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The Mousetrap and Other Plays [Mass Market Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Oct 2000
From "The Mousetrap" (the longest-running play in history) to "Ten Little Indians" and "Witness for the Prosecution" (both made into classic film thrillers), here are eight brilliantly staged acts of murder featuring twice as many suspects and final-curtain twists.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc; Reissue edition (26 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451201140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451201140
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 851,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

Product Description

About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 20 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
An Agatha Christie is, of course, a mystery novel, cleanly written, masterfully surprising, and usually featuring Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read 7 Sep 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this was a good book and i enjoyed reading it. i have seen the mousetrap on stage but its nice to read it as it was first done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read 31 Mar 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Agatha Christie but I had never read or seen the Mousetrap. So I had to buy this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book 24 Feb 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Perfect conditions. Arrived in time. The parcel contained a nice surprise: a 2006 ticket for the play. Many thanks.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Energizer Bunny--It Keeps on Running 8 Sep 2001
By Kent Braithwaite - Published on Amazon.com
As a mystery novelist with my debut book in its initial release (and a one-time drama coach), I enjoy Agatha Christie's THE MOUSETRAP every time I view it. The text itself is a great read, and when it is properly staged, the play is spectacular. For those of you not familiar with THE MOUSETRAP, the plot involves a classic cozy murder mystery--perhaps the classic cozy murder mystery. The characters are well-drawn, and my wife even verbally gasped when she first saw the play's final plot twist. Great work. I hope it survives forever.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every play in this collection is a winner! 30 Dec 1999
By Scott E Amundsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Mousetrap" may be THE classic stage mystery of all time; if you're ever in London, GO SEE IT! Failing that, read it here, along with "Ten Little Indians" (with a different ending from the book that does not upset the pattern of the plot), "Witness for the Prosecution" (with a double whammy shocker at the final curtain), and five other plays, each with its own unique quality. Interestingly, three of the plays - "Appointment With Death," "The Hollow," and "Go Back for Murder," are adapted (by Christe herself) from Poirot novels ("Go Back for Murder" is from the book "Five Little Pigs"), but none of the plays features Poirot, and, guess what: YOU WON'T MISS HIM! "Appointment with Death" has a different murderer in the play than in the book. Read the plays and compare them to the novels; double your pleasure!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mousetrap is superb! 20 Sep 2000
By Raaj Tiagi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i didn't care much for the other stories but Mousetrap was real good - I seem to have bought this book long ago- ofcourse the cover was different. What particularly impressed me about Mousetrap was that there were not many people in the cottage who could have "done it" and yet it was impossible to tell "who did it!"
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Legendary Plays and Four Minor But Memorable Works 4 Nov 2007
By Gary F. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Agatha Christie (1890-1972) made her reputation with a series of mystery novels so widely read that she is often considered the single best selling novelist in the history publishing--but from about the mid-1940s to around the end of the 1950s she had another claim to fame: she was a playwright who created one hit after another.

THE MOUSETRAP AND OTHER PLAYS does not contain all of Christie's plays, but it does contain a good chunk of them: TEN LITTLE INDIANS; APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH; THE HOLLOW; THE MOUSETRAP; WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION; TOWARDS ZERO; VERDICT; and GO BACK FOR MURDER, all of which were staged between 1943 and 1960.

The "monster" hit of Christie's career as a playwright was THE MOUSETRAP, which opened in London in 1952... and continues to play to packed houses more than fifty years later, the longest continual run in theatrical history. Based on a short story which was in turn based on a radio sketch, the play presents us with newly-married Giles and Molly, who have decided to open a guest house in rural England--only to find themselves and their guests snowed in with a killer. The play is classic Christie, presenting us with an isolated group of people and a truly jaw-dropping final twist; it is also remarkably well-written, tightly structured.

Even so, most critics tend to dismiss THE MOUSETRAP in favor Christie's second stunner: the celebrated WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION, which opened in London in 1953 and proved a smash both there and in New York. The play is essentially a courtroom drama: Leonard Vole has been accused of the murder of a somewhat elderly woman and only the testimony of his wife can save him from certain conviction. But his wife, Romaine, is a unknown quantity, a mysterious woman who may have her own reasons for wanting to see Leonard hang. Can the eloquent Sir Wilson, acting for the defense, save his client from death? Like THE MOUSETRAP, the conclusion is a stunner--but with a double twist that has continued to shock and astonish audiences in its numerous revivals and the celebrate film version for well over fifty years.

There is a third "great" success in this volume, and it is TEN LITTLE INDIANS, adapted directly from the Christie novel AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. Opening in London in 1943, it successfully transferred to New York and in both instances enjoyed long runs before becoming an extremely popular title in regional, community, and educational theatre, where it remains a staple to this day. The basic story is extremely well known: ten people are invited for an island getaway by an unknown host--and once cut off from the world are accused of having committed murders that the law cannot touch. They are then picked off one by one in accordance with the nursery rhyme posted above the fireplace. Read today, TEN LITTLE INDIANS is distinctly old fashioned--but that's part of the fun, and the conclusion contains a surprise twist that will amuse those who have read and enjoyed the Christie novel upon which it is based.

The remaining plays might be described as "distinctly of their time" and vary significantly in terms of quality. The two weakest titles are the 1945 APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH and the 1958 VERDICT. Based on the Christie novel of the same name, APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH lacks the focus found in most Christie works; it was not a success, opening and closing in London within a few weeks. VERDICT, which Christie wrote for the stage as an original work, was reasonably successful--and was a bit of a departure for Christie in the sense that it is more suspense than mystery. Read today, however, it has a distinctly implausible quality.

THE HOLLOW, TOWARDS ZERO, and GO BACK FOR MURDER are much stronger plays, with the latter easily the best--and certainly the most interesting in terms of staging. Based on the Christie novel THE FIVE LITTLE PIGS, this 1960 play finds a young woman determined to get to the bottom of a family scandal: her mother was convicted of her father's murder. The approach is particularly clever, introducing each character separately in the contemporary world and then sending them back in time to play out the past. THE HOLLOW, produced in 1951 and based on Christie's novel of the same name, was a significant success; TOWARDS ZERO, produced in 1956 and based on Christie's novel of the same name, was also reasonably popular. Both are distinctly Christie, but both tend to read as old fashioned in a way that is not nearly as entertaining as TEN LITTLE INDIANS.

As Ira Levin notes in his brief introduction to these seven titles, mystery plays are rare birds, and few authors produce more than a single successful play. With three major hits and many more minor ones, Christie broke the mold--and, of course, THE MOUSETRAP's success didn't so much break the mold as shatter it entirely. Strongly recommended for Christie fans, mystery fans, and play-readers everywhere.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mousetrap & other plays is really good. 25 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was REALLY good. You have to figure out how to read plays first, but after you get the hang of it, it's really good. The stories are awesome and even if you've already read the book that the play is based on it's really cool to see how the play ended differently. A lot of people have read And Then There Were None already, but Ten Little Indians (in this book) was really different and I think it was better.
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