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» » The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot Mystery)
The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot Mystery)


Agatha Christie


The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot Mystery)


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

PDF ebook size:

1990 kb

ePub ebook size:

1139 kb

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1722 kb

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Center Point Pub; Large Print edition (September 1, 2011)





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The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie

Mr. Hercule Poirot -- you fancy yourself, don't you, at solving mysteries that are too difficult for our poor thick-headed British police? Let us see, Mr. Clever Poirot, just how clever you can be.

When renowned detective Hercule Poirot receives a letter informing him of a murder that will take place on a certain day and in a certain town, he doesn't take it very seriously -- until he learns that, indeed, a murder happened just as foretold. Alice Ascher was killed in the town of Andover.

Now, in addition to Alice Ascher, Betty Barnard of Bexhill and Sir Carmichael Clarke of Churston are also dead. At the scene of each murder, an A.B.C. guide is found beside the body. A serial killer is on the loose -- someone who is determined to play games with the great Hercule Poirot. Hercule Poirot is a brilliant detective, but can he get inside the mind of a psychopath?

Agatha Christie is a dab hand at the art of distraction -- and so, at times, is her cerebral detective, Hercule Poirot.

I'm not sure how I skipped over this book when I started working my way through her backlist as a teen; hopefully the neighborhood library actually had a copy and it was just continually checked out. I'd hate to think that other Dame Agatha fans also missed out on this cunning puzzler. If you've missed this one, it definitely is worth adding to your to-read list.

The premise of this tale is deceptively simple. M. Poirot's deserved acclaim has preceded him among the public at large, and a determined soul thus has chosen the Belgian detective as a cross between confidante and modified cat's paw.

What follows is a seemingly linear series of events, though as usual when Christie is at the typewriter, there are tricky, twisty bits that advance the story in the moment but gain additional meaning once the last page is finished and the reader has a chance to reflect.

In addition to the faithful Hastings, Inspector Japp makes a cameo, but the rest of the ensemble cast, new to the most loyal of readers, is rather ingenious and illuminating on Christie's part. (Yes, as is the case in several other of her books, there are some dated word choices and frames of reference. It helps to imagine oneself reading this in 1936, the year in which it was initially published.) I hesitate to delve into the plot lest I let something slip. Christie largely plays fair with clues, red herrings and sleight of hand. The story moves briskly, with slower passages calculated to heighten suspense.

We also get fascinating glimpses into the thought processes of M. Poirot, such as this rather chilling observation midway through the story. "Crime is terribly revealing," Poirot tells Hastings when the latter expresses frustration about the murderer still being at large. "Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions."

KINDLE NOTES: File conversion of this title is spot on -- no hiccups or stray typographical artifacts. Poirot indulges in rather more instances of colloquial French than usual, but the Bing translation feature is able to cope with all of the phrases. If you should get an English-language translation, click "English > French" within the translation screen to reset the function. I had this happen three times during the book and the reset process was simple and accurate.
Before the story begins, the narrator introduces a difference in structure: Some chapters not involving him will be written from a third person perspective. This allows the reader to learn about the primary suspect before the first of three murders occurs. When Poirot receives an unsettling letter, the wheels of the plot are set in motion.

Three separate murders are brazenly predicted in specific locations on specific dates. What follows is a confused and futile attempt to stop each before it occurs. There are no apparent witnesses, nor is there any useful evidence.

Gradually, Poirot father's information by enlisting the assistance of people living at or near each murder's location. Patterns begin to emerge, which lead Poirot and law enforcement to a suspect. When the suspect turns himself into the police, it appears that the case has been solved.

One thing bags at Poirot: A notice has not been determined. His persistence with this missing piece of the puzzle keeps the case open in his mind, to the frustration of everyone else.

Christie masterfully shares the complicated inner workings of Poirot's with the reader, revealing how he determined the motives for the murders until the real murderer is behind bars.

The brilliance of Poirot as presented by Christie creates a page-turning and intriguing mystery.
A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie is a murder mystery starring the all-time favorite, Hercule Poirot. This book is up to par with Christie’s other books however it is very different. The setting moves with the alphabet. The character relations are relatable. Poirot’s wit is well put to use in this novel. It also gives a good look at how others possibly think and various ways that others will open up without knowing it. One such example of Poirot’s astonishing reasoning is when “by making a statement (and a somewhat out of the way and preposterous one) and by [Captain Hastings] contradiction of it, tongues are immediately loosened” (Christie).
Agatha Christie tells this story from different points of view. I liked this style because it gives us a wider range of knowledge of the situation. The plot is not easy to follow. There are many characters. It was hard to get started in this book, as is true in other Agatha Christie books. Each murder has a highly likely suspect completely unrelated to each other except for the clue the murderer purposely leaves behind. Although the plot is hard to follow it is also highly realistic. From sick motives to human nature to family relations, the book keeps it fairly real. For example, one time, Hastings “hastily presented the strawberries to a small boy who seemed highly astonished and faintly suspicious” (Christie).
Agatha Christie walks you down a path believing that you have it all figured out only to find out you are wrong. The ending was very interesting and there was an unexpected twist. I have read other Agatha Christie books and found this one equally as interesting but completely different. I would definitely recommend this book if you are an Agatha Christie fan.

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