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Dame Agatha Christie, DBE, (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections (especially those featuring Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple), and her successful West End plays.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time and, with William Shakespeare, the best-selling author of any type. She has sold roughly four billion copies of her novels. According to Index Translationum, Christie is the most translated individual author, with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her. Her books have been translated into at least 103 languages.
Christie's stage play The Mousetrap holds the record for the longest initial run: it opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952 and as of 2011 is still running after more than 24,000 performances. In 1955, Christie was the first recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's highest honour, the Grand Master Award, and in the same year Witness for the Prosecution was given an Edgar Award by the MWA for Best Play. Many of her books and short stories have been filmed, some more than once (Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and 4.50 From Paddington for instance), and many have been adapted for television, radio, video games and comics.
In 1968, Booker Books, a subsidiary of the agri-industrial conglomerate Booker-McConnell, bought a 51 percent stake in Agatha Christie Limited, the private company that Christie had set up for tax purposes. Booker later increased its stake to 64 percent. In 1998, Booker sold its shares to Chorion, a company whose portfolio also includes the literary estates of Enid Blyton and Dennis Wheatley.
In 2004, a 5,000-word story entitled The Incident of the Dog's Ball was found in the attic of the author's daughter. This story was the original version of the novel Dumb Witness. It was published in Britain in September 2009 in John Curran's Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years Of Mysteries, alongside another newly discovered Poirot story called The Capture of Cerberus (a story with the same title, but a different plot, to that published in The Labours Of Hercules). On 10 November 2009, Reuters announced that The Incident of the Dog's Ball will be published by The Strand Magazine.
Miss Marple Mystery SeriesDownload Links:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie
Agatha Christie - The Murder At The Vicarage (read by Joan Hickson)
The Murder at the Vicarage is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1930 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
It is the first novel to feature the character of Miss Marple although the character had previously appeared in short stories published in The Royal Magazine and The Story-Teller Magazine starting in December 1927. These earlier stories would later appear in book form in The Thirteen Problems in 1932.
In St. Mary Mead, no one is more despised than Colonel Protheroe. Even the local vicar has said that killing him would be doing a service to the townsfolk. So when Protheroe is found murdered in the same vicar's study, and two different people confess to the crime, it is time for the elderly spinster Jane Marple to exercise her detective abilities.
The vicar and his wife, Leonard and Griselda Clement respectively, who made their first appearance in this novel, continue to show up in Miss Marple stories: notably, in The Body in the Library (1942) and 4.50 from Paddington (1957).
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 200 MB
Agatha Christie - The Tuesday Club Murders (read by Joan Hickson)
The unifying premise for this short story collection is the Tuesday Club: six people who meet socially one evening at Jane Marple's home and then decide to meet regularly each Tuesday night to solve a mystery which a group member must relate.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 186 MB
Agatha Christie - The Body In The Library (read by Stephanie Cole)
The Body in the Library is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1942 and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in May of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The novel features her fictional amateur detective Miss Marple.
On a quiet morning in the fictional English village of St. Mary Mead, a maid finds a body in the library. She wakes retired Colonel Bantry and his wife to inform them that a young woman, whom they do not know, is dead in their library. The police are called and a complex investigation ensues, spanning the two fictional counties of Radfordshire, where St. Mary Mead is located, and neighbouring Glenshire.
The victim is dressed flamboyantly in a tawdry satin evening dress, with hair dyed platinum blonde and heavy make-up. Medical tests show the cause of death to be strangulation, preceded by a heavy sedative. Despite the worldly appearance of the victim, examination reveals that she died virgo intacta. Nevertheless, Mrs Bantry realises that as long as the murder remains unsolved her husband will be a target for suspicion and gossip, so she invites Miss Marple, the village's amateur sleuth, to investigate. It soon turns out that Mrs Bantry's fears were justified, as the populace of the small village exaggerate details of the crime – very soon the body is "naked" rather than fully clothed – and point the finger of blame at Colonel Bantry.
After some deliberation, and the news has broken to many people, all local eyes are turned on the Colonel. The Chief Constable of police, a retired Colonel himself (Colonel Melchett), is more inclined to suspect Bantry's Bohemian young neighbour, Basil Blake. The latter is a minor technician in the film industry who lives the ostentatious, party-going lifestyle of a Hollywood star. Blake, however, has an alibi for the time of death (between 10 pm and midnight).
After numerous enquiries about missing persons, the victim is identified as eighteen-year old Ruby Keene, a professional dancer working at the Majestic Hotel in the seaside resort of Danemouth, eighteen miles away from the scene of the murder, in Glenshire. The body is identified by Ruby's cousin and colleague Josie Turner, who rather than being shocked or upset, seems unaccountably angry at the dead girl's death. Josie relates that she was forced to hire Ruby to take over some of her dancing duties at the resort after Josie suffered a sprained ankle.
The focus of the investigation then shifts from St. Mary Mead to Danemouth, and the Majestic Hotel. Besides Josie, the other staff member of interest to the police is Ruby's professional dance partner, Raymond Starr, who also works as the hotel's tennis coach. It was when Ruby failed to turn up for a midnight exhibition dance with Starr that her disappearance was noticed. The last person to have seen Ruby alive was one of the guests, a rather dim-witted young man named George Bartlett. Bartlett has no obvious motive for murder, and in fact appears to be the victim of a crime himself – his car has been stolen from the hotel courtyard.
There is a rather strange group of guests at the hotel whose lives seem to have become entwined with that of the late Ruby Keene. The centre of this group is Conway Jefferson, a rich, elderly, invalid who lost his legs in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of his wife, son and daughter. He now lives with Mark Gaskell, his daughter's widower, Adelaide Jefferson, his son's widow, and Peter Carmody, Adelaide's nine-year old son from an earlier marriage. All four members of the family are staying at the hotel together.
Conway Jefferson had become smitten by the naïve young Ruby, in what Christie describes as Cophetua syndrome. Jefferson, who has a weak heart and is not expected to live much longer, had decided to adopt Ruby as his daughter and amend his will to ensure that she would receive the bulk of his estate. Jefferson had provided his son and daughter with large sums before their deaths, and he believes that Mark and Adelaide are rich enough to require no further bequest from him. In fact this is untrue, since the bulk of their fortunes have been squandered and they are far more dependent on Jefferson than he realises.
The situation becomes more complicated when the burnt-out wreck of George Bartlett's car is found, with a second murder victim inside it. This body is charred beyond recognition, but on the basis of fragments of clothing it is identified as Pamela Reeves, a sixteen year old Girl Guide who had been reported missing earlier. It soon emerges that Pamela had arranged to attend a secret "screen test" with a man whom she believed to be a Hollywood film producer, but who appears to fit the description of Basil Blake. Pamela never returned from this covert rendezvous.
At this point of the novel, all the essential elements are in place. There are two bodies, one of which is so badly burnt that the possibility of a body-swap cannot be discounted. There are numerous suspects (Colonel Bantry, Basil Blake, Josie Turner, Raymond Starr, George Bartlett, Mark Gaskell and Adelaide Jefferson), several of whom are so strongly implicated that they must either have been involved in one or both of the murders, or have been deliberately framed by the true killer.
The true killers are Josie Turner and Mark Gaskell, who were secretly married. They switched Pamela Reeves and Ruby Keene's body around. Pamela was the one found in the Bantry's library. They knew how much Conway Jefferson planned to give Ruby and therefore murdered her.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 148 MB
Agatha Christie - The Moving Finger (read by Joan Hickson)
The Moving Finger is detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in July 1942 and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1943. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). It features the elderly detective Miss Marple in a minor, deus ex machina-like role, appearing more than halfway through and in only a handful of scenes.
Jerry and Joanna Burton, brother and sister from London society, take a country house in idyllic Lymstock so that Jerry can rest from injuries received in a wartime plane crash. They are just getting to know the town's strange cast of characters when an anonymous letter arrives, rudely accusing the two of not being brother and sister, but lovers. They quickly discover that these letters have been recently circulating around town, indiscriminate and completely inaccurate.
Things flare up when Mrs. Symmington, the wife of the local solicitor, commits suicide upon receiving a letter which states that her second child is actually illegitimate. Her body is discovered with the letter, a glass containing potassium cyanide and a torn suicide note which reads "I can't go on".
An inquest is held and the verdict of suicide is brought in. The police begin to search for the anonymous letter writer. The Burtons' maid, Partridge, receives a call from the Symmington's maidservant, Agnes, who seems distraught over something. Partridge asks Agnes over to tea the next afternoon, but Agnes never arrives. Agnes' body is discovered in the closet the next day by Mr. Symmington's rather shabby-dressed step-daughter, Megan.
Scotland Yard sends someone to investigate, and comes to the conclusion that the letter-writer/murderer is a middle-aged woman who must be one of the prominent citizens of Lymstock. Progress is slow until the vicar's wife calls up an expert of her own, Miss Marple. Jerry Burton gives Miss Marple some vital clues by telling her of the contents of his dreams and his disconnected thoughts.
There is a break in the case when the Symmington's beautiful young governess, Elsie Holland, receives an anonymous letter typed on the same typewriter, proven to have been used to create envelopes for all the previous letters. The doctor's sister, Aimee Griffith, is arrested, since she has been seen both typing the letter and delivering it.
On the way to London for a visit to his doctor, Jerry takes Megan along with him to London where he buys her some new clothes to make her look presentable. He also begins to realize that he has fallen in love with her. When they return to Lymstock, Jerry asks Megan to marry him, and she refuses. As a result, Jerry goes to Mr. Symmington to ask for his permission and to inform him of her refusal. Symmington, who is eager to have Megan off his hands, tells Jerry that he will speak with her.
Later that evening, Megan goes to Mr. Symmington’s office, and tries to blackmail him. He coolly pays her, but later, when Megan is asleep he tries to murder her by putting her head in the gas stove. He is immediately stopped by Jerry and the police. It is revealed that Miss Marple wished to prove Mr. Symmington’s guilt in this way, and that Megan was brave enough to assist her.
Symmington had written all the letters as a cover-up for killing his wife. He had used phrases from a similar incident, done by a school-girl, which fooled the police into thinking that a woman had been the letter writer. He murdered his wife by the use of cyanide and then planted the letter and a fake suicide note to disguise his crime. He committed the murders because he wished to marry his children's governess. Aimee Griffith, who was in love with Symmington, had written only the letter to Miss Holland, out of jealousy and to try to protect the man she loved from marrying the wrong woman.
Megan, in light of recent events, finally realizes that she does indeed love Jerry. His sister Joanna marries the local doctor, and both couples settle down in Lymstock instead of returning to London. After explaining the case, Miss Marple returns home to St. Mary Mead.
The book's title, The Moving Finger, is emphasized twice. The first is how the accusatory letters point blame from one town member to another, the second is from the addresses on the letters, which the Scotland Yard agent uses to determine the envelopes were all "typed by someone using one finger" in order to avoid a recognizable 'touch.'
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 269 MB
Agatha Christie - A Murder Is Announced (read by Rosemary Leach)
A Murder is Announced is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1950 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in the same month. The UK edition retailed at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6) and the US edition at $2.50.
The novel features her detective Miss Marple and is considered a crime novel classic.
The book was heavily promoted upon publication in 1950 as being Christie's fiftieth book, although in truth this figure could only be arrived at by counting in both UK and US short story collections.A strange notice appears in the morning paper of a perfectly ordinary small English village, Chipping Cleghorn: "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 29th, at Little Paddocks, at 6:30 p.m. Friends accept this, the only intimation." This apparently comes as a great surprise to Letitia Blacklock, the owner of Little Paddocks, as she has no idea what the notice means; she didn't place it and none of her companions knows more than she. Miss Blacklock decides to take it in her stride and prepares herself to have guests that evening.
Naturally, the villagers are intrigued by this notice, and several of them appear on the doorstep with awkward reasons but a definite interest. As the clock strikes 6:30, the lights go out and a door swings open, revealing a man with a blinding torch.
In a heavily accented voice, the man demands they "Stick 'em up!" Most of the guests do so, believing it to be part of a game. The game ends when shots are fired into the room. The door slams shut, and panic takes hold: in short order, it's discovered that the fuses are blown, the gunman has been shot, and Ms. Blacklock's ear is bleeding, apparently from a bullet's near-miss. The most curious thing of all is the gunman: he is recognized by Dora Bunner (an old friend of Letitia's, affectionately known as "Bunny", who also lives at Little Paddocks) as Rudi Scherz, the receptionist at a local spa, who had asked Letitia for money just a few short days ago.
The police are called in. All clues suggest that the case is merely a strange suicide or accidental death, but Inspector Craddock is uneasy about both possibilities. As luck would have it, Miss Marple is a guest at the very same spa where Rudi Scherz was employed. Craddock is advised to involve her in the case, and the two commence working together. At the spa, it emerges that Rudi has a criminal background, but petty theft and forgery rather than any more serious crime. His girlfriend, a waitress at the spa, however, reveals that not only had he been paid to appear, he believed it was all "a silly English joke": clearly he was not planning on being shot at.
With this new knowledge, Craddock returns to Chipping Cleghorn. Miss Marple, not uncoincidentally, is the godmother of the local vicar's wife, and decides to stay with her.
The first step is to establish a motive for Scherz's attack on Miss Blacklock. This presents a problem: Letitia has no known enemies. She worked for a successful financier (Randall Goedler) and has done quite well for herself but is not herself wealthy. She does not lead a lavish life and, aside from her house, she has only enough to live on. However, she may shortly come into a great deal of money; Randall Goedler's estate passed to his wife, Belle, when he died. Belle is frail, and is now very near death. When Belle dies, Miss Blacklock inherits everything. If, however, she predeceases Belle, the estate goes to the mysterious "Pip" and "Emma", children of Randall's estranged sister, Sonia. No one knows where these two are, much less what they look like.
Inspector Craddock discovers oil on the hinges of a door into the parlor (where the shooting took place) thought to be unused, and Bunny mentions that until quite recently there had been a table placed against the door.
Inspector Craddock travels to Scotland to meet Belle; she mentions that Letitia had a beloved sister, Charlotte, who was born with a goiter. Their father, an old-fashioned doctor, tried unsuccessfully to treat Charlotte, but she only withdrew further into herself as her goiter got worse. Their father died shortly before World War II, and Letitia gave up her job with Goedler and took her sister to Switzerland for the necessary surgery to repair the defect. The two sisters waited out the war in the Swiss countryside, but before it was over, Charlotte died very suddenly. Letitia returned to England shortly thereafter.
Miss Marple takes tea with Bunny during her shopping trip with Letitia, and Bunny reveals several details about the case: she talks about the recently oiled door she found with the Inspector; she's sure that Patrick Simmons, a young cousin of Letitia's who, with his sister Julia, is also staying at Little Paddocks, is not as he appears; and, most tellingly, she's absolutely positive there was a different lamp in the room on the night of the murder (the one with the shepherdess and not with the shepherd) than there was now. Their tête-à-tête is interrupted, however, as Letitia arrives, and she and Bunny resume their shopping.
That evening, Letitia arranges a birthday party for Bunny, complete with all Bunny's friends and even a chocolate cake; this was while rationing was still in effect in England—butter and eggs were hard to come by even in a rural community, and chocolate was quite rare. Afterward, Bunny complains of a headache and goes to bed after taking some of Letitia's aspirin, as her own bottle of aspirin bought that morning seems to be missing. Bunny dies from poisoning in her sleep.
Miss Marple visits Ms. Blacklock, who mourns Bunny and starts crying. Miss Marple asks to see photo albums which might contain pictures of Sonia Goedler, Pip and Emma's mother, but all photos of Sonia were taken out of the albums recently, although they were in place before the death of Rudi Scherz.
Through deduction and reenactment, Misses Hinchliffe and Murgatroyd (two spinster farmers who were also present at the time of the Scherz murder) figure out that Miss Murgatroyd could see who was in the room as she was standing behind the door when it swung open; she couldn't have seen Rudi as he was on the other side of the opened door, but she could see whose faces were illuminated by the torch beam. The two women conclude that the person who wasn't in the room (and therefore not seen by Miss Murgatroyd) could have snuck out of the room when the lights went out and come around behind Rudi, and shot at him—and Miss Blacklock.
Just as she remembers the one person not in the room, the stationmaster calls to notify them that a dog has just arrived. As Miss Hinchliffe pulls away in her car, Miss Murgatroyd runs into the driveway, shouting "She wasn't there!" She is murdered while Miss Hinchliffe is away, and so does not reveal whom she did not see.
Miss Hinchliffe returns and meets Miss Marple. They discover Murgatroyd's body, and a distraught Hinchliffe informs Miss Marple of Murgatroyd's cryptic statement.
At Little Paddocks, Letitia receives a letter from the real Julia Simmons in Perth. She confronts "Julia" with the letter, and "Julia" reveals that she is actually Sonia's daughter, Emma Stamfordis, masquerading as Julia so that she could attempt to gain a portion of the inheritance from Letitia and let the real Julia could spend time pursuing an acting career.
Julia/Emma insists she is uninvolved in the assassination attempt—she was a crack shot during the French Resistance and would not have missed at that range, even in the dark—nor did she wish to prevent Letitia from inheriting Randall Goedler's estate. She had intended to ingratiate herself with Letitia and try to obtain a portion of the money, and once the murder took place, had no choice but to continue the masquerade.
Phillipa Haymes (a boarder at Little Paddocks and a young widow) sneaks into the kitchen to speak to Julia/Emma, but Julia/Emma sends her away before finding out what Phillipa had to say. That night, the vicar's cat, Tiglath Pileser, knocks over a glass of water onto a frayed electrical cord, which causes the fuses to blow, and the final clue falls into place for Miss Marple.
Inspector Craddock gathers everyone at Little Paddocks and launches the final inquest, which is interrupted by Mitzi, Letitia's foreign "lady-help", crying out that she saw Letitia commit the murder. The inspector does not believe her, and continues with his questioning.
The inspector continues, and quickly insinuates that Edmund Swettenham who, with his widowed mother, was also present at the shooting, is in fact Pip. However, Phillipa comes forward and confesses that she is in fact Pip; Inspector Craddock then accuses Edmund of wanting to marry a rich wife in Phillipa by murdering Letitia. Edmund denies this and as he does so, a terrified scream is heard from the kitchen.
Everyone rushes to the kitchen and discovers Miss Blacklock attempting to drown Mitzi in the sink. Miss Blacklock is arrested by a local constable who has been hiding in the kitchen with Miss Marple, who imitates Dora Bunner's voice to make Ms. Blacklock break down.
Miss Marple explains it quite simply: it wasn't Charlotte who died in Switzerland, but Letitia. Charlotte, aware that Letitia was in line to inherit a fortune, posed as Letitia and returned to England; few people knew Charlotte, as she had been a recluse before leaving England, and a slight change in Letitia's appearance could be explained away to casual acquaintances by her time abroad during the war. She need only avoid people who knew Letitia well, such as Belle Goedler, and to always cover her throat with strings of pearls or beads to hide the scars from her goiter surgery. Bunny was one of the few people who remembered Charlotte as Charlotte, but by then, Charlotte was so lonely that she allowed her old school friend to move in.
However, Rudi Scherz could have ruined everything: he worked at the Swiss hotel where the sisters had stayed and could therefore also identify Charlotte as herself. This is why Letitia/Charlotte hired him to come to Chipping Cleghorn and "hold up" a room full of guests: she blew the fuse by pouring water from a vase of flowers onto the frayed cord of a lamp, slipped out the second door, stood behind Rudi, and shot him. She then nicked her ear with a pair of nail scissors and rejoined the others, playing the part of perplexed host.
Bunny became the next target because she, too, could reveal too much. Bunny had an eye for detail, but was prone to slip-ups: on several occasions, she referred to Ms. Blacklock as "Lotty" (short for "Charlotte") instead of "Letty" (short for "Letitia"), and her conversation with Miss Marple in the cafe proved fatal.
Miss Murgatroyd, the final victim, was also killed for guessing too much and for coming to the realization that Letitia/Charlotte was the one person, beside herself, whose face was not illuminated by Rudi Scherz's torch.
Mitzi and Edmund had been persuaded by Miss Marple to play parts in tripping Charlotte Blacklock up; Miss Marple's plans were almost brought down when Phillipa admitted to being Pip, but Inspector Craddock thought fast enough to turn around and claim Edmund was after Phillipa's money.
In the end, Phillipa/Pip and Julia/Emma inherit the Goedler fortune; Edmund and Phillipa/Pip get married and return to Chipping Cleghorn to live.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 239 MB
Agatha Christie - They Do It With Mirrors (read by Joan Hickson)
They Do It With Mirrors is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1952 under the title of Murder with Mirrors and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 17 in the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6). The book features her detective Miss Marple.
As the story opens, Jane Marple is paying a visit to her old friend Ruth Van Rydock. Miss Marple, Ruth, and Ruth's sister Carrie Louise were all friends together at the same school in Italy when they were girls. Ruth is worried that something is very wrong at Stonygates, the Victorian mansion where Carrie Louise lives with her husband Lewis Serrocold. She can't explain any real reason for these worries, but she fears that Carrie Louise may be in danger of some kind. Ruth asks Miss Marple to visit her and find out what is going on.
Carrie Louise is delighted to have Jane for a visit at Stonygates. The old Victorian mansion, though owned outright by Carrie Louise, has been converted into a home for delinquent boys which is run by Carrie Louise's husband, Lewis Serrocold. Lewis Serrocold is actually Carrie Louise's third husband; she was also once widowed and once divorced. Carrie Louise has always been attracted to men who had their minds on noble causes. Her first husband, Mr. Gulbrandsen, was a great philanthropist, and Mr. Serrocold is devoted to the idea of reforming juvenile delinquents and teaching them how to contribute to society. The boys are involved in theatrical productions and many other activities around the estate during the day, but at night they are confined to their own quarters. The family has the central block of the house to themselves.
The family includes many people who are connected to each other only through Carrie Louise. Mildred Strete is the only blood relative of Carrie Louise who is resident at Stonygates. She is Carrie Louise's daughter by her first marriage. Carrie Louise also had an adopted daughter, Pippa, who died after giving birth to her own daughter, Gina. Now an adult, Gina is married to an American named Walter Hudd and has recently returned to Stonygates. Juliet Bellever (nicknamed Jolly), a long time companion, caretaker, and friend of Carrie Louise is also a permanent fixture at the mansion. Stephen and Alex Restarick, Carrie Louise's stepsons from her second marriage, are also frequent visitors.
Also frequently present at Stonygates is Lewis Serrocold's assistant, Edgar Lawson. Edgar is an awkward young man whom the others dismiss as pompous and half-mad. He seems to suffer from both a persecution complex and delusions of grandeur. On several occasions he confides to others that he is the illegitimate son of a great man, and claims that powerful enemies are conspiring to keep him from his rightful position.
Christian Gulbrandsen, a member of the Stonygates Board of Trustees and the son of Carrie Louise's first husband from his previous marriage, arrives unexpectedly to see Lewis Serrocold. Everyone assumes he is there on business, but no one is sure exactly why. After dinner, Mr. Gulbrandsen retires to the guest room to type a letter. Miss Marple and the others gather in the Great Hall. A fuse blows out, and Walter goes to repair it.
Edgar Lawson bursts into the darkened room, screaming that Lewis Serrocold is his real father. Edgar and Mr. Serrocold go into the study and Edgar locks the door behind him. Everyone in the Great Hall listens intently as Edgar screams accusations at Mr. Serrocold, then they hear multiple gunshots. When the door is finally opened, they are surprised but relieved to see that Mr. Serrocold is alive and well, Edgar in tears, and several bullet holes in the walls.
Yet there has been a murder at Stonygates that night after all. When Juliet Bellever goes to check on Christian Gulbrandsen, she finds him dead. He was shot while working at his typewriter, and the letter he was writing is gone. Lewis Serrocold later reveals to the police that he took the letter to keep his wife from learning its contents. He explains that he and Mr. Gulbrandsen were both concerned that Carrie Louise's recent poor health was due to deliberate poisoning.
At that point, Alex Restarick, Stephen's brother, arrives. He becomes the most likely suspect since the police who come to investigate find an unaccounted period of time between his arrival in the car and his appearance in the Great Hall.
Alex Restarick's remarks about stage scenery lead Miss Marple to reflect on all kinds of stage illusion, such as conjurers who perform magic by using mirrors and stage sets and assistants who are in on the trick. When Alex and a boy who claimed to have seen something on the night of the murder are both killed, Miss Marple realizes who has been behind the plotting at Stonygates: Lewis Serrocold. The attempted poisoning of Carrie Louise never happened; it was an explanation hastily concocted by Serrocold to explain Christian Gulbrandsen's sudden appearance at Stonygates and his secretive conference with Mr. Serrocold. In fact, Gulbrandsen had discovered that Mr. Serrocold was embezzling from the Gulbrandsen Trust, and Serrocold and his unstable accomplice, Edgar Lawson, killed him to silence him. The murder was accomplished via illusion and misdirection, as Alex Restarick and Miss Marple both eventually realized: "behind the scenes" of the interior of the house, which everyone had been focused on, there was a terrace by which someone could exit the study and re-enter the house to commit murder without being seen by the rest of the residents. This was what Mr. Serrocold had done, while Lawson, using his acting talents and different voices, had continued both sides of the loud argument by himself.
When confronted by the police, Edgar Lawson panics and flees the house, jumping into an old boat in an attempt to cross a lake on the property. The boat is rotted though, and as it begins to sink, Lewis Serrocold jumps into the lake to rescue his accomplice. Both men are caught in the reeds that line the lake, and drown before police are able to rescue them, bringing an end to the case.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 74 MB
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Agatha Christie - A Pocket Full Of Rye (read by Rosalind Ayres)
A Pocket Full of Rye is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 9, 1953, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6) and the US edition at $2.75. The book features her detective Miss Marple.
Like several of Christie's novels (e.g., Hickory Dickory Dock, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe) the title and substantial parts of the plot reference a nursery rhyme, in this case Sing a Song of Sixpence.
When a upper middle class Rex Fortescue dies while having black tea, the police are shocked. Mr. Fortescue died during his morning tea in his office and the diagnosis was that a poison, taxine - a poison found as a mixture of cardiotoxic diterpenes in the leaves, but not the berries (arils), of the European yew tree - had killed him. His wife was the main suspect in the murder, until she also was murdered, after she drank tea laced with cyanide. Her lover, Vivian Dubois, was the suspect next, as well as just about everyone that knew the family. Going on the only clue, a pocket full of rye found on the victim, Miss Marple begins investigating. Marple realizes the murders are arranged according to the pattern of a childhood nursery rhyme, Sing a Song of Sixpence.
The next to be murdered is a maid named Gladys with whom Miss Marple was acquainted. She knew Gladys to be romantic and gullible. The other maid, Mrs Crump, was hanging out the washing when she found Glady's body all mangled up in the clothes line with a peg on her nose. The younger Fortescue son, Lancelot, suddenly arrives from Kenya with his new wife. The older son, Percival, admits that his father was senile and ruining the business. Miss Marple discovers that the use of the rhyme in the crimes was to point the finger at an old dealing of the Blackbird Mine, in which old Fortescue was suspected of having killed his partner, MacKenzie, and swindled the mine from his partner's family. The mine is in Kenya. Thinking that one of the two MacKenzie children is responsible, Miss Marple and Inspector Neele trace Jennifer Fortescue (Percival's wife) to be the daughter of Mackenzie - something that she does indeed admit, as well as taking responsibility for placing dead blackbirds near Rex at various times to remind him of his past crimes. Jennifer's involvement, however, turns out to be a red herring as the murderer is, in fact, Lancelot. He had found out that the Blackbird Mine was valuable and wanted to inherit it, and so he met and romanced his scapegoat Gladys. He talked her into joining the Fortescue household and administering the poison in Rex's morning marmalade, telling her that it was a truth drug and fabricating her a story about needing old Fortescue to tell the truth in order to clear his name for something that he had been falsely accused of. Then, he killed Gladys so that she would not turn him in, and killed his stepmother so that the inheritance went to the children.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 74 MB
Agatha Christie - 4.50 From Paddington (read by Joan Hickson)
4.50 from Paddington is detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 4 November 1957, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in the same month under the title of What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!. The UK edition retailed at twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6) and the US edition at $2.95. A paperback edition by Pocket Books in 1963 changed the title again to Murder, She Said to tie in with the feature film release. The novel features Miss Marple.
Elspeth McGillicuddy has come from Scotland to visit her old friend Jane Marple. On the way, she sees a woman strangled in a passing train. Only Miss Marple believes her story as there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The first task is to ascertain where the body could have been hidden. Comparison of the facts of the murder with the train timetable and the local geography, lead to the grounds of Rutherford Hall as the only possible location: it is shielded from the surrounding community, the railway abuts the grounds, and so on. Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a young professional housekeeper & an acquaintance of Mrs Marple is sent undercover to the Rutherford Hall.
Josiah Crackenthorpe, purveyor of tea biscuits, built Rutherford Hall. His son Luther, now a semi-invalid widower, had displayed spendthrift qualities in his youth. To preserve the family fortune, Josiah left his considerable fortune in trust, the income from it to be paid to Luther for life. After Luther's death, the capital is to be divided equally among Luther's children. Luther Crackenthorpe is merely the trustee of Rutherford Hall & hence cannot sell the house as per the will. The house itself will be inherited by Luther Crackenthorpe's eldest surviving son or his issue.
The eldest of Luther Crackenthorpe's children, Edmund, died during World War II. His youngest daughter, Edith, died four years before. The remaining heirs to the estate are Cedric, a bohemian painter and lover of women who lives on Ibiza; Harold, a cold and stuffy banker; Alfred (Flash Alf), the black sheep of the family and a man known to engage in shady business dealings; Emma Crackenthorpe, a spinster who lives at home and takes care of Luther; and Alexander, son of Edith. The characters are completed by Bryan Eastley, Alexander's father and Dr. Quimper,who looks after Luther's health and is quietly romantically involved with Emma.
Lucy uses golf practice as an excuse to search the grounds. She eventually finds the woman's body hidden in a sarcophagus in the old stables amongst Luther's collection of dubious antiques. But who is she? The police eventually identify the victim's clothing as being of French manufacture. Emma tells the police that she has received a letter claiming to be from Martine, a French girl whom her brother had wanted to marry. He had written about Martine and their impending marriage days before his death in the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. The letter purporting to be from Martine claims that she was pregnant when Edmund died and that she now wishes their son to have all of the advantages to which his parentage should entitle him.
The police conclude that the body in the sarcophagus is that of Martine, but this proves not to be the case, when Lady Stoddart-West, mother of James Stoddart-West, a schoolfriend of Alexander's, reveals that she is Martine. Although she and Edmund had intended to marry, Edmund died before they could do so and she later married an SOE officer, settling in England.
The whole family takes ill suddenly and Alfred dies. Later, the curry made by Lucy on the fateful day is found to contain arsenic. Some days later, Harold, after returning home to London, receives a delivery of some tablets that appear to be the same as the sleeping pills prescribed to him by Dr Quimper, but who had told him he need not take them anymore. They prove to be poisoned and Harold dies. One by one the heirs to Josiah's fortune are being eliminated.
Lucy arranges an afternoon tea visit to Rutherford Hall for Miss Marple and Mrs McGillicuddy is also invited. Mrs McGillicuddy is instructed by Miss Marple to ask to use the lavatory as soon as they arrive, but is not told why. Miss Marple is eating a fishpaste sandwich when she suddenly begins to choke. It seems she has a fishbone stuck in her throat. Dr Quimper moves to assist her. Mrs McGillicuddy enters the room at that moment, sees the doctor's hands at Miss Marple's throat, and cries out 'but that's him - that's the man on the train!'.
Miss Marple had correctly concluded that her friend would recognise the real murderer if she saw him again in a similar pose. It transpires that the murdered woman had been married to Dr Quimper many years earlier. Being a devout Catholic, she refused to divorce him, so he decided to murder her and be free to marry Emma, thus inheriting Josiah's fortune, once he had eliminated the other heirs.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 247 MB
Agatha Christie - The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side (read by Joan Hickson)
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 12, 1962 and in US by Dodd, Mead and Company in September 1963 under the shorter title of The Mirror Crack'd and with a copyright date of 1962. The UK edition retailed at fifteen shillings (15/-) and the US edition at $3.75. It is set in the fictional English village of St. Mary Mead and features Miss Marple. It was dedicated by Christie: "To Margaret Rutherford, in admiration."
At first, detecting the murderer is extremely difficult because there seems to be no motive. Because Marina Gregg had given Heather Badcock her own drink shortly after meeting her it is assumed that Marina Gregg must have been the intended victim. Also Marina is much more famous and correspondingly more likely to be a target. However, it eventually becomes apparent that Marina herself poisoned the drink and intended to kill Heather Badcock. Discovering the murderer is complicated because the motive is so obscure.
It is known that when Heather Badcock encountered Marina Gregg at the party where she is murdered, she had told her her favourite anecdote about how, years before, she had been ill, but had sneaked out to meet Marina and get her autograph. A terrible expression appeared on Marina's face as she heard this story, reminding a witness of the line from Tennyson's poem. Marina had always desperately wanted children but had found it difficult to conceive. However, after adopting three children, she had finally become pregnant. But when her baby was born it was found to be mentally retarded and was abandoned to a lifetime of institutions, leaving Marina emotionally scarred.
