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5 of 5 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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5 of 5 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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1 of 1 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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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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Little Pigs, 6 Nov. 2014
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Carla - daughter of Caroline Crale who was convicted of murdering her husband sixteen years ago - wants Hercule Poirot to find out who was really responsible. She believes her mother was innocent. Poirot is rather reluctant to take on the case but something about the girl persuades him to do so. He sets out to interview the five people who were in the house at the time of the death and asks them to write their own accounts of that day.

The reader's job - along with Poirot - is to work out who is telling the truth. Is there another possible murderer and has there been a miscarriage of justice? As ever this book is well written and superbly plotted and the characters spring to life on the page when you're reading their accounts of what happened.

It kept me turning the pages and I read it in less than twenty four hours. I never used to be fan of Poirot as I preferred Miss Marple but I'm starting to like his way of working and the sort of person he is. There is no one quite like him in detective fiction.
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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
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars All the way home..., 6 Jan. 2014
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I first read this Christie book a couple of years ago and although I enjoyed it, I didn't consider it as being up there with her best. Well after recently seeing the ITV adaptation starring the marvellous David Suchet I've just finished reading it again and have no problem greatly revising my initial opinion of the book. Now although there are actually a large number of changes made to Christie's story in the television production, some quite major, it is good viewing and re-kindled my interest in the story.

Back to the book now... In this mystery, Poirot is looking back at a crime from the past. He is employed by a young woman to look into the circumstances of the conviction of her mother for the poisoning of her artist father 16 years previously. The five pigs of the title are the five principals present at the time of the crime (two men and three women). Poirot privately assigns each of them a line from the "This little piggy" nursery rhyme and his work in solving the crime comes from the telling of the event from the POV of each of the five. Christie's writing is really clever and both she and Poirot are at the top of their game as they mesh the five versions of the same story together. At no time did anything feel repetitive as each of character's take on events took centre stage. You know of course that Poirot gets to the truth so your job is to marvel at how he actually pieces it together. Funnily enough for reasons I can't explain when I first read this book I didn't, as I usually do, try to work out which of the suspects was the guilty party I simply "observed" from over Poirot's shoulder so to speak.

It is a clever and worthy addition in the Christie catalogue and one I'm really glad that I revisited. PS it is worth giving the ITV adaptation a look too!

A 5* read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christie does "Rashamon", 27 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
My favourite Poirot, bar Curtain, this is a very different book to the usual murder mysteries she writes. Poirot is hired to deduce the innocence (or not) of the long dead Caroline Crale, convicted of the murder of her artist husband Amyas Crale. There are five suspects and each of their memories (or what they claim are their memories) of the crime are painstakingly taken apart by the great detective. Five viewpoints of the crime but which is the true remembrance? Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Puzzle Plot Crime - Even if You've Seen the TV Version, 31 July 2012
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wolf (East Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Little Pigs (Poirot) (Paperback)
This is one of Agatha Christie's best. It is her first attempt at dealing with solving crimes in the past - a theme she'd return to in Sleeping Murder and Elephants Can Remember. It is beautifully and elegantly dealt with here.

The structure of the book revolves around the recollection of those who were involved in a killing some sixteen years beforehand. Most of the book is devoted to the written accounts of five witnesses. All the clues are fairly presented, all Poirot's deductions pleasing, fitting and satisfying.

Best of all, the characters are presented fully enough and with enough plausibility that it not only aviods the creakiness that sometimes afflicts Christie stories, but also means that those, like me, who had seen and enjoyed the David Suchet television version can still be entertained and engaged by the book.

Recommended to anyone with a hankering for classic detective fiction.
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Five Little Pigs (Poirot)
Five Little Pigs (Poirot) by Agatha Christie (Paperback - 3 Sept. 2007)
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