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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proper Christie
Having read a few Agatha Christie's lately, I am happy to say that this is one of my favourites so far. Unlike some others I've tried - The Third Girl, and Sparkling Cyanide for example - the ending of this one is very satisfying with everything clicking into place without being too ridiculously unrealistic (as is the case with the other two novels mentioned). Beautiful...
Published on 11 Aug 2008 by daisyrock

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three little stars
'Five Little Pigs' is a typical title for an Agatha Christie novel, as she had a penchant for borrowing nursery rhymes. Plotwise, it's a watertight story, but not as taut as usual. This can be put down to it being a cold case which, as other reviewers have noted, goes over the same ground several times, according to the varied perspectives of the protagonists. When...
Published on 14 Oct 2010 by D. J. H. Thorn


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proper Christie, 11 Aug 2008
This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
Having read a few Agatha Christie's lately, I am happy to say that this is one of my favourites so far. Unlike some others I've tried - The Third Girl, and Sparkling Cyanide for example - the ending of this one is very satisfying with everything clicking into place without being too ridiculously unrealistic (as is the case with the other two novels mentioned). Beautiful period language too - very enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three little stars, 14 Oct 2010
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D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
'Five Little Pigs' is a typical title for an Agatha Christie novel, as she had a penchant for borrowing nursery rhymes. Plotwise, it's a watertight story, but not as taut as usual. This can be put down to it being a cold case which, as other reviewers have noted, goes over the same ground several times, according to the varied perspectives of the protagonists. When interviewed by Poirot, they seem blase for the most part because they don't expect his interest in the case to throw up anything new. Consequently, there is an absence of tension. As a puzzle then, it might appeal more to a Rubik's Cube enthusiast than a lover of crime fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five Little Pigs, 27 Aug 2009
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S. Urbaniak "Bibliophile Extraordinaire" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her philandering artist husband Amyas, she raised no defence against the claim and died in prison. She is evidently guilty. Sixteen years later her daughter recieves a letter from her mother assuring her of her innocence, and she entrusts Poirot with the task of finding out what really happened all those years ago...

This is an excellent novel, and has a very different kind of plot to other Christie books. It keeps you guessing up until the last minute and though you know Caroline Crale can't be guilty, you can't see how she could possibly be innocent. It can get a bit repetetive, particularly when reading the five suspects' written accounts of the days leading up to the murder. But this is a neccessary aspect of the plot, and its interesting to see what each character remembered and forgot. The conclusion is surprising and realistic, unlike some of Christie's later books.

To sum up, this is a classic Poirot mystery, and is definitley in the top 10 Christie books. It is highly reccommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You cannot outwit Christie, 21 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This is a more unusual Christie novel. The murder having taken place 16 years earlier, Poirot has only the five written accounts of witnesses to deduce the real criminal. The reader therefore, more than perhaps ever before, sees and hears exactly what the detective does, but I still reckon it's impossible to come to his conclusion. If you think the guilty one is the character I did you'll find yourself being described as "stupid" by the master himself. An excellent read that will lead you down many cul-de-sacs before a dramatic climax.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, 1 July 2014
By 
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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'Five Little Pigs' is an Hercule Poirot novel and was first published in 1942, when Agatha Christie was at the peak of her powers and published 13 Poirot novels in the 7 years between 1935 and 1942. The novel tests Poirot's assertion - that it is possible to solve a murder through simply examining the testimony of the witnesses, without even visiting the crime scene - and he turns out to be right. Because of its construction, the story is told and retold from various standpoints.
Carla Lemarchant is about to marry and wants to shake off a suspicion posed by her mother's execution for murder - the suggestion that Carla is morally tainted through her genetic inheritance. It is sixteen years since Caroline Crale was convicted of the murder of her husband, artist Amyas Crale, but Carla asks Poirot to re-investigate the case. Poirot is delighted with such an unprecedented challenge, but soon he thinks that perhaps the jury arrived at the correct verdict. He dubs the five possible suspects the 'five little pigs' because the nursery rhyme is constantly going through his mind as he investigates.
As brilliantly devised and ingenious as her other books, this plot twists mystifyingly to its denouement. It is pretty atmospheric, too, as we feel the sadness and folly of Caroline and the infuriating brilliance of Amyas Crale. This was a daring topic for the time - a marriage in which both partners are both unfaithful and yet profoundly emotionally involved, what we might call an 'open marriage' today. Love and jealousy, independence and possessiveness, the twin passions of desire and anger, all form a part of this complex set of relationships. The characters are interesting and psychologically sound and Poirot's investigation centres on examining their feelings and motives. This is a cleverly written whodunnit by a first-class mystery writer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Little Pigs, 12 Jun 2014
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This is the 24th novel featuring Hercule Poirot; preceded by the classic “Evil Under the Sun,” followed by the excellent “The Hollow” and published in 1942. Even a mere mention of the Poirot titles written around that time show us that Christie – always my favourite author of all time – was on a real roll. Five Little Pigs is not one of her best known Poirot mysteries, which is a shame, as this is a wonderful read.

