th...by which time, Emily was already dead...… (more)
Title:Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot)
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Berkley (1986), Edition: Open market ed, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (1937)

  1. 10
    How Does Your Garden Grow and Other Stories by Agatha Christie (Porua)
    Porua: How Does Your Garden Grow? is a short story written by Agatha Christie. Its plotline is nearly identical with that of Dumb Witness. Anyone who has enjoyed Dumb Witness may want to check this short story out.

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» See also 101 mentions

English (48)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Ah, Hercule. ( )
  mullinstreetzoo | Feb 12, 2021 |
Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie is a 1937 mystery story that features Hercule Poirot and is narrated by his friend Captain Hastings. The story opens by introducing Emily Arundell, a wealthy elderly spinster, and her family, a motley collection of greedy relatives. When Emily takes a fall upon the stairs, it is blamed upon her dog leaving his ball at the top of the staircase, but Emily is greatly afraid that it wasn’t a ball that she tripped over. She writes to Hercule Poirot, wanting his help and very importantly, his discretion.

Unfortunately by the time Poirot receives the letter Emily has died presumably of natural causes. After reading the letter Poirot isn’t convinced that her death was natural so, with Hastings at his side, he sets out to investigate.

Dumb Witness definitely showcases the intelligence of Hercule Poirot, but I felt that his manner of solving the crime was a little extreme. However, the book has all the ingredients that we have come to expect from an Agatha Christie novel, plenty of red herrings, unreliable witnesses, interesting dialogue and a clever murderer who probably would have gotten away with it, if only Hercule Poirot wasn’t involved. I also enjoyed meeting Bob, the wire haired-terrier, the title’s Dumb Witness. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 17, 2020 |
Pariot recieves a letter from a Ms. Anadal asking for his help. It arrives several months after being written and when he arrives to find out the situation, he finds the lady dead. Before he death, he discovers that she took a fall, attributed to slipping on a ball that her dog, Bob, left at the top of the stairs, but the detective cries attempted murder and sets to work trying to figure out not only who staged that accident, but why the lady changed her will, and finally, who killed her. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
great read ( )
  devendradave | Sep 1, 2020 |
Well I now have a Hercule Poirot book I liked less than The Big Four and Mystery of the Blue Train.

The beginning of the book was actually very good. Agatha Christie sets the stage by allowing readers into the home of Emily Arundell. Miss Arundell has never married. She has three relations left in the world, two nieces (Theresa and Bella), and one nephew (Charles). Though Emily is fond of her family (in her way) she has no intention of helping any of them out when their finances are in dire straits.

Her family comes to visit, and while there, Miss Arundell has a fall down the stairs. Everyone believes it was Miss Emily's dog's ball that tripped her up. This is after her nephew also had almost fallen down the stairs because of it.

The incident leaves Miss Arundell disturbed. She writes to Poirot asking for his assistance. Unfortunately the letter is not delivered to Poirot for some months, and in the meantime Miss Emily has died. Many believe she finally passed away from a chronic liver condition. Poirot investigates with the usual Hastings assist.

There are some interesting red herrings in the case. However, right away for once I actually figured out who dun it. I think it was because I was pretty much disgusted throughout this entire book.

The usual unflappable Hastings acted like an ass throughout this book. He was at turn, rude and hostile towards Poirot, and rude and hostile to women like Miss Arundell's former companion, merely because he didn't care for her. I know that Hastings is supposed to be the audience's stand-in. However, even he was too stupid for words throughout this entire book.

Poirot is not his usual brilliant self. One reason why I adore him and Miss Marple is because they see what other people do not. Or in Miss Marple's case. She knows of someone somewhere who did a similar thing and this causes her eyes to be open by how other human beings will sometimes act. Poirot did not seem to catch onto things as quickly as before. One key piece of evidence I completely figured out before Poirot and Hastings figured it out.

I can say that I honestly did not figure out a second incident, but I would argue that since I don't have sufficient medical knowledge, there was no way for me to puzzle that one through.

The other characters I would say are well drawn. I was more interested in them then in the nasty back and forth between Hastings and Poirot. However, including the character of the dog (his name is Bob) and his "comments" was just ridiculous. It took me out of the story each and every time. Frankly I am still wondering who the "Dumb Witness" in this book is referring to. The dog didn't see anything.

I will say that I know that Ms. Christie was born and raised in a different time and place. However, the constant put downs towards people who are not British (one woman married a Greek man--the shame) and the nasty little saying about black people, I was well and fully sick of this book before I got to the end. The flow was all over the place too. I think it was the constant back and forth of the interviews between people. I don't want to call this book filler, but a good 1/3 of it could have been cut and it would not have suffered.

The setting of Little Green House was very well done. However, I wish that Poirot and Hastings had spent more time there. If anything, they just seemed to go around and interview people.

The ending made me roll my eyes. I think readers are supposed to feel satisfied with the ending. I for one was not. Maybe because I like to see justice done. Poirot's idea of justice frequently does not mesh with mine. Maybe this is why I was always such a Miss Marple fan. No matter what, she was about making sure that justice was done for those that were murdered. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahonen, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piceni, EnricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teason, WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Most faithful of friends
and dearest of companions,
a dog in a thousand
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Miss Arundell died on May 1st.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Everyone blamed Emily's accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn't receive the letter until June 28th...by which time, Emily was already dead...

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Book description
Haiku summary
Two-month-old letter
hints at mystery. Poirot
makes enquiries.

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