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Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (1952)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Miss Marple (Short Stories), Hercule Poirot (1950)

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2,101287,712 (3.71)46
Fiction. Mystery. Short Stories. HTML:

Agatha Christie demonstrates her unparalleled mastery with Three Blind Mice and Other Storiesâ??a classic compendium of mystery and suspense, crime and detection, whose title novella served as the basis for The Mousetrap, the longest running stage play in the history of the London theater.

A blinding snowstormâ??and a homicidal maniacâ??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 Mousetrap, the longest-running play in history.

From this classic title novella to the deliciously clever gems on its tail (solved to perfection by Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple), this rare collection of murder most foul showcases Christie at her inventive best, proving her reputation as "the champion deceiver of our time" (New York Tim… (more)

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English (21)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
A fun little book consisting of a bunch of short story murder mysteries. Nothing amazing but a few solid stories. ( )
  MrMet | Apr 28, 2023 |
Three Blind Mice and Other Stories contains one miscellaneous story, the aforementioned Three Blind Mice, four Miss Marple stories, three Hercule Poirot and one Harley Quin. My favourite story was the Harley Quin, The Love Detectives. My least favourite was the Poirot, The Third Floor Flat. The overall collection rating comes in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. Individual ratings and reviews below.

MISC: THREE BLIND MICE: ***
MARPLE: 14.15: STRANGE JEST ***
MARPLE: 14.18: TAPE-MEASURE MURDER ****
MARPLE: 14.16: THE CASE OF THE PERFECT MAID ***
MARPLE: 14.17: THE CASE OF THE CARETAKER ****
POIROT: THE THIRD FLOOR FLAT: **
POIROT: THE ADVENTURE OF JOHNNIE WAVERLY: ****
POIROT: FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS: ***
HARLEY QUIN: THE LOVE DETECTIVES: *****

MISC: THREE BLIND MICE: ***

A manor house is turned into a guesthouse by a young married couple but the guests are shocked to become tangled in a cold case murder of a child. I didn't like this one much. It started out good and I was waiting for a decent twist but it never came. Well sort of. I mean the twist regarding the policeman being the murderer was good. I enjoyed that. But the ending for the rest of characters just fell kind of flat and mostly was confusing. 3 stars.

MARPLE 14.15: STRANGE JEST ***

Jane Helier introduces Miss Marple to friends that have just inherited the estate of their Uncle Mathew - which should have solved all their problems - except no one can find the money. Distrusting banks led to him converting it to gold bullion and supposedly burying it in the backyard. But the crater of the yard says otherwise. Jane brings in Miss Marple to find the gold.

I loved Jane's belief in Marple. It's amusing she's like tell her all you woes and bam, problem solved. Having read many similar stories with missing wills and estates and paranoid elderly people, I saw where this was going, for all I didn't quite catch all the details. I figured the papers they found were deeds or something, or a second will listing investments. Not that the stamps on the envelopes were the real treasure. I didn't like the attitudes towards Miss Marple so I enjoyed her proving them wrong and solving the problem. 3 stars.

MARPLE 14.18: TAPE-MEASURE MURDER ****

When Miss Marple's neighbour is murdered, the town is of the belief that it was the husband. But Miss Marple thinks otherwise and makes her own enquiries.

I liked this one well enough although I can't say I guessed the murderer. I think my attention wandered a little and left me missing a few clues. I liked that the Constable suggests Inspector Slack consult Miss Marple on the town gossip. Poor Inspector Slack. Having to turn to civilians for clues. I was amused that Miss Marple hints at her suspicions rather than just outright speaks up. And I was chuckling at her turn to crime. Stealing the tape measure. Very naughty. 3.5 stars.

MARPLE 14.16: THE CASE OF THE PERFECT MAID ***

Miss Marple becomes involved in some local drama when the cousin of her maid Edna, Gladys is dismissed from her maid position after being thought to have tried to steal a broach.

This one was alright. I missed that the Skinners themselves were the crooks. But I did guess what Marple was up to with the peppermint (getting fingerprints). I enjoyed her discussion with Inspector Slack and his surprise that she was right. I don't know why he expected otherwise. 3 stars.

MARPLE 14.17: THE CASE OF THE CARETAKER ****

While on bed rest recovering from the flu, Miss Marple is prescribed a mystery to solve by Dr Haydock about a curious case he had.

I enjoyed the conclusion to this one.



Yes, I think he had some powerful drug handy, that could be administered before you arrived. After all, if a woman is thrown from her horse and has serious injuries and dies without recovering consciousness, well—a doctor wouldn’t normally be suspicious, would he? He’d put it down to shock or something.” Doctor Haydock nodded. “Why did you suspect?” asked Miss Marple. “It wasn’t any particular cleverness on my part,” said Doctor Haydock. “It was just the trite, well-known fact that a murderer is so pleased with his cleverness that he doesn’t take proper precautions. I was just saying a few consolatory words to the bereaved husband—and feeling damned sorry for the fellow, too—when he flung himself down on the settee to do a bit of playacting and a hypodermic syringe fell out of his pocket.

