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The Unexpected Guest: AND The Pale Horse (BBC Audio Crime) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Agatha Christie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.15
Price: 6.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 Jan 2006 BBC Audio Crime
This title features two BBC Radio full-cast dramatisations from the Queen of Crime. "The Unexpected Guest" - A foggy night...a lonely country house...and a woman with a gun in her hand quietly surveying the dead body of her husband. It looks like a straightforward case of murder. Or was it? As the ghosts of an old wrong begin to emerge from the past, the case begins to look anything but straightforward, and it is up to Sergeant Cadwallader and Inspector Thomas to discover the unexpected truth..."The Pale Horse" A dying woman gasps out her bizarre story to Catholic priest Father Gorman - but no sooner has he written it down than he is violently killed. The only clue he leaves is a twisted scrap of paper on which are written nine names. On the trail of these names Inspector Lejeune, together with academic Mark Easterbrooke and his crime writer friend Ariadne Oliver, are led inexorably to The Pale Horse Inn, in the village of Much Deeping. The three women who live there - a psychic, a medium and a witch - all seem to have some link to Father Gorman's death. And each of them has their own secrets...These two Agatha Christie stories, each with a twist in the tale, are dramatised with full casts including Sion Probert and Stephanie Cole.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Unexpected Guest: AND The Pale Horse (BBC Audio Crime) + Endless Night (BBC Radio Crimes) + Agatha Christie: Crooked House (BBC Audio)
Price For All Three: 14.27

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd; Unabridged edition (9 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846070376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846070372
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,085 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

Review

‘Like a Martini – crisp, dry, sophisticated, habit-forming – will satisfy all devotees of Christie neat plotting.’ Booklist

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

From the Back Cover

READ BY HUGH FRASER

Adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne

'The Unexpected Guest' is considered to be one of the finest of Agatha Christie’s mysteries, hailed as “another 'Mousetrap'” when it opened as a play in London’s West End. Now Charles Osborne’s novelisation brings her superb story to a new legion of fans.

When a stranger runs his car into a ditch in dense fog near the South Wales coast, and makes his way to an isolated house, he discovers a woman standing over the dead body of her wheelchair-bound husband, gun in her hand. She admits to murder, and the unexpected guest offers to help her concoct a cover story.

But is it possible that Laura Warwick did not commit the murder after all? If so, who is she shielding? The victim’s retarded young half-brother or his dying matriarchal mother? Laura’s lover? The father of a little boy killed in an accident for which Warwick was responsible? The house seems full of possible suspects …

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps You Guessing 21 Jan 2009
By Paul D
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This pack consists of two full-cast dramatizations of stories by Ms Christie. In "The Unexpected Guest", a passing house-hunter, Michael Starkwedder, runs his car off the road in a fog. Reaching the nearest house, he finds a woman standing over the dead body of her husband, a gun in her hand. Rather than ring the police, he helps her concoct a story that might exhonerate her.

As you would expect from Miss Christie, this is a story with lots of twists, lots of suspects and red-herrings. The cast are very good, relishing their roles and making each character distinctive. It really is like watching a play in the theatre.

The Pale Horse has always been one of my favourite Christie stories. Its tale of witchcraft, black magic and death wished from afar makes it a unique entry in Christie's work. Mark Easterbrook discovers that people whose name appears on a certain list all died suddenly. The only connection appears to be The Pale Horse, a converted cottage inhabited by three women, who claim to be able to control certain elemental forces. Of course, such an idea is too wild to be credible, and yet those people died.

The air of menace in this story is palpable. The cast really shine, and the denouement is as brilliant as anything in the Christie canon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Bargain 8 Feb 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
You get 2 CDs, total time 2 hrs 35 minutes.

The two stories are totally unrelated. I enjoyed listening to them both at bed-time, in half-hour sessions.

The dramatisation works really well, you always know who is speaking and the voices are very clear and animated. The emotions are exaggerated so you know very well whether they said it ruefully, or with a pained expression.

Accents tend to be larger-than-life British upper-class, which suits the characters and the upper-class world in which the stories take place. I almost imagine them going round in dinner-jackets most of the time.

There is not much in the way of sound effects, it relies mostly on the voices.

If you are not familiar with Agatha Christie's work, she wrote to a different set of make-believe rules than today, which makes it seem quaint. The stories are primarily a puzzle to be solved by the reader, the murders are not graphically described at all.

