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4.4 out of 5 stars
Dead Man's Folly (Poirot)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 16 August 2009
Dead Man's Folly was the first Agatha Christe book I read and I havn't look back since. The basic plot without spoilers has Poirot contacted by his old friend Ariadne Oliver, who has been asked to organise a "murder Hunt" at a country mansion. She has a feeling that things are not quite right and it's not long before she is proved right.

The book is typical Agatha Christie ie murder at a country house who an interesting assortment of characters. Poirot is on form too picking out the clues and until all is revealed. The book moves at a nice pace with no foul language are graphic gore or sex which makes a nice change from alot of modern books.

As I said before this is the first Christie book and it's one of my favourites. If you enjoy a classic whodunit from the "Queen of Crime" then this book is for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I found this a totally engrossing read and it was nice to Mrs Ariadne Oliver involved in this investigation by the inimitable Hercule Poirot and his 'little grey cells'. Ariadne telephones Poirot because she feels there is something odd going on at Nasse House where she is arranging a murder mystery for the house guests to investigate. She wants Poirot to come and stay to see if he can work out what is going on.

Poirot's curiosity is aroused and he immediately packs and catches a train for Devon. When the murder mystery turns out to involve a real murder both Poirot and Mrs Oliver are totally baffled - as are the police and it is several weeks before the case is finally solved.

I did pick up the clues but unlike Poirot could not in the end make anything of them so I wanted to keep reading to find out what was really going on. The book is well plotted and the characters well drawn and the motivations interesting. What more could any fan of classic crime novels want?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2013
Living in Devon near the river Dart (the river Helm in the book), and having visited Greenway house, I was obviously attracted by this book, and I enjoyed the setting and the descriptions of the places, because I've been there. However this is a personal reason, and, trying to be impartial, I would rate this as a good, but not extraordinary, book.
The solution to the case is very ingenious indeed, but it is not built clue after clue. Rather, it follows a conventional plot until the solution is exposed at the very end of the book, as if Poirot had a sudden insight, drawing from evidence that was not revealed before. Also, the solution is quite far fetched.
Overall I enjoyed the book, but I think it will lose some appeal for a reader not that interested in Agatha Christie's places.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2001
This book has got it all- a thrilling murder mystery, hilarious and gripping characters, Ariadne Oliver and, of course, Hercule Poirot. All you need for some hours of sheer entertainment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2009
definitely for christie fans, these books are reproduced in their original style: it becomes part of the reading experience! Dead Man's Folly - with the bonus of ariadne oliver- is a good story, told in christie's usual economic style and with believable characters. This edition is well worth the purchase for keeping on the shelf to treasure.
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on 22 December 2014
Following his presence at a dinner party (Three-Act Tragedy), a game of cards (Cards on the Table), a river cruise (Death on the Nile) and a weekend gathering of friends (The Hollow) where murders all occurred, you wouldn’t get me hanging out socially with Hercule Poirot; the man can’t even go to the dentist without it turning into something more sinister. If Ariadne Oliver invited him to my garden party I’d cancel the whole thing and lock myself indoors for a good month, but thankfully no-one has learned that lesson in this universe, so the whole thing goes ahead and someone turns up dead yet again.

You have to love Agatha Christie’s economy – inside of thirty or so pages you have everyone clearly placed, the relationships delineated, and a perfect storm brewing. Yes, the characters are a little archetypal, but also shot through with a wonderfully unknowing sense of the absurd (if you don’t see the whole 'grumbling about unaware foreigners' thing as the joke it is, give up on Christie now) and doubtless used to better encourage the unconscious conclusions you are required to jump to regarding them. Inevitably she’s hiding something from you, and by putting it in plain sight it remains all the better hidden. That may never have been more true than in Dead Man’s Folly, and the double structure of what-you’re-being-told and what-you’re-really-being told is naturally beautifully handled.

The elements here could all be separately adduced as examples of what continues to make Christie so popular, but the familiarity shouldn’t detract from another gorgeously marshalled solution – I feel a bit sorry for her in retrospect that the new ideas she bought to her crime plots are now seen as almost passé, especially when modern crime fiction repeatedly falls short of anything so inventive or tightly-constructed (if you disagree – counter-examples in the comments please; I’d love a well-constructed modern crime novel!). Not every thread is as comprehensively developed as it might be, but she nevertheless remains for me pretty near the pinnacle of the form, and if you’re starting here I envy you the hours of fabulous discovery you have ahead of you.
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on 23 February 2015
Agatha Christie strikes again with yet another magnificent Hercule Poirot novel – interestingly, I’d already played a computer game that was based on this novel, and yet I couldn’t remember who did it and why. As with most of Christie’s crime novels, there are so many threads to the mystery that everyone is under suspicion, even Poirot himself!