Carla Lemarchant was only five when her mother, Caroline Crale, was found guilty of poisoning her husband, the artist Amyas Crale. Carla was sent away to Canada and she is now hoping to get married, but she is concerned that the shadow of the past will always make her future husband worry about her stability. Besides, her mother left her a letter to be shown to her when she came of age, and that claims that she was innocent. Now Carla turns to the only person she feels can help her untangle the truth of a crime which happened sixteen years ago – Hercule Poirot.

Poirot sets out to revisit the case. He interviews those involved ; from the investigating police officer to the lawyers representing those on both sides of the case. Lastly, he sets out to gain the truth from the five eye witnesses, who were there that day: Philip Blake, Amyas Crale’s best friend, Meredith Blake, Philip’s brother with an interest in amateur chemistry, Caroline’s half sister Angela Warren, her governess Miss Williams and Elsa Greer – the young woman who fell head over heels with Amyas and had stated publicly that she would marry him.

This is a tale of love, jealousy and passion. Poirot’s recreation of the case and his final unveiling of the real culprit is classic Christie. As always, she is utterly in command of her characters, plot and holds you spell-bound. Nobody writes a mystery as well as Christie and, to be, she will always be the unchallenged Queen of Crime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 9 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
I do not think this is one of Christie's best, however she still pulls it all off. Expertly clued and beautifully written, it is a great detective story. However, I did find it a bit repetitive as what had happened on the afternoon of the murder was repeated many times.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which view is correct?, 16 July 2011
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
This in my opinion is one of the best Agatha Christie novels for its plot and structure. Using the idea of a nursery rhyme Christie has Hercule Poirot embark on revealing the truth about a murder that was committed 16 years earlier.

Carla Lemarchant comes to Poirot because she knows her mother; Caroline Crale is innocent of killing her father Amyas Crale. But Carla wants to be sure, as she is worried that perhaps there is a hereditary tendency of the women to lash out in extreme anger. Poirot then embarks on reconstructing the events leading up to Amyas Crale's death. There are potentially five suspects, Phillip Blake Amyas' best friend, Meredith Blake, Phillip's brother and neighbour of Amyas. Elsa Greer, whose portrait Amyas is painting and has got under everyone's skin. Miss Williams, governess and tutor to Caroline Crale's sister. And Angela Warren, Caroline's younger sister of thirteen who Caroline dotes on.

The five suspects, the five little pigs as you will. This particular book shows the method not just of Christie as a writer but one you can imagine Poirot going through himself. With the facts that he has learn from Carla, he revisits everyone connected with the case. The first part of the books is where Poirot visits all those concerned, not just the five but also the defence, the prosecution, the police and the solicitors.

From this as readers we begin to form a picture of Caroline Crale and what may or may not have happened on that fateful day. Part two of the book deals with the narrative of each of the five suspects and shows that how one day can b viewed so differently from each person. However the ultimate conclusion was said by them all apart from one, Caroline killed Amyas.

In the final and third part of the novel, we reach the point which is probably the favourite of many Christie readers - Poirot's conclusions, his little grey cells working and the dénouement. Five more questions have to be asked after reading the narratives, a reconstruction and then the truth. At this point we find out the truth. Is it a truth that Carla Lemarchant can accept?

The only way to find any of this out is to read the book! Its structure appeals to me organised mind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little works of art..., 26 Jan 2010
By 
Pdillonp (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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These facsimile editions of Christie have a great secondary use: a history of book cover art / graphic design in the twentieth century. For a modest sum you can enjoy book covers from the 20s to the 70s in all their glory, although as we hit the 70s it all gets a little dull. Oh, yes: the stories are quite good as well! Now if we can just get facsimile Marsh, Queen, Sayers...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book - stupid title, 2 May 2012
This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
Once you get over Christie's bizarre penchant for incorporating nursery rhymes in her books - in this case utterly irrelevant and rather irritating, hence 4 stars not 5 - this is actually a very good novel by any standards. [The American title was Murder in Retrospect - much more sensible] However, be warned, you should approach this book as a straight novel, not a whodunit. The reason is that the murder occurred 16 years before in book time and, of necessity, the collection and analysis of evidence kills the pace if your need is for a thriller. Having said that, this is an extraordinarily well-developed plot, with some very fine characterisation defined by highly-believable and relevant dialogue - no padding here! The portrayal of a highly-regarded artist; his selfishness, moods, and needs must be based on someone Christie knew very well. And the idiosyncracies of the people surrounding such a figure are very carefully and accurately drawn. The emotional responses are so moving at times that it is hard not to see in them some of the heartache that Christie herself went through on the break-up of her first marriage. And, finally, what of Poirot? He interacts seamlessly with this environment,inevitably teasing-out the truth, after a couple of near-misses. The puzzle is there, and a very good one at that; it's just that the time lag makes the approach to a solution very different. All credit to Christie for understanding this, and the skill she shows in applying her awareness. In my view, this has only been matched once before - by Richard Austin Freeman in The Singing Bone (1912). Freeman had the confidence in his narrative skills to devote the first half of the story to a detailed description of a crime being committed; and then followed it with an equally detailed description of how Dr Thorndyke collected the evidence to solve it - a sort of inverted whodunit - or a howcaught'im!
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Five Little Pigs (Poirot)
Five Little Pigs (Poirot) by Agatha Christie (Paperback - 3 Sep 2007)
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