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Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 July 2005 Hercule Poirot Mysteries (Book 10)

A dinner party thrown by theatre actor Sir Charles Cartwright at his home in Cornwall ends in tragedy…

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; Reissue edition (5 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425205975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425205976
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,999,690 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


“Makes uncommonly good reading.”
New York Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover


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.


--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Act Tragedy 30 Oct 2005
“Three Act Tragedy” is well worthy of the title being split into three separate sections of the story which Agatha Christie even named “First, Second and Third Acts.” The theatrical theme is fully developed within the plot as it concerns the famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright.
***Possible Spoilers***
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.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three-Act Delight 9 Jan 2003
Two suspicious deaths in similar circumstances but with no apparent motive appeal to the well trained mind of the great Hercule Poirot.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Act Tragedy 22 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although a Poirot mystery, the great detective is on the fringes of the action in this novel. Attending a house party given by actor Sir Charles Cartwright, he witnesses the seizure and death of the gentle local pastor, Stephen Babbington. There seems to be no reason to suspect foul play, but Sir Charles and his friends Mr Satterthwaite and Sir Bartholomew Strange think the death suspicious. Later, Sir Batholomew Strange, a Harley Street specialist, gives a dinner including many of the guests present at the previous party, during which there is a similar death.

This is an enjoyable novel, with some interesting suspects - a cast which includes the owner of a dressmaking establishment, an ex-jockey, a playwright, a journalist, an actress and the delightfully named Lady Mary Lytton Gore and her daughter Egg. Poirot allows Sir Charles, Egg and the pleasant snob Mr Satterthwaite, to do most of the investigating. His true talent lies more in letting those little grey cells do the work. Although his input is minimal compared to other novels, this is an enjoyable read with great characters and Christie's usual excellent plot, which is always so difficult to work out. Her standard of work was so high that you cannot help being impressed every time you read one of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Act Tragedy, Another Christie winner 23 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of Christie's darker tales I think, The novel starts with a closed room murder, of an innocent clergyman at a dinner party. One of the guests had to have done it, but who? And Why?

A Poirot mystery, yet his imput is not really needed- he seems almost an after thought, as if Christie really liked the book and thought more people would read it if she added Poirot. But it doesnt take much away from the story, or from the main dectective, Mr Satterthwaite, helped by his friends and the host of the first party, Sir Charles Cartwright.

This is one of Christie's classic examples of misdirection, and one of her most callous killers. I really enjoyed reading it, and as with almost all of her books, I never guessed the killer until they were revealed to me, and then I was shocked and felt quite betrayed. Looking back there were one or two clues (the butlers bedroom), but I was definately kept in suspense untill the very end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read !
Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story
Very good story. Up to the usual standard of Agatha Christie
Published 1 month ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot triumphs again!
The usual Christie mix of red herrings, slihgtly ambiguous characters and a satisfying denouement! Poirot triumphs again!
Published 2 months ago by shesings
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
I have read so many of Agatha Christie books and they never disappoint. Same goes for this one, keeps you interested and guessing to the end a must read if you like murder... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. D. Chisholm
5.0 out of 5 stars It was an entertaining read and an unexpected crossover.
I really enjoyed the Agatha Christie's Mr Quin collection, and was pleasantly surprised to find Poirot and Mr Satterthwaite teaming up to investigate the suspicious death of Rev... Read more
Published 6 months ago by CactusCoffee
5.0 out of 5 stars Thfree Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie
I have always liked Agatha Christie novels and this one is one of the rarer ones which I hadn't read yet - great on the kindle
Published 9 months ago by Bills.s
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good reading
Perhaps not my most favourite Agatha Christie book - I guessed the murderer quite early on but as usual an enjoyable read.
Published 12 months ago by Kolyei
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie - Three Act Tragedy | Review
Three Act Tragedy is yet another of Agatha Christie's early novels, and all of them have one thing in common - they're excellent. Read more
Published 13 months ago by
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Very good used book, added to my collection, to be read but can be sure it will be a good read
Published 19 months ago by O
3.0 out of 5 stars Disppointed
I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and read her books over and over again until I could be practically word perfect. Unfortunately this book just doesn't rock my boat. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mrs. A. L. Maddocks
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