Thirteen guests arrived for dinner at the actores house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died.
“Makes uncommonly good reading.”
New York Times
THREE ACT TRAGEDY
Thirteen guests arrived for dinner at the actor’s house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died.
But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison – just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was absolutely no motive…
'Agatha Christie' was born in Torquay 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. She wrote 79 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated into more languages than Shakespeare. Her enduring success, enhanced by many film and TV adaptations, is attribute to the timeless appeal of her characters and the unequalled ingenuity of her plots.
A SUCCESSION OF CAREFULLY STAGED MURDERS. BUT WHO WAS THE DIRECTOR?
Sir Charles has retired to the quiet costal town of Loomouth and has organised a small party for a number of distinguished guests. There’s the eminent Harley Street doctor Sir Bartholomew Strange, the beautiful actress Angela Sutcliffe, Lady Mary Lytton Gore and her daughter, the curiously nicknamed “Egg”, Mr Satterthwaite a well known patron of the arts and several others. Also amongst the crowd is the beautifully turned out Hercule Poirot.
When during the serving of cocktails, one of the guests, Rev Babbington keels over and dies, no-one suspects anything more than a unfortunately accident. Sir Charles, who is love sick for Egg decides he has lost her to another and leaves the country for Monte Carlo. Whilst there he meets up with Mr Satterthwaite and they read of the news that Sir Bartholomew has also been killed in an event remarkably similar to the one that happened at Sir Charles’ house in Loomouth. The two immediately decide to return to England to investigate the matter, and when Mr Satterthwaite meets M. Poitrot also in Monte Carlo he lures the famous detective in on their investigations.
As I say the book has a very theatrical feel to it, with the bulk of the investigation being carried out by Sir Charles who adopts the mannerisms of various characters to aid him in this. M. Poirot really sits on the sidelines a little and the main investigators use him as a sounding board to their various theories on what has really happened.Read more ›
I (like so many) watched (and enjoyed) many Poirot mysteries on TV and film but never actually thought of reading any of the stories until recently. Three-Act Tragedy was my first venture into the books of Agatha Christie and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The plot revolves around the guests and staff who attended two parties (in particular, the people who were at both) in which there were similar deaths. The initial death was thought to be natural and only after the second was there any thought of murder. Unfortunately for the murderer, the famous detective Hercule Poirot (who was a guest at the first party) has decided to investigate the case.
I had not seen the TV adaptation of this book (if there is one) and therefore I was able to approach this mystery without knowing the ending, and it definitely made the book an intriguing read. There are the usual red herrings and plot twists you'd expect from Poirot, but up until he has his familiar gathering of the suspects you are not sure if the person you thought the murderer was 20 pages ago actually is (I got it wrong). Of course, once all is revealed it all makes sense.
This book was not a difficult read and once the characters have been established and the murders have been committed you can't help but turn the next page in the hope to get another clue. Having enjoyed this book I went on to read one other Poirot novel (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) and hope to read another soon.