Miss Marple later deduces what Marina had instantly realised. Heather's minor illness was German measles; she had infected Marina and caused the mental retardation, and effectively the 'loss', of her only child. Marina murdered Heather for revenge.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 196 MB
Agatha Christie - A Caribbean Mystery (read by Rosalind Ayres)
A Caribbean Mystery is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 16, 1964 and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50. It features the detective Miss Marple.
"Would you like to see a picture of a murderer?", Jane Marple is asked by Major Palgrave whilst on a luxurious holiday in the Caribbean. When she replies that she would like to hear the story, he explains. There once was a man who had a wife who tried to hang herself, but failed. Then she tried again later, and succeeded in killing herself. The man remarried to a woman who then tried to gas herself to death. She failed, but then tried again later and succeeded. Just as Major Palgrave is about to show the picture to her, he looks over her shoulder, appears startled, and changes the subject. The next morning, a servant, Victoria Johnson, finds him dead in his room. Doctor Graham concludes that the man died of heart failure; he showed all the symptoms, and had a bottle of serenite (a drug for high blood pressure) on his table.
Miss Marple is convinced that Palgrave was murdered, but needs to see the photograph he was about to show her before seeing something over her shoulder that caused him to stop. She asks Doctor Graham to find it, saying it is a picture of her nephew. Meanwhile, she interviews other people, including Tim and Molly Kendall, the owners of the hotel, Mr Rafiel, an invalid, and Esther Walters, Mr. Rafiel's secretary, Lucky Dyson and her husband and Edward and Evelyn Hillingdon. On the beach when Mr Rafiel is going for a swim, Miss Marple sees Senora de Caspearo, a woman on holiday. She says that she remembers Major Palgrave because he had an evil eye. Miss Marple corrects her that he actually has a glass eye, but she still says that it was evil.
Victoria informs the Kendalls that she did not remember seeing the serenite on the man's table when she was tidying up in the afternoon. That night, Victoria is found stabbed. Molly starts having nightmares every night, and Miss Marple investigates why Molly is having nightmares. She finds Jackson in the house looking at Molly's cosmetics, saying that if belladonna was administered to it, then it would cause nightmares. The next night, Tim finds Molly unconscious on the floor, having taken an overdose of sleeping pills. The police are involved, and a cook, Enrico, tells them that he saw Molly Kendall holding a steak knife before going outside. Miss Marple also asks people if Major Palgrave told people about the photo, and other people say that it was not a photo of a wife killer he said, but a husband killer and Miss Marple becomes confused.
At night, Tim wakes up the hotel as his wife, Molly, is missing. They find what seems to be her body, in the ocean. Miss Marple arrives and tells them that it is not Molly, but Lucky; the two resemble one another. Miss Marple rudely wakes Mr Rafiel at night and tells him that they must prevent another death. They go to Tim and Molly Kendall's house and find Tim asking Molly to drink some wine as it will soothe her down. Miss Marple takes it away from him and gives it to Rafiel, saying that there was a deadly narcotic in it. She explains that Tim Kendall is the wife killer that Major Palgrave had a photo of, but saw him over Miss Marple's shoulder. Miss Marple thought that he saw someone on the right, where the Hillingdons and the Dysons were coming up the beach, but she remembered that he had a glass eye so could not see on his right, but only on his left where Tim and Molly were sitting. Tim was planning to kill his wife, but Major Palgrave recognized him and so had to be killed, and Victoria remembered the serenite so she was killed. Tim put belladonna in Molly's cosmetics to have a reason for her to commit suicide. When Molly accidentally took the sleeping pill overdose, Tim saw his chance and asked her to meet him by the pond. Molly, on her way to the meeting, had a scary vision from the belladonna and wandered off. Tim saw Lucky waiting there and mistook her for Molly and killed her. He was about to poison her when Miss Marple came in. Esther Walters suddenly falls to Tim's knees and says that Tim isn't a killer. Tim shouts at her if she wants to get him hanged.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 164 MB
Agatha Christie - At Bertram's Hotel (read by Stephanie Cole)
At Bertram's Hotel is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 15 November 1965 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50. It features the detective Miss Marple.
Jane Marple, the elderly amateur sleuth, takes a holiday at Bertram's hotel in London, to re-live her happy memories of staying there during her youth. The hotel is famous for fully preserving its Edwardian atmosphere even into the 1960s, from the proper staff to the elderly guests who frequent the tearoom. Miss Marple first sees Lady Selina Hazy, a childhood friend. Lady Hazy says she often thinks she recognizes people in the hotel but they turn out to be strangers. Miss Marple is intrigued by the other guests in the tearoom, especially a famous adventuress Bess Sedgwick, a young woman Elvira Blake and her guardian Colonel Luscombe, and a forgetful clergyman Canon Pennyfather.
Elvira's late father left her a lot of money, but it's all held in trust until she, not yet 20, turns 21. Her mother, Bess Sedgwick, had abandoned her as a toddler to become a famous star and adventurer, and has not kept in touch. Elvira suddenly starts asking her guardians who would inherit her money if she dies, and hints that she may be planning marriage. She also says somebody had tried to poison her during her school days in Italy. She secretly flies to Ireland for 24 hours, telling her best friend only that she has to find out something that's a matter of life and death.
Canon Pennyfather is supposed to fly to Switzerland the same day, also for 24 hours, to attend a religious conference in Lucerne. But he's so forgetful he doesn't arrive at the airport until the following evening, by which time the conference is over. He returns to the hotel around midnight, and upon entering his room, sees something very surprising and is immediately knocked on the head. He wakes up four days later in a house several hours from London but near the location where the Irish Mail train was robbed three days earlier. A family had found him on the side of the road and took him in, but he remembers nothing since taking the taxi to the airport. Yet some witnesses at the train robbery say they saw somebody who looked like him at the scene. Miss Marple also saw him leaving his hotel room at 3 am, three hours after he was knocked on the head, and a few hours before the robbery.
It turns out that Lady Sedgwick had hidden herself from Elvira because she did not consider herself a suitable mother given her lifestyle. Both Sedgwick and Elvira are lovers of the same man, the race car driver Ladislaus Malinowski. However, both women claim that Elvira doesn't know him. But Miss Marple knows that she does, because she has seen Elvira and Malinowski together at a restaurant. She thinks Malinowski is an unsuitable man for Elvira, and wishes she could save her from getting involved with him. Meanwhile, a car similar to Malinowski's was seen at the train robbery, and at several other train robberies. Similar but not identical: the licence plates were off by one digit.
Miss Marple overhears Bess Sedgwick talking with the hotel comissionaire Micky Gorman. It turns out they had earlier been married in Ireland. At the time Gorman had told her the wedding was just a game and not a legal marriage. But in fact it was a real marriage, and so her four subsequent marriages were unwittingly bigamous. Elvira also overhears this, and worries it might invalidate her inheritance because she is the daughter of one of Sedgwick's later husbands. She had travelled to Ireland to verify the marriage, but we don't know whether she flew back to England or took a train, perhaps the Irish Mail train, so she could have been a witness or perpetrator in the robbery.
Police Chief Inspector "Father" Davy, along with Inspector Campbell, has been involved in the mystery since Pennyfather's disappearance. He interviews everybody in the hotel, and quickly realizes that Miss Marple notices things—things in human nature that provide important clues. After Pennyfather is found, the three of them try an experiment. Miss Marple and Pennyfather re-enact their actions from when she saw him in the hallway (although he doesn't remember it). She realizes it wasn't him she saw: the walk was different. Pennyfather then remembers what surprised him when he entered his room: he saw himself sitting on a chair, just before he was knocked on the head. His Doppelganger, with his confederates, left the hotel (when Miss Marple saw him), drove the unconscious Pennyfather to the mail train, made himself visible during the robbery so that people would mistake him for Pennyfather, and then left Pennyfather on the side of the road.
Elvira comes to the hotel one foggy night, and somebody shoots at her in the street. Commissionaire Gorman runs in front of her to shield her, and is shot dead. The gun is Malinowski's.
Miss Marple tells Inspector Davy that she was disappointed to find out that much of the hotel's Edwardian atmosphere is false. Some of the guests are genuine, but others are actors pretending to be other people. So Lady Hazy wasn't wrong after all; the people she mistakenly recognized were actors pretending to be people she knew. Why a hotel would have so many actors is baffling, until the sleuths realize that the hotel is the center of a criminal ring. The actors pose as other people during robberies in order to make it look like their namesakes were at places they weren't.
"Father" Davy and Miss Marple confront Bess Sedgwick as the orchestrator of these robberies, along with the hotel's owners and staff. Sedgwick confesses, and also admits to killing Gorman. She then drives away recklessly and kills herself in an accident. But it is later revealed that Elvira herself shot Gorman, and that her mother falsely confessed to the shooting in order to save her daughter.
The originality of this novel is that we not only have to guess who committed the murder but what the crime was. Canon Pennyfather's disappearance is the central mystery, and the reader is led to assume it must be murder, but it turns out to be just a disappearance. Then it appears that somebody shoots at Elvira and accidentally kills Gorman, but actually it's Elvira shooting Gorman.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 188 MB
Agatha Christie - Nemesis (read by Joan Hickson)
Nemesis is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie (1890–1976) and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1971 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at £1.50 and the US edition at $6.95.
It was the last Miss Marple novel the author wrote, although Sleeping Murder was the last published.
Miss Marple receives a post card from the recently deceased Mr Jason Rafiel, a millionaire whom she had met during a holiday on which she had encountered a murder, which asks her to look into an unspecified crime; if she succeeds in solving the crime, she will inherit £20,000.
Rafiel, however, has left her few clues, not even when or where the crime was committed and who was involved.
Miss Marple's first clue is a tour of famous houses and gardens of Great Britain, arranged for her by Mr. Rafiel prior to his death. She is accompanied on the trip by fourteen other people, at least one of whom she suspects to be related to her enquiries. She learns that one of her companions, Elizabeth Temple, is the retired headmistress of the school which a girl who was engaged to Rafiel's ne'er-do-well son, Michael, attended. Another member of the tour group, Miss Cooke, is a woman she had previously met and discussed gardening with.
Her next clue comes in the form of a woman named Lavinia Glynne; Rafiel had written to Mrs. Glynne and her two sisters before his death, suggesting that Miss Marple spend the most physically challenging few days of the tour with them. Miss Marple accepts Lavinia's invitation, assuming it to be the next part of Mr Rafiel's instructions. She then meets Lavinia's sisters, Clotilde and Anthea Bradbury-Scott and immediately feels there is something odd about Anthea. On talking to the servant, Miss Marple learns that the girl engaged to Michael Rafiel had been adopted by Clotilde after the death of her parents.
On the morning of her return to her party, Miss Marple is told by another member of the tour group that Miss Temple had been knocked unconscious by a rockslide during their hike of the previous day, and was lying in a coma in hospital. The group stays over an extra night to wait for news from the tour guide about Miss Temple's health. It turns out that Professor Wanstead, a pathologist and psychologist interested in the different types of criminal brains, had been instructed by Mr Rafiel to go on the tour. He had examined Michael Rafiel at the request of the head of the prison where Michael was incarcerated; he came to the same conclusion as his friend: Michael was not capable of murder. He also tells her how uninterested Michael's father seemed.
Professor Wanstead then takes Miss Marple to see Miss Temple; in a moment of consciousness, Miss Temple had asked for Miss Marple. Miss Temple wakes only long enough to tell Miss Marple "search for Verity Hunt", and dies that night without reviving again. The three sisters extend their invitation to Miss Marple when she returns to the tour, and she promptly accepts. That night, she discovers that Verity was the girl Clotilde had adopted.
After the inquiry into Miss Temple's death, Miss Marple is visited by Archdeacon Brabazon, who was a friend of Miss Temple's. He then tells Miss Marple that he was going to marry Verity Hunt and Michael Rafiel, but had been sworn to secrecy by Verity. While he disapproved of the secrecy and of Verity marrying Michael, he agreed to marry them because he could see that they were in love. He was most surprised when neither turned up for the wedding.
Miss Marple decides to stay another few nights with the three sisters when the tour moves on. Professor Wanstead travels to London by train on an errand for Miss Marple. Miss Barrow and Miss Cooke decide they would like to visit a nearby church. Later that evening, Miss Marple talks with the sisters about what she thinks may have happened and, while they are doing so, Miss Barrow and Miss Cooke appear, to talk to Miss Marple. They stay for a time and are then invited back for coffee that evening.
As they talk about Miss Temple, Miss Marple suggests that Joanna Crawford and Emlyn Price pushed the boulder, and their alibis are mere fabrication. As they get ready to leave, Miss Cooke suggests that the coffee wouldn't suit Miss Marple, as it will keep her up all night and Miss Marple instead asks for some warm milk. The two ladies soon depart, though each forgets an item and has to return for it.
At three o'clock the next morning, Clotilde enters Miss Marple's room. Miss Marple reveals that she knows that Clotilde murdered Verity and hid her in the now-destroyed greenhouse, because she could not stand to see Verity love someone else. She also reveals that she knows that Clotilde killed another girl, Nora Broad, merely in order to (mis)identify the body as Verity's and thus throw suspicion on Michael Rafiel. Just as Clotilde advances toward her, Miss Marple blows on a whistle, which brings Miss Cooke and Miss Barrow—they are bodyguards employed by Mr. Rafiel to protect Miss Marple.
Michael Rafiel is set free. Miss Marple collects her 'fee'.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 209 MB
Agatha Christie - Sleeping Murder (read by Stephanie Cole)
Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple's Last Case is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1976 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for £3.50 and the US edition at $7.95. The book features her detective Miss Marple, and was the final Christie novel published—posthumously—although it was not the last she wrote.
It was thought that Christie wrote Sleeping Murder and Curtain during World War II to be published after her death, Sleeping Murder was most probably written during The Blitz in 1940. But John Curran proves in his Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks book that Sleeping Murder was still being planned in the end of 40s-beginning of 50s. However, unlike Curtain, which concludes the career of her other famous detective Hercule Poirot, there is nothing in the text of Sleeping Murder which indicates it is Marple's last case. Both books were sealed in a bank vault for over thirty years.
The last Marple novel Christie wrote, Nemesis, was published in 1971, followed by Christie's last Poirot novel Elephants Can Remember in 1972 and then in 1973 by her very last novel Postern of Fate. Aware that she would write no more novels, Christie authorized the publication of Curtain in 1975 to send off Poirot. She then arranged to have Sleeping Murder published in 1976, but died before the publication. There is a link to Christie's book By the Pricking of My Thumbs, a woman in an asylum asking Gwenda "Was it your poor child", while drinking milk, possibly the character of Mrs Lancaster.
"Let sleeping murder lie": This is the motto which is not obeyed by Gwenda Reed (née Halliday), a woman in her early twenties who has recently married and now comes to England to settle down there. She believes her father brought her directly from India to New Zealand when she was a two year-old girl, and she has never been in England. While her husband Giles is still abroad on business, she drives around the countryside looking for a suitable house. She finds an old house in Dillmouth which instantly appeals to her, and she buys it.
After moving in, Gwenda begins to believe that she must be psychic as she seems to know things about the house which she could not possibly know: the location of a connecting door that had been walled over, the pattern of a previous wallpaper, a flight of stairs in the garden, and so on. Becoming increasingly uneasy, she accepts an invitation to go and stay in London with Miss Marple's nephew Raymond West and his wife Joan (who appear also in other stories with Miss Marple). Miss Marple's interest is piqued when, at a performance of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, Gwenda screams and flees the theatre for no readily apparent reason, even to herself, when she hears the actor speaking the famous line "Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle; she died young." Gwenda tells Miss Marple later that as she heard those words, she felt she was looking through the banisters, at the dead, blue face of "Helen", listening to someone utter the same line. She insists that she does not know anyone called Helen, and believes she is going mad. Miss Marple suggests that she may be remembering something she witnessed as a small child (looking through rather than over the banisters), and that she may have been in the house that she seemed to know, despite believing that she has never been in England before.
The Reeds and Miss Marple do a bit of research, and discover that Gwenda is not psychic at all, but in fact spent part of her early childhood in the house that she was later to buy. Her young stepmother, Helen, reportedly man-crazy, disappeared, having presumably run off with a man, and her father died in an asylum. Gwenda was sent to New Zealand to an aunt. The young couple realize that there may be an unsolved crime to investigate. Miss Marple, who first advises the young couple to "let sleeping murder lie", later suggests to her doctor that he prescribe her some sea air, and she travels to Dillmouth.
The investigation that now sets in is completely in the hands of amateurs: Giles and Gwenda Reed and Miss Marple. The amateur sleuths find two old gardeners who remember the Halliday family and some of the old household staff at St Catherine's by placing an ad in several newspapers. The young couple talk to many witnesses. They talk to Dr Kennedy, Helen's half-brother. They do not inform him of Gwenda's memory, and the doctor seems to be nothing more than a loving brother, heartbroken over the disappearance of his very wild younger sister. The police are absent as it has not even been established that a crime has ever been committed; officially, Helen Halliday ran off with one of her lovers and either died abroad or made a clean break with her brother and never contacted anyone at home.
The three men in Helen's life at the time of her disappearance: Walter Fane, a local lawyer, J J Afflick, a local tour guide and Richard Erskine, who resides in the north of England. At one point it seems very likely that one of them must be the murderer: They were all "on the spot", as Miss Marple calls it, that August night eighteen years ago when Helen was murdered. Dr Kennedy deflects the investigation by presenting two letters posted abroad (forged by him, as it turns out later) which he says he got from his half-sister after her disappearance.
When Lily Kimble, who used to be in Halliday's employ, reads an advertisement looking for information about Helen, she senses there could be money in it, and contacts Dr Kennedy to ask for his advice. Kennedy interprets her letter to him as a blackmail attempt. He writes back to her, inviting her to see him at his house and including a train timetable and exact instructions on how to get to his house. He misdirects her to a stretch of woodland, where he strangles her. Then he replaces his original letter with a fake one and is back at his house in time to "wait", together with Giles and Gwenda Reed, for her arrival.
When Lily Kimble's body is found, the police finally start investigating. (When the police inspector sees Miss Marple he comments on a case of poison pen near Lymstock, thus Sleeping Murder is set after the happenings in The Moving Finger, which was published in 1942.) Now it dawns upon the Reeds that with a murderer still at large, their lives are in danger. This proves true: after Dr Kennedy unsuccessfully tries to poison Gwenda and/or Giles—it is Mrs Cocker, the cook, who takes a sip of the poisoned brandy instead and who consequently has to be hospitalized—Dr Kennedy tries to strangle Gwenda. But Miss Marple has foreseen this; she remained hidden in the house and disables Dr Kennedy by spraying soapy liquid into his face after which policemen appear to arrest him. Miss Marple explains that she believes that Helen was an ordinary, decent young woman, trying to escape from a brother who was pathologically obsessed with her, and that the only evidence of her being "man-mad" came from him. He strangled her to prevent her from living an ordinary, happy life with her husband. Being a learned man, Dr Kennedy was able to hide his condition from the villagers and he staged his sister's death in revenge for her marriage to the man she loved. There are subtle indications that Dr Kennedy had an incestuous desire for his half sister due to some kind of mental illness.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 171 MB
Agatha Christie - Miss Marple's Final Cases (read by Joan Hickson)
Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in October 1979 retailing at £4.50. It was the last Christie book to be published under the Collins Crime Club imprint although HarperCollins continue to be the writer's UK publishers.
The book contains eight short stories and did not appear in the US.
List of stories:
- Strange Jest
- Tape-Measure Murder
- The Case of the Caretaker
- The Case of the Perfect Maid
- Miss Marple Tells a Story
- The Dressmaker's Doll
- In a Glass Darkly
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 87 MB
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Hercule Poirot Series
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair At Styles (read by Nadia May)
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in 1916 and was first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head (John Lane's UK company) on January 21, 1921. The U.S. edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
It is Christie's first published novel, and introduces Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp and Lieutenant Hastings (later, Captain). The story is told in first person by Hastings, and features many of the elements that, thanks to Christie, have become icons of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. It is set in a large, isolated country manor. There are a half-dozen suspects, most of whom are hiding facts about themselves. The book includes maps of the house, the murder scene, and a drawing of a fragment of a will. Also, there are a number of red herrings and surprise plot twists.
The novel is set in England during World War I at Styles Court, an Essex country manor (also the setting of Curtain, Poirot's last case). Upon her husband's death, the wealthy widow, Emily Cavendish, inherited a life estate in Styles as well as the outright inheritance of the larger part of the late Mr. Cavendish's income. Mrs. Cavendish became Mrs. Inglethorp upon her recent remarriage to a much younger man, Alfred Inglethorp. Emily's two stepsons, John and Lawrence Cavendish, as well as John's wife Mary and several other people, also live at Styles. John Cavendish is the vested remainderman of Styles; that is, the property will pass to him automatically upon his stepmother's decease, as per his late father's will. The income left to Mrs Inglethorp by her late husband would be distributed as per Mrs. Inglethorp's own will.
Late one night, the residents of Styles wake to find Emily Inglethorp dying of what proves to be strychnine poisoning. Lieutenant Hastings, a houseguest, enlists the help of his friend Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the nearby village, Styles St. Mary. Poirot pieces together events surrounding the murder. On the day she was killed, Emily Inglethorp was overheard arguing with someone, most likely her husband, Alfred, or her stepson, John. Afterwards, she seemed quite distressed and, apparently, made a new will — which no one can find. She ate little at dinner and retired early to her room with her document case. The case was later forced open by someone and a document removed. Alfred Inglethorp left Styles earlier in the evening and stayed overnight in the nearby village, so was not present when the poisoning occurred. Nobody can explain how or when the strychnine was administered to Mrs. Inglethorp.
At first, Alfred is the prime suspect. He has the most to gain financially from his wife's death, and, since he is so much younger than Emily was, the Cavendishes already suspect him as a fortune hunter. Evelyn Howard, Emily's companion, seems to hate him most of all. His behaviour, too, is suspicious; he openly purchased strychnine in the village before Emily was poisoned, and although he denies it, he refuses to provide an alibi. The police are keen to arrest him, but Poirot intervenes by proving he could not have purchased the poison. Scotland Yard police later arrest Emily Inglethorp’s oldest stepson, John Cavendish. He inherits under the terms of her will, and there is evidence to suggest he also had obtained poison.
Poirot clears Cavendish by proving it was, after all, Alfred Inglethorp who committed the crime, assisted by Evelyn Howard, who turns out to be his kissing cousin, not his enemy. The guilty pair poisoned Emily by adding a precipitating agent, bromide (obtained from Mrs Inglethorp's sleeping powder), to her regular evening medicine, causing its normally innocuous strychnine constituents to sink to the bottom of the bottle where they were finally consumed in a single, lethal dose. Their plan had been for Alfred Inglethorp to incriminate himself with false evidence, which could then be refuted at his trial. Once acquitted, due to double jeopardy, he could not be tried for the crime a second time should any genuine evidence against him be subsequently discovered, hence prompting Poirot to keep him out of prison when he realised that Alfred wanted to be arrested.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 175 MB
Agatha Christie - The Murder On The Links
The Murder on the Links is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in May 1923 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in of the same year. It features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $1.75.
The book is notable for a subplot in which Hastings meets his future wife, Dulcie Duveen, a development "greatly desired on Agatha's part … parcelling off Hastings to wedded bliss in the Argentine."
Captain Hastings arrives in the flat that he now shares with Poirot in London, eager to tell the Belgian detective about a woman with whom he has fallen hopelessly in love on the train from Paris to Calais. But Poirot is busy sorting his mail, impatiently tossing aside bills and banal requests "recovering lost lap dogs for fashionable ladies". Then he finds an extraordinary letter from the south of France: "For God's sake, come!" writes Monsieur Paul Renauld. Poirot decides to investigate and he takes Hastings to France and the Villa Genevieve in Merlinville-sur-Mer on the northern French coast where Renauld wrote from. Asking for directions near the Villa Genevieve, they are watched by a young girl outside another smaller villa who has "anxious eyes".
Arriving at Renauld's house, they find they are too late: Renauld is dead. He and his wife were attacked in their rooms at 2.00 in the night by two masked men. Madame Renauld was tied up and her husband taken away by the men wanting to know "the secret". They appear to have got in to the house through the open front door with no sign of forced entry. His body was found stabbed in a newly dug open grave on the edge of a nearby golf course which is under construction and next to the placing of a bunker which was due to be dug that day. The Renaulds' son, Jack, had just been sent away on business to South America and Renauld also gave the chauffeur an unexpected holiday leaving just three female servants in the house who heard nothing. The eldest of the three servants tells Poirot and the police that quite often, after Madame Renauld has retired to bed for the night, her husband has been visited by a neighbour, Madame Daubreuil, who is the mother of the girl with the "anxious eyes", Marthe Daubreuil.
The dead man changed his will just two weeks before, leaving almost everything to his wife and nothing to his son. There is a smashed watch at the scene of the kidnap which is still running but has somehow gained two hours. The widow inspects the body to identify it. She loses her composure and collapses with grief at the sight of her dead husband.
Poirot is puzzled by some of these findings—why is the watch running fast? Why did the servants hear nothing? Why was the body found somewhere where it was bound to be quickly discovered? Why is there a piece of lead piping near the body? Poirot is hampered in his investigations by the attitude of Monsieur Giraud of the Sûreté who plainly believes the elderly Belgian is too set in his old-fashioned ways to solve the mystery. The local Examining Magistrate, Monsieur Hautet, is more helpful and tells Poirot that he has found out that the Renaulds' neighbour at the Villa Marguerite, Madame Daubreuil, has paid two hundred thousand francs into her bank account in recent weeks: was she Monsieur Renauld's mistress? They visit the lady who is furious when the suggestion is put to her and throws them out. Having now met Madame Daubreuil for the first time, Poirot tells Hastings that he recognises her from a murder case going back some twenty years.
Soon after, Jack Renauld arrives back; his trip to Santiago was delayed enabling him to return when he heard of his father's murder. Jack admits to rowing with his father over who he wanted to marry, hence the change of will. Poirot suspects that Marthe Daubreuil is the girl in question and feels that the answer to the problem lies in Paris. He goes there to investigate. Whilst he is away another body is found in a shed on the golf course. No one recognises the man who by his hands could be a tramp but is dressed in finer clothes. The strangest thing is that the man has been dead for forty-eight hours and thus died before Monsieur Renauld's murder. No one recognises the new corpse.
Poirot returns from Paris and, without being told details beforehand, staggers Hastings by correctly guessing the age of the man, place of death, and manner of death, despite having ben clearly shocked when Hastings originally told him of this new development. He examines the new corpse with the doctor. Poirot sees foam on his lips and the doctor realises the man died of an epileptic fit and was then stabbed after death.
When alone, Poirot tells Hastings that his investigations in Paris have borne fruit and that Madame Daubreuil is in fact a Madame Beroldy who was put on trial twenty years previously for the death of her elderly husband. He too was murdered by, supposedly, two masked men who broke into their house at night wanting to know "the secret". Madame Beroldy had a young lover, Georges Conneau, who absconded from justice but wrote a letter to the police admitting to the crime; there were no masked men and he stabbed Monsieur Beroldy himself. Madame Beroldy managed a tearfully-convincing performance in the witness box, convincing the jury of her innocence, but leaving most people suspicious. She then disappeared herself.
Poirot deduces that Paul Renauld was in fact Georges Conneau. He fled to Canada and then South America where he made his fortune and gained a wife and a son. When they returned to France, by great misfortune, the immediate neighbour of the house he bought was Madame Beroldy, now Daubreuil, who started to blackmail him. When a tramp died on his grounds of an epileptic fit, Renauld saw a chance to duplicate the ruse of twenty years earlier by faking his own death and escaping his blackmailer with his wife's cooperation. His plan was to send his son away on business, give his chauffeur a holiday, and stage a kidnapping by tying his wife up and disappearing. After leaving the house he would go to the golf course and dig a grave where he knew it would be discovered; he would then put the tramp into the grave after destroying his features with the lead pipe. The plan was for this to happen at midnight, giving Renauld the chance to get away from the local station on the last train and use the smashed watch to create an alibi. Unfortunately, the smashing of the watch did not stop it, so the deception failed on Poirot at least. What then went wrong was that Renauld was stabbed by someone else after he finished digging the grave but before he could fetch the body of the tramp, hence his wife's faint when she saw that the body actually was her husband's.
Jack is proven innocent by another girl he was also in love with and as far as Poirot is concerned that leaves only one suspect who had anything to gain by Renauld dying: Marthe Daubreuil, who did not know of the change of will disinheriting Jack and thought that by killing his father she would gain his fortune when she married his son. She overheard the Renaulds discussing using the dead tramp as a ruse and stabbed Renauld on the golf course after he had dug the grave. Marthe dies when she tries to kill Madame Renauld. Her mother disappears again. Jack and his mother go to South America and Hastings ends up with Dulcie Duveen, the sister of the girl who was able to prove Jack's innocence. She is also the woman he met on the train at the beginning of the novel.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 216 MB
Agatha Christie - Poirot Investigates (read by David Suchet)
Poirot Investigates is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in March 1924. In the eleven stories, famed eccentric detective Hercule Poirot solves a variety of mysteries involving greed, jealousy and revenge. The American version of this book, published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1925, featured a further three stories. The UK first edition of the book featured an illustration of Poirot on the dustjacket reprinted from the March 21, 1923 issue of The Sketch magazine by W. Smithson Broadhead.
The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) while the 1925 US edition was $2.00.
What do a movie star, an archaeologist, a French maid, a prime minister, a wealthy dowager, and an Italian count have in common? Half of them have fallen victim to a terrible crime. The others have fallen under suspicion. Leave the deductions to Hercule Poirot.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 157 MB
Agatha Christie - The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd (read by Robin Bailey)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons in June 1926 and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company on the 19th of the same month. It features Hercule Poirot as the lead detective. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
It is one of Christie's best known and most controversial novels, its innovative twist ending having a significant impact on the genre. The short biography of Christie which is included in the present UK printings of all of her books states that this novel is her masterpiece. Howard Haycraft, in his seminal 1941 work, Murder for Pleasure, included the novel in his "cornerstones" list of the most influential crime novels ever written. The character of Caroline Sheppard was later acknowledged by Christie as a possible precursor to her famous detective Miss Marple.
The book is set in the fictional village of King's Abbott in England. It is narrated by Dr. James Sheppard, who becomes Poirot's assistant (a role filled by Captain Hastings in several other Poirot novels). The story begins with the death of Mrs. Ferrars, a wealthy widow who is rumoured to have murdered her husband. Her death is initially believed to be an accident until Roger Ackroyd, a widower who had been expected to marry Mrs. Ferrars, reveals that she admitted to killing her husband and then committed suicide. Shortly after this he is found murdered. The suspects include Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, Roger's neurotic hypochondriac sister-in-law who has accumulated personal debts through extravagant spending; her daughter Flora; Major Blunt, a big-game hunter; Geoffrey Raymond, Ackroyd's personal secretary; Ralph Paton, Ackroyd's stepson and another person with heavy debts; Parker, a snooping butler; and Ursula Bourne, a parlourmaid with an uncertain history who resigned her post the afternoon of the murder.
The initial suspect is Ralph, who is engaged to Flora and stands to inherit his stepfather's fortune. Several critical pieces of evidence seem to point to Ralph. Poirot, who has just moved to the town, begins to investigate at Flora's behest.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 193 MB
Agatha Christie - The Big Four (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Big Four is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on January 27, 1927 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, and Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The structure of the book is different from that of most Christie novels in that The Big Four is a series of short cases involving the Big Four villains rather than the investigation of a single crime. This is because it is derived from a series of linked short stories that first appeared in The Sketch magazine (see First publication of stories below) and which were amalgamated into one narrative.
Captain Hastings visits Poirot and finds that Poirot is leaving for America. He has been offered a huge amount of money by the American 'soap king' millionaire Abe Ryland. Poirot inquires if Hastings has ever heard the phrase the Big Four. Hastings responds incooperatively. At the eleventh hour an unexpected visitor called Mayerling comes in saying only "M. Hercule Poirot, 14 Farraway Street." When he is given a piece of paper by a doctor he writes the number 4 many times. When Hastings mentions the Big Four, the man begins speaking, he tells them that number 1 is a Chinese political mastermind named, Li Chang Yen. He represents the brains of the Big Four. Number 2 is usually not named but represented by a '$' or two stripes and a star so he is probably American and he represents wealth. Number 3 is a Frenchwoman and Number 4 is the destroyer.
Poirot and Hastings fake an exit by train and return to Poirot's flat and find the man dead. The doctor is summoned and says that the man died of asphyxiation and has been dead about two hours, he cannot be closer because the windows were open. A man from an asylum visits them and tells them that the man had escaped from his asylum. Japp soon enters and recognizes the man to be Mayerling, a prominent figure in the Secret Service. Poirot asks Hastings if he opened the windows to which Hastings replies in the negative. Poirot examines the man and announces that Mayerling was gagged and poisoned using cyanide. The hands of the lounge clock were turned to 4 o' clock and Poirot realizes that the murderer was the man from the asylum.
