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4.4 out of 5 stars98
4.4 out of 5 stars
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This novella was originally written for publication in a magazine, but, astonishing as it sounds, could not find a home due to the odd length –neither a short story or a novel. Agatha Christie had written it in order to raise money for a new stained glass window at the church she worshipped at, but decided to write a new story with a similar title featuring Miss Marple (she used a similar title as she wanted the story to reflect the home she purchased in 1938 and loved dearly). Thankfully, she felt this novella needed not to be pared down, but rather extended and later released it as the Poirot novel, “Dead Man’s Folly.” This, then, is the original novella and, if you have read “Dead Man’s Folly,” it is interesting to compare the two.

Poirot is dealing with his correspondence with the admirable Miss Lemon, when he received a call from mystery writer Ariadne Oliver. She asks him to come to her immediately and, perturbed – and not a little intrigued – he rushes to her side. Mrs Oliver is staying at the house of Sir George Stubbs and his rather childlike wife, Hattie. She is to organise a ‘murder hunt’ for the fete taking place in the grounds of Greenshore, complete with clues, suspects and, of course, a victim…. However, she feels that something is wrong and asks Poirot for his help and advice. What follows is a murder hunt in which the victim is all too well and Poirot must untangle the mystery of Greenshore. I enjoyed this very much and was glad that Christie decided to expand this into a novel, as the plot, characters and setting are very enjoyable. I am glad that this original novella is now available for lovers of Agatha Christie’s work to read in the original format.
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2014
I came to this novel, knowing nothing other than I knew it was not on any of the lists of Christie books that I have. This is because this version of the story is in fact more than 60 years old and has never been published.

Many will know it as Dead Mans Folly and recognise Greenshore as Greenshaw from a Miss Marple short story. But this is where it all began.

Poirot is summoned by the wonderful apple eating eccentric author Ariadne Oliver to Greenshore. She is there to arrange a murder mystery event for the local fete but there is something which she cannot put her finger on. Something does not feel right and it seems that something is going on. Trouble is she is unaware what. Poirot arrives and he is at once included in the preparations of the fete and he can somehow, observe and listen in the only way he can and suddenly it all becomes clear.

This particular edition which includes this short story, has three other essays if you will. You cannot fail to notice the artwork for this and the artist, Tom Adams talks about his time in designing covers for the paperback Christie novels and where he got his inspiration from.

Secondly, Matthew Prichard, Christie's grandson talks about Greenway, the Christie holiday home in Devon, where Greenshore Folly was based on and as it developed into Dead Man's Folly. Just for a few pages and lines, we are given a glimpse into the world of the prolific writer and best-selling novelist.

Finally, John Curran who has written a number of books about Christie, in conjunction with the Christie estate and with permission of Prichard unpicks the plotting of this novella and the final novel to see how it all comes together.

A book for all Christie Fans without a doubt and one to keep on the bookshelf.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 November 2013
(Review of Kindle edition)

This charming short-ish story is a classic Poirot mystery, one that has been enjoyed by Agatha Christie fans the world over for more than 50 years and one that has recently been adapted for ITV starring David Suchet. Not, however, in this form: this is an unpublished, earlier version of the story "Dead Man's Folly".

As any Christie fan will tell you, "Dead Man's Folly" is set in a thinly disguised version of her own holiday home, Greenway in South Devon. Greenshore House in this story is even less thinly disguised, right down to the name. The fascinating introduction, reprinted from John Curran's superb Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks explains that Christie intended to sign over the serialisation rights from "The Greenshore Folly" to her local church to pay for new stained glass windows. It didn't quite work out that way; the story was rewritten as "Dead Man's Folly", and the church finally got the money from the new Miss Marple story "Greenshaw's Folly", which can be found in The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.

"The Greenshore Folly", is as one would expect, very close to the final "Dead Man's Folly", only shorter. The opening and closing chapters of the latter are in fact more or less the same as the former. "Dead Man's Folly" is expanded with more characters and dialogue, and a few people renamed.

That does not mean however this short story cannot be enjoyed. Christie fans and completists will want to read it anyway, but it's still highly enjoyable. A typical Christie story with an ingenious plot it stands on its own merits, and it's also a very quick and satisfying read. If you don't have time to read a full length novel, then read this instead.

This is the latest in a line of Agatha Christie remnants which have gone unpublished. Four previous stories were published in John Curran's recent books. This one however has been unavailable - it's easy to see why since it is so close to the original, but nevertheless I'm delighted to have the chance to read it.

The Kindle edition features a nice shot of David Suchet at Greenshore House (Greenway) as the cover. Hopefully the hardback scheduled for next summer will bring some nice bonus, it'll be a slim volume otherwise.
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on 15 September 2014
This is an absolute must for collectors of the works of Agatha Christie. The story is well constructed with the usual Christie twists and turns, it is also history - the begining of her realising that this novella could be expanded into a full length novel (Dead Mans Folly). I am certainly pleased this was published at long last.
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on 3 November 2014
Intriguing to read a skeletal version of Dead Man's Folly. Not really surprised the novella wasn't picked up in 1954 by magazines. The plot is solid enough but the characterisation (never AC's strong point) is thin and leaves the reader dissatisfied. Lovely artwork though.
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on 27 April 2014
Hercule Poirot is so different in book form from the Television Alternative. Whereas the TV depicts characters in a simplistic way, the book form gives a totally different aspect and allows one to form your own ideas.
An Excellent read as always.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2014
This exquisitely wrapped confection must take pride of place in any reader's Agatha Christie collection. Tom Adams has produced so beautiful a dust jacket that it is worth the price of the book alone.

Inside you will find not only the "lost" gem that is the Christie novella, deemed too long (or too short depending on your preference) to publish at the time but that would later reappear in at least two guises. but also a lovely introduction by Adams of his relationship with AC and the remarkable cover designs, now collectible masterpieces and also a preface by Agatha's grandson Matthew on the history of the story.

this neat and comfortably small package should find its way into many a Christie fan's Christmas stocking ~ a perfect fit
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on 12 February 2014
As with most Christie books, it is great. Although the person who "did it" is probably the last person one would suspect, a tantalising snippet is offered quite early on.

5 stars on merit
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on 21 June 2014
I enjoyed reading this book. although I have read the longer version, The Folly, and the story is very much the same there are slight differences
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on 17 January 2014
I absolutely love reading Agatha Christie and had to read this story as soon as I discovered it was available. I have visited Agatha Christie's house Greenway and I loved reading this story which described the locations that had I visited, and where now Poirot was investigating. There is something so cosy and enjoyable about reading this story. Thoroughly recommended. A must read, as is anything by Agatha Christie.
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