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After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

After the Funeral (1953)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (31)

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2,795463,152 (3.64)86



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English (38)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Another Poirot I had to read because of my spouse's addiction to re-reading the books after we've seen videos of same.

In this one, a rich old man, Richard Abernethie, dies and leaves a large fortune. The family gathers for the reading of the will, and one of them, Cora Lansquenet, blurts out something like, "well he was murdered, of course". That gets people wondering. Next thing you know, Cora is herself murdered. Perhaps someone is trying to hush things up. Well, Poirot comes in, figures out a few things here, all with the help of his little grey cells, and the miscreant is unmasked.

This was ok, but not great. ( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
aka "Funerals are Fatal" ( )
  phollis68 | Apr 9, 2019 |
In which a stray comment from a batty relative leads to murder.

After the Funeral features one of my personal favourite denouements, as well as one of my favourite titles in the Christie canon. On the other hand, I think it struggles to integrate the detective, and relies a little bit too much on chance. "After the Funeral" is promisingly bleak, with a horde of greedy relatives torn asunder when – at the reading of a dead man’s will – a tactless relative intimates he was murdered. Dame Agatha was grand at creating scheming, backstabbing households, and "After the Funeral" is a powerful example. Unlike the repressed schemers of "4.50 From Paddington" or "Hercule Poirot’s Christmas", the Abernethie heirs really have no shame in their greed, and it’s not hard to suspect everyone in the two murders. In this bewildering mix, Christie floods us with clues while blinding us to the obvious. Indeed, hidden amongst the plot are many of Christie’s stalwart tropes, but reinvented and interpreted so as to seem refreshing. The denouement is simply a wonderful piece of plotting.

There aren’t really any flaws. While the murderer’s plan relies on taking a great risk, it seems reasonable that he or she would try it, and – unlike some very contrived plots like "The Body in the Library" – this is a risk that only requires one event to work as planned. Poirot puts in a good show of logic, but his characterisation gets somewhat lost under the weight of the others. Still, this was an era when Christie often inserted Poirot as an afterthought, so he’s probably lucky to have emerged at all.

[US readers, unsurprisingly, got this title rejiggered as "Funerals are Fatal", and, later "Murder at the Gallop", because a Margaret Rutherford Marple movie stole this plot.]

Poirot ranking: 10th out of 38. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Audiobook read by Hugh Fraser

Originally published as Funerals Are Fatal

From the book jacket: When Cora Lansquenet is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say, “It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it… But he was murdered, wasn’t he?” In desperation the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.

My reactions
Oh, I love Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells. Always entertaining and always keeping me guessing. Here we have quite a number of characters, all of whom seem to have some motive for killing Cora Lansquenet and/or Richard Abernathie. I’m glad I had a text copy along, because it has a family tree printed in it, which is a great help in keeping these various Abernathie relations straight. What a family! Hardly a likeable person in the bunch. I’d have been happy to have any one of them be the murderer. But that’s the joy of a Christie mystery.

The killer and Dame Christie cleverly give us many red herrings, false clues, misleading statements, and seemingly meaningless occurrences to confuse, baffle and thwart any attempts at solving the mystery. But, of course, Hercule Poirot will unveil the person responsible. I was almost as surprised as the culprit when the reveal came.

Hugh Fraser does a commendable job of voicing the audio. There are so many characters that it is hard to keep them straight at time, especially when there is a meeting of two or more women, but Fraser manages quite well. And I do love his interpretation of Hercule Poirot! ( )
  BookConcierge | Aug 30, 2018 |
This is a very well plotted book, set in the middle of the 20th century. It features an upper-middle class family who gather together after the demise of the family head, Richard Abernethie. Agatha Christie isn't noted for characterisation, but she creates some believable and distinct family members, any of whom could have committed the crimes which are investigated through the course of the book.

There's a fair amount of detailed descriptions, conversations and internal monologues, skipping about from person to person... but of course the clues to the puzzle are in these; I fell for several red herrings, and was convinced, at different times, that each main character must be guilty... other than the one who is eventually denounced.

Hercule Poirot is involved half-way through the book; he's always a delight, and I liked this book very much. Recommended to anyone who enjoys this kind of light crime fiction of sixty plus years ago. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Apr 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Åhlin, PerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckman, PerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomkvist, TorstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Correy, Michael P.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Driesbach, ElizabethDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fontinelle, ElianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hannah, SophieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Houm, LiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kalkofe, OliverSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovács György,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laurel, FaithCover artist and designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McBean, AngusAuthor photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molino, C. Peraire delTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pöhlmann, JanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peraire del Molino, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riambau, EsteveTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rojkowska, AnnaTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volpatti, LiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For James: In memory of happy days at Abney
First words
Old Lanscombe moved totteringly from room to room, pulling up the blinds.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
aka Funerals Are Fatal. Although the book on which it is based featured Hercule Poirot as the detective, the movie Murder at the Gallop featured Margaret Rutherford as Miss Jane Marple.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary
Surprise announcement
followed by brutal murder:
Poirot asks questions.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425173909, Mass Market Paperback)

The Queen of Crime at her murderously clever best. After the reading of a will, one female relative is banished from the family tree-with eight blows of a hatchet. Poirot believes she won't be the last to go.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:26 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Detective Hercule Poirot searches for the hatchet-wielding killer of Cora Lansquenet, who was brutally silenced after suspecting that her wealthy brother's death was not due to natural causes.

» see all 13 descriptions

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