Christie, Agatha. Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (Miss Marple Mysteries) (p. 295). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


Although I do enjoy following along with the mysteries and coming up with my own solutions - I was amused that Dr Haydock becomes suspicious on pure bad luck - the syringe falling out at the wrong moment because the criminal is busy being dramatic - classic.



3.5 stars.

POIROT: THE THIRD FLOOR FLAT: **

Four friends come up with a plan to get into their friend's flat via the coal lift. Except when they enter the wrong flat, they find a body. Poirot lives upstairs and gets drawn in when they're talking about calling the police. This was another frankly bizarre story. One of the men is in love with the woman and so kills his estranged wife so he could marry her? Why didn't they just get divorced? It doesn't seem like either one wanted to be together? I didn't really get it. 2 stars.

POIROT: THE ADVENTURE OF JOHNNIE WAVERLY: ****

Poirot investigates the kidnapping of a young boy. I liked the twists in this one. And I think I might actually be starting to like Hastings. The horror.

“So madame has never liked the butler. It is interesting, that, eh, Hastings?” I refused to be drawn. Poirot has deceived me so often that I now go warily. There is always a catch somewhere. (p. 182)

4 stars.

POIROT: FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS: ***

Poirot is out for dinner when he learns from the waitress about a regular customer who's made an irregular order. This one was alright. I guessed that he was being impersonated but it seemed a bit farfetched to have Poirot pick up on it without any prompting. The solution was clever though and it was an easy read. 3 stars.

HARLEY QUIN: THE LOVE DETECTIVES: *****

A man is killed and his wife and her lover confess to the crime - but did they do it? Yes they did! I really enjoyed this one. I loved this bit.

“Quite right, young man,” he said. “Half past six was the time. Perhaps you’ve heard that already? But this is altogether a most peculiar murder!” “Why?” “So many people confess to it,” said Colonel Melrose.

Christie, Agatha. Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (pp. 226-227). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


And this.

“My God!” cried Delangua. “But a woman couldn’t possibly do that—” He stopped, biting his lip. Melrose nodded with the ghost of a smile. “Often read of it,” he volunteered. “Never seen it happen.” “What?” “Couple of young idiots each accusing themselves because they thought the other had done it,” said Melrose.

Christie, Agatha. Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (p. 227). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


I was busy chuckling my way through. The twists and turns were clever and I loved watching it unfold. 5 stars. ( )
  funstm | Feb 25, 2023 |
Hall for Cornwall
  rogamills | Oct 8, 2022 |
A woman is murdered in the heart of London. Two days later, in the English countryside, five strangers are brought together for a night at a bed and breakfast, buried under a heavy snowstorm. Each brings a quirky personality, and a mysterious backstory. The proprietors--a young, married couple--are new to hosting guests. Is one of them connected to the crime? The phone line is cut. The pipes are frozen. No one can get in or out. A detective arrives, on snow skis no less. A blend of Murder On the Orient Express and And Then There Were None--set in a lodging house, it's a perfect little story for a snowed-in night next to the fire.

Only after I read The Mousetrap in two short days did I learn that the adaptation of this story is the longest-running play in the world--nightly shows since 1950 in London's West End. It makes sense: it's a perfect story for the stage with its quick pace, quirky characters, and plot twist, of course.

I enjoy Christie's jaunty style, though the characters feel a bit archetypal and the dialogue is a tad melodramatic. But we don't read Christie for depth of character, do we? Christie's scenes and dialogue exist to serve the shape and speed of the plot. We read her stories be thrown into a mystery to be solved with urgency, because lives literally depend on it. We read them to be filled with the suspense and surprises that come with it. The Mousetrap delivers. It's a page turner, to be sure.

The Mousetrap is the second book from Agatha Christie that I've read. I'm planning to see a US version of the famous West End play this fall, and wanted to read the story first. It's a quick read at just 80 pages. I read the 1970 paperback copy, which helps transport one closer to the time of its writing. It's fun to experience another of Christie's legendary plots. I'll dive more into her catalogue from here. ( )
  Valparaiso45 | Jul 27, 2022 |
Three Blind Mice Great classic - strangers trapped in an inn during a snow storm Strange Jest, The Tape-Measure Murder, The Case of the Perfect Maid, The Case of the Caretaker I wonder if this was the insparation for the later book Endless Night The Third Floor Flat The Adventure of Johnny Waverly Four and Twenty Black Birds The Love Detectives ( )
  nx74defiant | Aug 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
First words
It was very cold. (Three Blind Mice)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published as Three Blind Mice and Other Stories. Do not combine with the short story Three blind mice
Reissued as The Mousetrap

Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

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Fiction. Mystery. Short Stories. HTML:

Agatha Christie demonstrates her unparalleled mastery with Three Blind Mice and Other Storiesâ??a classic compendium of mystery and suspense, crime and detection, whose title novella served as the basis for The Mousetrap, the longest running stage play in the history of the London theater.

A blinding snowstormâ??and a homicidal maniacâ??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 Mousetrap, the longest-running play in history.

From this classic title novella to the deliciously clever gems on its tail (solved to perfection by Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple), this rare collection of murder most foul showcases Christie at her inventive best, proving her reputation as "the champion deceiver of our time" (New York Tim

No library descriptions found.

Book description
CONTENTS:
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." ....
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