The plot of this story follows a village fete in the village of Nassecomb – Sir George and Lady Stubbs organise the event, and invite a well-known mystery novelist named Ariadne Oliver (read, ‘Agatha Christie’) to organise a murder hunt. Unfortunately, things turn sour when the 14-year-old girl who was supposed to be playing the murder victim is discovered at the scene, only this time she’s dead for real!

The novel starts off reasonably slowly, but it gathers momentum with every page until you’re twenty pages from the end and dying to know who did it. As always, the denoument is far from a disappointment, and though I don’t want to tell you too much in case I ruin the ending, I can tell you that even though I was familiar with the story-line, the true identity of the murderer and the motive never crossed my mind.
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This is a very novel way of presenting Agatha Christie's work. The format is a comic strip book, in a similar size to an Asterix or Tintin book. There is nice, short introduction, explaining when the book was published and where and when the story is set.

"Dead Man's Folly" is a Poirot story, in which his old friend Mrs Oliver, the detective novelist, asks for his help. She tells him she is arranging a murder hunt at a fete, but has a bad feeling that she cannot quite pin down. It is simply a vague intuition that all will not go well. Poirot agrees to help and, indeed, the afternoon provides a real victim and a puzzle for the detective to work out.

Although I have read the novel before, I enjoyed this format and feel it would be a very good introduction to Christie's work. My teenage son also read it and enjoyed it very much. I think these could really encourage reluctant readers to try something outside of the usual graphic novel, as there are many titles in this series. I thought it was a delightful retelling of the story and great fun.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2005
If it's murders, detectives, clues and a whole cast of stereotypical English characters then "Dead Man's Folly" is as a fine example of an Agatha Christie novel as you could wish for.
Mrs Ariadne Oliver, that well known writer of detective fiction is organising a "Murder Hunt" for the summer fete of her current hosts, Sir George and Lady Hattie Stubbs. Sir George is a self-made man of newly obtained wealth and has set himself up in the English country seat of Nasse House in Devon. He is welcomed into country life especially by Mrs Folliat, the previous owner and lady of the manor, who now having fallen on tougher times is living in the lodge of the manor.
The Murder Hunt Mrs Oliver has devised is a devilish set of clues which should lead the would be detectives to the boat house on the estate where 14 year old girl guide Marlene Tucker has been designated as "the body." However Mrs Oliver senses an air of misfortune around the house and summons her old friend M. Hercule Poirot to come down to the house and see if he can understand the forces at work.
All seems to be going fine at the fete until Mrs Oliver and M. Poirot discover that Marlene Tucker's impression of a dead person is all too realistic and the poor girl has been strangled. To add to the woes of the country party, soon after this discovery Lady Hattie goes missing with only her hat found in the fast running waters of the river.
Like most Christie novels this features an array of typical characters and a typical array of red herrings, false leads and real clues. The final solution is pretty well contrived and as with many a Christie book you do feel that the plausibility of the plot is questionable.
There are some great un-PC descriptions, especially of Lady Hattie who is not too bright. The depictions of the foreign backpackers who trespass on Sir George's property are likewise fun to read in this day and age. Ariadne Oliver is also an excellent character to read about and she's always a great addition to the story.
Unusually for a Christie the murder victim her is "a complete innocent" i.e. not a character directly connected with the subjects of the plot. In this sense the book has a poignancy that isn't normally found in a Christie book. That said, the scene where Marlene's mother is interviewed by Poirot shortly after her death shows that sorrow and sympathy were feelings that Christie didn't normally write about.
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on 15 June 2014
A special invite from a recurring character pulls Poirot to another country mansion to help perpetrate a murder (murder mystery party, that is). The reader will never guess what happens next (hint: Poirot).

It's an interesting setup, and Christie proves herself again the master of creating interesting scenarios and complex character relationships to fill out what at heart is the same plot.

I thought some of the characters we're let off lightly in this one, not seeing enough of the detective digging into their lives as expected, but overall the conclusion was brilliantly drawn and once revealed, the pieces all fit together to perfection.

Another lovely mystery which I enjoyed failing to solve.
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