Poirot and Hastings pay a visit to John Ingles, a wealthy man, and ask him about Li Chang Yen and the Big Four. He has heard of both, the former he heard of recently in a note from a fisherman who asked him for a few hundred pounds to hide himself from the Big Four. He had also heard of stories of four men who opposed Li Chang Yen, who had been murdered from stabbing, poisoning, electrocution and cholera. He had also heard a similar story of a chemist who was burned to death in his residence. The note came from Hoppaton so Poirot, Hastings and Ingles go to Hoppaton and find out that the man who wrote the note, a Mr. Jonathan Whalley has been murdered. There are two suspects his maid, Betsy, and his manservant Grant. Whalley had been hit on the head and then his throat had been cut and some jade figures he had had been stolen. Grant is the main suspect as his footprints covered in blood are found around the room, the jade figures were in his room and there is a smear of blood on his room's doorknob. Another reason is the fact that Grant has been imprisoned before, Grant got this job by a prisoner help society. Poirot finds a frozen leg of mutton which interests him very much. Poirot hypothesizes that the murderer was a young man who came in a trap and killed Whalley and went away. His clothing was slightly bloodstained. Poirot talks to Grant and asks him whether he entered the room twice to take the jade figures. When negatived Poirot reveals that no one noticed the murderer because he came in a butcher's cart. Mutton is not delivered on Sundays and if it had been delivered on Saturday it would not have been frozen. The man who gave Grant this job, Poirot assumes, was Number 4.
Poirot then introduces Hastings to Captain Kent who tells them of the sinking of many U.S. boats after the Japanese earthquake. After this they rounded many crooks up all of them referred to an organization called the Big Four. They have made a form of wireless energy capable of focusing a beam of great intensity on any spot. A British scientist called Halliday experimented on this and was said to be on the eve of success when he was kidnapped while on a visit to France. Poirot talks to Halliday's wife who tells him that her husband went to Paris on Thursday the 20th of July to talk to some people connected with his work among them the notable French scientist Madame Olivier. After lunch Halliday had gone to Madame Olivier. He had left her at six o' clock, dined alone at some restaurant and gone to his hotel. He had walked out next morning and had not been seen afterwards. As a result Poirot goes to Paris with Hastings.
Poirot and Hastings visit Madame Olivier, question her but while leaving they catch a glimpse of a veiled lady who Poirot is interested in. As soon as they exit the villa a tree falls down barely missing them. Poirot then explains to Hastings how Halliday was kidnapped he was walking away when a lady caught up with him and told him Madame Olivier wanted to talk to him again. She led him and turned into a narrow alley and then into a garden told him that Madame Olivier's villa was on the right side then and there Halliday was kidnapped. Poirot goes to the villa and asks to speak to the woman who just came. She comes down, after initially refusing, when Poirot sends his card. It turns out she is the Countess Vera Rossakoff. When confronted with the theory she phones the kidnappers to send Halliday back to the hotel. When Halliday returns he is too scared to speak. Then a man in a cloak, who is a participant in the big four, comes and tries persuading Hercule Poirot to stop and Hastings gets into a small fight with the stranger who evades Poirot, Hastings, and the hotel manager with a clever disguise.
Poirot is told by Madame Olivier that two men broke into her laboratory and attempted to steal her supply of radium. Poirot and Hastings board a train, and in the confusion of a signal failure caused by Poirot's friend, they return to Mme. Olivier's villa to find the thieves. however, they are ambushed by thugs, and Olivier reveals herself to be Number 3, and that the two shall die by her hands to prevent their interference. However, Poirot tells her that the cigarette he has contains a poisonous dart, and Olivier unties Hastings, who unties Poirot and binds and gags Olivier.
Shortly afterwards the two receive a letter from Abe Ryland who was annoyed at Poirot for refusing his offer. Then Poirot tells Hastings that Abe Ryland is Number 2, an American millionaire. Ryland soon releases news that he is looking for an efficient secretary, and Hastings applies and gets the job, imposing as a man called Captain Neville. He becomes suspicious of the manservant Deaves, and he learns that Ryland received an encoded letter telling him to go to a quarry at eleven o'clock. Hastings spies on Ryland, but is captured by Ryland and Deaves, who wait for Poirot. When he arrives he ambushes Ryland and Deaves with the help of ten Scotland Yard officials. Ryland is released after his manservant informs the police that all of it was just a wager, and Poirot realises that the manservant was Number Four.
A month later, they leave London due to the death of a Mr Paynter in Worcestershire. He had six Chinese servants, as well as his bodyguard Ah Ling, who Poirot is interested in. Paynter was living with his nephew when he felt ill after a meal and a Doctor Quentin was called. He told the nephew, Gerald, that he had given Paynter a hypodermic injection and proceeded by asking strange questions about the servants. Paynter was found the next morning in a room locked from the inside, dead. It seemed that he had fallen off his chair and into the gas fire, and the Doctor was blamed for leaving him in such a position. Before his death, Paynter had dipped his finger in ink and written "yellow jasmine" on his newspaper, a plant growing all over the house, as well as drawing two lines at right angles under the words, a sign similar to the beginning of the number 4. At the inquest, Quentin was accused in a number of ways, such as that he was not the regular doctor and his recalling of the events. According to him, Paynter told him as soon as the door was shut that he was not feeling ill at all and that the taste of his curry was strange. It was claimed that Quentin injected him with strychnine rather than a narcotic. Later, after the curry was analysed, the results showed that it contained a deadly amount of opium, implicating the servant Ah Ling as he was the one to cook it. Also, Inspector Japp tells the two that the key was found near the broken door and that the window was unlatched. Japp believes that the charred face was to cover up the identity of the dead man, but Poirot believes the man to be Paynter. Poirot reveals that Doctor Quentin was number 4, who entered the house and gave Paynter an injection of yellow jasmine rather than strychnine. He locked the door and exited through the window, returning later to put opium in the curry sample, throw Paynter into the fire and steal a manuscript-the reason for the murder.
A month after the case, Japp informs Poirot of another mysterious death- the chess grandmasters Gilmour Wilson and Doctor Savaronoff were playing chess when shortly into the game Gilmour Wilson collapsed dead due to heart failure. Japp suspects he was poisoned, and Poirot is called in. Japp suspects that the poison was intended for Savaronoff, a former Revolutionist in Russia who just escaped from the Bolsheviks. He refused several times to play a game of chess with Wilson but eventually gave in. The match took place in Savaronoff's flat, with at least a dozen people watching the game. Wilson's body had a small burn mark on his left hand and was also clutching a white bishop when he died, part of Savaronoff's set. As Poirot and Hastings enter the Doctor's flat, Poirot notices that the antique Persian rug has had a nail driven through it. After the proceedings in the flat, Poirot and Hastings return home and Poirot takes out a second white bishop. He weighed the one he took with the one Wilson was holding and discovered that the one he was holding was heavier. He explains that the bishop has a metal rod inside it, so that the current passing through the recently refurbished flat below is powered through the nail, into the also tampered table and into the bishop. The bishop was chosen because of Wilson's predictable first few moves, and Poirot suspects the servant of the flat and Savaronoff's niece of working for the big Four. However, when they arrive at the flat Savaronoff's niece is gagged and unconscious and Ivan and the Doctor are nowhere to be seen. Poirot explains that Savaronoff did die in Russia and that number Four impersonated him as a cover. He killed Wilson because if Savaronoff was the second greatest chess master in the world, people would soon realise that number Four was nothing like the chess player Savaronoff was. With number Four gone, the two are back to square one again.
Soon afterwards, Hastings is given a message that his wife has been kidnapped in Argentina by the big Four, as well as another note saying that if he wants to see his wife again he must follow a Chinese servant. He leaves four books on the table as a message for Poirot, and follows him to an abandoned house in Chinatown and he is taken to an Arabian- like room. One of the Chinese servants tries to make him write a letter in order to get Poirot and threaten him with death. He is eventually forced to write it to Poirot and he is soon seen across the street. As Hastings is forced to beckon him into the house, a man from Scotland Yard throws a drugged smoke bomb into the house, knocking everyone unconscious and Hastings is saved. Hastings is not only greeted by Poirot, but by the fact that his wife has been safe for over three months in a place Poirot set up.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 153 MB
Agatha Christie - The Mystery Of The Blue Train (read by John Moffatt)
The Mystery of the Blue Train is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on March 29, 1928 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The book features her detective Hercule Poirot.
Poirot boards Le Train Bleu, bound for the French Riviera. So does Katherine Grey, who is having her first winter out of England, after having inherited a huge sum. While on board she meets Ruth Kettering, an American heiress bailing out from a marriage to meet her lover. The next morning, though, Ruth is found dead in her compartment, a victim of strangulation. The famous ruby, "Heart of Fire", which had recently been given to Ruth by her father, is discovered to be missing. Ruth's father, the American millionaire Rufus Van Aldin, and his secretary, Major Knighton, convince Poirot to take on the case. Ruth's maid, Ada Mason, says she saw a man in Ruth's compartment but could not see who he was. The police suspect that Ruth's lover, the Comte de la Roche, killed her and stole the diamonds, but Poirot does not think he is guilty. He is suspicious of Ruth's husband, Derek Kettering, who was on the same train but claims not to have seen Ruth. Katherine says she saw Derek enter Ruth's compartment. This also thro
s suspicion on Derek when a cigarette case with the letter K on it is found.
Poirot investigates and finds out that the murder and the jewel theft might not be connected, as the famous jewel thief The Marquis is connected to the crime. Eventually, the dancer Mirelle, who was on the train with Derek, tells Poirot she saw Derek leave Ruth's compartment around the time the murder would have taken place. Derek is then arrested. Everyone is convinced the case is solved, but Poirot is not sure. He does more investigating and learns more information, talking to his friends and to Katherine, eventually coming to the truth. He asks Van Aldin and Knighton to come with him on the Blue Train to recreate the murder. He tells them that Ada Mason is really Kitty Kidd, a renowned male impersonator and actress. Katherine saw what she thought was a boy getting off the train, but it was really Mason. Poirot realized that Mason was the only person who saw anyone with Ruth in the compartment, so this could have been a lie. He reveals that the murderer and Mason's accomplice is Knighton, who is really The Marquis. He also says that the cigarette case with the K on it does not stand for Kettering, but Knighton. Since Knighton was supposedly in Paris, no one would have suspected him. Derek did go into the compartment to talk to Ruth once he saw she was on the train, but he left when he saw she was asleep. The police then arrest Knighton, and Ada Mason thanks Poirot for solving the case.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 232 MB
Agatha Christie - Black Coffee (read by Alexandra Thomas)
Black Coffee is a play by the British crime-fiction author Agatha Christie (1890–1976) which was produced initially in 1930. The first piece that Christie wrote for the stage, it launched a successful second career for her as a playwright.
Twenty-two years after Christie's death, Black Coffee was re-published in the United Kingdom and the United States in the form of a novel. The novelisation was undertaken by the Australian-born writer and classical music critic Charles Osborne, with the endorsement of the Christie estate.
Agatha Christie began writing Black Coffee in 1929, feeling disappointed with the portrayal of Hercule Poirot in the previous year's play Alibi, and being equally dissatisfied with the motion-picture adaptations of her short story The Coming of Mr. Quin and her novel The Secret Adversary as The Passing of Mr. Quin and Die Abenteurer GmbH. According to the foreword to the current HarperCollins edition of Black Coffee in its novelised form, she finished writing the play in late 1929.
She mentions Black Coffee in her 1977 life story, Autobiography, describing it as "a conventional spy thriller ... full of cliches, it was, I think, not at all bad". Nonetheless, her literary agents had advised her to forget the play entirely and she was willing to do so until a friend connected with the theatre suggested that it might be worth producing.
Christie's autobiography claimed that the debut performance of Black Coffee took place at the Everyman Theatre in Hampstead. However, no record exists of such a staging and she was undoubtedly confusing it with the true opening production at the Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage (now London's Central School of Speech and Drama) on December 8, 1930. The production ran in that theatre only until December 20. On April 9, 1931 it re-opened at the St Martin's Theatre (later to be the second home of Christie's most enduring stage work The Mousetrap), where it ran until May 1 before transferring to the Wimbledon Theatre on May 4. It then went to the Little Theatre on May 11, finally closing there on June 13, 1931.
Poirot was played initially by the well-known character actor Francis L. Sullivan who became a good friend of the author. She approved of his portrayal despite the fact that physically he was far too tall for the dapper little Belgian detective. (Sullivan stood six feet, two inches in height.) Also in the premiere cast was (Sir) Donald Wolfit, playing Dr. Carelli. Wolfit would become renowned in England as an actor-manager, best remembered for his vivid interpretations of Shakespearean roles and other big-scale classical parts.
Unlike most other Christie plays, Black Coffee did not transfer to the New York stage.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 234 MB
Agatha Christie - Peril At End House (read by Hugh Fraser)
Peril at End House is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by the Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1932 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in March of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
The book features her famous character Hercule Poirot, as well as Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp, and was the seventh book featuring Poirot.
Detective Hercule Poirot and Captain Arthur Hastings are spending a week's holiday at the Cornish resort of St. Loo, staying at the Majestic Hotel. They meet the young 'Nick' Buckley (her real first name being Magdala), who lives in End House, a slightly ramshackle house on a point in the bay. Nick casually mentions that she had three lucky escapes from death in as many days. Nick thinks nothing of this, but Poirot believes someone is out to kill her. This is confirmed when Poirot finds a bullet that Nick had thought to be a wasp shooting past her head. Poirot explains his concern to Nick, who does not believe him until the bullet is revealed to be from Nick’s gun, which has gone missing. Because the attacks on Nick’s life have been constant, Poirot does not believe it to be a random madman, but rather someone in Nick’s inner circle. Poirot begins to go through possible suspects. Nick’s nearest living relative is a lawyer cousin, Charles Vyse, who arranged the re-mortgaging on End House for her to supply desperately needed funds. Her housekeeper is named Ellen, and the lodge near End House is being leased by Mr. and Mrs. Croft, an Australian couple. Nick’s two closest friends are Freddie Rice, whom Nick is trying to persuade to divorce her abusive husband, and Jim Lazarus, an art dealer who is in love with Freddie. Finally there is George Challenger, who cares deeply for Nick and has considered proposing to her.
Poirot instructs Nick to ask a distant relative to stay with her for the time being and protect her, so Nick asks her cousin Maggie to come. Poirot is now sure Nick is safe, but is mystified as to what motive there would be for killing Nick. Nick made a will six months previously in which she left the house to Charles Vyse and anything that remained to Freddie, but the amount would be so small that Poirot thinks it to be pointless to kill for it. That night, Nick holds a party with all of her closest friends in attendance, except Challenger who is delayed. The guests discuss whether the famous but currently missing pilot Michael Seton is really dead or not. At one point Nick leaves to take a phone call. When everyone is outside, Nick and Maggie go back into the house to fetch their coats. Poirot and Hastings later find the dead body of someone wearing Nick’s shawl. They immediately assume it is Nick, however they soon discover that Nick is fine, and that the dead person was Maggie. Maggie was wearing Nick’s
hawl because she could not find her coat, so the murderer assumed she was Nick and shot her.
Nick breaks down over Maggie’s death, thinking it was her fault. Challenger soon arrives and is relieved to know the dead girl is not Nick. Poirot and Hastings interview Ellen who strangely was not watching the fireworks; she says she stayed behind to finish washing the dishes. Ellen also mentions a secret panel somewhere in the house, but does not know exactly where it is. Nick later says she has never heard of such a panel. Poirot is incredibly distraught that he could not save Maggie, and he vows he will not fail in finding the murderer. Poirot then sends Nick to a nursing home under the pretense of the shock, but really so she can be protected. No one is to see her, and she cannot eat any food sent from the outside. Poirot still has no idea why someone would want to kill Nick. The next day Poirot sees in the paper that the pilot Michael Seton is in fact dead, and realizes that that was what the telephone call was about. Nick confirms this and tells Poirot and Hastings that she was secretly engaged to Seton. Poirot thinks that even though this was a secret, someone close to Nick probably found out.
Poirot believes this to be important, because if Seton died then his fortune would go to Nick, and if Nick died it would go to Freddie. Thus Poirot considers Freddie an important suspect. He is also suspicious of Charles Vyse, because he may think he gets Nick’s money upon her death instead of Freddie. Poirot and Hastings search Nick’s house for the will. They find a few love letters from Seton, but not the will. Nick then remembers she sent it to Charles Vyse; however, when Poirot visits Vyse he says he never got the will. Poirot visits the Crofts next, because it was they who convinced Nick to make a will in the first place, when she was to get her appendix removed. Mr. Croft says that he sent the will to Vyse. Poirot reasons that either Vyse or Croft are lying, although he does not know why. Poirot does not believe the Crofts are connected to the murder, however he is still suspicious of them, mainly because they are just too nice. He asks his friend Chief Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard to check up on the Crofts. Another possible clue is a piece of paper the police found which is apparently part of a letter demanding money, although the author and recipient are unknown. When Freddie later sees this piece of paper she almost faints.
Poirot still believes the will to be very important, so he and Hastings travel to London to visit Michael Seton’s solicitor, who confirms Seton’s will leaves his vast fortune to Magdala Buckley. Upon returning to St Loo, Poirot finds there has been another attempt on Nick’s life, this time cocaine poisoning. Nick apparently ate a chocolate laced with cocaine. As she only ate one, Nick only became ill and was not killed. Further complicating matters is that the box of chocolate was supposedly sent by Poirot as it contained a card which he had sent with a bouquet of flowers. Poirot finds that Jim Lazarus dropped off the box; he tells them he did this on behalf of Freddie. Freddie says that Nick called her and asked for the chocolates, but her voice sounded a little different, so it might have been someone else. This puts even more suspicion on Freddie, because Poirot can easily tell that she is a cocaine addict, so she would have easy access to the supply.
Poirot is still baffled by the case, but things soon begin to fall into place when he reads a letter that Maggie wrote after arriving at End House. Hastings cannot see anything important in the letter, but it still sparks Poirot’s interest. Poirot soon makes a plan; he will put on an elaborate hoax that the murderer has succeeded and that Nick is dead. After a day of waiting for something to happen, Poirot gets a call from Charles Vyse, who tells him he has just received Nick’s lost will. Poirot debates what to do with this information. Hastings makes a half-serious comment that, should all else fail, they should attempt to hold a séance and speak with Maggie’s spirit. Poirot then suggests that he hold a séance of his own, since Nick is supposedly dead. One final thing helps Poirot solve the case; a conversation he and Hastings have on how some names have no shorter versions, and others have many.
Poirot invites all of the suspects to End House for the will to be read by Charles Vyse. Chief Inspector Japp also attends. The will says that Nick leaves all of her belongings to a very unlikely person: Mrs. Croft, who apparently helped Nick’s father in Australia. Everyone is surprised except the Crofts. But then the lights go out and Nick appears. Most assume she is a ghost, but Nick then explains how she is alive and how the will is a fake. Poirot explains the rest. The Crofts are professional forgers, as found out by Chief Inspector Japp. They had convinced Nick to make a will, and were intending to send to Charles Vyse a fake one should she die during her operation. Even though Nick did not die then, the Crofts kept the fake will and sent it in when they thought Nick had died for real. But, the Crofts did not murder Maggie. At that moment a shot is fired from the window and grazes Freddie’s shoulder. Poirot rushes to the window and brings inside a sickly looking man who soon dies. This is Freddie’s drug addicted husband. He was the one who wrote the letter demanding money. He had threatened to kill Freddie if she did not pay him, and had come to the meeting to do just that. Freddie supposes that, in her husband’s drug addicted state, he killed Maggie, thinking she was Freddie. However, Poirot says that the murderer was not Freddie’s husband, but someone else entirely: Nick Buckley. Nick confesses and is taken away by the police after asking for Freddie’s watch as a souvenir.
Poirot explains Nick’s plan to Hastings, Vyse, Challenger, Freddie, and Lazarus, after Ellen leaves and the Crofts are arrested. Nick was never engaged to Michael Seton. Maggie was; her first name was Magdala too. Nick was the only person who knew about the engagement, so she also knew how Seton’s will stated all his money would go to “Magdala Buckley”. With Michael missing and presumed deceased, Nick saw an opportunity to kill Maggie and pretend to be engaged to Seton, thus inheriting his money to fix up End House. Nick staged the attempts on her life herself, and then asked Maggie to join her at End House. When Poirot suggested Maggie come for protection, Nick simply asked her to come a day earlier. This is what Maggie mentioned in her letter that caught Poirot’s eye. Nick also sent the poison chocolates to herself to keep up the pretence (she simply disguised her voice a bit when talking to Freddie), as well as stealing some of Michael's letters to Maggie and planting them in her house - but only the ones in which he did not address her by name. Nick then killed Maggie at the party, making it look like another attempt on her life. Poirot admits that he was baffled by the case because he never suspected Nick; he was only able to figure it out once he assumed everything Nick said was a lie.
With the mystery of the murder solved, Poirot takes some time to answer a few remaining questions. The secret panel is real; in fact, Nick had hidden the pistol there and planted it on Freddie to incriminate her, which Japp witnessed. Ellen did not go to see the fireworks because she was suspicious that someone would be killed, although she thought it would be Nick. Challenger is in fact a drug dealer who had been supplying Freddie (although she is no longer taking it) and Nick with cocaine, which is how Nick poisoned the chocolate. Poirot instructs Challenger to flee the scene or face punishment, and Challenger promptly leaves. Finally, the watch Nick got from Freddie through Challenger contains a fatal dosage of cocaine, which Nick has no doubt already taken to escape the hangman’s noose. Poirot then leaves End House, happy to have solved the case, while Jim Lazarus and Freddie announce their intent to marry.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 159 MB
Agatha Christie - Thirteen At Dinner (read by Hugh Fraser)
Lord Edgware Dies is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in September 1933 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of Thirteen at Dinner. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00. The novel features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp.
Jane Wilkinson, an actress, is suspected of murdering her husband, the fourth Baron Edgware, so that she can marry the Duke of Merton. The plot begins with Jane asking Poirot to convince her husband to agree to a divorce. When Poirot reluctantly does so, Edgware says that he has already agreed to a divorce and written a letter to Jane informing her of the fact. When Poirot reports this to Jane, she denies ever having received such a letter. Lord Edgware is a rude and unsympathetic character, and lots of people have a motive for removing him.
On the night of the murder, Wilkinson supposedly goes to the Edgware house, announces herself to the butler, and goes into her husband's study. The next day, Lord Edgware is found murdered and Chief Inspector Japp tells Poirot all about it. Numerous friends and acquaintances of Jane have described her as amoral, someone who only thinks of herself and would certainly commit a crime if it would help her get what she wants, without a care for others. But in that morning's newspaper, they discover an article about a dinner party that was held the previous evening where Jane Wilkinson was reportedly a guest.
At the party, there were thirteen guests at the dinner table. One guest mentioned that thirteen people at table means bad luck for the first guest to rise from the table (hence the alternative title of the book Thirteen At Dinner) and Jane Wilkinson was the first to rise. Among the guests is an actor named Donald Ross, who spent a lot of the evening speaking with Jane. So the police are, at first, baffled with the case, as is Poirot.
On the same morning as Lord Edgware's murder, comedienne/actress Carlotta Adams, who is known for her uncanny impersonations, is found dead due to an overdose of Veronal. A mysterious gold case with the sleeping powder in it is found among her possessions. The case bears an inscription reading: "From D, Paris, November, 10th Sweet Dreams". Poirot tries to decode this and arranges the evidence together.
A few days later, Jane makes an appearance at another dinner party where the guests talk about Paris of Troy. However, the Jane Wilkinson at this dinner party thinks that the guests, again including actor Donald Ross, are referring to the city in France. Ross can't understand this because, at the party on the night of the murder, Jane was speaking knowledgeably about the mythological Paris. Ross goes to ring up Poirot about his discovery, but before he can say what he discovered, he is stabbed.
In the conclusion to the book, Jane Wilkinson really is the murderer, having paid Carlotta Adams to impersonate her at the party on the night she killed Lord Edgware. Jane's motive for killing Lord Edgware was because the Duke of Merton was an Anglo-Catholic and didn't want to marry a divorced woman. In the last chapter, she writes a letter to Poirot before her execution and tells him how she committed the crime.
With her made up alibi in place, Jane simply takes a taxi to the Edgware house and murders her husband. Later, she and Carlotta meet up in a hotel where they toast Carlotta's successful "performance" and ostensibly so Jane can pay Carlotta. However, Jane slips Veronal into Carlotta's drink, effectively killing her. Jane also discovers a letter Carlotta has written to her sister and is panicked by how Carlotta talks openly in the letter about their arrangement. However, Jane believes she sees a way she can use the letter to her advantage. At the top left hand corner of the second page is the word "she" (referring to Jane paying Carlotta to take her place at the party). Jane tears off the 's' leaving the word 'he'. (Though Poirot initially wonders about the torn corner during his investigation, using his "little grey cells" he eventually figures it out.) Jane then puts the remaining Veronal phials inside the gold case to make it look as if Carlotta was a Veronal addict. Jane ordered the gold case the week prior, which Poirot discovers when he questions the engravers. He further realises that "November" was engraved on the case specifically to throw him off. Unbeknownst to Jane, Carlotta had been knowledgeable about Greek Mythology, so she talked a lot about the subject with Donald Ross. At the second dinner party, Jane realizes she's made a mistake about Paris and has to kill Donald Ross to prevent him from telling Poirot about his discovery that the Jane at the party (on the night of the murder) was not really Jane, but Carlotta Adams.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 180 MB
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Agatha Christie - Murder On The Orient Express (read by David Suchet)
Murder on the Orient Express is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
It was first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club on January 1, 1934 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of Murder in the Calais Coach. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The US title of Murder on the Calais Coach was used to avoid confusion with the 1932 Graham Greene novel Stamboul Train which had been published in the US as Orient Express.
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 188 MB
Agatha Christie - Three Act Tragedy (read by Hugh Fraser)
Three Act Tragedy is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1934 under the title of Murder in Three Acts and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in January 1935 under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
The book features Hercule Poirot and Mr. Satterthwaite. This is the one book in which Satterthwaite collaborates with Poirot. He previously appeared in the stories which feature Mr. Harley Quin, in particular those collected in The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930).
When a clergyman dies at a dinner party thrown by theatre actor Sir Charles Cartwright, it is thought by nearly everyone (Poirot included) to be an accidental death. Shortly afterwards, however, a second death in suspiciously similar circumstances and with many of the same people present puts both Poirot and a team of sleuths on the trail of a poisoner whose motive is not clear.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 163 MB
Agatha Christie - Death In The Clouds (read by Hugh Fraser)
Death in the Clouds is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company on March 10 1935 under the title of Death in the Air and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in the July of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6). The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Chief Inspector Japp.
Frustrated with the evident artificiality of the blowpipe, an item that could hardly have been used without being seen by another passenger, Poirot suggests that the means of delivering the dart may have been something else. Is it the flute of one passenger, or perhaps one of the ancient tubes carried by one of the two French archaeologists on board? Or maybe Lady Horbury's long cigarette holder?
Poirot's focus is upon a wasp that has been seen in the compartment and which provided evidence for the original theory of the cause of death. Without explaining himself, he asks for a detailed list of the items in the possession of the passengers, and finds an incriminating clue: Norman Gale, a dentist who has seemingly never been in the area of the plane where the victim was killed, and has no apparent motive for committing the murder, had an empty matchbox and a lighter. He appears to be the killer, but how can he have committed the murder, when he was apparently in conversation with Jane Grey (the novel's effective heroine) throughout the flight? And why would he have committed the crime? And why were there two coffee spoons in the victim's saucer?
Madame Giselle is suspected of using blackmail to ensure that her clients pay up, so any one of the passengers could either have owed her money or feared exposure. Equally, Madame Giselle had an estranged daughter who inherits her considerable estate: could one of the female passengers be this heiress? Much of the novel focuses on the pursuit of this line of enquiry, with the passengers coming under suspicion in turn. Special attention is given to Mr. Clancy, a detective novelist who enables Christie to include the same sort of parodies of her craft achieved in other novels through the character of Ariadne Oliver.
The only other suspect who proves of material significance is, however, the Countess of Horbury, whose maid has been called into the compartment during the flight where she would have had the perfect opportunity to commit the crime. When this maid is revealed to be none other than the victim's heir, Anne Morisot, it seems that she must be the murderess. But the maid was only on the flight by accident, having been asked to be there at the last moment. Moreover, the death of Anne Morisot from poison on the boat-train to Boulogne leaves no clear suspect.
Poirot reveals in the denouement that Norman Gale is none other than Anne's new husband, and that his plans - almost certainly including the eventual murder of Anne herself - had been laid well in advance. He brought his dentist's jacket on board and - in the apparently innocuous moments that he had gone to the toilet - changed into this jacket in order to pose as a steward. Under the pretense of delivering a coffee spoon to Miss Giselle he had walked up the aisle and stabbed her with the poisoned thorn. As Poirot puts it: "No one notices a steward particularly." Gale's intention had been to frame the Countess, and the blowpipe that was found behind Poirot's seat would have been found behind hers had they not switched seats at the last moment.
Not content with solving the mystery, Poirot invites Mr. Clancy to the Denouncement where he gleefully allows the Novelist to see how a Real Life Detective solves a case, to both men's great enjoyment, and finally in a single stroke Poirot makes a romantic match by pairing off Jane Grey with the younger of the archaeologists.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 174 MB
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders (read by Hugh Fraser)
The A.B.C. Murders is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on January 6, 1936 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company on February 14 of the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The book features the characters of Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp. The form of the novel is unusual, combining first and third-person narrative. Christie had previously experimented with this approach (famously pioneered by Charles Dickens in Bleak House), in her novel The Man in the Brown Suit. What is unusual in The A.B.C. Murders is that the third-person narrative is supposedly reconstructed by the first-person narrator, Hastings. This approach shows Christie's commitment to experimenting with point of view, famously exemplified by The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
When a serial killer calling himself ABC sends a typewritten letter to Poirot warning him of murder, Poirot is too late in saving the victim. Soon, ABC sets on a killing spree, putting police on tenterhooks. ABC also leaves a calling card on crime scene - ABC railway guides depicting the place of crime. Poirot even puts up a Special Legion consisting of victims relatives & acquaintances in hope of piecing the case. Meanwhile, a certain travelling salesman named Alexander Bonaparte Cust seems to be behaving weirdly. Could he be the elusive ABC?
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 166 MB
Agatha Christie - Murder In Mesopotamia (read by Anna Massey)
Murder in Mesopotamia is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on July 6, 1936 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The novel is set at an archaeological excavation in Iraq, and descriptive details derive from the author's visit to the Royal Cemetery at Ur with her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, and other British archaeologists.
Dr. Leidner is a Swedish-American archaeologist on a dig in Iraq, then a British protectorate. His wife was previously married to a Frederick Bosner, a young man who worked for the U.S. State Department but was actually a spy for Germany during the Great War. He was caught, tried and sentenced to death. He managed to escape while he was being transported, but it was to no apparent avail as he ended up on a train that crashed, and a body bearing his identification was found in the wreckage.
Amy Leatheran is a nurse traveling in Iraq when she meets Dr. Leidner, who asks her to join the dig to look after his wife. Mrs. Leidner has been frightened by weird goings on, such as a ghostly face appearing just outside her window and has received threatening letters. Mrs. Leidner confides to Nurse Leatheran that she had received similar threatening letters several years before that were supposedly from her dead first husband. They arrived every time she would go out with a new man, then stopped when she broke off the relationship. One of the letters was signed with her late husband's name, but she had no letters from him - they had been married only a short time - so she could not ascertain whether the letters were genuine. No letters arrived when she met and then married Dr. Leidner, so Mrs. Leidner had assumed they were written by some crackpot who had either died or given up keeping an eye on her.
Then Mrs. Leidner is found dead by her husband in her room, struck fatally on the head with a large blunt object. The Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is also traveling in Iraq and his old friend, Dr. Reilly - a physician acquainted with the dig - asks him to solve the crime.
Poirot questions everyone informally and employs Nurse Leatheran as his assistant to investigate functional and logistical questions. There is much speculation that one of the members of the dig may, in fact, be William Bosner, the younger brother of the late Frederick Bosner. Then, Dr. Leidner's longtime female colleague, Miss Johnson, is killed - poisoned by hydrochloric acid substituted in the glass of water on her nightstand. She manages to choke out the words, "The window! The window!" before she dies, thereby providing Poirot the vital piece of information he needs to solve the case.
It transpires that Mrs. Leidner and Miss Johnson were killed by Dr. Leidner - who is, in fact, Frederick Bosner. He managed to survive the train crash, too; but a young Swedish archaeologist named Erich Leidner had not and was disfigured beyond all recognition. Bosner traded identities with the dead man. Fifteen years later, he re-married his wife, who did not recognize him.