I found that the challenge of solving the crimes in both stories was enough to keep me interested, but I was quite happy to leave the solution to be revealed at the end.

I paid less than four quid for it from Amazon, which makes it stunning value.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed 4 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
While many did not like the previous novel adapted by Charles Osborne, "Black Coffee" was an inferior play to begin with, much like many of Agatha Christie's own short stories.
This new novel, "Unexpected Guest", was from a more complicated story and thus is a more satisfying experience by comparison: and Charles Osborne's knowledge of Christies really show. I suppose anyone who has read his excellent biography on Agatha Christie would know that already. The novel reads like a vintage Christie, and I am very happy with the experience, and would recommend it heartily to not only Christie fans, but to new readers who wants to start of with one of Christie's more exciting plots, without the burden of excessive setups (like Death on the Nile).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Christie adaptation 2 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
On a very foggy night in Wales, Michael Starkwedder runs his car into a ditch. He goes to the nearest house where he finds Laura Warwick who confesses to having murdered her husband, Richard, a person confined to a wheelchair.
Instead of calling the police, he coaxes Laura into telling her story. She provides him with the details of why and how she killed her abusive spouse. Michael agrees to help her hide the truth by blaming it on someone else. Laura chooses MacGregor. The Canadian tourist hates Richard for running over his child in a DUI incident in which the law dropped the charges against the pompous Richard. Sergeant Cadwallader and Inspector Thomas investigate only to learn that the Canadian died two years ago. What is the nest step for Michael and Laura?
BLACK COFFEE, the latest adaptation of an Agatha Christie play, was an entertaining novella that fans fully enjoyed. The second "Agatha light" tale, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST, is an entertaining story that continues to stays true to the twists that became the trademark of the great Ms. Christie. Charles Osborne does a brilliant conversion that will please fans of the famous novelist and bring in new readers who will hunt for one-hundred per cent pure Christie works.

Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars A play, adapted as a novel 5 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not as good as an 'original Christie', because too often it is obvious from the writing that it was written as a play that has been turned into a novel. Some of the sentences are so obviously stage directions. But it is enjoyable for all that. The story starts with a stranger running his car into a ditch on a Welsh road in fog, and going to a nearby house, where he finds a murdered man - and the man's wife standing nearby with a gun in her hand. It seems obvious that she killed him, but that was not Miss Christie's way, and the story turns this way and that, until it seems anyone in the house might have done it. The ending again is so obviously written for the stage, and somewhat contrived, but it is still worth reading this book, even if you do find yourself imagining the characters acting it out in stage as you read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good readin
Good reading, now I can complete my collection of Agatha Christie's (in the signature edition) and read all the mysterie novels
Published 8 months ago by Sarah Van Maele
2.0 out of 5 stars A Reasonable Read......
This was a reasonable read,not great though,he tried very hard to write as Agatha Christie did but he lacked that something that she had,that made her special,the story wasnt to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gamer
3.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing
It was a just a great way to relax listening to one of Christies plays particularly when you get a full cast.
Published 11 months ago by Debra
4.0 out of 5 stars Faux or Real Christie?
Bought this to complete my Agatha Christie collection, one of the novels by Charles Osbourne. Bit short and at times difficult to get into the plot but then it was initially a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by DollyDeco
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Charles
I think Osbourne did a terrific job.Very interesting and enjoyable. A well earned 5 star rating and I recommend it to all Kindle readers. Read more
Published 12 months ago by gary c atkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but sweet
Short but sweet. Enjoyed stories even though I knew what was going to happen. My nephew who is 9 also enjoyed them
Published 12 months ago by A. K. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Two more great Christie stories
I hadn't read The Unexpected Guest so it was a treat to hear this story, particularly so well acted and produced. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Eleanor Wye
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner.
Yet another wiinner from Agatha Christie. This type of CD makes the long journeys in the car absolutely fly by. Makes the annoying traffic jams slightly more easy to bear.
Published 14 months ago by JoyceH
5.0 out of 5 stars twin story set
great storyes 2 fir the price of 1 loved the way it was presented and u kept on ther edge of ur seat
Published 15 months ago by kenton
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so good
Started off OK but towards the end of the DVD it kept breaking up so I'm in the process of sending it back. Read more
Published 16 months ago by BL
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