Dr. Leidner was the one sending the letters to discourage Louise from her other relationships. When he finally managed to marry her again he stopped writing them, but it became apparent that Mrs Leidner was falling in love with Richard Carey, Dr. Leidners friend who is also present at the dig. Dr. Leidner could not stand to lose her again and hurt by the betrayal he murdered his wife.
At first glance it seemed impossible that Dr. Leidner could have murdered his wife because he was on the roof during the period that the murder was committed. It seemed that whoever killed Louise Leidner must have come through her door since it was clear that one could not squeeze through the barred window. However, there were witnesses in the courtyard to swear that no one entered her room prior to the discovery of her murder. In addition, these witnesses also stated that Dr. Leidner never came down from the roof, until he discovered his wife's body.
However, Dr. Leidner committed the crime without ever leaving the roof. Louise Leidner was in bed asleep when she was awakened by a familiar noise. Several nights earlier, she had been frightened by the sight of a figure at the window. But now she realized that what she had been seeing was just a mask. Determined to find out who has been tormenting her, she opened the window and stuck her head out, looking up only to be bludgeoned with a heavy stone quern dropped by her husband, who was on the roof. Then, using a rope threaded through a hole in the quern, Dr. Leidner retrieved the murder weapon. Mrs. Leidner cried out briefly before being struck down; it was this that was heard by Miss Johnson only because the window facing the exterior of the window was open. However, it was still essential that all physical evidence be removed that could possibly suggest the significance that window played in the crime. Therefore, it was necessary for Dr. Leidner to alter the scene of the crime before the police were called in to investigate. When he climbed down from the roof, he moved his wife's body to another part of the room away from the window, along with a blood-stained rug. Lastly he shut the window before bursting out into the courtyard announcing his wife's death to the rest of the expedition camp.
When planning the murder, Dr. Leidner figured that suspicion might be directed toward him, because one might assume that he would have enough time to kill his wife when he entered her room from the courtyard only to re-emerge a few moments later with the news of his wife's murder. This is why Dr. Leidner insisted that Nurse Leatheran accompany him to the expedition. The nurse would be his perfect alibi, stating that upon entering the room of his wife, Dr. Leidner could not have possibly committed the murder. Leidner hoped that the testimony of Nurse Leatheran would assure suspicion would be directed elsewhere.
While standing on the roof and looking out over the countryside, Miss Johnson realises how Dr. Leidner could have killed his wife, tying in with her previous discovery of the threatening letters in his office. Retaining her loyalty for the man she loves, she doesn't tell anybody, and fobs off Nurse Leatheran when she enquires about her obvious distress. However, Leidner realises that she will eventually crack, so that night he plants the blood-stained quern with which he killed his wife under her bed while she sleeps, and replaces a glass of water on her bedside table with hydrochloric acid, so once she dies everyone will think she murdered Louise so she could seduce her husband and, overcome by remorse, killed herself. But in her dying moments Miss Johnson tries imparting her discovery of Leidner's guilt when she croaks out 'the window', a seemingly obscure comment which puts Poirot on the right track.
Meanwhile, the man Louise saw looking through the antika room window turns out to be Ali Yusuf, who had been helping the expedition epigraphist Father Lavigny - actually Raoul Menier, a French thief masquerading as a monk - steal precious artifacts from the dig and replace them with near perfect copies.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 165 MB
Agatha Christie - Cards On The Table (read by Hugh Fraser)
Cards on the Table is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 2 1936 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year . The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The book features the recurring characters of Hercule Poirot, Colonel Race, Superintendent Battle and the bumbling crime writer Ariadne Oliver, making her first appearance in a Christie novel (she previously had a role in the Parker Pyne short story The Case of the Discontented Soldier).
At an exhibition of snuff boxes, Hercule Poirot meets Mr. Shaitana, a mysterious foreign man who is consistently described as devil-like in appearance and manner. Shaitana jokes about Poirot's visit to the snuff box exhibition, and claims that he has a better "collection" that Poirot would enjoy: individuals who have got away with murder. He arranges a dinner party to show off this collection; Poirot is apprehensive.
Upon arrival at Shaitana's house on the appointed day, Poirot is joined by three other guests: mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver, Scotland Yard's Superintendent Battle, and Colonel Race of His Majesty's Secret Service. Soon, the other four guests join them: Dr. Roberts, a hearty, florid man; Mrs. Lorrimer, a perfectly poised gentlewoman of late middle age; Major John Despard, a dashing Army man and world traveler, recently returned from Africa; and Anne Meredith, a shy, quiet, very pretty young woman. Having brought them all to dinner, Shaitana skillfully manipulates the topic of conversation to possible motives for murder.
Shaitana invites his eight guests to play bridge in the adjoining rooms; he, as the odd man out, does not play. Roberts, Meredith, Lorrimer, and Despard play in the first room, while Poirot, Oliver, Race, and Battle play in the next; Shaitana settles himself in a chair in the first room and thinks of how wonderfully his party is going. Hours later, Poirot and the others prepare to leave, and go to thank Shaitana. Shaitana has been murdered, stabbed in the chest with a jeweled stiletto.
Once the preliminary police work has been done, Poirot reveals Shaitana's strange mention of a "collection" to the other three with whom he played bridge. They quickly realize that they are four "sleuths" meant to be pitted against the four in the next room whom Shaitana suspected of murder. The four agree to work together to solve the crime, and interview the four suspects. Poirot takes interest in the way each member plays bridge, which he discerns through asking each suspect to grade the play of the others. As there seems to be no conventional way to prove which of them has committed Shaitana's murder, Poirot suggests that the group of sleuths delve into the past and uncover the murders that the dead man thought he knew about.
Battle is put on the trail of the death of a Mrs. Craddock, whom Dr. Roberts once attended. Her husband died of anthrax poisoning from an infected shaving brush (and readers at the time of the novel's publication in the 1930s might well have remembered anthrax deaths from infected shaving brushes during and in the years after World War I); Mrs. Craddock herself had died not long afterward, of a tropical infection, in Egypt. Race seeks out information on Despard, and discovers a case in which a botanist named Luxmore and his wife traveled with him to South America; Luxmore officially died of a fever, but it is rumored that he was shot. Mrs. Oliver visits Anne Meredith and her housemate, Rhoda Dawes. Rhoda later visits Oliver and explains Anne's bad manners: Anne, after her father's death and before old friend Rhoda came to her rescue, worked as a live-in companion; one employer, a Mrs. Benson, had taken hat paint—poison—from a medicine bottle and died. Fellow suspect Despard takes an interest in Anne's welfare, recommending that she retain an attorney.
In the meantime, the four sleuths gather and compare notes. Meanwhile, Poirot sets a trap for Anne Meredith. When she pays him a call at his request, he shows her to a table on which many packets of the finest silk stockings are piled up, apparently carelessly. After Anne makes her gift suggestions and leaves, Poirot discovers that two pairs of the stockings are missing, confirming his suspicion that Anne is a thief, and seemingly giving weight to his suspicion that she stole from Mrs. Benson and killed her when she feared she had been discovered.
At this point, Mrs. Lorrimer contacts Poirot with surprising news. She confesses to Shaitana's murder, and explains that she took the stiletto impulsively after he mentioned poison as a woman's weapon. Shaitana was right about her, she says; twenty years earlier, she had, she confesses, killed her husband. Poirot objects that Lorrimer's explanation of Shaitana's killing does not match her unflappable personality. Lorrimer thus believes that Meredith is Shaitana's killer, and decided to lie to save the younger woman. She begs Poirot to let her take the blame for the crime: she will die soon anyway, and Anne will be free to live her young life.
Poirot is confused by this confession, and fears that there may be more trouble to come. His guess proves correct when Mrs. Lorrimer is found dead the next morning, having apparently committed suicide. Roberts arrived before she was quite dead and attended to her, but she could not be saved. Poirot and Battle race to Anne Meredith's cottage, fearing that she might strike again. Despard, who has been visiting Anne and Rhoda, both of whom fancy him, is a few steps ahead of Poirot and Battle. At Anne's suggestion, Anne and Rhoda are on a boat in a nearby river. Poirot and Battle see Anne suddenly push her friend into the water. Alas for Anne, when she knocks Rhoda into the water, she also falls in herself. Despard rescues Rhoda; Anne drowns.
Poirot gathers Oliver, Battle, Despard, Rhoda, and Roberts at his home, where he makes a surprising announcement: the true murderer of both Shaitana and Mrs. Lorrimer is not Anne, but Dr. Roberts. Poirot brings in a window cleaner who happened to be working outside Mrs. Lorrimer's flat earlier that morning. He testifies that he saw Roberts inject Lorrimer with a syringe; a syringe, Poirot reveals, full of a lethal anesthetic. Battle chimes in that they can bolster any prosecution with the true story of the deaths of the Craddocks, who died of infections, true, but infections deliberately inflicted on each of them by Roberts. Roberts confesses.
Poirot points out that in the third rubber of bridge on the night of Shaitana's murder, a grand slam occurred. This intense play would keep the others focused on the game—Roberts was dummy at that point—while Roberts used the opportunity to stab Shaitana. It is also revealed that the "window cleaner" was actually an actor in Poirot's employ, though Poirot brags that he did "witness" Roberts kill Mrs. Lorrimer in his mind's eye. Despard suggests that one of the gathered party murder Poirot, and then watch his ghost come back to solve the crime.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 190 MB
Agatha Christie - Dumb Witness (read by Hugh Fraser)
Dumb Witness is a detective fiction novel by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on July 5 1937 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of Poirot Loses a Client . The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and is the second to last Poirot novel (the last being 1975's Curtain: Poirot's Last Case) to be published that features Hastings as narrator.
Dumb Witness was based on a short story entitled The Incident of the Dog's Ball. This short story was lost for many years but found by the authoress' daughter in a crate of her personal effects, in 2004. The Incident of the Dog's Ball was published in Britain in September 2009 in John Curran's Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years Of Mysteries. The short story was also published by The Strand Magazine in their tenth anniversary issue.
Emily Arundell writes to Hercule Poirot because she believes she has been the victim of attempted murder. However, unfortunately this letter is delayed and when Poirot receives it, she has been dead for some time. Her doctor, who has lost his sense of smell, says that she died of liver problems she had had for many years.
Emily's companion Miss Lawson is the unexpected beneficiary of a substantial fortune, according to a very recent change of will. Under the previous will, Emily's nephew Charles Arundell and nieces Theresa Arundell and Bella Tanios would have inherited. This gives them all motive for murder, because it is unclear who knew of the changed will.
While examining the house, under a pretence of buying it, Poirot discovers a nail covered with varnish and a small string tied to it. Before her death Miss Arundell had said something about Bob...dog...picture...ajar. Poirot concludes that this means a jar on which there is a picture of a dog who was left out all night—meaning that Bob could not have put the ball on the staircase because he had been out all night. Poirot concludes Miss Arundell had fallen over a tripwire that had been tied to the nail.
On the day of her death Emily had been at a seance held by both Miss Tripps. Both Miss Tripps, two sisters who believe in seances, say that when Emily spoke, a luminous figure came from her mouth. They also say that they saw Emily's "spirit" the night Emily died, billowing from her mouth in a halo around her head. Miss Lawson, who was also at the seance, similarly claims that a luminous haze appeared.
Theresa and Charles want to have the will contested and even offer to pay Poirot for it. Poirot seemingly agrees. He asks Bella, who, after talking with her husband, agrees. While at Emily's house Poirot talks to the gardener and finds out that Charles talked to him about his weed killer which turns out to be arsenic. The bottle is also nearly empty—something that the gardener finds surprising.
Theresa Arundell is a strong suspect because Miss Lawson can recall seeing someone through her bedroom mirror at the top of the stairs on the night of Emily's accident. The person was wearing a brooch with the initials, "TA".
After implying for a long time that he is bullying her, Bella leaves her husband, Jacob, accusing him of Emily Arundell's murder and saying he was trying to have her wrongly committed to a mental institution in order to keep her quiet. She goes to stay with Miss Lawson, but Poirot tells her to go to a certain hotel, and read some papers he has prepared for her. The next day, she is found dead. She has taken an overdose of a sleeping-draught. The murderer has apparently struck again.
Poirot discovers that Emily Arundell died of phosphorus poisoning, administered in her liver pills. The reason why haze appeared from her mouth was that her breath was phosphorescent. The reason her doctor did not know was because he could not smell the odour. The nature of the murder suggests a doctor. Dr. Donaldson, Theresa's fiancé, has a good motive for the crime, as does Jacob Tanios, also a doctor.
At a meeting with all the suspects, Poirot reveals that Theresa took the arsenic. However, she could not bear to take someone else's life, so she threw the arsenic away. The real murderer was Bella. She committed the murder for money to educate her children and escape from her mundane life. Secretly, she had grown to hate her domineering husband, and had already attempted to kill him as well. She killed herself because the papers Poirot had given her contained a description of how she had murdered her aunt. The brooch that Miss Lawson had seen through the mirror was Bella's with the initials "AT" for Arabella Tanios; they appeared as "TA" because Miss Lawson was looking through the mirror. On her deathbed, Emily had asked Miss Lawson for the new will, presumably to destroy it, but Miss Lawson, thinking the will was only for a few thousand pounds, lied and said that her lawyer had it. On discovering that the inheritance was much greater than she had imagined, she was racked with remorse.
Respecting the original will, Miss Lawson voluntarily shares the estate with Emily's other relations, including Bella's children. The dog Bob becomes Hastings' new pet.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 202 MB
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Agatha Christie - Death On The Nile (read by David Suchet)
Death on the Nile is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 1, 1937 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The action takes place in Egypt, mostly on the Nile River.
Poirot, on vacation in Africa, meets the rich, beautiful Linnet Doyle and her new husband, Simon. As usual, all is not as it seems between the newlyweds, and when Linnet is found murdered, Poirot must sort through a boatload of suspects to find the killer before he (or she) strikes again.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 237 MB
Agatha Christie - Murder In The Mews (read by Hugh Fraser and Nigel Hawthorne)
Murder in the Mews and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club on March 15, 1937. In the US, the book was published by Dodd, Mead and Company under the title Dead Man's Mirror in June 1937 with one story missing (The Incredible Theft); the 1987 Berkeley Books edition of the same title has all four stories. All of the tales feature Hercule Poirot. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the first US edition at $2.00.
Three novellas comprise this collection of cases presented to the great Belgian detective: Murder in the Mews; The Incredible Theft; and Triangle at Rhodes. This is the 11th Poirot title in the Mystery Masters series.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 122 MB
Agatha Christie - Appointment With Death (read by Hugh Fraser)
Appointment with Death is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on May 2, 1938 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and reflects Christie's experiences travelling in the Middle East with her husband, the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan.
Holidaying in Jerusalem, Poirot overhears Raymond Boynton telling his sister: "You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" Their stepmother, Mrs. Boynton, is a sadistic tyrant who dominates all the younger members of her family, and who attracts the strong dislike of a group of people outside the immediate family. But when she is found dead, Hercule Poirot proposes to solve the case in twenty-four hours, even though he has no way of even proving whether it was murder.
The first part of the novel (a little over a third) is an effective psychological thriller as the family and the victim are introduced, principally through the perspective of Sarah King and Dr. Gerard, who discuss the behaviour of the family. Mrs. Boynton is sadistic and domineering, traits that (it is suggested) may have influenced her choice of original profession: prison warden.
Sarah is attracted to Raymond Boynton, while Jefferson Cope admits to wanting to take Nadine Boynton away from her husband, Lennox Boynton, and the influence of her mother-in-law. Having been thwarted in her desire to free the young Boyntons, Sarah confronts Mrs. Boynton whose apparent reply is a strange threat: "I’ve never forgotten anything – not an action, not a name, not a face." When the party reaches Petra, Mrs. Boynton uncharacteristically sends her family away from her for a period. Later, she is found dead with a needle puncture in her wrist.
Poirot claims that he can solve the mystery within twenty-four hours simply by interviewing the suspects. During these interviews he establishes a timeline that seems impossible: Sarah King places the time of death considerably before the times at which various of the family members claim last to have seen the victim alive. Attention is focused on a hypodermic syringe that has seemingly been stolen from Dr. Gerard’s tent and later replaced. The poison administered to the victim is believed to be digitoxin: something that she already took medicinally.
During a protracted denouement, Poirot explains how each member of the family has, in turn, discovered Mrs. Boynton to be dead and, suspecting another family member, failed to report the fact. In reality, none of the family would have needed to murder the victim with a hypodermic, since an overdose could much more effectively have been administered in her medicine. This places the suspicion on one of the outsiders.
The murderess is revealed to be Lady Westholme who, previous to her marriage, had been incarcerated in the prison in which the victim was once a wardress. It was to Lady Westholme, and not to Sarah, that Mrs. Boynton had addressed that peculiar threat; the temptation to acquire a new subject to torture had been too great for her to resist. Disguised as an Arab servant she had committed the murder and then relied upon the suggestibility of Miss Pierce to lay two pieces of misdirection that had concealed her role in the murder.
Lady Westholme, eavesdropping in an adjoining room, overhears that her criminal history is about to be revealed to the world and commits suicide. The family, free at last, take up happier lives: Sarah marries Raymond; Carol marries Jefferson; and Ginevra takes up a successful career as a stage actress - she also marries Dr. Gerard.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 164 MB
Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot's Christmas (read by Hugh Fraser)
Hercule Poirot's Christmas is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on December 19, 1938 (although the first edition is copyright dated 1939). It retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
It was published in US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1939 under the title of Murder for Christmas. This edition retailed at $2.00. A paperback edition in the US by Avon books in 1947 changed the title again to A Holiday for Murder.
The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and is a locked room mystery.
When multi-millionaire Simeon Lee unexpectedly invites his family to gather at his home for Christmas, the gesture is met with suspicion by many of the guests. Simeon is not given to family sentiment, and not all of the family are on good terms with one another. To make things worse, he has invited the black sheep of the family, Harry, and Simeon’s granddaughter, Pilar, whom none of them has ever met before. Simeon is intent on playing a deadly and sadistic game with his family. An unexpected guest – Stephen Farr, son of Simeon Lee's former partner in the diamond mines – means that the house is full of potential suspects when the game turns deadly.
It is Christmas Eve and everyone in the house hears the crashing of furniture, followed by a wailing and hideous scream. When they get to Simeon Lee's room, they find it locked and they have to break the door down. When they finally get through the door, they find heavy furniture overturned and Simeon Lee dead, his throat slit, in a great pool of blood. Superintendent Sugden notices Pilar Estravados pick up something from the floor. She tries to conceal what she picked up, but when pressed, opens her hand to show a small bit of rubber and a small object made of wood.
Superintendent Sugden explains that he is in the house by prior arrangement with the victim, who confided to him the theft of a substantial quantity of uncut diamonds from his safe. When Poirot is called in to investigate, there are therefore several main problems: who killed the victim? How was the victim killed inside a locked room? Was the murder connected to the theft of the diamonds? And what is the significance of the small triangle of rubber and the peg that Sugden is able to provide when reminded by Poirot of the clue that had been picked up by Pilar?
Poirot’s investigation explores the nature of the victim – a methodical and vengeful man – and the way that these characteristics come out in his children. He seems focused on the idea that one of the immediate family is the murderer. When the butler mentions his confusion about the identities of the house guests, Poirot realizes that the four legitimate sons may not be the only heirs of Simeon’s temperament.
The final major clue is dropped by Pilar, who while playing with balloons lets slip that what she found on the floor must also have been a balloon. She knows more than she realises, not least because she was hiding outside the room in which the murder was committed. Poirot warns her to be careful, but it is only by chance that she is not killed by a cannon ball trap set above her bedroom door.
In the denouement of the novel Poirot is able to unmask several characters: Pilar is an imposter who was with Simeon’s grand daughter when she died because of a bomb attack, and Stephen Farr is revealed to be an illegitimate son. Neither, however, is the murderer. The real killer committed the murder earlier and prepared the room with all the furniture piled up and a long cord hanging out of the window. The final touch was a “Dying Pig” toy: a rubber bladder that was rigged to provide the apparent death-scream as the furniture fell. The room had to be locked in order that the carefully staged room would not be entered and discovered.
The only person able to release the piled furniture from outside the house was also the last person supposed to have seen the victim alive: Superintendent Sugden. He was yet another illegitimate son of the victim, who used a fictitious theft of the diamonds to trick Simeon into opening the safe and then killed him. A bottle of animal blood, prevented from clotting by the addition of sodium citrate, was used to dress the scene and create the impression that the murder had taken place much later. Crucially, Sugden had intended to recover the incriminating “Dying Pig” toy before it was noticed, but once Poirot had learned of it, he had to provide a faked clue, physically similar, in order to protect the means by which the murder was committed.
At the end of the book two of the imposters - Pilar and Stephen – marry. Colonel Johnson, stunned by the loss of his best policeman, perhaps speaks for the reader when he asks “What’s the police coming to?”.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 169 MB
Agatha Christie - Sad Cypress (read by David Suchet)
Sad Cypress is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in March 1940 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at eight shillings and threepence (8/3) – the first price rise for a UK Christie edition since her 1921 debut - and the US edition retailed at $2.00.
The novel is notable for being the first courtroom drama in the Poirot series.
The novel is written in three parts: in the first place an account, largely from the perspective of the subsequent defendant, Elinor Carlisle, of the death of her aunt, Laura Welman, and the subsequent death of the victim, Mary Gerrard; secondly an account of Poirot's investigation; and, thirdly, a sequence in court, again mainly from Elinor's dazed perspective.
In the first part, distant cousins Elinor Carlisle and Roddy Welman are happily engaged to be married when they receive an anonymous letter claiming that someone is "sucking up" to their wealthy aunt, Laura Welman, from whom Elinor and Roddy expect to inherit a sizeable fortune. Elinor immediately suspects Mary Gerrard, the lodgekeeper's daughter, to whom their aunt has taken a considerable liking. They go down to visit their aunt: partly to see her and partly to protect their interests.
Mrs. Welman is helpless after a stroke and speaks of a desire to die, most notably to Peter Lord, her physician. After a second stroke, she asks Elinor to ask the family solicitor to prepare a will under which it is clear that Mary is to be a beneficiary. Roddy has fallen in love with Mary, provoking Elinor's jealousy. Mrs. Welman dies intestate during the night and her estate goes to Elinor outright as her only surviving blood relative.
Subsequently, Elinor releases Roddy from the engagement and makes moves to settle money on him (which he refuses) and two thousand pounds on Mary (which Mary accepts). At an impromptu tea party thrown by Elinor for Mary and Nurse Hopkins, Mary dies of poison that had supposedly been put into a fish-paste sandwich. Elinor (who has been behaving suspiciously) is put on trial. Worse, when the body of her aunt is exhumed it is discovered that both women died of morphine poisoning. Elinor had easy access to morphine from a bottle that apparently went missing from Nurse Hopkins’s bag.
In the second part of the novel, Poirot is persuaded to investigate the case by Peter Lord, who is in love with Elinor and wants her to be acquitted at all costs. Poirot's investigation focuses on a small number of elements. Was the poison in the sandwiches, which everyone ate, or something else, such as the tea that was prepared by Nurse Hopkins and drunk by only Mary and herself? What is the secret of Mary Gerrard's birth, which everyone seems so keen to conceal? Is there any significance in the scratch of a thorn on Nurse Hopkins's wrist? Is Peter Lord right to draw Poirot's attention to evidence that someone watching through the window might have poisoned the sandwich, thinking that it would be eaten by Elinor? In the third part of the novel, the case appears to go badly for Elinor, until her Defence unveils three theories that might exonerate her. The first (that Mary committed suicide) is difficult for anyone to really believe, and the second (Peter Lord's theory of the killer outside the window) is unconvincing. But the third theory is Poirot's.
A torn pharmaceutical label that the Prosecution supposed to have held morphine hydrochloride, the poison, had in fact held apomorphine hydrochloride, an emetic. This was revealed because on an ampoule, the M in Morphine would be capital; Poirot finds a lowercase M - thus it isn't morphine. The capitalized prefix "Apo" had been carefully torn off. Nurse Hopkins had injected herself with this emetic, apomorphine, in order to vomit the poison that she had ingested in the tea, which explains her quick departure from the table as soon as the tea was consumed that fateful day. Her claim to have scratched herself on a thorn is disproved when it is revealed that the rose tree in question was a thornless variety: Zephyrine Drouhin.
If the means were simple, the motive is complex. Mary Gerrard is not the daughter of Eliza and Bob Gerrard. Instead—as Poirot has discovered from Nurse Hopkins in the course of the investigation—she is the illegitimate daughter of Laura Welman and Sir Lewis Rycroft, which made her the heiress to Mrs. Welman's estate since she was actually a closer relative than Elinor. When Nurse Hopkins encouraged Mary to write a will, Mary was prompted to name as beneficiary the woman that she supposed to be her aunt, Mary Riley (Eliza Gerrard's sister), in New Zealand. Mary Riley's married name is Mary Draper. Mary Draper is none other than Nurse Hopkins as two witnesses of the defence (Amelia Mary Sedley and Edward John Marshall, both from New Zealand), confirm in court.
Poirot ends the novel by rebuking Peter Lord for his clumsy efforts to implicate the hypothetical killer outside the window. He has planted evidence and led Poirot to it in a desperate bid to free Elinor. Lord's momentary embarrassment is presumably alleviated by Poirot's assurance that it is to him, and not to her former love Roddy, that Elinor is now likely to become married.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 167 MB
Agatha Christie - One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (read by Hugh Fraser)
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club in November 1940 and in US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1941 under the title of The Patriotic Murders. A paperback edition in the US by Dell books in 1953 changed the title again to An Overdose of Death. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) while the United States edition retailed at $2.00.
It is one of several of Christie's crime fiction novels to feature both the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Chief Inspector Japp. This is Japp's final novel appearance.
Leaving the dentist’s practice after an appointment, Poirot happens to notice the arrival of Mabelle Sainsbury Seale and returns to her the shiny buckle that has fallen from her shoe. Later, he hears from Japp that Morley has died of a gun shot. Between Poirot’s appointment and Morley’s death there were only three patients: Banker Alistair Blunt, Mabelle, and a Greek blackmailer named Amberiotis. The presence of a man thought essential to the country’s economic survival (Blunt) ensures Japp’s involvement in the case; when Amberiotis turns up dead from an overdose of anaesthetic, it is thought that the dentist has killed himself after realising the accident for which he had been responsible.
Movements at the dental surgery are inconclusive. Morley’s partner, Reilly, is a rogue but seems to have no motive. Morley’s secretary had been called away by a fake telegram. Her boyfriend, Frank Carter, had a weak motive given that Morley had attempted to dissuade her from seeing him. Also present at the surgery was Howard Raikes, a prickly left-wing activist violently opposed to Blunt but enamoured of his niece. There is too little evidence for Poirot to construct an alternative hypothesis, but he senses that the story is not complete.
When Mabelle goes missing, his fears are realised. A search for her is conducted, and some time later her body is apparently found in a sealed chest in the apartment of Mrs. Albert Chapman, who has herself disappeared. The corpse’s face has been smashed in, and Poirot notices its dull buckled shoes. He is skeptical of the theory that Mrs. Chapman has killed Mabelle and fled. Sure enough, once the dental records are produced by Morley’s successor at the surgery, it is discovered that the corpse is Mrs. Chapman’s. The hunt for Mabelle continues.
Poirot is now drawn into the life of the Blunt family. An attempt is made on Alistair Blunt’s life at which Raikes is a bystander. Poirot is invited down to Blunt’s house, where he is persuaded to undertake a search for Mabelle. While he is there, a second attempt is made on Blunt’s life, but it is seemingly thwarted by Raikes. The pistol used in the attack is found in the hand of none other than Frank Carter, who has taken a job as gardener at the house under a false identity. When a maid at the surgery admits to having seen Carter on the stairs going up to Morley’s office, it seems that Carter is likely to be tried and convicted of both the murder and the attempted murder. The fact that the gun with which he was captured was the twin of the murder weapon only makes things worse for him.
In the climax of the novel – one of the darkest in the Poirot series – Poirot realises that by allowing Carter to persist in his lies he can ensure that the real killer goes free, and wrestles with his conscience. Eventually he presses Carter to admit the truth: that when he entered Morley’s office the dentistg was already dead. It is the final element in the puzzle.
Poirot visits Alistair Blunt and explains the murders. The real Mabelle Sainsbury Seale had known him and his first wife, Gerda, whom he had never divorced, in India; his money came from his now deceased second wife, and he would be disgraced if caught in bigamy. Running into Blunt in the street, she had recognised and spoken to him in front of his niece, but had not realised whom he had become. By chance she had mentioned this chance encounter to the blackmailer, Amberiotis, who made the connection between the name 'Blunt' and the wealthy banker. He began to blackmail Blunt.
Gerda, posing under several aliases including that of Mrs. Albert Chapman, invited Mabelle to visit her, killed her, and took her identity, but had to buy new shoes because Mabelle’s did not fit her. This is why the corpse’s buckles were dull, while the buckle of the woman whom Poirot met going into Morley's surgery were shiny: the fake Mabelle had newer shoes than the real one, who was by that time decomposing in the chest. The woman in the trunk could hardly have worn through a new pair of shoes in a single day. Ironically, the face of the corpse had been disfigured not because it wasn’t Mabelle, but because it was.
Alistair Blunt had attended his appointment, shot Morley and stashed his body in the side office with his wife’s help. Having appeared to leave the surgery, he returned and changed the dental records of Mrs. Albert Chapman and Mabelle in order to ensure that the corpse would be identified as Mrs. Chapman: a woman who in reality did not exist; the motive for killing Morley was simply to prevent him from detecting this change. At the end of Mabelle’s appointment, Gerda left, while Blunt dressed as a dentist in order to administer the overdose to Amberiotis, a new patient who had never met Morley. Poirot’s involvement had forced Blunt to compound the lies with talk of assassins and spies as the detective had relentlessly tracked the truth.
At the novel’s bleak conclusion, Poirot is forced to admit that Blunt does indeed stand in public life “for all the things that to my mind are important. For sanity and balance and stability and honest dealing”. Nevertheless, he adds: “I am not concerned with the fate of nations, Monsieur. I am concerned with the lives of private individuals who have the right not to have their lives taken from them.” He turns Blunt over to the police. Later, he confronts Blunt's niece and her fiancé Howard Raikes, telling them that they now have the "new heaven and the new earth" that they desire, asking them only to "let there be freedom and let there be pity".
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 147 MB
Agatha Christie - Evil Under The Sun (read by David Suchet)
Evil Under the Sun is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1941 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October of the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
A quiet holiday at a secluded hotel in Devon is all that Hercule Poirot wants, but amongst his fellow guests is a beautiful and vain woman who, seemingly oblivious to her own husband’s feelings, revels in the attention of another woman’s husband. The scene is set for murder, but can the field of suspects really be as narrow as it first appears?
Arlena is a very beautiful retired actress and a flirtatious young woman with many men attracted to her. She goes to the Jolly Roger Hotel with her husband and step daughter, Kenneth and Linda Marshall. Linda Marshall, a sixteen-year-old girl, dislikes her stepmother very much. Arlena flirts in the hotel with a handsome man named Patrick Redfern who is infatuated with her. This makes his wife Christine Redfern, an educated schoolteacher, jealous and hurt. Also staying at the hotel are famous detective Hercule Poirot, the dressmaker and Kenneth's childhood friend Rosamund Darnley, the American tourists Odell and Carrie Gardener, the retired Major Barry, the blatant Horace Blatt, vicar Stephen Lane and the athletic spinster Emily Brewster.
Early on the morning of the murder, Christine witnesses Linda accidentally dropping a parcel, which reveals a number of candles. Christine asks Linda to come to Gull Cove with her. On the same morning, Arlena goes out on a float (a type of boat) and asks Poirot not to tell anyone where she is going. In Poirot's mind Arlena is going to meet Patrick Redfern, but he is proved wrong when Patrick asks Poirot if he has seen Arlena.
Patrick Redfern asks Emily Brewster to join him in a rowboat outing. They eventually reach Pixy Cove and find a body lying there, her arms outstretched and her face hidden by a hat. It is the strangled body of Arlena, killed at about quarter to 12.
When they begin to question people's whereabouts, Kenneth Marshall says he was in his room typing letters at the time of the murder. Linda lies that she was fond of her stepmother. She also claims that she and Christine went to Gull Cove at about 10:30 and that she returned to the hotel at about quarter to 12, which would mean it was impossible for her to have committed the murder because the murder was committed at exactly quarter to 12. The Gardeners were with Hercule Poirot at that time of the murder and thus cleared of suspicion. Rosamund Darnley claims that she went to Sunny Ledge (above the Pixy Cove) to read a book. She says that she saw no one because she was concentrating on reading but while Emily and Patrick were rowing a boat, they saw her there. As for the rest of the group, Stephen Lane and Major Barry went out and Horace Blatt sailed. Christine, Rosamund, Kenneth and Mr. Gardener all went to play tennis at noon.
Meanwhile, Poirot asks the chambermaid, Gladys Narracott, if she has observed whether a bottle was missing. He asks this because earlier that day of the murder Emily Brewster told them that she had nearly been hit with a thrown bottle. The chambermaid did not notice that a bottle was missing, but notes something else that seemed odd; somebody ran a bath at noon. Poirot says that the bath was nothing important but the bottle was very important. The chambermaid also heard Kenneth Marshall typing in his room, thus corroborating Kenneth's story and clearing him of suspicion.
Meanwhile, when the investigating officers and Poirot go to Pixy Cove to investigate the place, they find a pair of new scissors, a fragment of pipe, and a bottle. The pipe could be Kenneth's, as he told the investigating officers and Poirot earlier that he had mislaid his pipe. But he is not the only one who smokes a pipe. On entering Pixy's Cave the investigators find heroin. There are suspicions that Horace Blatt has something to do with smuggling of drugs or with the murder. Poirot also enquires about the murder of Alice Corrigan many years ago. It emerges that she was also strangled but her murderer was never caught. Alice's husband Edward claimed innocence and had an alibi because he was away at that time, thus, making him impossible to commit the murder. Alice's body was found at the time by a school teacher.
Poirot has an idea to go for a picnic, perhaps to make a little test. Christine and Emily had both mentioned that they were afraid of heights (also called vertigo). Therefore, when they are made to cross a narrow bridge with running water below nearby on the way to the picnic, they should feel giddy and uncomfortable doing so. Emily does, yet Christine crosses the bridge without any problems. Therefore it is shown that she has told at least one lie - could all she had said earlier be lies too?
When they return to the hotel after the picnic, the chambermaid advises them that Linda is not feeling well. On entering her room it transpires that Linda took six sleeping pills in an unsuccessful attempt at suicide, leaving a letter confessing that she was the one who killed Arlena. As she recovers, the true nature of her confession is revealed - the mysterious parcel of candles she had dropped earlier was part of a magic spell directed at Arlena, and she mistakenly believed it to have killed her. After that Poirot tells everyone the identity of the murderer.
Patrick Redfern's real identity is Edward Corrigan, the husband of Alice Corrigan who was also murdered by Patrick years ago. The games mistress who found her body was Christine Redfern, then known as Christine Deverill, and she also helped Edward to kill Alice. So, Patrick Redfern and Christine Redfern killed Arlena. The body Patrick and Emily had seen was the live body of Christine, who was helping Patrick. When Emily left to call the police, Christine went to the hotel and Patrick strangled Arlena, who was in the cave. The motive was money.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 177 MB
Agatha Christie - Five Little Pigs (read by Hugh Fraser)
Five Little Pigs is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in May 1942 under the title of Murder in Retrospect and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in January 1943 although some sources state that publication occurred in November 1942. The UK first edition carries a copyright date of 1942 and retailed at eight shillings (8/-) while the US edition was priced at $2.00.
The book features Hercule Poirot. The novel is notable as a rigorous attempt to demonstrate Poirot’s repeatedly stated contention that it is possible to solve a mystery purely by reflecting upon the testimony of the participants, and without access to the scene of the crime.
This was the last novel of an especially prolific phase of Christie's work on Poirot. She published thirteen Poirot novels between 1935 and 1942 out of a total of eighteen novels in that period. By contrast, she published only two Poirot novels in the next eight years, indicating the possibility that she was experiencing some frustration with her most popular character.
Five Little Pigs is unusual in the way that the same events are retold from several standpoints.
Sixteen years after Caroline Crale has been convicted of the murder of her husband, Amyas Crale, her daughter, Carla Lemarchant, approaches Poirot to investigate the case. Poirot embarks optimistically upon an unprecedented challenge, but soon fears that the case may be as cut and dried as it had first appeared.
Carla is engaged to be married but she is afraid that the fact that her mother killed her father will poison her husband's love for her, as he may fear that she has inherited a husband-killing tendency. Moreover, Carla remembers that her mother would never lie to her to hide an unpleasant truth and her mother told her she was innocent through a letter. That is enough for Carla but she wants Poirot to prove her mother's innocence to her husband to be.
Carla's father, painter Amyas Crale, was murdered with a poison, coniine, which had been extracted from poison hemlock by Meredith Blake but subsequently apparently stolen from him by Carla's mother, Caroline Crale. Caroline confessed to having stolen the poison, claiming that she had intended to use it to commit suicide. This poison ended up, however, in a glass from which Amyas had drunk cold beer, after complaining that 'everything tastes foul today'. Both the glass and the bottle of cold beer had been brought to him by Caroline. Her motive was clear: Amyas’s young model, and latest mistress Elsa Greer, had revealed that he was planning to divorce Caroline and marry her instead. This was a new development; though Amyas had frequently had mistresses and affairs, he had never before shown any sign of wanting to leave Caroline.
Poirot labels the five alternative suspects “the five little pigs”: they comprise Phillip Blake ("went to the market"); Philip’s brother, Meredith Blake ("stayed at home"); Elsa Greer (now Lady Dittisham, "had roast beef"); Cecilia Williams, the governess ("had none"); and Angela Warren, Caroline’s younger half-sister ("went 'Wee! Wee! Wee!' all the way home"). As Poirot learns from speaking to them during the first half of the novel, none of the quintet has an obvious motive, and while their views of the original case differ in some respects there is no immediate reason to suppose that the verdict in the case was wrong.
The differences are subtle. Phillip Blake’s hostility to Caroline is overt enough to draw suspicion. Meredith Blake mistrusts him, and has a very much more sympathetic view of her. Elsa seems emotionally stunted, as though her original passion for Amyas has left her prematurely devoid of emotion, except for hatred for Caroline Crale. Cecilia, the governess, gives some insight into both Caroline and Angela, but claims to have definite reason for believing Caroline guilty. Finally, Angela believes her sister to be innocent, but a letter that Caroline wrote to her after the murder contains no protestation of innocence, and makes Poirot doubt Caroline's innocence for perhaps the first time.
In the second half of the novel, Poirot considers five accounts of the case that he has asked the suspects to write for him. These establish the succession of events on the day of the murder, and establish a small number of facts that are important to the solution of the puzzle. In the first place, there is a degree of circumstantial evidence incriminating Angela. Secondly, Cecilia has seen Caroline frantically wiping fingerprints off the bottle of beer as she waited by Amyas’s corpse. Thirdly, there has been a conversation between Caroline and Amyas, apparently about Amyas 'seeing to her packing' for Angela's return to school. Fourthly, Elsa overheard a heated argument between Caroline and Amyas in which he swore that he would divorce her and Caroline said bitterly 'you and your women'.
In the denouement, Poirot reveals the main emotional undercurrents of the story. Philip Blake has loved Caroline but his rejection by her has turned this to hatred. Meredith Blake, wearied by his long affection for Caroline, has formed an attachment to Elsa Greer, that is also unreciprocated. These are mere red herrings, though. Putting together the case that would incriminate Angela (she had the opportunity to steal the poison on the morning of the crime, she had previously put salt in Amyas’s glass as a prank and she was seen fiddling with the bottle of beer before Caroline took it down to him; she was very angry with Amyas), he demonstrates that Caroline herself would have thought that Angela was guilty. Her letter to Angela did not speak of innocence, because Caroline believed that Angela must know for a fact that Caroline was innocent. This explains why, if Caroline was innocent, she made no move to defend herself in court. Moreover, many years ago Caroline had thrown a paperweight at Angela in a jealous rage, which had left a permanent disfiguring scar on Angela's face. Caroline had always felt deeply guilty about this and therefore felt that, by taking the blame for what she thought was Angela's crime, she could earn redemption.
Caroline’s actions, however, unwittingly proved her innocence. By wiping the fingerprints off the bottle, she showed that she believed that the poison had been placed in it, rather than in the glass. Moreover, seen to handle the bottle there was no reason to remove her own fingerprints; she can only have been removing those of a third party.
Angela, however, was not guilty. All the evidence incriminating Angela can be explained by the fact that she had stolen valerian from Meredith’s laboratory that morning in preparation for playing another prank on Amyas. (Because she described the theft of the valerian in the future tense Poirot realised that she had never carried out this trick; Angela had completely forgotten that she had stolen the valerian on the morning of that fateful day).
The true murderer was Elsa. Far from being about to finish with Caroline, Amyas was entirely focused on completing his portrait of Elsa. Because Elsa was young she did not realize she was just another mistress, to be left as soon as she was painted. She took the promises 'to leave my wife' seriously. Amyas went along with her false belief, to the short term distress of his wife, so that Elsa wouldn't leave before the painting was finished. Thus the half overheard 'see to her packing' did not refer to Angela's packing (why should Amyas do her packing with a wife and governess to see to such 'woman's work'?), but to sending Elsa packing. Caroline, reassured that Amyas had no intention of leaving her, was distressed at such cruelty to Elsa. She remonstrated with Amyas on a second occasion. Though Elsa falsely reported the gist of this conversation, she did mention that Caroline had said to Amyas 'you and your women', showing Poirot that in fact Elsa was in the same category as all of Amyas's other, discarded mistresses. After a disillusioned and betrayed Elsa overheard this conversation, she recalled seeing Caroline help herself to the coniine the day before and, under the pretence of fetching a cardigan, stole some of that poison by drawing it off with a fountain pen filler. She poisoned Amyas in the first, warm beer, and was then pleased to find that Caroline implicated herself still more seriously by bringing him another. (When Caroline brought Amyas a beer and he exclaimed that 'everything tastes foul today,' this not only showed that he had already had a drink before the one Caroline brought him, but he had had one which had tasted foul as well.)
Amyas's last moments are spent working on his painting of Elsa, while she sits posing for it. In the beginning he does not realize he has been poisoned, but as he gradually weakens he apparently realizes it, because Meredith sees him give the painting a "malevolent glare". Poirot notes the unusual vitality in the face of the portrait and says, "It is a very remarkable picture. It is the picture of a murderess painted by her victim – it is the picture of a girl watching her lover die."
Poirot’s explanation solves the case to the satisfaction of Carla and, most importantly, her fiancé. But, as Elsa forces him to admit, it cannot be proven. Poirot states that though his chances of getting a conviction are slim, he does not intend to simply leave her to her rich, privileged life. Privately, however, she confides the full measure of her defeat. Caroline, having earned redemption, went uncomplainingly to prison, where she died soon after. Elsa has always felt that the husband and wife somehow escaped her, and her life has been empty since.
The last paragraph of the novel underlines this defeat. “The chauffeur held open the door of the car. Lady Dittisham got in and the chauffeur wrapped the fur rug around her knees.”
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 183 MB
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Agatha Christie - The Hollow (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Hollow is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1946 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6). A paperback edition in the US by Dell books in 1954 changed the title to Murder after Hours.
The novel is a fine example of a "country house mystery" and was the first of her novels in four years to feature Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot—one of the longest gaps in the entire series. Christie, who often admitted that she did not like Poirot (a fact parodied by her recurring novelist character Ariadne Oliver), particularly disliked his appearance in this novel. His late arrival, jarring, given the established atmosphere, led her to claim in her Autobiography that she "ruined [the novel] by the introduction of Poirot".
On the morning that he and his downtrodden wife, Gerda, are due to travel down to the country to weekend with friends, John Christow allows his little daughter to tell his fortune with cards. When the death card is drawn, he pays no attention, but the appearance of an old flame at The Hollow seems to be the final link in a chain of fatal circumstances.
The charming and eccentric Lucy Angkatell has invited the Christows, along with a number of other members of the extended family. John is already having an affair with Henrietta Savernake, a talented sculptor and, as is demonstrated by what follows, brilliant improviser. He has always remembered with nostalgia an early love, Veronica Cray, who suddenly appears in the house on Saturday night asking to borrow a box of matches. She is living at one of the two nearby cottages, the other of which is currently occupied by Hercule Poirot, who has been invited for lunch on Sunday. Veronica and John go off together, and he returns much too late: at 3 am.
The next day, Poirot arrives at the house to witness a scene that seems strangely staged. Gerda is standing with a gun in her hand above the body of John, who is bleeding into the swimming pool. Standing, seemingly transfixed, are Lucy, Henrietta, and Edward. John's last word, in a note of urgent appeal, is "Henrietta".
It seems cut and dried that Gerda is the murderess, but in taking the revolver from her hand Henrietta apparently fumbles and drops it into the swimming pool, destroying any evidence. Later, however, it is discovered that the pistol that Gerda had been holding was not the pistol with which John had been shot. None of the witnesses has actually seen Gerda shoot John, and it seems difficult to build a case against any of the other potential suspects. At first Lucy herself seems to be a strong suspect, when it is discovered that she had kept a pistol concealed in her basket of eggs, but the pistol seems to be of the wrong calibre. Henrietta is also implicated, not least by the leaving of an unusual doodle in the pavilion, apparently at the time that John had been killed. When the murder weapon turns up in Poirot's hedge, it has fingerprints on it that match none of the suspects.
These are all pieces of deliberate misdirection on the part of the family. They know in fact that Gerda is indeed the murderess, and are attempting to avoid her imprisonment. As it happens, the murder, with a motive of jealousy, was planned, in that she had taken with her two pistols, planning to be discovered with a pistol in her hands that would later be discovered to be the wrong weapon. Henrietta, who says that John asked her to help Gerda when he said her name, destroys the evidence of the first weapon instinctively, and later goes back and retrieves the second weapon. She hides it in a clay sculpture of a horse in her workshop, then gets it handled by a blind match-seller, and places it in Poirot’s hedge.
There is a romantic subplot in the novel. Midge is in love with Edward, but Edward has always been in love with Henrietta and Henrietta had refused several times his marriage proposals. Besides, she is now deeply in love with John Christow. During the course of the novel, Edward realises that Henrietta is not anymore the Henrietta he used to love and begins to stop seeing Midge as "little Midge". Therefore, he asks her to marry him. During a walk to an area where Edward has walked with Henrietta, Midge believes that he is too deeply in love with Henrietta still, and she calls off the wedding. Edward who does not know that she loves him, misunderstands her decision and later that night, he attempts suicide by putting his head in a gas oven but he is saved by Midge. With this rather dramatic proof of his need for her, she relents and the wedding is on again.
With all the evidence apparently destroyed, the family believe that they have saved Gerda, but there is one final clue: the holster in which the murder weapon was kept. Gerda has cut this up and placed it in her workbag. When Henrietta attempts to retrieve it in order to destroy the final means of proving Gerda's guilt, Poirot arrives and prevents her from drinking tea that Gerda has poisoned. Gerda herself accidentally drinks the poisoned tea and escapes justice by this means.
Henrietta who, along with Lucy, has emerged as an attractive and well-characterised heroine throughout the book, ends it by visiting in hospital one of John's patients who now has little hope of a cure but still shows a resilient spirit. Leaving the hospital, she reflects that there is no happy end for her, but she resolves to embark on a sculpture of herself as Grief.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 165 MB
Agatha Christie - The Labours Of Hercules (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Labours of Hercules is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1947 and in the UK by Collins Crime Club in September of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6).
It features Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and gives an account of twelve cases with which he intends to close his career as a private detective. His regular sidekicks (his secretary, Miss Lemon, and valet, Georges) make cameo appearances, as does Chief Inspector Japp. The stories were all first published in periodicals between 1939 and 1947.
In the Foreword to the volume, Poirot declares that he will carefully choose the cases in order to conform to the mythological sequence of the Twelve Labours of Hercules. In some cases (such as The Nemean Lion) the connection is a highly tenuous one, while in others the choice of case is more or less forced upon Poirot by circumstances. By the end, The Capture of Cerberus has events that correspond with the twelfth labour with almost self-satirical convenience.
A dinner guest compares the labours of Poirot to those of his mythological counterpart, Hercules, the Greek hero. The great detective is not amused. Poirot has already decided to retire, but first he will take on twelve monumental cases in the contemporary world that correspond to the twelve labours of Hercules, as a suitable farewell.
In the final short story, Hercule Poirot once again meets the love of his life, Countess Rossakoff.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 241 MB
Agatha Christie - Taken At The Flood (read by Hugh Fraser)
Taken at the Flood is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1948 under the title of There is a Tide... and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in the November of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6). It features her famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and is set in 1946.
After Gordon Cloade dies in an air raid without leaving a will his young wife Rosaleen inherits his entire fortune, infuriating his relatives, all of whom desperately need the money. So when a violent murder occurs, not many people are surprised. However, Rosaleen is not the victim...
In a flashback from late Spring to early Spring, Lynn Marchmont, newly demobilised from the Women's Royal Naval Service, finds difficulty settling into the village life of Warmsley Vale. She is engaged to Rowley, one of several members of the Cloade family living nearby. Each of them grew dependent on money from Gordon Cloade, a bachelor who was expected to die and leave his fortune to them. Before his death he married Rosaleen, invalidating his previous will. As a result, Rosaleen inherited Gordon's fortune and the entire family now faces financial crises, augmented by the poor state of the economy in the aftermath of World War II. Rosaleen's fortune is jealously guarded by her brother, David Hunter, and although various family members manage to wheedle small sums out of Rosaleen, David refuses to help Frances Cloade, whose husband Jeremy is on the brink of ruin.
A man calling himself Enoch Arden arrives in the village, and attempts to blackmail David by saying he knows how to find Rosaleen's first husband, Robert. Their conversation in Arden's hotel room is overheard by the landlady, who immediately tells Rowley Cloade. Later, Arden's body is discovered in his room with his head smashed in.
Rowley Cloade appeals to a detective, Hercule Poirot, to prove the dead man was Robert Underhay and, remembering Major Porter, the detective is delighted to produce the witness.[clarification needed] At the inquest, despite Rosaleen's protests that the dead man was not Robert, Porter confirms that Arden was indeed her first husband. The estate will revert to the Cloades.
Rosaleen has a strong alibi for the time of the murder since she was in the London flat that evening. David has only a weak alibi: down from London for the day, he met Lynn on his dash to catch the last train to London leaving at 9:20 pm, and evidently telephoned her from the London flat shortly after 11 pm. Since the murder is believed to have taken place shortly before 9 pm, he had enough opportunity and motive to be arrested.
David's alibi improves when it is discovered that a heavily made-up woman in an orange headscarf left Arden's room after 10 pm. The investigation shifts back to the female Cloades, but Poirot discovers that the immediate cause of Arden's death may have been smashing his head against a heavy marble mantelpiece. The appearance of a murder may have been created after some form of accidental death.
Lynn, though engaged to Rowley, seems to love David. Rowley may be attracted to Rosaleen, who seems to be consumed with guilt and fear. Major Porter apparently commits suicide but leaves no note. It comes to light that Arden was actually Charles Trenton, second cousin to Frances Cloade. She came up with the plan to blackmail Rosaleen after hearing Major Porter's anecdote from Jeremy. Although this explains Arden's identity, it does not clarify who killed him or who bribed Porter to falsely identify the corpse.
Rosaleen dies in her sleep from an overdose. Superintendent Spence, the investigating officer, suggests that perhaps she was the murderer; the police have so focused on David's alibi that they subjected hers to little scrutiny.
Lynn tells Rowley that she wishes to marry David Hunter. Rowley is strangling Lynn when Poirot stops him. David arrives and Poirot explains everything. Rowley visited Arden, and seeing the physical resemblance to Frances, reacted angrily to the deception that was being played. Pushed by Rowley, Arden fell against the mantelpiece, and Rowley saw the opportunity to incriminate David. He smashed in Arden's head with fire tongs and left David's lighter at the scene. It was Rowley who persuaded Porter to give the false identification, carefully employing Poirot, who would be sure to go to Porter on the basis of that first scene at the club, which Rowley also knew of from Jeremy. Porter's guilt got the better of him and he committed suicide, leaving a note that Rowley destroyed.
Discovering Arden's body, David ran for the 9:20 train but missed it; Lynn actually saw the smoke from the departing train on the evening, but he convinced her that it was earlier than it was and that he had time to meet her. He then backtracked to The Stag, disguised himself as a woman, and played out the scene that established the later time of death. Then he returned to the station and called Rosaleen, who placed a call to Lynn that was delivered by the operator but then cut off. Afterwards, David spoke to Lynn from the station, giving the impression that a single call from London was interrupted. He returned to London on the milk train the next day.
Rowley is implicated in two deaths: one accidental and one a genuine suicide. The only true murder was Rosaleen's. David had no apparent motive to kill his own sister, especially when it would mean depriving himself of the Cloade fortune. But the woman posing as Rosaleen was not his sister; his sister was killed during the bombing of Gordon's household two years before. The woman posing as Rosaleen was one of Gordon's housemaids, who became David's lover and his accomplice in obtaining the Cloade fortune. Now he could kill this accomplice and marry Lynn, whom he loved and who would gain a portion of the fortune through family connections.
In the end, no one is tried other than David. Poirot ensures that Rowley is not tried for his own crimes, but instead will marry Lynn, who has loved him without realising it.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 173 MB
Agatha Christie - The Under Dog And Other Stories (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Under Dog and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1951. The first edition retailed at $2.50.
It contains works from the early days of Christie's career, all featuring Hercule Poirot. All the stories were published in British and American magazines between 1923 and 1926. The title story appeared in book form in England for the first time in the 1960 collection, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. The other stories were to appear again in 1974 in the British and American collections, Poirot's Early Cases.
List of stories
The Under Dog
The Plymouth Express
The Affair at the Victory Ball
The Market Basing Mystery
The Lemesurier Inheritance
The Cornish Mystery
The King of Clubs
The Submarine Plans
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 94 MB
Agatha Christie - Mrs McGinty's Dead (read by Hugh Fraser)
Mrs. McGinty's Dead is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1952 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on March 3 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition nine shillings and sixpence (9/6). The Detective Book Club issued an edition, also in 1952, as Blood Will Tell.
The novel features the characters Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver. The story is a “village mystery”, a sub-genre of whodunit which Christie usually reserved for Miss Marple. The novel is notable for its wit and comic detail, something that had been little in evidence in the Poirot novels of the thirties and forties. Poirot's misery in the run-down guesthouse, and Mrs. Oliver's observations on the life of a detective novelist, provide considerable entertainment in the early part of the novel.
The publication of Mrs. McGinty’s Dead may be considered as marking the start of Poirot's final phase, in which Ariadne Oliver plays a large part. Although she had appeared in Cards on the Table in 1936, Mrs. Oliver's most significant appearances in Christie's work begin here. She appears in five of the last nine Christie novels featuring Poirot to be written, and appears on her own without Poirot at all in The Pale Horse (1961).
Poirot, disillusioned by the “senseless cruel brutality” of modern crime, pays no attention to the sad case of Mrs. McGinty, an old woman apparently struck dead by her lodger for thirty pounds that she kept under a floorboard. When, however, he is asked by the investigating officer to take another look at the case in order to stop an innocent man going to the gallows, he realises that things may not be as simple as they first appear to be.
Superintendent Spence informs Belgian detective Hercule Poirot of the case of Mrs. McGinty, an elderly lady who was apparently killed by her lodger, James Bentley, for thirty pounds that she kept under a floorboard. Bentley is soon to be executed for the crime, but Spence does not think he is guilty. Poirot agrees to go to the town of Broadhinny and investigate the murder further. Poirot finds that Mrs. McGinty often worked as a cleaner at the houses of people in the village. No one wants to talk to Poirot, and most agree Bentley is the killer.
During a search among Mrs McGinty's possessions, Poirot finds a newspaper article which speculates about the current whereabouts of people connected with famous murder cases, that also includes photographs of them. On the basis of a bottle of ink he discovers that Mrs McGinty had purchased in a local shop just a few days before her death together with a photo she had torn out of a regional newspaper, Poirot concludes Mrs. McGinty must have recognized someone in one of the photos in someone's house and written to the paper in question. Someone must have found out about it and then killed her to keep their identity concealed. Poirot and Spence, using the ages of people in the town, conclude that someone is either Lily Gamboll, who committed murder with a meat cleaver as a child, or Eva Kane, who had been the love interest who inspired a man to murder his wife and bury her in the cellar. Another possibility is that someone is Evelyn Hope, the daughter of Eva Kane.
Shortly after, Poirot discovers the murder weapon, a sugar hammer, left around in plain sight at his boarding house and accessible to all the suspects. In an attempt to flush out the murderer, Poirot claims to know more than he does, but he is almost pushed under a train. Poirot then decides to show most of the suspects the photos at a party. Mrs. Upward claims to have seen the photo of Lily Gamboll, but does not say where.
The following day, Poirot is contacted by a woman called Maude Williams, who had approached him a few days earlier, telling him that she had got to know James Bentley when they both worked together briefly for the same estate agents. She told Poirot that she liked Bentley and did not believe he was guilty or even capable of murdering Mrs McGinty. She now offers to help Poirot who takes up her offer by getting her to pose as a maid in the house of Mrs Wetherby, a resident in the village who Mrs McGinty used to clean for, and whose daughter, Deirdre, Poirot suspects may have some connection with the circumstances surrounding Mrs McGinty’s murder.
During the maid's night off, Mrs. Upward's son Robin, a theatre director and Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, a famed mystery novelist who has been working on a theatre adaptation with Robin, leave for an evening at the theatre, leaving Mrs. Upward alone at the house. When they return, they find Mrs. Upward strangled to death. She has evidently had coffee with her murderer, and the evidence of lipstick on a coffee cup and perfume in the air points to a woman having committed the crime. Mrs. Upward had invited three people to her house that night: Eve Carpenter, Deirdre Henderson and Shelagh Rendell. Any of the three women could be someone from the photographs. Additionally, the postmistress's assistant, Edna, sees someone with blonde hair enter the house, which points to either Carpenter or Rendell, as Henderson is not blonde. Confusing matters even further is the fact that a book is discovered in Mrs. Upward's house with Evelyn Hope's signature written on the flyleaf, which suggests that Mrs. Upward is actually Eva Kane. Poirot connects the final piece of the puzzle when he finds the photo Mrs. McGinty saw at Maureen Summerhayes' house. It is of Eva Kane and has the inscription “my mother” on the back. Now, with the whole story complete, Poirot gathers all the suspects together and reveals to them the murderer: Robin Upward.
Robin is Eva Kane's son, Evelyn; the child was a boy, not a girl. Mrs. Upward had not known who Robin's mother was and he knew that any scandal would be to his detriment. Mrs. McGinty saw the photo while working at the Upward house and assumed the photo was of Mrs. Upward as a young woman. Robin killed her to prevent her from telling anyone who might recognize the photo of Eva Kane. Mrs. Upward thought the photo of Eva Kane to be similar to a photo Robin showed her of his mother, whose back story he made up. She wanted to confront Robin by herself, so she pointed to the wrong photo to put Poirot off the scent. Robin, however, sensed the truth and killed her before leaving for the play. Then he planted the evidence and made the three calls to make it appear that a woman had committed the crime. At this point Robin still had the photo, but rather than destroy it, he kept it and planted it at Mrs. Summerhayes' house in order to incriminate her. But Poirot had gone through the drawer earlier and did not see the photo, so he knew it had been planted subsequently. Robin is then taken away and imprisoned.
Further revelations are also made. Eve Carpenter wanted to conceal her past for reasons of her own, which was why she didn't cooperate in the investigation. Poirot discovers that Dr. Rendell may have killed his first wife, which led Mrs. Rendell to talk about anonymous letters she'd received warning her of the fact. Also, Poirot now suspects that it was Dr. Rendell, convinced that Poirot was actually in Broadhinny to investigate the potential murder (by him) of his first wife, and not the murder of an unimportant charwoman, who tried to push him off the platform and under a train. And Maude Williams turns out to be the daughter of Eva Kane's lover. She came to Mrs. Upward's house, thinking Mrs. Upward was Eva Kane, with the intent to kill her, but left once she found her dead. Poirot tells her he will not mention that fact to anyone. Finally, Poirot reveals to Superintendent Spence his plan to pair off Deirdre Henderson with James Bentley.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 168 MB
Agatha Christie - After the Funeral (read by Hugh Fraser)
After the Funeral is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1953 under the title of Funerals are Fatal and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on May 18 of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6).
A 1963 UK paperback issued by Fontana Books changed the title to Murder at the Gallop to tie in with the film version. It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
After the funeral of the wealthy Richard Abernethie, his remaining family assembles for the reading of the will. The death, though sudden, was not unexpected and natural causes have been given as the cause on his death certificate. Nevertheless, after the tactless Cora says, "It was hushed up very nicely ... but he was murdered, wasn't he?" the family lawyer, Mr. Entwhistle, begins to investigate. Before long there is no question that a murderer is at large.
After returning home from her brother's funeral, Cora Lansquenet is murdered in her sleep by repeated blows with a hatchet. The motive for the murder does not appear to be theft, and the estate that she leaves to her relative, Susan Banks, is comparatively meager, since the Abernethie bequest is folded back into the estate of her brother, Richard. The suspected motive is therefore to suppress anything that Richard might have told Cora about his suspicions that he was being poisoned. These had been overheard by her companion, Miss Gilchrist.
Entwhistle calls in Poirot, who employs an old friend, Mr. Goby, to investigate the family. Mr. Goby turns up a number of reasons within the family for members of it to be desperate for the money in Richard Abernethie’s estate. Poirot warns Entwhistle that Miss Gilchrist may herself be a target for the murderer.
Cora has been a keen artist and collector of paintings from local sales. While Susan Banks, a suspect, is visiting to clear up Cora’s things, she sees Cora’s paintings and privately notes that Cora has been copying postcards: one of her paintings, which Miss Gilchrist claims were painted from life, features a pier that was destroyed in the war. While she is visiting, an art critic called Alexander Guthrie arrives to look through Cora’s recent purchases, but there is nothing of any value there. Immediately afterwards, Miss Gilchrist is nearly killed by arsenic poison in a slice of wedding cake that has been apparently sent to her through the post. The only reason that she is not killed is that, following a superstition, she has saved the greater part of the slice of cake under her pillow.
Poirot focuses on the Abernethie family, and a number of red herrings come to light. Rosamund Shane, one of the heiresses, is an inflexible and determined woman who seems to have something to hide (which turns out to be her husband’s infidelity and her own pregnancy). Susan’s husband, Gregory, is a dispensing chemist who had apparently been responsible for deliberately administering an overdose to an awkward customer. He even confesses to the murder of Richard Abenerthie near the close of the novel, but is discovered to have a pathological compulsion to be punished for crimes of which he is innocent. Timothy Abernethie, an unpleasant invalid who seems to be feigning illness in order to gain attention, might have been able to commit the murder of Cora, as might his suspiciously strong-armed wife, Maude. Perhaps identifying the murderer may depend on finding a nun whom Miss Gilchrist claims to have noticed ? But what can all this have to do with a bouquet of wax flowers to which Poirot pays attention?
After playing games in mirrors, Helen Abernethie telephones Entwhistle with the news that she has realized something about the murderer. Before she can say what it is she is savagely struck on the head.
Poirot’s explanation in the denouement is a startling one. Cora had never come to the funeral at all; it was Miss Gilchrist, who disguised herself as Cora in order to plant the idea that Richard’s death had been murder. Therefore when Cora herself was murdered, it would seem that the alleged murderer had struck again. Since no one had seen Cora for many years, and Miss Gilchrist had been able to copy many of her mannerisms, it was unlikely that the ruse would be spotted, except for the fact that she had rehearsed a characteristic turn of the head in a mirror, where the reflection is reversed. When she came to do it at the funeral, she turned her head to the wrong side. Helen had had the feeling that something was wrong when Cora had made her statement, but not realized at the time that it was this incorrectly reproduced gesture. Miss Gilchrist had further given herself away by referring to the wax flowers; these were present on the day of the reading of the will but had been put away by the time Miss Gilchri
t (as herself) met the family.
The “murder” of Richard needed to be established so that Miss Gilchrist’s own motive for killing Cora would be obfuscated when she killed her. Miss Gilchrist desperately wanted a painting that Cora had bought at a sale and which she had recognized as a Vermeer, but Cora had no idea just how valuable the artwork was. Miss Gilchrist loathed Cora and was plotting to sell the Vermeer in order to escape her dreary life and rebuild her beloved teashop, which she had lost during the war. Miss Gilchrist had subsequently painted over the Vermeer with the image of the destroyed pier copied from the postcard in order to disguise the painting amongst others left to her in Cora’s will.
At the end of the novel, Miss Gilchrist is understandably found to be completely insane. She was arrested and later put in a sanitarium.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 190 MB
Agatha Christie - Hickory Dickory Dock (read by Hugh Fraser)
Hickory Dickory Dock is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on October 31, 1955 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in November of the same year under the title of Hickory Dickory Death. The UK edition retailed at ten shillings and sixpence (10/6) and the US edition at $3.00.
It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The novel is notable for featuring Poirot’s efficient secretary, Miss Felicity Lemon, who had previously only appeared in the Poirot short stories.
An outbreak of apparent kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest. But when he sees the bizarre list of stolen and vandalized items - including a stethoscope, some lightbulbs, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack, some boracic powder and a diamond ring later found in a bowl of a soup - he congratulates the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a 'unique and beautiful problem'. It is nevertheless not long before the crime of theft is the least of Poirot’s concerns.
Poirot’s solution of the petty thefts is unsubtle but effective: once he has threatened to call in the police, Celia Austin quickly confesses to the pettier amongst the incidents. She denies specifically: stealing Nigel Chapman’s green ink and using it to deface Elizabeth Johnston’s work; taking the stethoscope, the light bulbs and boracic powder; and cutting up and concealing a rucksack.
Celia appears to have committed the lesser thefts in order to attract the attention of Colin McNabb, a psychology student who at first regards her as an interesting case study, and then – almost immediately – becomes engaged to her. Celia makes restitution for the crimes and is seemingly reconciled with her victims, but when she is discovered the following morning dead from an overdose of morphine it does not take the investigators long to see through attempts to make her death seem like suicide.
Several of the original incidents have not been solved by Celia’s confession. Inspector Sharpe quickly solves the mystery of the stolen stethoscope during his interviews with the inhabitants of the hostel. Nigel Chapman admits to having stolen the stethoscope in order to pose as a doctor and steal some morphine tartrate from the hospital dispensary as part of a bet to acquire three deadly poisons. He claims that these poisons were then carefully disposed of, but cannot be sure that the morphine was not stolen from him while it was in his possession.
Poirot turns his attention to the reappearance of the diamond ring, and confronts Valerie Hobhouse, in whose soup the ring was found. It seems that the diamond had been replaced with a zircon and, given the fact that it was difficult for anyone but Valerie to have put the ring into the soup, Poirot accuses her of having stolen the diamond. She admits to having done so, saying that she needed the money to pay off gambling debts. She also admits to having planted in Celia’s mind the entire idea of the thefts.
Mrs. Nicoletis has been behaving very nervously, as if she were losing her nerve. One night someone gets her drunk and kills her.
Poirot focuses his attention now on the cutting up of the rucksack. By comparing an example of the rucksack type destroyed with others, he identifies an unusual corrugated base, and suggests to the police that the rucksack may have been part of a clever international smuggling operation. The rucksacks were sold to innocent students, and then exchanged as a means of transporting drugs and gems. Mrs. Nicoletis had been bankrolling the organisation, but was not the brain behind it. When the police visited Hickory Road on an unconnected issue, the murderer had cut up the rucksack to avoid its being found and removed light bulbs to avoid being recognised.
Patricia Lane comes to Nigel and admits that, in an effort to keep a dangerous poison safe, she has taken the morphine from the bottle in his drawer and substituted for it bicarbonate of soda. Now, however, the bottle of bicarbonate of soda has been taken from her own drawer. While they are searching for this bottle Patricia mentions that she is intending to write to his father in order to reconcile the two. Nigel tells her that the reason for his estrangement from his father is that he discovered that his father had poisoned his mother. This is why he changed his name and carries two passports.
Nigel comes to Inspector Sharpe and tells him about the missing morphine, but while he is there, Patricia telephones to say that she has discovered something further. By the time that Nigel and Sharpe get to the house, Patricia has been killed by a blow to the head. Mr. Akibombo comes to Sharpe and says that he had taken Patricia’s bicarbonate to ease a stomach complaint; when he took a teaspoonful of the bicarbonate, however, he had stomach pains and later discovered that the white powder was in fact the boracic powder. By the time Patricia had substituted the bicarbonate, the morphine had already been substituted by the stolen boracic powder.
Poirot, whose suspicions about Valerie Hobhouse’s role in the smuggling operation have been proved correct by a police raid on her beauty shop, now closes the case. The murderer has been the most obvious person, Nigel Chapman, who was known to have the morphine in his possession. He killed Celia because she knew about his dual identity and also knew that Valerie travelled abroad on a false passport. He killed Mrs. Nicoletis because she was sure to give the smuggling operation away under pressure, and killed Patricia because she was likely to draw to his father’s attention the recent events.
When Poirot outlines to Nigel’s father’s solicitor the case against Nigel, the solicitor is able to provide final proof. Nigel’s mother had been poisoned, not by his father, but by Nigel himself. When the father discovered this he forced him to write a confession and left it with his solicitor together with a letter explaining that it should be produced were there any evidence of further wrongdoing by his son.
Valerie confirms Poirot’s solution further. She has placed the call to the police station, apparently from Patricia, after Nigel had already killed her. The green ink was a double-bluff intended to divert suspicion away from him. Valerie is willing to incriminate Nigel fully because Mrs. Nicoletis was actually her mother.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 166 MB
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Agatha Christie - Dead Man's Folly (read by David Suchet)
Dead Man's Folly is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October 1956 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 5 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.95 and the UK edition at twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6). It features Hercule Poirot, her famous Belgian detective, and Ariadne Oliver. The house where the story is set was based on Christie's Devon home, Greenway House on the Greenway Estate.
En route to Nasse House, Poirot gives a lift to two female hitch-hikers – one Dutch and one Italian – who are staying at the youth hostel adjoining the Nasse House grounds. When he arrives, Mrs. Oliver explains that she feels that her plans for the Murder Hunt have been, almost imperceptibly, influenced by the advice that she has been given by people in the house, until it is almost as though she is being pushed into staging a real murder.
The owner of Nasse House is George Stubbs, a wealthy man who has seemingly adopted the false title of Sir in order to confirm his position in the local community. His much younger wife is the seemingly simple and impressionable Hattie, a young woman who has apparently been introduced to him by Amy Folliat, the surviving member of the family that once owned the house. Now that her sons have been supposedly killed during the War, she is living out her days in the Lodge House. Other visitors at Nasse House include an architect, Michael Weyman, who criticises the siting some years earlier of a folly in an inappropriate area of the grounds.
On the day of the fête, Hattie learns that a cousin, Etienne de Sousa, is about to visit, and she seems upset by this, referring to him as a killer. At the fete, a local Girl Guide, Marlene Tucker, is to play the part of the victim, and she waits in the boathouse to play her role when someone approaches her. Poirot observes the movements of some of the visitors to the house. Later, in the company of Mrs. Oliver, he discovers the corpse of Marlene in the boathouse. Moreover, Hattie is discovered to have gone missing. Both the police and Poirot himself are initially baffled.
The investigation focuses on Etienne de Sousa, a wealthy young man who shows no apparent concern at Hattie’s disappearance and has arrived in perfect time to have committed the murder. Another suspect is Amanda Brewis, George’s secretary, who appears to be in love with Sir George and claims to have been sent down to the boathouse by Hattie with refreshments for Marlene at around the time that the girl was killed. This sounds very out of character for Hattie. Further confusion is added by the behaviour of the Legges, who appear to have some sort of shady connection with a young man in a turtle shirt who has been seen in the grounds. (It later comes to light that this red herring is connected with Legge’s career as a nuclear physicist.)
Poirot’s attention is directed to Amy Folliat, who seems to know more than she is saying. After the boatman Merdell dies, Poirot discovers that he was Marlene’s grandfather. Now he puts together several stray clues: Marlene had said that her grandfather had seen someone burying a woman in the woods; Marlene was the type to blackmail, and had in fact received small sums of money prior to her murder; Merdell had commented significantly to Poirot that there would "always be Folliats at Nasse House".
In the denouement Poirot reveals that George Stubbs is none other than Amy Folliat’s younger son, James, who had gone missing but had not died during the War. Instead, Amy had paired him with the impressionable, but very wealthy, Hattie, enabling him to fleece her of her money and establish his new identity, buying the family house and ensuring the continuity of Folliat possession. Unbeknownst to Amy, however, George/James was already married, and as soon as he had possession of Nasse he killed Hattie, and substituted his first wife, a young Italian, in her place. She was buried in the ground that was later secured by building the folly.
Marlene had guessed the secret from hints dropped by her grandfather, and George and his real wife decided it would be safer to kill her than continue giving her hush money. The day before the day of the murder, "Hattie" began to establish another identity as an Italian hitch-hiker. On the day of the murder, she switched between the two roles, killing Marlene and escaping the grounds as the hitch-hiker, with Hattie’s clothes in her rucksack. The day of the murder had been selected to cast suspicion upon Etienne, who had actually notified them some weeks earlier of his visit.
George/James is not seen at the end of the novel, which instead focuses on the despair of his mother.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 166 MB
Agatha Christie - The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and a Selection of Entrées is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on October 24 1960. It is the only Christie first edition published in the UK that contains stories with both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the writer's two most famous detectives. It retailed in the UK for twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6) and comprises six cases. It was not published in the US although the stories it contains were published in other volumes there.
This short story collection was only published in the UK. It contains the following short stories; The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest, The Under Dog, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, The Dream and Greenshaw's Folly.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 81 MB
Agatha Christie - Cat Among The Pigeons (read by Paul Shelley)
Cat Among the Pigeons is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 2, 1959, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1960 with a copyright date of 1959. The UK edition retailed at twelve shillings and sixpence (12/6), and the US edition at $2.95.
It features Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who makes a very late appearance in the final third of the novel. The emphasis on espionage in the early part of the novel relates it to Christie’s international adventures (most notably They Came to Baghdad) and to the Tommy and Tuppence stories.
At the start of the Summer Term at Meadowbank School for Girls, there is no reason for Miss Bulstrode, the popular but aging Headmistress, to believe that the challenges facing her will be more than the occasional irate or inebriated parent. She scarcely listens when Mrs Upjohn, a parent, recognises someone that she sees from her wartime days in the intelligence service. But there is a killer at the school who does not wait long to strike.
The story flashes back three months to Ramat, one of the richest countries of the Middle East, where a revolution is about to take place. Prince Ali Yusuf gives a fortune in jewels, which he needs sent out of the country, into the safekeeping of Bob Rawlinson, his personal pilot and the only person he can trust. Rawlinson complies with the prince's request, apparently by concealing the jewels in the luggage of his sister, Joan Sutcliffe, who is travelling with her daughter, Jennifer. He is seen doing this by a mysterious and unnamed woman in the next room. Soon after, both Rawlinson and the Prince are killed in an airplane crash after a man named Abdul sabotages their plane while attempting to leave the country. A number of people, including British Intelligence, get onto the trail of the jewels, and their attention focuses on Meadowbank School, where not only Jennifer, but also the prince's cousin and expected fiancée, Shaista, are studying.
There are several new staff at Meadowbank, including Adam Goodman (a British agent who has taken a job as gardener), Ann Shapland (Miss Bulstrode's new secretary), Angèle Blanche (a new French teacher) and Grace Springer (a gym teacher). The butch and arrogant Springer annoys many with her unpleasant, uncompromising and self-centred attitude. At first Miss Bulstrode concentrates on which of two candidates she should appoint as her successor on retirement. On the one hand, there is Miss Vansittart, who would preserve her legacy, but is unimaginative and has no new ideas; on the other hand there is Miss Rich, a younger English teacher with lots of ideas but less experience. These deliberations are cut short, however, when Miss Springer is shot dead in the Sports Pavilion late at night and her body discovered by Miss Johnson and Miss Chadwick.
Following the murder, Inspector Kelsey interviews everyone and Adam Goodman reveals his true identity. Meanwhile, the attention of the reader is focused on Jennifer Sutcliffe's tennis racquet, which would be a suitable receptacle for the gems. She has been complaining that the racquet is unbalanced suddenly, and sends a letter to her mother asking for a new one. She swaps racquets (and, crucially, their name tags) with a friend, Julia Upjohn. When a strange woman arrives with a new racquet for Jennifer, she implies that it is a gift from her Aunt Gina and takes the old one (actually Julia's) for restringing. As Julia points out, though, Jennifer's aunt cannot have believed that Jennifer's racquet needed restringing, because Jennifer’s own racquet had just been restrung. Sure enough, Aunt Gina writes to say that she has not sent a new racquet.
During a weekend when many of the girls are at home with their parents, Shaista is apparently kidnapped by a chauffeur posing as the one sent by her uncle to take her home. That night there is a repetition of murder when Miss Chadwick is disturbed by torch light in the Sports Pavilion and Miss Vansittart is found dead there, having been apparently coshed. Many of the girls go home, but the resourceful Julia, who has been pondering the exchange of the racquets, takes her (really Jennifer's) racquet back to her room and discovers the gems in the hollowed-out handle. She hears someone at the door who turns the knob of the locked door. Julia is ready to scream at the top of her lungs but the person departs. The next day Julia flees the school to tell her story to Hercule Poirot, whom she has heard of through a friend of her mother. The police start to focus on the newcomer, Miss Blanche, but in fact she is not the murderer; instead, she knows who the murderer is, and makes an attempt at blackmail that backfires when she is also killed. With the school struggling to survive, the denouement has arrived.
Poirot reviews what the reader already knows, and then explains that Princess Shaista was an impostor: the real Shaista had been kidnapped much earlier, in Switzerland, and the apparent abduction was actually her escape from the school. She was the representative of one group of interests who, crucially, did not know where the gems had been concealed. The murderer, however, did know where the jewels were concealed and must have been in Ramat to see Bob Rawlinson hide them. Most of the teachers could not have been there … the exception was Eileen Rich, who was apparently sick at the time but was in fact in Ramat. Jennifer had even recognised her, although she remembered the woman she had seen as a fatter woman. (It later transpires that Miss Rich had been in Ramat for the delivery of an illegitimate child that was stillborn.)
Just as it seems that Miss Rich is the murderer, Mrs. Upjohn enters the room having been recalled from her holiday in Anatolia and identifies by face the woman who had the room next to Bob Rawlinson at the start of the book: Ann Shapland, who is well-known (in intelligence circles) as a rather mercenary and ruthless espionage agent. Ann Shapland draws a pistol and Miss Bulstrode steps in front of Mrs. Sutcliffe; Miss Chadwick does the same to protect Miss Bulstrode, and is fatally wounded.
It is revealed that Ann Shapland murdered Miss Springer, who caught her while she was searching the Sports Pavilion for the jewels, and Miss Blanche, who knew her secret and tried to blackmail her. The killing of Miss Vansittart, which was actually unpremeditated and for which Ann Shapland had a perfect alibi, was committed by Miss Chadwick, who came across Miss Vansittart, whom she disliked intensely, and coshed her from behind with a sandbag she was carrying for protection that night in a kind of temporary psychotic break. Miss Chadwick confesses before she dies that she imagined the removal of a potential successor would make Miss Bulstrode change her mind about retiring.
At the end of the book, Miss Bulstrode reconfirms her decision to make Miss Rich her eventual successor. Poirot turns over the gems to the enigmatic “Mr. Robinson” who, in turn, delivers them to the English woman who has been secretly married to Prince Ali Yusuf. One emerald is returned as a reward to Julia Upjohn.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 204 MB
Agatha Christie - The Clocks (read by Robin Bailey)
The Clocks is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on November 7, 1963 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. It features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The UK edition retailed at sixteen shillings (16/-) and the US edition at $4.50.
The novel is notable for the fact that Poirot never visits any of the crime scenes or speaks to any of the witnesses or suspects, since he is challenged to prove his oft-made boast that a crime can be solved by the exercise of the intellect alone. The novel also marks the return of partial first-person narrative, a technique that Christie had largely abandoned earlier in the Poirot sequence but which she had employed in the previous Ariadne Oliver novel, The Pale Horse (1961).
Sheila Webb, a typist-for-hire, arrives at her afternoon appointment on Wilbraham Crescent to find a well-dressed corpse surrounded by six clocks, four of which are stopped at 4:13. When a blind woman enters the house, Sheila runs screaming into the street and into the arms of a young man who plays a key part in the investigation that follows.
It is while visiting Wilbraham Crescent that Special Branch agent Colin “Lamb” finds Sheila running into his arms. He is there investigating areas connected with crescents or the moon while following up a clue to the route by which classified information is leaving the country.
At 19 Wilbraham Crescent an investigation begins into the murder. The corpse has a business card in its pocket indicating that the bearer is an insurance salesman called “R. H. Curry”. This turns out to be a false lead, since neither the company nor the salesman exists.
A colourful group of neighbours is interviewed by Inspector Hardcastle with Lamb in attendance, and things begin to look bleaker for Sheila when her aunt, Mrs. Lawton, is questioned. It seems that Sheila’s other forename is Rosemary, the name on a leather travel clock found at the scene of the murder. Frustrated, Colin--who has fallen for Sheila--approaches Hercule Poirot, an old friend of his father, to investigate the case, challenging him to do so from his armchair as he had always claimed was possible. He leaves the celebrated detective with detailed notes on the investigation thus far.
After the inquest, Edna Brent, one of Sheila’s fellow secretaries, is confused by something said in evidence, and attempts to draw it to Hardcastle’s attention; but he is too busy to speak to her. Soon she is found dead in a telephone box on Wilbraham Crescent, strangled with her own scarf.
After the police weary of their investigations into the dead man's identity, a woman called Merlina Rival (original name Florence Gapp) makes an appearance and claims the dead man was her husband, Harry Castleton.
Colin makes an important discovery when he finds a ten-year-old girl, Geraldine Brown, who has been observing the events at Wilbraham Crescent with a pair of opera glasses while confined to her room. She reveals that a new laundry service delivered a heavy basket of laundry on the day of the murder.
Miss Rival returns to the police to state that her late husband had a scar behind his ear, but the police tell her the cut is only a few months old, despite her claim that he got the scar years ago. Later, it becomes known that the killer is paying her to say this to the police; and her fate as a partner in crime is to be stabbed to death at a bus station.
Poirot’s explanation is based on his inference that since the appearance of complexity must conceal quite a simple murder. The clocks are therefore a red herring, as is the presence of Sheila and the confusion about the corpse’s identity.
What Edna realised, having returned early to the secretarial bureau because of the damage to her shoe, is that Miss Martindale never took any telephone call that arranged Sheila to visit Miss Pebmarsh’s house. Miss Martindale, one of the conspirators in the murder, is secretly the sister of Mrs. Bland, one of the neighbors of 19 Wilbraham Crescent. The first wife was heiress to the overseas fortune, but when news of it reached the Blands they decided that the second Mrs. Bland must pose as the heiress in order to obtain the money. When, however, Quentin Duguesclin, who knew the first wife, decided to look her up in England, a plan was laid to murder him and relocate the body to Miss Pebmarsh’s house. Miss Rival was murdered before she could leak information to the police, as the killer could take no chances.
At the end of the novel, Colin also unravels the mystery of 19 Wilbraham Crescent and its owner Miss Pebmarsh.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 199 MB
Agatha Christie - Third Girl (read by Hugh Fraser)
Third Girl is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1966 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at eighteen shillings (18/-) and the US edition at $4.50.
It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the recurring character Ariadne Oliver. The novel is notable for being the first in many years in which Poirot is more or less present from beginning to end. It is also notable in that there is no clear crime to be investigated until comparatively late in the novel.
When a young woman visits Hercule Poirot to seek his help regarding a murder that she believes herself to have committed, she is appalled by his age and leaves with her story untold. Poirot is keen to track her down … but who is she, and what, if anything, has she done?
Poirot's acquaintance, the mystery writer Ariadne Oliver, provides him with a number of key clues in the novel, beginning with the identity of the girl, Norma Restarick, whom she had met at a party. Mrs. Oliver and Poirot begin to investigate Norma, but soon find that she has apparently gone missing. Mrs. Oliver meets the girls with whom she shares a flat at 67 Borodene Mansions: Claudia Reece-Holland (who turns out to be secretary to Norma's father) and Frances Cary, an artsy girl with long, dark hair that falls across her face. Neither has seen Norma recently. Poirot (visiting her paternal great uncle’s home in Long Basing) finds that her father and stepmother also have no idea where she has gone. Poirot does meet David Baker, Norma’s boyfriend, in the house, and sees that Norma’s stepmother, Mary, is highly annoyed to discover him there. Poirot also meets Norma’s paternal great-uncle, Sir Roderick Horsfield, who is elderly and has poor eyesight. Norma’s father, Andrew, has been staying with Sir Roderick since returning from Africa, where he had made a vast fortune.
Mrs. Oliver provides a second essential clue when she happens across David and Norma in a café. She telephones Poirot, who comes to meet Norma, while she herself tracks David to a dingy artist’s studio, where Norma’s flatmate Frances is posing as a model. Leaving the studio Mrs. Oliver is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, Norma awakens to find herself in the safe keeping of Stillingfleet, having apparently thrown herself under an oncoming car. In a red herring that is easily spotted by those who recognise the doctor from an earlier meeting with Poirot, it seems that Stillingfleet may have kidnapped Norma. In fact, Poirot has hidden her from danger, and she is not seen again for much of the novel. Andrew Restarick employs Poirot to track her down, and is insistent that the police are not to become involved.
Sir Roderick also contacts Poirot seeking help. He has lost letters written during the Second World War by a third party, which would now cause embarrassment should they be made public. Poirot’s attention attaches itself to Sir Roderick’s personal assistant, Sonia, who has apparently been passing secrets to a representative of the Herzogovinian [sic] Embassy at Kew Gardens. This is all a red herring, however: Poirot hints to Sonia that he knows of her espionage activities, and she abandons them in order to marry Sir Roderick instead at the end of the novel.
Mrs. Oliver now provides Poirot with another key clue: she has heard while at Borodene Mansions that a woman, Louise Charpentier, has committed suicide by throwing herself out of the window of Flat 76. This, Poirot infers, must be the murder that Norma believed herself to have committed. Investigating the dead woman, he discovers that her real name was Louise Carpenter: also the name of a woman with whom Andrew Restarick had been in love many years earlier. Mrs. Oliver later even provides Poirot with the draft of a letter from Louise to Andrew in which she attempted to make contact once more: an item that had providentially come into her possession early in the novel when it fell from a drawer.
Amongst other clues on which Poirot focuses, there are several that are only explained at the end of the book. Mary Restarick wears a wig, to which the reader’s attention is repeatedly drawn by the fact that Mrs. Oliver’s hairpieces are often mentioned as a plot device: indeed, Mrs. Oliver alters her hair in order to be in disguise when she sees Norma and David in the café. Also, Poirot notices that there is a pair of portraits of Andrew Restarick and of his first wife (Norma’s mother) in their home; why is Mary Restarick apparently content to have a picture of her predecessor on display, and why does Andrew later split the set in order to have his own portrait in his office?
Stillingfleet contacts Poirot to say that Norma has walked out on him unexpectedly. She has seen a message in the personal column of a newspaper calling her to the flat, where she is discovered by Frances Cary standing over the dead body of David Baker with a knife, the murder weapon, in her hand. Norma immediately claims responsibility for the murder to a neighbour, Miss Jacobs. Norma has, however, been subjected to a cocktail of drugs intended to disorient her and make her susceptible to the suggestion that she is a murderer.
In the denouement Poirot reveals that the man posing as Andrew Restarick is an impostor, Robert Orwell, who has taken his place after the real Restarick died in Africa. Orwell has persuaded David Baker to paint a fake painting in style with the original one, which establishes to anyone who questions it that the new “Restarick” had looked much the same fifteen years earlier when the pair was painted. Mary Restarick, meanwhile, has been leading a double life, as both Mary and as Frances Cary, whom she could become by changing wigs. Their imposture, however, could be revealed by two people: by David Baker, who had taken to blackmailing Orwell over the picture; and Louise Carpenter, who knew Restarick too well to be fooled by Orwell. The murder plot involved killing both of them, and convincing Norma that she was the killer. Norma had never in reality been in Louise’s flat: they simply switched the 7 and the 6 on the door of her own flat. All along the “third girl” in the flat on whom attention should have been focused has been, not Norma, but Frances.
At the end of the novel, Stillingfleet, who has staunchly defended Norma’s innocence even when it was most in question, is rewarded by her agreeing to marry him. As Mrs. Oliver realises, Poirot has planned this happy ending all along.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 192 MB
Agatha Christie - Hallowe'en Party (read by John Moffatt)
Hallowe'en Party is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1969 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for twenty-five shillings. In preparation for decimalisation on February 15, 1971, it was also priced on the dustjacket at £1.25. The US edition retailed at $5.95.
The novel features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver. The novel focuses on child murder (with its possible sexual motivation), the irresponsibility of teenagers and the crisis in crime and punishment. This book was dedicated to P.G. Wodehouse.
During the preparation of a Hallowe'en party, a girl named Joyce Reynolds tells everyone, including Mrs. Oliver, that she saw a murder once, but only recently realized that it was a murder that she had seen. At the end of the party, Joyce is found drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. With Mrs. Oliver's help, Hercule Poirot must unmask the real evil of the night.
The story starts out inside Rowena Drake's house, which is called "Apple Trees". There, Ariadne Oliver and others are preparing a Hallowe'en party for children. Those in charge of the party are Judith Butler, Mrs. Oliver's friend; Leopold, Joyce and Anne Reynolds, Desmond Holland, Nicholas Ransom, Cathie Johnson, Elizabeth Whittaker, Beatrice Ardley, and others. While they are preparing, thirteen-year old Joyce Reynolds says that she once saw a murder. Everyone, including Mrs. Oliver, thinks she is lying.
The party consists of many Hallowe'en-related activities. Mrs. Goodbody plays the role of a witch, and girls can look into a mirror to know what their future husbands will look like (a picture of the husband is said to be reflected in the mirror). The group has supper, the prizes are granted, and the party ends after a game of snapdragon, with the murder of course fitting into the whole situation.
The next day, Mrs. Oliver goes to London seeking Hercule Poirot's help. She tells him that after snapdragon, Joyce went missing and was later found drowned in an apple-bobbing tub in the library. Mrs. Oliver repeats to Poirot Joyce's comment that she had once witnessed a murder; Mrs. Oliver now wonders if Joyce might have been telling the truth, which might provide someone with a motive for killing her.
Poirot goes to Apple Trees to interview Rowena Drake. Rowena doesn't believe Joyce's murder story; rather, she thinks it was just Joyce's attempt to impress Mrs. Oliver. Next to be interviewed are the Reynoldses. Mrs. Reynolds can't say that Joyce ever told her that she saw a murder. Leopold, Joyce's younger brother, doesn't believe that Joyce saw a murder either, but he did hear Joyce telling everyone about it. Ann, Joyce's older sister, doesn't believe either that Joyce had seen a murder; she says Joyce was a liar and a fraud.
Hercule Poirot asks his old friend, an ex-superintendent named Spence, to give him a list of murders which had taken place years before and that could possibly be the murder that Joyce claimed to have witnessed. Spence obliges: Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe, the aunt of Rowena Drake's late husband, apparently died of a heart attack. Her death is suspicious because a codicil to her will was discovered afterwards. Authorities believe that the codicil was faked by an au pair girl, Olga Seminoff, who disappeared after the forgery was discovered. Other candidate murders involve Charlotte Benfield, a sixteen-year-old shop assistant found dead of multiple head injuries, with two young men under suspicion; Lesley Ferrier, a lawyer's clerk who was stabbed in the back; and Janet White, a schoolteacher who was strangled. Hercule Poirot thinks Janet White's murder is the most probable candidate for the murder Joyce witnessed, because strangulation might not appear at first sight to be murder.
Hercule Poirot continues his investigation by interviewing Dr. Ferguson, who tells Poirot that Joyce was once his patient. When Poirot goes Elms School, he is greeted by the headmistress, Miss Emlyn. Meanwhile, a mathematics teacher named Elizabeth Whittaker, who was also present at the party, gives Hercule Poirot an important piece of evidence when she reveals that while the party-goers were playing Snapdragon, Elizabeth went out to hall and saw Rowena Drake coming out of the lavatory on the first floor landing. Rowena stood for a moment before coming downstairs, looking startled by something or someone she may have seen in the open door of the library, and then dropped the flower vase she was holding. Other suggestive pieces of evidence include the fact that Lesley Ferrier had previously been suspected of forgery. Were Lesley and Olga working together to secure Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe's inheritance?
Poirot visits a sunken garden built for Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe in an abandoned quarry, where he meets Michael Garfield, the handsome and talented young man who designed the garden. While there, he also meets Judith Butler's daughter, Miranda Butler, a striking young girl who is close to Michael and spends a great deal of time in the Quarry Garden.
Mrs. Drake meets Poirot at his guest house to tell him that Leopold Reynolds, Joyce's younger brother, has been drowned. Poirot reveals that Leopold had been blackmailing Joyce's murderer and had got in over his head. Mrs. Drake, obviously very upset by Leopold's death, admits that she saw Leopold in the library, which caused her to think he might have killed his sister.
Poirot persuades the police to dig up an abandoned well in the Quarry Garden. Within its depths are discovered the remains of Olga, who had been stabbed, like Ferrier. Poirot sends Mrs. Oliver to get Mrs. Butler and Miranda safely away from the village as soon as possible, but when they stop for lunch, Miranda is abducted by Michael Garfield, who takes her to a pagan sacrificial altar and tries to kill her. He is prevented from doing so by Nicholas Ransom and Desmond Holland, two teenagers who had been at the Hallowe'en party and whom Poirot had persuaded to trail Miranda. Michael Garfield commits suicide by swallowing the poison that he had intended Miranda to drink.
Miranda Butler tells the authorities that she was the one who saw a murder, not her close friend Joyce, to whom she revealed some of the details of what she witnessed. Miranda admits that in the Quarry garden she saw Michael Garfield and Rowena Drake carrying Olga's dead body and heard Mrs. Drake wonder aloud if anyone was watching them. Joyce, an inveterate fantasist, had made the story her own, and since Miranda had not attended the party, she hadn't contradicted Joyce. Rowena Drake heard Joyce and thought that it was Joyce who had seen her and Michael with Olga's corpse. Drake had always sensed that someone was watching them that fateful day. Mrs. Drake intentionally dropped the vase of flowers in front of Miss Whittaker to invent a pretext for being wet after having drowned Joyce. Subsequently, Leopold had used what little he knew to blackmail Rowena, leading to his murder.
Michael Garfield played the role of lover to Olga to help Rowena Drake secure Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe's inheritance. The real will, leaving Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe's fortune to Olga, had been replaced with a clumsy forgery, produced by Lesley Ferrier, which would be rendered invalid and Rowena Drake, the sexually-frustrated wife of an invalid, would ultimately control Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe's estate as her closest relation. Lesley Ferrier and Olga Seminoff were murdered to conceal the deceit. Garfield's motivation was his obsessive, narcissistic desire to construct another perfect garden with Mrs. Drake's money on a Greek island that she has secretly purchased. Poirot hypothesises that Rowena Drake might have met a similar fate to the other women as Garfield would no longer have any use for her. Poirot's also intuits that the bond between Miranda and Garfield was a familial one: Judith Butler is not a widow, but rather the mother of Garfield's illegitimate daughter. Garfield's depraved willingness to murder his own daughter confirms the tremendous evil that Poirot has been able to uncover and defeat.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 192 MB
Agatha Christie - Elephants Can Remember (read by John Moffatt)
Elephants Can Remember is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1972 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for £1.60 and the US edition at $6.95.
It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the recurring character Ariadne Oliver. This was the last of Christie's novels to feature either of these characters, although in terms of publication it was succeeded by Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, which had been written in the early 1940s. The novel is notable for its concentration on memory and oral testimony.
At a literary luncheon, the celebrated author Ariadne Oliver is asked a blunt question by a complete stranger: Mrs. Burton-Cox’s son is considering marriage to one of Mrs. Oliver’s god-daughters, Celia Ravenscroft. The question is: did Celia’s mother murder her father, or was it the other way around
The bodies of General Alistair Ravenscroft and his wife were found near their manor house in Overcliffe. Both had bullet wounds, and a revolver with only their fingerprints left between them. In the original investigation no one was able to prove whether the case was a double suicide or murder/suicide and, if the latter, who killed whom. Left behind are the couple's two children, including daughter Celia.
Ten years later, Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, a school friend of the late Margaret Ravenscroft and godmother to her daughter, is approached at a literary luncheon by Mrs. Burton-Cox, to whose son Celia Ravenscroft is engaged. Mrs. Burton-Cox asks Mrs. Oliver what she appears to believe is a very important question: which of Celia's parents was the murderer, and which was murdered? Initially put off by the woman's attitude, after consulting with Celia herself, Mrs. Oliver agrees to try to resolve the issue. She invites her friend Hercule Poirot to solve the disquieting puzzle. Together they conduct interviews with several elderly witnesses whom they term “elephants”, based on the assumption that, like the proverbial elephants, they may have long memories . Each "elephant" remembers (or mis-remembers) a very different set of circumstances, but Poirot notes some facts that may have particular significance: Margaret Ravenscroft owned four wigs at the time of her death, and a few days before her death, she was seriously bitten by the otherwise-devoted family dog.
Poirot decides that the investigation must delve deeper into the past in order to unearth the truth. He and Mrs. Oliver discover that Dolly (Dorothea) and Molly (Margaret) Preston-Grey were identical twin sisters, both of whom died within the space of a few weeks. While Molly generally led an unremarkable life, Dolly had previously been connected with two violent incidents and had spent protracted periods of her life in psychiatric nursing homes. Dolly had married a major called Jarrow and, shortly after his death in India, she was strongly suspected of drowning her infant son, something that she had tried to blame on the little boy’s Indian Ayah. A second murder was apparently committed in Malaya while Dolly was staying with the Ravenscrofts; it was an attack on the child of a neighbour.
While staying again with the Ravenscrofts, this time at Overcliffe, Dolly apparently sleep-walked off a cliff and died on the evening of September 15, 1960. Molly and her husband died less than a month later, on October 3.
Poirot is contacted by Desmond Burton-Cox, Celia Ravenscroft's fiancé, who gives him the names of two governesses who had served the Ravenscroft family, who he thinks may be able to explain what happened. Turning an investigative light on the Burton-Cox family, Poirot’s agent, Mr. Goby, discovers that Desmond (who knows that he is adopted, but has no details about the adoption or his origins) is the illegitimate son of a now-deceased actress, Kathleen Fenn, with whom Mrs. Burton-Cox’s husband had conducted an affair. Kathleen Fenn had left Desmond a considerable personal fortune, which would, under the terms of his will, be left to his adoptive mother were he to die. Mrs. Burton-Cox’s attempt to prevent Desmond getting married to Celia Ravenscroft is thus an unlovely attempt to obtain the use of his money (there is no suggestion that she plans to kill him and inherit the money).
Poirot suspects the truth, but can substantiate it only after contacting Zélie Meauhourat, the governess employed by the Ravenscrofts at the time of their death. She returns with him from Lausanne to England, where she explains the truth to Desmond and Celia. Dolly had fatally injured Molly as part of a psychotic episode, but such was Molly’s love for her sister that she made her husband promise to protect Dolly from the police. Accordingly, Zélie and Alistair made it appear that Dolly’s was the corpse found at the foot of the cliff. Dolly took her sister’s place, playing the role of Molly to the servants. Only the Ravenscrofts’ dog knew the difference, and this is why it bit its "mistress". Ultimately, Alistair committed suicide after killing Dolly in order to prevent her from injuring anyone else.
Desmond and Celia recognise the sadness of the true events, but now knowing the facts are able to face a future together.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 179 MB
Agatha Christie - Poirot's Early Cases (read by David Suchet and Hugh Fraser)
Poirot's Early Cases is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in September 1974. The book retailed at £2.25. Although the stories contained within the volume had all appeared in previous US collections, the book also appeared there later in 1974 under the slightly different title of Hercule Poirot's Early Cases in an edition retailing at $6.95.
In the collection, Christie charts some of the cases from Hercule Poirot's early career, before he was internationally renowned as a detective. All the stories had first been published in periodicals between 1923 and 1935.
The unabridged tales in this Mystery Masters audiobook include all the ones in the print book first published in 1974. With each case, Poirot further proves his reputation as the greatest mind in detective fiction. In "The Plymouth Express," the body of the daughter of a wealthy American industrialist is found stuffed under a train seat. "Problem at Sea" finds a disliked rich woman murdered in a locked room on a ship. "The King of Clubs" involves a prince, his dancer fiancée, and a fiendish bit of blackmail. These gems are alternately read by David Suchet and Hugh Fraser, whose roles as, respectively, Poirot and his sidekick, Captain Hugh Hastings, in PBS's Mystery! series and the Arts and Entertainment's Poirot series are considered definitive.
This collection contains the following stories: "The Adventure of Johnnie
Waverly," "The Adventure of the Clapham Cook," "The Affair of the Victory
Ball," "The Chocolate Box," "The Cornish Mystery," "The Double Clue,"
"Double Sin," "How Does Your Garden Grow?," "The King of Clubs," "The
Lemesurier Inheritance," "Lost Mine," "Market Basing Mystery," "The
Plymouth Express," "Problem at Sea," "The Submarine Plans," "The Third-Floor
Flat," "The Veiled Lady," and "Wasps' Nest."
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 229 MB
Agatha Christie - Curtain, Poirot's Last Case (read by John Moffatt)
Curtain: Poirot's Last Case is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in September 1975 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year.
The novel features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings in their final appearances in Christie's works (see below). Christie wrote the novel in the early 1940s, during World War II. Partly fearing for her own survival, and partly wanting to have a fitting end to Poirot's series of novels, Christie had the novel locked away in a bank vault for over thirty years. The final Poirot novel that Christie wrote, Elephants Can Remember, was published in 1972, followed by Christie's last novel, Postern of Fate. Knowing that she could no longer write any novels, the elderly Christie authorised Curtain's removal from the vault and subsequent publication. It was the last of her books to be published during her lifetime.
Not only does the novel return the characters to the setting of her first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but it reunites Poirot and Hastings, who had not appeared together since Dumb Witness in 1937.
After a year apart Hercule Poirot, now crippled with arthritis, is reunited with his old companion Captain Hastings, who has since become a widower. When they receive a letter from Styles Court, the place where they solved their first murder together, it seems like fate and they readily accept. However, after the great detective brands one of the seemingly harmless guests, whom he will only identify as 'X', a ruthless serial killer, people begin having doubts about the capability of his once renowned 'little grey cells'. But Poirot is aware that he alone must work quickly before the murderer strikes again, even if it means putting his life on the line...
The murderer, identified by Poirot simply by the letter X, has been completely unsuspected of involvement in five previous murders, in all of which there was a clear suspect. Four of these suspects have subsequently died (one of them hanged), but in the case of Freda Clay, who gave her aunt an overdose of morphine, there was considered to be too little evidence to prosecute. Hastings agrees that it is highly unlikely to be coincidence if X was connected with all five deaths, but Poirot, now using a wheelchair due to arthritis and attended by his new valet Curtiss, will not give him X's name. He merely makes it clear that X is in the house, which has been turned into a private hotel by the new owners: Colonel and Mrs Luttrell.
Hastings makes certain discoveries in the next few days. Elizabeth Cole, another guest at the hotel, reveals to him that she is in fact the sister of Margaret Litchfield, who had confessed to the murder of their father in one of the five cases. Margaret had died in Broadmoor Asylum and Elizabeth feels stigmatised by the case. Later that day Hastings and several other people overhear an argument between Colonel Luttrell and his wife. Shortly afterwards, he wounds her with a rook rifle, apparently mistaking her for a rabbit. Hastings reflects that this is precisely the sort of accident with which X is associated, but Mrs Luttrell rapidly recovers.
Hastings is concerned by the attentions paid to his daughter Judith by Major Allerton, whom he discovers is married but estranged from his Catholic wife. While he and Elizabeth are out with Stephen Norton, another guest and a birdwatcher, Norton sees something through his binoculars that seems to upset him. Hastings suspects that it is something to do with Allerton and, when his clumsy attempts to persuade Judith to give Allerton up merely antagonise her, he plans Allerton's murder. He falls asleep while waiting to poison Allerton, and feels differently about things when he awakes the next day.
Barbara Franklin, the wife of Judith's employer Dr Franklin and the childhood friend of Sir William Boyd Carrington, dies the following evening. She has been poisoned with physostigmine sulphate, an extract from the Calabar bean that her husband has been researching. After Poirot's testimony at the inquest – that Mrs Franklin had been upset and that she had emerged from Dr Franklin's laboratory with a small bottle – a verdict of suicide is brought in, but Hastings suspects that the death was murder and Poirot confirms this.
Norton, still evidently upset about what he has seen through the binoculars, asks Hastings for his advice, which is to confide in Poirot. Poirot arranges a meeting between them and says that Norton must not speak to anyone further of what he has seen. That night, Hastings is awakened by a noise and sees Norton – with his dressing-gown, untidy grey hair and characteristic limp – go into his bedroom. The next morning, however, Norton is found dead in his locked room with a bullet-hole perfectly in the centre of his forehead, the key in his dressing-gown pocket and a pistol (remembered by a housemaid as belonging to him) nearby. Apparently, X has struck again.
Poirot takes Hastings over the evidence, pointing out that his belief that he saw Norton that night relies on loose evidence: the dressing-gown, the hair, the limp. Nevertheless, it seems that there is no one in the house who could have impersonated Norton, who was a short man. Hastings despairs that the mystery will ever be solved when Poirot himself dies that night, apparently of natural causes. He nevertheless leaves Hastings three conscious clues: a copy of Othello, a copy of John Ferguson (a 1915 play by St. John Greer Ervine that is now – unluckily for readers of Curtain – largely forgotten) and a note telling Hastings to speak to his permanent valet, Georges.
In the weeks that follow the death of Poirot, Hastings is staggered to discover that Judith has all along been in love with Dr Franklin, and is now marrying him and going with him to do research in Africa. Was Judith the murderer? When Hastings speaks to Georges, he discovers that Poirot wore a wig, and also that Poirot's reasons for employing Curtiss were vague. Perhaps the murderer was Curtiss all along?
The solution, and one of the greatest of Christie's twist endings, is contained in a written confession that is sent to Hastings from Poirot's lawyers, four months after Poirot's death. In it, Poirot reveals that he wore a false moustache as well as a wig and explains that X was Norton, a man who had perfected the technique of which Iago in Othello (like a character in Ervine's play) is master: applying just such psychological pressure as is needed to provoke someone to commit murder, where normally they would let the other live and dismiss their desires as simply the heat of the moment, without anyone ever truly realising what he is doing. Again and again Norton had demonstrated this ability, first by apparently clumsy remarks that goaded Colonel Luttrell to take a homicidal shot at his wife, and then by his careful manipulation of Hastings to resolve upon the murder of Major Allerton. It was Norton's contrivances that created the impression that Judith loved Allerton when in fact she has been in love with Franklin all along. Hastings's potential murder had, however, been averted by Poirot's presence of mind in forcing drugged hot chocolate upon him on the night that he had intended it to take place, the same action resolving Poirot to take action; he knew that Hastings was not a murderer, but if he had not intervened Hastings would have hanged for a crime while the 'true' murderer would have escaped seemingly innocent.
Deprived of his prey twice, Norton turned to Mrs Franklin, who was soon persuaded to attempt the murder of her husband, after which she could be reunited with the wealthy and attractive Boyd Carrington. By an ironic twist of Fate, however, Hastings himself had intervened in this murder; by turning a revolving bookcase table while seeking out a book in order to solve a crossword clue (coincidentally Othello again) he had swapped the cups of coffee so that the one with poison in it was actually drunk by Mrs Franklin herself.
Poirot knew all this but could not prove it. He sensed that Norton, who had been deliberately vague about whom he had seen through the binoculars when attempting to imply that he had seen Allerton and Judith, was now intending to reveal that he had seen Franklin and Judith, almost certainly implicating them in the apparent murder of Franklin's wife. The only solution was for Poirot to murder Norton himself. At their meeting, he revealed to Norton what he suspected and said that he intended to 'execute' him. He then gave him hot chocolate. Norton, arrogantly self-assured in the face of both the accusation and the threat, insisted on swapping cups, but both contained the same sleeping pills that had previously been used by Poirot to drug Hastings. Poirot himself had grown insensitive to them.
With Norton unconscious, Poirot, whose incapacity had been faked (a trick for which he needed a temporary valet who did not know how healthy he was and would accept his word without question) moved the body back to Norton's room in his wheelchair. Then, he disguised himself as Norton by removing his wig, putting on Norton's dressing-gown and ruffling up his grey hair. Poirot was the only short suspect at the house. With it established that Norton was alive after he left Poirot's room, Poirot shot him – with characteristic but unnecessary symmetry – in the centre of his forehead. He locked the room with a duplicate key that Hastings knew Poirot to possess; both Hastings and the reader would have assumed that the duplicate key was to Poirot's own room, but Poirot had said that he had changed rooms before Norton's arrival, and it was to this previous room that he had the key.
Poirot's last actions were to write the confession and await his death, which he accelerated by moving amyl nitrite phials out of his own reach, seeking to avoid the traditional arrogance of the murderer where he might come to believe that he had the right to kill those he deemed it necessary to eliminate. His last wish is implicitly that Hastings will marry Elizabeth Cole: a final instance of the inveterate matchmaking that has characterised his entire career.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 346 MB
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Tommy And Tuppence Series
Agatha Christie - By The Pricking Of My Thumbs (read by Alex Jennings)
By The Pricking of My Thumbs is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1968 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at twenty-one shillings (21/-) and the US edition at $4.95. It features her detectives Tommy and Tuppence Beresford.
Youthful in two Christie books written in the 1920s, middle-aged in a World-War II spy novel, Tommy and Tuppence were unusual in that they aged according to real time, unlike Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, whose age remained more or less the same from their first novels in the 1920s, to their last novels in the 1970s.
The title of the book comes from Act 4, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, when the second witch says:
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
In the nursing home where Tommy Beresford's Aunt Ada lives, resident Mrs. Lancaster stirs up worry among those in charge with her bizarre, disjointed ramblings about 'your poor child' and 'something behind the fireplace'. Intrigued, Tommy and his wife Tuppence, now in their sixties, conduct an investigation when Aunt Ada dies.
The novel is dedicated "to the many readers in this and other countries who write to me asking: 'What has happened to Tommy and Tuppence? What are they doing now?'"
Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox) in The Guardian's issue of 13 December 1968 admitted that, "This is a thriller, not a detective story, and needless to say an ingenious and exciting one; but anyone can write a thriller (well, almost anyone), whereas a genuine Agatha Christie could be written by one person only."
Maurice Richardson in The Observer of 17 November 1968 said, "Not her best though it has patches of her cosy euphoria and aura of the sinister."
Robert Barnard: "Begins rather well, with a vicious old aunt of Tommy's in a genteel old people's home, but declines rapidly into a welter of half-realised plots and a plethora of those conversations, all too familiar in late Christie, which meander on through irrelevancies, repetitions and inconsequentialities to end nowhere (as if she had sat at the feet of Samuel Beckett). Makes one appreciate the economy of dialogue – all point, or at least possible point, in early Christie.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 143 MB
Agatha Christie - N Or M ? (read by James Warwick)
N or M? is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1941 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November of the same year. The US edition retailed $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
The title is taken from a catechism in the Book of Common Prayer which asks, "What is your Christian name? Answer N. or M."
The novel is the first to feature the mature versions of her detectives Tommy and Tuppence, whose previous appearances had been in the adventure The Secret Adversary (1922) and the short story collection Partners in Crime (1929).
fter the outbreak of the Second World War and many years after they worked for British intelligence, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford feel useless and sidelined. When Tommy is approached to go undercover once more, however, Tuppence decides to join him on his mission whether she is wanted or not.
The duo begin a search for a German agent who may have infiltrated British command. Another British agent that was following these Germans left a cryptic message on his deathbed: "N or M. Song Susie". Grant knew that "Song Susie" stood for Sans Souci, a hotel in Leahampton, and N and M were two German spies, one male and one female. Tommy is to go to Sans Souci to investigate whether N, M or both are at the hotel and to figure out their identities.
The plot of the book is filled with many plot-twists and an action-packed denouement.Maurice Willson Disher's review in The Times Literary Supplement of November 29, 1941 began by saying, "To believe that N or M? is not Miss Agatha Christie's best is difficult while the first fine anxious rapture of her latest story is still troubling the mind." He concluded, "The point is reached when you begin to fear for your own sanity on catching yourself wondering whether an ingratiating babe-in-arms might not be Herr Doktor in disguise. Yet such is Miss Christie's skill in conjuring up the ominous that even infant prattle sounds uncommonly like a code for the Fifth Column. In other words, as Mr. Robey has said before now, N or M? gets you."
Maurice Richardson in a short review in the December 7, 1941 issue of The Observer said, "Agatha Christie takes time off from Poirot and the haute cuisine of crime to write a light war-time spy thriller. N or M is unknown master Fifth Columnist concealed in person of some shabby genteel figure in Bournemouth boarding-house. Mrs. Christie's bright young couple, now middle-aged but active as ever, are nearly trapped. Nice surprise finish and all-round entertainment."
A short review by E.R. Punshon in The Guardian of December 30, 1941 ended, "Mrs. Christie shows herself as ingenious as ever, and one admires especially the way in which the hero snores himself out of captivity."
Robert Barnard: "The Beresfords contribute their intolerable high spirits to the war effort. Less racist than the earlier thrillers (in fact, some apology is made indirectly) but no more convincing."
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 131 MB
Agatha Christie - Partners In Crime (read by Hugh Fraser)
Partners in Crime is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published by Dodd, Mead and Company in the US in 1929 and in the UK by William Collins & Sons on September 16 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
All of the stories in the collection had previously been published in magazines (see First publication of stories below) and feature her detectives Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, first introduced in The Secret Adversary (1922).
The Beresfords' old friend, Mr. Carter (who works for an unnamed government intelligence agency) arrives bearing a proposition for the adventurous duo. They are to take over 'The International Detective Agency', a recently cleaned out spy stronghold, and pose as the owners so as to intercept any enemy messages coming through. But until such a message arrives, Tommy and Tuppence are to do with the detective agency as they please - an opportunity that delights the young couple. They employ the hapless but well-meaning Albert, a young man also introduced in The Secret Adversary, as their assistant at the agency.
Eager and willing, the two set out to tackle several cases. In each case mimicking the style of a famous fictional detective of the period, including Sherlock Holmes and Christie's own Hercule Poirot.
At the end of the book, Tuppence reveals that she is pregnant, and as a result will play a diminished role in the spy business.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 147 MB
Agatha Christie - Postern Of Fate (read by Hugh Fraser)
Postern of Fate is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1973 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at £2.00 and the US edition at $6.95.
The book features her detectives Tommy and Tuppence Beresford and is the detectives' last appearance. It is the final novel Christie ever wrote, but it was not the last to be published.
Now in their seventies, Tommy and Tuppence move to a quiet English village, looking forward to a peaceful retirement. But, as they soon discover, their rambling old house holds secrets. Who is Mary Jordan? And why has someone left a code message in an old book about her 'unnatural' death? Once more, ingenuity and insight are called for as they are drawn into old mysteries and new dangers.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 149 MB
Agatha Christie - The Secret Adversary (read by Alex Jennings)
Just after World War One, Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley are desperately short of money. With jobs thin on the ground they decide to form a partnership, hiring themselves out as ‘young adventurers, willing to do anything, go anywhere’. In their first dangerous assignment, they must use all their ingenuity to save not only their lives but also the life of the mysterious ‘Jane’.
Christie was inspired to write The Secret Adversary after overhearing a conversation in a cafe. Two women were discussing a lady called Jane Fish, which struck Christie as a most ‘entertaining’ name, and she soon began work on a new novel. Originally titled The Joyful Venture, the name changed to The Young Adventurers before finally becoming The Secret Adversary.
The woman’s name that inspired Christie would change from Jane Fish, to Jane Finn. It was the second novel Christie wrote and the first to star Tommy and Tuppence. Published in 1922, it became the first novel to be made into a film; Fox Film in Germany adapted it under the title ‘Die Abenteuer G.m.b.H. It was adapted in the UK in 1985 and starred Francesca Annis and James Warwick as Tommy and Tuppence. It was later shown in the USA on PBS.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 157 MB
Agatha Christie - Crooked House (read by Hugh Fraser)
Crooked House is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in March 1949 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on May 23 of the same year. The US edition retailed at $2.50 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6).
The action takes place in and near London in the autumn of 1947. Christie has said that this was one of her two favourites of her own works, the other being Ordeal by Innocence.
Three generations of the Anglo-Greek Leonides family live together in a large, seemingly crooked house, under the patriarchy of Aristide. He is an ageing millionaire who originally moved to England from Smyrna and, in the novel, spends his remaining days in the company of his second wife Brenda, fifty years his junior. After the old man is poisoned with his own eye medicine (eserine), his granddaughter Sophia tells her fiancé Charles Hayward, the story's first person narrator, that she can't marry him until the killer is apprehended; so, desperate for her hand in marriage, he begins his own investigation...
The first person narrator is Charles Hayward who, towards the end of the Second World War, occupies some post in Cairo. There he meets Sophia Leonides, a smart, successful young Englishwoman who works for the Foreign Office. They fall in love, but put off getting engaged until after the end of the war when they will be reunited in England.
Hayward returns home only to find an obituary in The Times: Sophia's grandfather, the wealthy entrepreneur Aristide Leonides, has died, aged 85. Due to the war, the whole family has been living with him in a sumptuous but ill-proportioned house called "Three Gables"–the 'crooked house' of the title. When the autopsy reveals that Aristide Leonides has been poisoned with his own eserine-based eye medicine via an insulin injection, Sophia tells Charles that she can't marry him until the matter is cleared up.
The obvious suspects are Brenda Leonides, Aristide's much younger second wife, and Laurence Brown, a conscientious objector who has been living in the house as private tutor to Eustace and Josephine, Sophia's younger brother and sister. Rumour has it that Brenda and Laurence have been carrying on an illicit love affair right under old Leonides's nose. All the family members hope these two prove to be the murderers because they despise Brenda as a gold digger and also hope to escape the scandal that a different outcome would bring. When police interviews fail to turn up a clear suspect, Charles agrees to help his father, an Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, investigate the crime. He becomes a house guest at Three Gables, hoping that someone might reveal a clue at an unguarded moment.
All the family members had motive and opportunity, none has an alibi, and everyone knew that Aristide's eye medicine was poisonous. Moreover, according to the will of record, they all stand to gain a healthy bequest from the old man's estate. Aside from this, the family members have little in common. Edith de Haviland, Aristide's unmarried sister-in-law, is a repressed, somewhat bitter woman who came to stay with him after his first wife's death in order to supervise his children's upbringing. Roger, the eldest son and always Aristide's favourite, is a failure as businessman and has steered the catering business bestowed to him by his father to the brink of bankruptcy; he longs to live a simple life somewhere far away. Roger's wife Clemency, a scientist with austere tastes, has never been able to enjoy the wealth offered by her husband's family. Philip, Roger's younger brother, has suffered all his life under his father's preference for Roger and retreated into a distant world of books and bygone historical epochs, spending all his waking hours in the library of the house. Philip's wife Magda is a modestly successful actress to whom everything, even a murder in the family, is a stage show in which she wants to play a leading part. Sixteen-year-old Eustace still suffers from the aftereffects of a mild case of polio, but otherwise is an average sort of boy. His twelve-year-old sister Josephine, on the other hand, is ugly, odd, precociously intelligent, and so obsessed with detective stories that she spies continually on the rest of the household, writing down her observations in a secret notebook.
Things get complicated when it is revealed that Leonides secretly redrafted his will to leave everything to Sophia because he believed that only she had the strength of character to assume his place as the head of the family. Next, Josephine–who has been bragging that she knows the killer's identity–is found lying in the yard, unconscious from a severe blow to the head from a marble doorstop. At this point, Charles discovers a cache of incriminating love letters from Brenda to Laurence, and the two are arrested. While they are in custody, however, the children's nanny dies after drinking a digitalis-laced cup of cocoa that had apparently been intended for Josephine, and the family realizes that the killer is still among them.
Charles, afraid for Josephine's life, tries in vain to induce her to tell him the murderer's name. Afterwards, Edith de Haviland invites the girl to come out with her in the car for an ice cream soda—then drives over a cliff. Both die instantly.
Back at Three Gables, Charles finds two letters from de Haviland: one is a suicide note for Chief Inspector Taverner confessing to the murders of Aristide, the nanny, and Josephine. The other letter, intended for Charles's eyes only, reveals the truth of the matter - Josephine is the murderer. As proof, de Haviland has enclosed the child's secret notebook, the first line of which reads "To-day I killed grandfather." It is revealed that she committed the murder simply because her grandfather wouldn't pay for her ballet lessons; she then revelled in all the attention she received afterwards and planned her own assault with the marble doorstop as a way of diverting attention. She poisoned Nannie for encouraging Magda to send her to Switzerland, and also because she despised her for calling her a 'silly little girl'. Edith discovered Josephine's notebook hidden in a dog kennel, and killed them both because she didn't want her to suffer when the police discovered the truth.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 158 MB
Agatha Christie - Death Comes As The End (read by Emilia Fox)
Death Comes as the End is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October 1944 and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in March of the following year. The US Edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
It is the only one of Christie's novels not to be set in the 20th century, and - unusually for her - also features no European characters. Instead, the novel is set in Thebes in 2000 BC, a setting for which Christie gained an appreciation of while working with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan in the Middle East. The novel is notable for its very high number of deaths and is comparable to And Then There Were None from this standpoint.
The suggestion to base the story in ancient Egypt came from noted Egyptologist and family friend Stephen Glanville. He also assisted Christie with details of daily household life in Egypt 4000 years ago. In addition he made forceful suggestions to Christie to change the ending of the book. This she did but regretted the fact afterwards, feeling that her (unpublished) ending was better.
The novel is based on some real letters, translated by egyptologist Battiscombe Gunn, from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom period from a man called Heqanakhte to his family, complaining about their behaviour and treatment of his concubine.
Christie uses a theme for her chapter titles, as she did for many of her novels, in this case the Egyptian agricultural calendar.
The novel is primarily written from the perspective of Renisenb, a young widow who is just reacquainting herself with her family when her father brings Nofret into their lives. Nofret soon disrupts and antagonises Imhotep's sons, Yahmose, Sobek and Ipy, as well as their wives. After Imhotep is called away, Nofret presses Kameni and Henet into service. Satipy and Kait, the elder sons' wives, attempt to bully Nofret with tricks, but the plan backfires when Nofret appeals to Imhotep and he threatens to throw all his sons and their families out of the household on his return. Suddenly everyone has a motive to kill her and when she is found dead at the foot of a cliff, an accident seems unlikely.
The convenient pretence that Nofret has not been murdered is just getting established when Satipy is killed: she is seen apparently to throw herself to her death in terror from the same cliff while walking with Yahmose. Is it Nofret’s vengeful spirit that she was looking at over Yahmose’s shoulder moments before her death? These rumours only gather pace when Yahmose and Sobek drink poisoned wine. Sobek dies, but Yahmose’s recovery seems to be hindered, perhaps by a more insidious slow-acting poison. A boy whose description suggests that he has seen Nofret’s ghost poisoning the wine himself dies of poison shortly afterwards.
Ipy starts to boast about his new, better position with his father and plots to get rid of Henet after talking to his father and tells her so. That next morning, Ipy was found dead in the lake, drowned.
Kameni seems to have fallen in love with Renisenb, and eventually asks her to marry him. Unsure whether she loves him or Hori, whom she has known since she was a child when he mended her toys, she leaves the choice effectively in her father’s hands and becomes engaged to Kameni. She realises, however, that his relationship with Nofret was closer than she had supposed, and that jealousy may have influenced Nofret’s bitter hatred towards the family.
As Renisenb, Hori, and Esa begin to investigate the possibility of a human murderer, the field of suspects is further narrowed when Ipy, himself a likely suspect, is drowned. Esa attempts to flush out the murderer by dropping a hint about the death of Satipy, but is herself murdered by means of an unguent made of poisoned wool fat. Henet – momentarily powerful in the chaos - is smothered in linen.
It is on the same cliff path where Nofret was murdered that the killer makes one final attempt. Renisenb hears footsteps behind her and turns to see a look of murderous hatred in the eyes of her brother, Yahmose. On the brink of her own death, she realises that Satipy was not looking in fear at anything beyond Yahmose … she was looking straight at him. His consumption of the poisoned wine had been cleverly limited, and his recovery deliberately was made to seem less rapid than it was while he committed the later murders.
Even as Renisenb realises some of this, Hori slays Yahmose with an arrow and she is saved. Her final choice is which of the scribes to marry: Kameni, a lively husband not unlike her first, or Hori, an older and more enigmatic figure. She makes her choice and falls into Hori’s arms.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 593 MB
Agatha Christie - Endless Night (read by Hugh Fraser)
Endless Night is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on October 30, 1967 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at eighteen shillings (18/-) and the US edition at $4.95. It was one of her favorites of her own works and received some of the warmest critical notices of her career upon publication.
Ambitious young Michael Rogers - the narrator of the story - falls in love with Fenella Guteman (Ellie) the first time he sets eyes on her in the mysterious yet scenic 'Gipsy's Acre', complete with its sea-view and dark fir trees. Before long, he has both the land and the woman, but rumors are spreading of a curse hanging over the land. Not heeding the locals' warnings, the couple take up residence at 'Gipsy's Acre', leading to a devastating tragedy.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 513 MB
Agatha Christie - Giant's Bread (read by George Cole)
Giant's Bread is a tragedy novel written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons in April 1930 and in the US by Doubleday later in the same year. The UK edition retailed for seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $1.00. It is the first of six novels Christie published under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott.
At London’s National Opera House, the opening of the building is celebrated by the first performance of a new composition, The Giant, in front of a specially-invited audience of Royalty, society figures and the press. Somewhat in the style of a Russian opera, the audience are either puzzled or ecstatic about this modernist piece. One man who does not personally like the composition, but can see the genius that scored it, is Carl Bowerman, the elderly and distinguished Music critic who joins the owner of the Opera House, Sebastian Levinne, for a private drink. Despite the foreign nature of the music, Bowerman recognises that the composer, known as Boris Groen, must be English because "Nationality in music is unmistakable." He states that Groen is the natural successor to a man called Vernon Deyre who was killed in the war. Sebastian politely refuses to tell more about the absent Groen, telling him that, "There are reasons..."
In the late years of the Victorian era, Vernon Deyre is a small boy growing up in the old country house of the Deyre family, Abbots Puisannts. He is the only child of Walter, a soldier by profession, and Myra Deyre. She is something of an emotional and clinging person while Walter is a sad figure, not in love with his wife and subject to various dalliances. Vernon’s nurse - an important figure in his childhood - raises him but he has no friends. In their place he has four imaginary friends, the most important of which is called Mr. Green, a florid man who loves playing games and who lives in a wood that borders on the grounds of Abbots Puisannts.
One of the main male figures in Vernon’s life is his Uncle Sydney, Myra’s brother. He is a self-made man who runs a manufacturing business in Birmingham and is someone who Vernon instinctively feels uncomfortable with. Someone who promotes a different reaction is Walter’s sister, Nina, an artistic woman who impresses Vernon by her playing of the grand piano in the house. This is an object for which Vernon has an unreasoning terror, naming it "The Beast", and which promotes a hatred of music in his soul.
Aunt Nina’s marriage breaks up and Walter wants her and her young daughter Josephine (Joe) to live with them but Myra objects. Fate takes a turn though when the Boer War breaks out and Walter goes off to fight. In his absence, whilst Vernon is away at school, Nina dies and Myra takes Joe in. As a result, Vernon has a playmate in the holidays and the two start to make a circle of acquaintances. One of them, Nell Vereker, is a thin girl who cannot keep up with Vernon and Joe in their games. The local village is aghast when the adjoining property to Abbots Puisannts is bought by a rich Jewish family called the Levinnes and, although held at arm’s length at first, gradually the family come to held in a grudging acceptance. Vernon and Joe also make friends with the son of the family – Sebastian, who is much the same age as them.
A few weeks before the end of the war, Walter Deyre is killed in action and Vernon inherits Abbots Puisannts, although not being of age, it is held in trust for him. A shortage of money means that Myra and her son have to move and they rent the house out while they move to Birmingham to be near Uncle Sydney.
Eleven years pass. Vernon and Sebastian have remained friends through their time at Eton and Cambridge. Sebastian’s father has died in the intervening years and he, unlike Vernon, has inherited millions. Sebastian is starting on his career of a patronage of the arts, opening a gallery in Bond Street while Joe has artistic tastes and Vernon is at a loose end as to what he wants to do – money, or the lack of it, still being a concern. He has a life-changing moment when he is forced to attend a charity concert at the Albert Hall and suddenly overcomes his childhood hatred of music, so much so that he declares that he wants to be a composer. Vernon reaches twenty-one and is bitter to learn that his financial situation means that he cannot afford to move back to Abbots Puisannts. He is forced to agree that he will work at Uncle Sydney’s firm but life takes a different tack when, after a gap of several years, he meets Nell Vereker again at Cambridge. She has grown into a beautiful young woman and Vernon falls in love with her. He is opposed by Nell’s mother, who has brought her up to be a lady despite being desperately short of money herself and is determined that Nell will marry riches. Her preferred candidate for her daughter’s hand is an American called George Chetwynd. Uncle Sydney is also opposed to Vernon marrying Nell and persuades him to wait until he is more established.
One night, while Nell and her mother are abroad, Vernon is introduced to a professional singer called Jane Harding at a party hosted by Sebastian. He is attracted to Jane, despite a ten-year age difference and starts to see her, to Joe’s approval but Myra Deyre’s consternation. Jane’s effect on Vernon is to apply himself more to composing music and to do so, he leaves his uncle’s firm. Nell is frightened of Jane and confronts her but the older, more experienced girl is more than a match for Nell. Vernon finishes his composition and, suddenly scared of rumours that Nell is going to marry George Chetwynd, proposes to her but she asks him to wait. Events reach a crisis point when Joe absconds with a married man and this prompts Vernon to accuse Nell of not having that sort of courage. This outburst merely prompts her into getting engaged to Chetwynd with whom, as she tells Vernon, she "feels safe." On the rebound, Vernon starts a relationship with Jane. He also finishes his composition which Sebastian produces and Jane sings in, the piece receiving warm reviews. The First World War is declared on August 4, 1914 and four days later Nell sees Vernon again and confesses that she still loves him. Hearing that he has enlisted she agrees to be his wife and they are married later that afternoon.
Six months later, Vernon is sent to France and Nell becomes a VAD nurse, finding the work and the treatment meted out to volunteers like her hard to take. After some time she receives a telegram to say that Vernon has been killed in action...
Several months pass and George Chetwynd meets Nell briefly before he goes off to Serbia to carry out relief work and promises to keep in touch with her. Nell has, through her widowhood, inherited Abbots Puisannts and she makes a move that Vernon never could by selling the house. She finds out that Chetwynd has bought it and he invites Nell and her mother to visit him at the house where he proposes to her. She accepts and they marry.
It is 1917. In neutral Holland, Vernon turns up one night at an inn, having escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Germany. The daughter of the woman who runs the inn gives him some old English magazines to read and a letter for a soldier she knew called Corporal Green. Struck by the man having the same name as his imaginary childhood friend, he happily agrees but is then dumbstruck to read in one of the magazines of Nell and George’s marriage. He staggers into the night and throws himself in the path of a coming truck...
Two years later a man called George Green is the chauffeur of a rich American who found the man in Holland suffering from loss of memory after an "accident" and working as a driver. They are back in England now and George’s employer visits Chetwynd, an acquaintance, at Abbots Puisannts. By coincidence, Jane Harding is also visiting the house that day. She has lost her singing voice and is now an actress and, appearing locally with a repertory company, Chetwynd has invited her to tea. She and Nell meet and their mutual animosity to each other is clear but Nell receives a greater shock when she catches sight of their American visitor’s chauffeur and realises that Vernon is still alive. Jane also recognises Vernon in the nearby town and hurriedly summons Sebastian down there by telegram. They get Vernon professional help and he slowly starts to recover his memory and has a proper reunion with Nell while Chetwynd, unaware of what has happened, is away. Vernon wants to take up where he left off, although he accepts the loss of Abbots Puisannts but Nell, afraid, lies to him that she is pregnant. Disconsolate, Jane takes him away, no one else being aware that he is alive, but not before she has confronted Nell with her lie.
The two go to Moscow where Vernon is taken up with Meyerhold and the Avant-garde music of the new movements in Russia. They suddenly receive a telegram saying that Joe is dangerously ill in New York and they sail across to see her. On the way, the ship hits an iceberg and starts to sink. In the confusion of the evacuation as the ship starts to tilt badly and go down into the water, Vernon sees Nell, she and Chetwynd having been on board but sailing in a different class to themselves. She cries out to Vernon to save her and he does so, watching Jane’s horrified face as she goes "down into that green swirl…" Back safely in New York, Vernon confesses that to Sebastian that he let the love of his life die. Sebastian is furious but the emotional shock to Vernon causes him to regain his passion and talent for composing again. He begins The Giant, oblivious to all else, even Nell who visits him to admit that she still loves him. He rebuffs her, his only interest now for his music...
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 304 MB
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Mr. Quin (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Mysterious Mr. Quin is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on April 14 1930 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
Each chapter or story involves a separate mystery that is solved through the interaction between the characters of the elderly Mr. Satterthwaite and the eponymous Mr. Quin who appears almost magically at the most opportune moments and disappears just as mysteriously. Mr. Satterthwaite is a small, observant man who is able to wrap up each mystery through the careful prodding and apposite questions of Mr. Quin.
In Agatha Christie's Autobiography, she claims that Mr. Quin and the diminutive Mr. Satterthwaite became two of her favourite characters. The latter character reappeared in the 1935 novel Three Act Tragedy. Outside of this collection, Mr Quin appeared in two further short stories The Harlequin Tea Set and The Love Detectives which were both included in the 1992 UK collection Problem at Pollensa Bay. In the US, the former story appeared as the title story in the 1997 collection The Harlequin Tea Set and the latter in the earlier 1950 collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 484 MB
Agatha Christie - Parker Pyne Investigates (read by Hugh Fraser)
Parker Pyne Investigates is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins and Sons in November 1934. Along with The Listerdale Mystery, this collection did not appear under the usual imprint of the Collins Crime Club but instead appeared as part of the Collins Mystery series. It appeared in the US later in the same year published by Dodd, Mead and Company under the title Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective . The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
The collection comprises twelve of her fourteen stories featuring detective James Parker Pyne; the two remaining stories, Problem at Pollensa Bay and The Regatta Mystery were later collected in The Regatta Mystery in 1939 in the US and in Problem at Pollensa Bay in the UK in 1991 although these were originally stories featuring Hercule Poirot when they were first published in the Strand Magazine in 1935 and 1936 respectively.
The book also features the first appearance of the characters of Ariadne Oliver, and Miss Felicity Lemon, both of whom would go on to have working relationships with Hercule Poirot in later books.
James Parker Pyne is a retired government employee who considers himself to be a "detective of the heart." Advertising his services in the "Personal" column of The Times, he works alongside his secretary Miss Lemon, novelist Ariadne Oliver, handsome "lounge lizard" Claude Luttrell and disguise artist Madeleine de Sara.
The first six stories deal with Pyne solving cases in England, while the second six stories detail Pyne's vacation, where he hopes not to have to detective work only to end up helping others anyway.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 158 MB
Agatha Christie - Passenger To Frankfurt (read by Hugh Fraser)
Passenger to Frankfurt: An Extravanganza is a spy novel by Agatha Christie first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in September 1970 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at twenty-five shillings. In preparation for decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it was concurrently priced on the dustjacket at £1.25. The US edition retailed at $5.95.
It was published to mark Christie's eightieth birthday and, by counting up both UK and US short-story collections to reach the desired total, was also advertised as her eightieth book. It is the last of her spy novels.
At the beginning of the book there is a quote by Jan Smuts :- "Leadership, besides being a great creative force, can be diabolical ..."
Sir Stafford Nye's flight home from Malaya takes an unexpected twist when a bored diplomat is approached in a bleak airport by a woman whose life is in danger, he agrees in a moment of weakness to lend her his passport and boarding ticket. Suddenly, Stafford Nye's own life is on the line, for he has unwittingly entered a web of international intrigue, from which the only escape is to outwit the power-crazed Countess von Waldsausen who is hell-bent on world domination through the manipulation and arming of the planet's youth, which brings with it what promises to be a resurgence of Nazi domination. Unwittingly the diplomat has put his own life on the line; when he meets the mystery woman again she is a different person and he finds himself drawn into a battle against an invisible and altogether more dangerous enemy.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 191 MB
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Agatha Christie - Problem At Pollensa Bay (read by Jonathan Cecil)
Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories is a short story collection by Agatha Christie published in the UK only in November 1991 by HarperCollins. It was not published in the US but all the stories contained within it had previously been published in American volumes. The UK edition retailed at £13.99. It contains two stories with Hercule Poirot, two with Parker Pyne,. two with Harley Quin and two gothic tales.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 139 MB
Agatha Christie - Sparkling Cyanide (read by Robin Bailey)
Sparkling Cyanide is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1945 under the title of Remembered Death and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in the December of the same year under Christie's original title. The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at eight shillings and sixpence (8/6).
The book features the recurring character of Colonel Race for the last time and was an expansion of a Hercule Poirot short story entitled Yellow Iris which had previously been published in issue 559 of the Strand Magazine in July 1937 and in book form in The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories in the US in 1939. It was published in the UK in Problem at Pollensa Bay in 1991. The full-length novel omits the character of Poirot.
The novel uses the basics of the short story, including the method of the poisoning, but changes the identity of the culprit(s) - not for the first time, when Agatha Christie rewrote her own work.
One year ago on 2 November, seven people sat down to dinner at the restaurant "Luxembourg". One of them, Rosemary Barton, never got up. She was thought to have committed suicide due to post-flu depression. Her husband, George Barton, received anonymous letters saying that Rosemary did not kill herself but was murdered. George started to investigate and decided to reconstruct the dinner at the same restaurant, inviting the same people as well as an actress that looked like his late wife. The actress did not arrive and that night George died at the table - poisoned, like his wife, by cyanide in his glass.
His death would have been dismissed as suicide as well if not for the investigation of his friend Colonel Race. During the investigation it is revealed that the intended victim was Rosemary's young sister Iris. Due to a stipulation of her uncle's will as Rosemary died childless her inherited fortune passed to teenage sister when she died. If Iris had died at the table as intended the money in turn would have passed to her aunt Mrs. Drake. Mrs. Drake is very much at the mercy of her lazy son Victor, who often threatens to commit suicide when he needs money from his mother. Colonel Race and Iris's suitor, Anthony Browne, discover that Victor had planned the murder together with his lover Ruth Lessing, who was also George's secretary.
The plan failed because when the group went to dance Iris dropped her bag and the waiter that retrieved it placed it a seat away from where she was before she went to dance. When the companions returned to the table, George sat at Iris's original place and drank the poisoned champagne. In order to confirm the suicidal nature of the death Ruth had planted a pack of cyanide in Iris's bag and Victor had disguised himself as a waiter in order to poison the sparkling wine. When this failed, Ruth then attempted to run down Iris with a car.
Eventually, Colonel Race together with the police and Anthony Browne unravel the truth and save Iris from being gassed to death by Ruth, who had knocked her out, trying to stage her "suicide'. The anonymous letters to George were sent by Ruth in order to convince him to re-stage the dinner at Luxembourg so that Victor and Ruth could try to kill Iris.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 131 MB
Agatha Christie - The Listerdale Mystery (read by Hugh Fraser)
First published in 1934, this short story collection features 12 ingenious tales involving mystery and adventure, from a raja s stolen emerald to a necklace discovered in a basket of cherries, to a mystery writer s bizarre near-arrest for murder. Among the stories in this enjoyable early collection are The Girl on the Train, Jane in Search of a Job, and Philomel Cottage, which was made into the film Love from a Stranger.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 190 MB
Agatha Christie - The Man In The Brown Suit (read by Emilia Fox)
The Man in the Brown Suit is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and was first published in the UK by The Bodley Head on August 22 1924 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
Like The Secret Adversary, the novel concentrates less on pure detection, and is more a thriller of the period. It follows the adventures of Anne Beddingfeld as she gets involved in a world of diamond thieves, murderers and political intrigue in this tale set in exotic Southern Africa. Colonel Race makes his first appearance in the novel; he later appears in Cards on the Table, Sparkling Cyanide, and Death on the Nile.
Nadina, a "Russian" dancer receives a visit in her dressing room from Count Sergius Paulovitch. Both are in the service of a man they call "the Colonel", an international agent provocateur and criminal. After many years, 'the Colonel' is retiring, leaving his agents high and dry. Nadina has double-crossed the Colonel, however, keeping some De Beers diamonds from a crime years before. She now plans to blackmail the Colonel with the diamonds.
Anne Beddingfeld, a young English woman recently orphaned, longs for adventure and jumps at the chance when her father's solicitor suggests she lives with him and his wife in London. Returning from an unsuccessful job interview, Anne is on the platform at Hyde Park Corner tube station when a man falls onto the live track, dying instantly. A doctor examines the man, pronounces him dead and leaves, dropping a note on his way. Anne picks up the note which reads "17.1 22 Kilmorden Castle".
The inquest on the dead man, 'L. B. Carton', brings a verdict of suicide. In his pocket was a house agent's order to view a house for let – The Mill House in Marlow – and the next day the newspapers report that a dead woman has been found there – strangled. The house is owned by Sir Eustace Pedler MP. A young man in a brown suit is identified as a suspect, having entered the house soon after the dead woman.
Anne realizes the 'doctor' did not examine the dead man in an appropriate manner and gets suspicious. After fruitless investigations at Mill House where she finds an undeveloped canister of film, Anne finds out that Kilmorden Castle is the name of a boat sailing on 17 January 1922 from Southampton to Cape Town. She books a passage on it.
On board ship, Anne meets Suzanne Blair, Colonel Race, and Sir Eustace Pedler himself. In addition to his normal secretary, Guy Pagett, he has employed a man who goes by the name of Harry Rayburn.
At 1.00am on the morning of the 22nd, a young man staggers into Anne's cabin having been stabbed. Anne is able to dress the man's slight wound but the man is not in the least bit grateful and leaves after an altercation with her.
One evening on the ship, Colonel Race recounts a story of the theft of a hundred thousand pounds' worth of diamonds some years before, supposedly by the son of the South African gold magnate, John Eardsley and his friend Lucas. John and his friend were arrested but John's father, Sir Laurence, disowned his son. John Eardsley was killed in the War and his father's huge fortune passed to a next of kin. Lucas was posted as "missing in action". Harry Rayburn walks into the cabin as the story is being told, overhears it, looks sickly and leaves. Race reveals he himself is the fortunate next of kin.
Anne confides in Suzanne and they examine the piece of paper Anne obtained in the Underground station. They realize that the paper could refer to cabin 71 – Suzanne's cabin, originally booked by a Mrs Grey, a pseudonym for Nadina. Anne and Suzanne speculate that Nadina was the dead woman in the Mill House. Anne suddenly connects finding the film roll in Mill House with a canister of returned film that was dropped into Suzanne's cabin on night of the 22nd. They look in the canister and find uncut diamonds. They speculate that Harry Rayburn is the "Man in the Brown Suit".
Anne is attacked as she walks the deck of the ship. Harry Rayburn saves her. Anne amazes Harry with her knowledge of events in Marlow and at Hyde Park Corner station and suggests that Harry may be Lucas and the "Man in the Brown Suit". They again part on bad terms.
Once they arrive in Cape Town Anne is lured to a house at Muizenberg, where she is imprisoned in the attic by a bearded Dutchman. Anne overhears the Rev. Chichester speaking with the Dutchman about "the Colonel" wanting to question her tomorrow. The next day she escapes and makes her way back to Cape Town.
There she finds that Harry is wanted as the "Man in the Brown Suit" but has gone missing. Pedler offers Anne the role of his secretary on the train trip to Rhodesia, which she accepts at the last second, and is reunited with Race, Suzanne and Pedler who has a new secretary named Miss Pettigrew.
In Bulawayo, Anne receives a note from Harry which lures her out to a ravine near their hotel. There she is chased and falls into the ravine.
Almost a month later, Anne awakens in a hut on an island in the Zambezi with Harry Rayburn, who rescued her. He reveals that someone deliberately caused her to fall.
Anne and Harry fall in love. Harry tells her of the diamond discovery he and John Eardsley made years earlier. They were duped by a young woman called Anita Grünberg, who substituted their diamonds for ones stolen from De Beers. After being listed as missing in action, Harry disappeared, coming to Africa under the name of Harry Parker.
Some time later he came across a man – Carton - and recognised him from the incident with Anita Grünberg. Carton is revealed to be the man who fell in the Tube station and dropped the note Anne found. Harry followed Carton to London and Nadina to the Mill House, but insists Nadina was already dead. He realised that the diamonds were probably still on the Kilmorden Castle. Anne confirms they were, and were handed to Suzanne in her cabin on the night of the 22nd.
Harry's island is attacked that night by a party led by the red-bearded Dutchman, but the two manage to escape, and Anne plans to return to Pedler's party where she can keep an eye on developments. They exchange codes to be used in order that neither can be duped again.
Reunited with Suzanne, Anne is told that the diamonds are with luggage sent on with Sir Eustace. She also receives a telegram from Harry telling her to meet him.
Anne goes to the meeting with Harry and again bumps into Chichester, alias Miss Pettigrew. She is led to Sir Eustace, alias "the Colonel". Pedler forces Anne to write a note to Harry to lure him to the curio shop, which she does but she does not include their code in it. Harry turns up and Pedler is exultant – until Anne pulls out a pistol and they capture Pedler. Race turns up with reinforcements and Pedler tries to bluff matters out, but is unsuccessful.
Sir Eustace manages to escape. Anne is somewhat pleased, having developed a fondness for him. Race tells her that Harry is in fact John Eardsley, not Lucas, and therefore the heir to the fortune. Harry however has found his happiness with Anne, and they marry and live on the island in the Zambezi.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 232 MB
Agatha Christie - The Regatta Mystery (read by Hugh Fraser, Graeme Malcolm, David Suchet, Joan Hickson and Steven Crossley)
The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1939. The first edition retailed at $2.00.
The stories feature, with one exception (In a Glass Darkly), Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Parker Pyne, Christie's famed detectives. The collection was not published in the UK and was the first time a Christie book was published in the US without a comparable publication in the UK; however all of the stories in the collection were published in later UK collections (see UK book appearances of stories below).
The title story has Mr. Parker Pyne catch a diamond thief during regatta festivities at Dartmouth harbor.
The Mystery of the Bagdad Chest concerns how a dead body found its way into the titular chest in the midst of a dance party. Arthur Hastings chronicles Hercule Poirot's unraveling of the mystery.
How Does Your Garden Grow? is a line from the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary", which Poirot is reminded of when visiting a country house whose mistress has just died—after writing a cryptic letter requesting his help.
The Problem at Pollensa Bay concerns a mother's dislike for her son's fiance. The problem is solved (non-violently) by fellow vacationer Parker Pyne.
In Yellow Iris, Hercule Poirot follows an anonymous phone call to a restaurant table laden with the favorite flower of a woman who died mysteriously four years before. This story has been expanded and made a novel named Sparkling Cyanide featuring Colonel Race instead of Hercule Poirot.
Miss Marple Tells a Story is written in the first person by the elderly sleuth, who recalls how she solved an impossible murder without leaving her chair.
In The Dream, an eccentric millionaire tells Poirot of a troubling dream in which he kills himself - and is found dead a week later.
In a Glass Darkly is the only story in the collection not to feature a famous detective (it is told by an anonymous narrator), and the only one to invoke the supernatural. Its title alludes to the phrase "Through a glass darkly," used by the Apostle Paul to describe how we currently view the world.
In Problem at Sea, a rich woman is found dead in her cabin on a luxury ship off the shore of Alexandria. The story concludes with Hercule Poirot saying: "I do not approve of murder."
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 199 MB
Agatha Christie - The Secret Of Chimneys (read by Hugh Fraser)
The Secret of Chimneys is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in June 1925 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It introduces the characters of, among others, Superintendent Battle and Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
Christie later used the "Chimneys" mansion, along with the characters Bill Eversleigh, Bundle, Georgle Lomax, Tredwell and Lord Caterham from this book in the 1929 novel The Seven Dials Mystery.
Seven years previously, the Balkan state of Herzoslovakia had one of its periodic revolutions that resulted in the death and bodily mutilation of its monarch, King Nicholas IV and his wife Queen Varaga. The latter formerly was Angèle Mory, a dancer at the Folies Bergère, who had been bribed by the Herzoslovakian revolutionary organisation "Comrades of the Red Hand" to lure the King into a trap when he visited Paris, but instead double-crossed them, seduced and married Nicholas, and was introduced in Herzoslovakia as a Countess and descendant of the Romanoffs. When realizing the deception, the populace reacted with an uprising and the establishment of a republic which has been in force ever since.
Now the people of Herzoslovakia wish to restore the monarchy and offer the vacant crown to the exiled Prince Michael Obolovitch, a distant relation of the murdered King. The British government is acting as powerbroker to the restoration in return for oil concessions in the state. The head of the syndicate who is financing the deal, Herman Isaacstein, is to meet Prince Michael at the English country house of Chimneys whose reluctant owner, the Marquis of Caterham, is bullied into hosting the get-together by George Lomax, a foreign office minister. A difficulty has arisen though: a Count Stylptitch, twice Prime Minister of Herzoslovakia and in exile in Paris since the revolution, died two months previously and his memoirs—believed to contain many indiscreet references to the Herzoslovakia monarchy—were smuggled to Bulawayo in the care of Jimmy McGrath, a gold prospector who four years ago saved the Count's life in Paris. As part of his will, the Count has asked McGrath to deliver the manuscript of his memoirs in person to publishers in London on or before 13 October in return for one thousand pounds and McGrath is due to arrive in London soon.
However, McGrath's gold prospecting seems about to bear fruit and he is loath to leave Africa. In Bulawayo he meets an old friend and fellow adventurer, Anthony Cade, and asks him to impersonate him and deliver the manuscript for a quarter share. McGrath had another task for Anthony: by saving a drowning "Dago", coincidentally also a Herzoslovakian, he came into the possession of a set of letters from an Englishwoman called Virginia Revel to her lover, a Captain O'Neill, which the "Dago" had used to blackmail Mrs Revel and which McGrath wanted to be returned to her, thus saving her from further embarrassment. Anthony agreed to deliver both sets of documents. We learn that Virginia Revel is the widow of a former British diplomat to Herzoslovakia, whom everybody falls in love with and whom Lomax has asked to be one of the house party at Chimneys to charm Prince Michael.
Arriving in London, Anthony checks into the Blitz hotel where several attempts by fair means and foul are made to obtain the manuscript. The final one is at night when a hotel waiter, Giuseppe, enters Anthony's room. He wakes and the two men fight but Giuseppe gets away, not with the manuscript but with Virginia Revel's letters. The next day Giuseppe visits Virginia and blackmails her with one of the letters. She doesn't reveal to the man that the letters are not hers, but playfully gives him 40 pounds and asks him to return the next evening for the rest.
Dell Mapback #199, first U.S. paperback edition, 1947
Crime map showing "Chimneys" from Dell Mapback #199
Anthony completes his task for Jimmy McGrath when a Mr Holmes of the publishers collects the manuscript from him and pays him. He only then receives, in the name of McGrath, a government invitation to the meeting at Chimneys where it is hoped he will be persuaded not to hand over the manuscript at all. Anthony decides to travel under his own name, stay at a village inn outside the house and investigate matters. Before that he looks up Virginia. When she returns home, she meets Anthony at the door and finds Giuseppe in her study, recently killed with a pistol bearing the engraving "Virginia". In Giuseppe's pocket is a scrap of paper with "Chimneys 11.45 Thursday". Anthony finds out about Virginia's invitation to that house and deduces that someone is attempting to prevent her going there. To outwit them he disposes of the body and follows Virginia, who instinctively trusts this "Ex-Eton and Oxford" stranger, to Chimneys.
At 11.45 on the Thursday night a murder is committed at Chimneys on the eve of the concessions meeting. Travelling under the pseudonym of "Count Stanislaus" the murdered man is none other than Prince Michael Obolovitch. Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate. Footprints are spotted in the grass leading to and from the open window to the council chamber where the body was found and the police’s suspicions are immediately drawn to the arrival of a stranger at the village inn the night before, Anthony Cade. Further investigations are confounded though when the self-confident Anthony suddenly appears at the house and introduces himself; moreover he tells Battle and the police all of the events to date, judiciously omitting the story of Virginia's letters and the murder and concealment of Giuseppe. He further reveals to them that he did indeed come to Chimneys the previous night and manages to convince the investigators that he was lured there on a pretext and that he had been set up for the crime. When Anthony is shown the body of Prince Michael, he is shocked to recognize "Mr Holmes" who collected the memoirs from him.
Aside from Isaacstein and Virginia (who vouches for Anthony) a third visitor to the house is the book collector Hiram P. Fish who is there to inspect Lord Caterham's collection of first editions.
Two strands of investigation take place in the house: the official one and Anthony's own. The police are interested in who benefits from Prince Michael's death and are told that his successor for the vacant throne is Michael's first cousin, Prince Nicholas, a somewhat dissolute young man who perhaps has died in the Congo. Anthony asks Lord Caterham’s daughter, "Bundle" Brent, after the occupant of a room whose light he saw go on and off after he heard the shot at the time of the murder. This turns out to be Mademoiselle Brun, the French governess to her two young sisters, who has been with them only two months from her previous position in a Château in Dinard. There is a further French connection with the matter when Anthony finds a bearded stranger with a French accent on the grounds claiming to be lost while on a walk from his stay at the village inn.
The French master jewel thief King Victor, a few months earlier released from jail, is a suspect, since Angèle Mory, in her days before Nicholas IV, was his accomplice and, while Queen, was very likely involved in King Victor's theft of the Koh-i-Noor diamond from the Tower of London (a paste copy being substituted and the public not being informed of the event). Queen Varaga was a guest at Chimneys at the time and it is believed she hid the jewel somewhere in the house and now, seven years after her death, King Victor has come to get it back. After impersonating the second-in-line Prince Nicholas in the United States for a scam, he is now rumored to be in England.
Anthony meets the middle-aged Mlle Brun and gets permission to go to Dinard to follow up on her references. While he is away there is a midnight break-in at Chimneys when Virginia and Bill Eversleigh, one of Lomax's staff from the Foreign Office, surprise a shadowy intruder who is searching the council chamber. After a fight, the intruder gets away. Anthony returns from France—Mlle Brun has proven to be above suspicion—and learns of the break-in. Expecting another attempt, he joins Virginia and Bill that night when they successfully apprehend the bearded French stranger, only to discover it is Monsieur Lemoine of the Sûreté, whose arrival had been expected by Battle. This officer had seen movement in the council chamber, but the interference by Anthony and his friends meant the suspect got away again.
Lemoine is on the trail of King Victor and he tells them that Angèle Mory sent coded letters to King Victor using the aliases of "Captain O’Neill" and "Virginia Revel" (who Mory knew from her husband's posting to the British Embassy in Herzoslovakia) and it is these that have been mistaken as the blackmailing letters. Stolen from King Victor, they found their way to Africa and, entirely coincidentally, to Jimmy McGrath. That afternoon, these letters mysteriously reappear on Anthony's dressing-table at Chimneys. Battle's theory is that King Victor, unable to decode the letters and aware that the council chamber is now watched, returned them to let the authorities decode the message and find the jewel, which he will then take at his convenience. They decide to take the bait and employ an expert codebreaker, Professor Wynwood, who deduces that the coded message tells that Stylptitch had re-hidden the jewel and had left the clue "Richmond seven straight eight left three right". Bundle equates this to an old passage behind a painting of the Earl of Richmond, but the trail only leads to another cipher (later revealed to represent a rose).
Boris Anchoukoff, Prince Michael's loyal valet hands Anthony an address in Dover ("dropped by that foreign gentleman"), and Anthony slips off to explore that location. It is a den for King Victor's men and the "Comrades of the Red Hand". Just when Anthony locates a hostage, Mr Fish captures him with an automatic gun. Still, we find Anthony next making preparations and assembling all people at Chimneys. He reveals that the "Richmond" reference in the code was to a biography of the Earl of Richmond in the library. But this is a trap for the murderer of Prince Michael: Mlle Brun, in reality the supposedly dead Queen Varaga (whose "body" seven years ago was a substitution, mutilated beyond recognition). Caught searching for the jewel in the library, Varaga is killed in a struggle over her revolver with Anchoukoff. The real Mlle Brun may have been kidnapped on the passage from Dinard while the murder of Giuseppe in Virginia's house was indeed to stop Virginia from going to Chimneys as she may have recognised the former Queen. There was another visitor though who knew her—Prince Michael—and when he found her searching the council chamber, she shot him. Anthony reveals another substitution when he produces the real M Lemoine: the hostage in Dover. The impostor is none other than King Victor, who tries to escape, but is stopped by Mr. Fish, in reality an American agent.
Anthony has several final surprises. The memoirs he gave to "Mr Holmes" were false: he gives the real memoirs (which have no incriminating anecdotes after all) to Jimmy to deliver to the publishers to get his one thousand pounds. The "Richmond" clue refers to a rose on the ground with the name "Richmond", where the Koh-i-Noor is subsequently recovered. Anthony then presents himself as the missing Prince Nicholas, who had disappeared himself in the Congo and through staggering coincidence was led into this adventure, and offers to be Herzoslovakia's next king. In the morning he has secretly married Virginia, who will be his Queen.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 108 MB
Agatha Christie - The Seven Dials Mystery (read by Emilia Fox)
The Seven Dials Mystery is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on January 24, 1929 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. In it, Christie brings back the characters from an earlier novel, The Secret of Chimneys: Lady Eileen (Bundle) Brent, Lord Caterham, Bill Eversleigh, George Lomax, Tredwell and Superintendent Battle. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) and the US edition at $2.00.
Reclusive tycoon Sir Oswald Coote and his melancholy wife, Lady Coote, have hit upon the ideal plan to spice up their quiet lives. They'll host a lavish weekend party at Chimneys, their isolated estate, and invite only "bright young things." But the festive mood is clouded by doom. A practical joke involving seven clocks and a sleeping guest has ended in accidental death?and cause for alarm. For the guests may not be all that they appear. And as whispers of a strange club called Seven Dials echo through the halls of Chimneys, all hands will be pointing to murder...
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 215 MB
Agatha Christie - The Sittaford Mystery (read by Nathanial Parker)
The Sittaford Mystery is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1931 under the title of The Murder at Hazelmoor and in UK by the Collins Crime Club on 7 September of the same year under Christie's original title. It is the first Christie novel to be given a different title for the US market.
The US edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).
Sittaford is a tiny village on the fringe of Dartmoor. Mrs Willett and her daughter Violet are the newly installed tenants of Sittaford House, a residence owned by a Trevelyan, a retired Army captain. They invite four people to tea on Friday afternoon: Captain Trevelyan's long-standing friend, Major Burnaby, Mr Rycroft, Mr Ronnie Garfield and Mr Duke. At the suggestion of Mr Garfield, the six of them decide to play a game of table-turning. During this séance, at 5.25 pm, a spirit announces that Captain Trevelyan has just been murdered. Concerned for the Captain's safety, Major Burnaby says that he intends to walk to Exhampton, a village six miles away, to see if Captain Trevelyan is alright. After four days of snow, there is already a thick layer of snow on the ground and further heavy snowfall has been forecast for later that evening. There is no telephone in Sittaford, and it is impossible to use a car because of the snow.
Two and a half hours later, just before 8 pm, in the middle of a blizzard, Major Burnaby is trudging up the path to the front door of Hazelmoor, the house in Exhampton where Captain Trevelyan now lives. When nobody answers the door, he fetches the local police and a doctor. They enter the house through the open study window at the back, and find Captain Trevelyan's dead body on the floor. Dr Warren estimates the time of death at between 5 and 6pm. A fracture of the base of the skull is the cause of death. The weapon was a green baize tube full of sand, used as a draught excluder at the bottom of the door.
Captain Trevelyan's will states that, apart from £100 for his servant Evans, his property has to be equally divided among four people: his sister Jennifer Gardner, his nephew James Pearson, his niece Sylvia Dering and his nephew Brian Pearson. Each of these four would inherit approximately £20.000. James Pearson is arrested for murder because he was in Exhampton at the time of the murder, trying unsuccessfully to get a loan from Captain Trevelyan.
While the official investigation is led by Inspector Narracott, James Pearson's friend Emily Trefusis starts sleuthing herself. She's assisted by Charles Enderby, a Daily Wire journalist who, the day after the murder, presented a cheque for £5000 to Major Burnaby for winning the newspaper's football competition.
Emily and Charles go to stay with Mr and Mrs Curtis in Sittaford, searching for clues.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 85 MB
Agatha Christie - The Unexpected Guest (read by Hugh Fraser)
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time with her works outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. She is regarded by generations of fans as the greatest mystery writer ever, and her novels are read and cherished the world over.
But before she can get the body off the premises, a policeman arrives at her front door. The police received an anonymous tip about a murder in the house and have shown up to investigate. Now Clarissa must keep the body hidden, convince the skeptical police inspector that there has been no murder, and, in the meantime, find out who has been murdered, why, and what the body is doing in her house.
Charles Osborne is a world authority on theater and opera and has written a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie as well as the novelizations of Christie's plays, the best-selling Black Coffee and The Unexpected Guest. He lives in London.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 48 MB
Agatha Christie - The Witness For The Prosecution And Other Stories (read by Christopher Lee)
The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1948. The first edition retailed at $2.50. The story The Second Gong features Hercule Poirot, the only character in the stories who appears in any other of Christie's works.
Each story, has also appeared in either of the UK collections The Hound of Death, The Listerdale Mystery or Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories and therefore this collection was not published in the UK. Some of the stories are fantasy fiction rather than mysteries.
A murder trial takes a diabolical turn when the wife of the accused takes a stand...A woman's sixth--and a loaded revolver--signal premonitions of doom...A stranded motorist seeks refuge in a remote mansion, and is greeted with a dire warning...Detective Hercule Poirot faces his greatest challenge when his services are enlisted--by the victim--in a bizarre locked-room murder. From the stunning title story (which inspired the classic film thriller) to the rarest gems in detective fiction, these 11 tales of baffling rime and brilliant deduction showcase Agatha Christie at her dazzling best.
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 50 MB
Agatha Christie - Towards Zero (read by Hugh Fraser)
Towards Zero is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in June 1944 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in July of the same year. The book is the last to feature her recurring character of Superintendent Battle.
Lady Tressilian, an old and humourless woman confined to her bed, invites several guests into her seaside home of Gull's Point for two weeks at the end of the summer. Tennis star Nevile Strange, former ward of Lady Tressilian's deceased husband, incurs her displeasure by bringing his new wife, Kay, and his ex, Audrey, under her roof together, thus causing awkward romantic misunderstandings. But events soon turn when Lady Tressilian is killed and Superintendent Battle, who is vacationing nearby in the home of his nephew, Inspector James Leach, finds himself in a labyrinthine maze of clues and deception.
Superintendent Battle is called to investigate the murder of an elderly widow at a clifftop seaside house in Devon. What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl, and the romantic life of a famous tennis player? To the casual observer, apparently nothing. But when a houseparty gathers at Gull's Point, the seaside home of an elderly widow, earlier events come to a dramatic head. It's all part of a carefully paid plan - for murder!
English - Mp3 - AudioBook - Unabridged - 172 MB