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4.6 out of 5 stars40
4.6 out of 5 stars
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This 2006 BBC radio drama production has a great cast bringing to life a real another twister of a plot. I have only recently begun collecting and listening to these productions and so far have found each one a joy. This particular production has the excellent John Moffatt (born 1922 UK) and a very experienced actor in all fields playing Hercule Poirot (as he does in dozens of such productions). He brings through his characterization a clever detective alive from the pages of Agatha Christie's text.
Likewise the appearance of actor Simon Williams (born 1946) as Captain Hastings is for me a big plus. He does play this part in a number of these excellent radio productions.
The Dumb Witness is none other than a wire-haired terrier and hearing Poirot take note of the dog's behaviour is very entertaining. Listen out for that lovely actress Joanna David (born 1947) who plays Miss Lawson.
The production is directed by Enyd Williams and continuity of director has added to my enjoyment as the atmosphere created is just right with sound effects, music and depth of sound that brings the actors into your living room.
Good value, nicely packaged with full cast information.
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When elderly Miss Emily Arundell has her relatives to stay they are all concerned with one thing - her money. During the visit, Miss Arundell has an accident, falling down the stairs after tripping on her dog's toy ball. Luckily, she is not seriously hurt, but the fall makes her think. What happened worries her so much that she contacts Poirot, although by the time he receives her letter and visits, she has died. Although Poirot has no case, as far as the faithful Hastings can see, he feels a responsibility to discover what happened and whether she was, in fact, murdered.

This is a classic Christie mystery. Poirot and Hastings together are always a joy and the plot is wonderful. There are a wonderful cast of suspects, including a couple of 'bright young things', two medical men, a nervous wife and a devoted companion. Nobody writes crime as well as Christie - her books are exceptional and stand the test of time and this is one of her most enjoyable.
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on 14 January 2001
This is actually one of my favourite Christie novels. The main reason for this is that it contains all of the classic ingredients that really make one of her novels; a fabulous array of characters, especially the terrier dog, Bob, an excellent plot that will keep you guessing to the very end, a wonderful setting and, of course, Hercule Poirot with all his foibles to solve the mystery. A must-read for any mystery fan, and as the video starring David Suchet is equally brilliant, I recommend you make sure you own, or have at least seen and read, both.
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on 18 October 2012
Oh what a treat this was and I can tell you without worry of any spoilers there are two stars to emerge from this tale of murder for me, Miss Amelia Peabody and Bob, the faithful terrier. Once again we find ourselves deep in the English countryside at Littlegreen house, home of the sisters Arundell for several generations. Only one remains however and for how long?! This was so engrossing I read it all one afternoon long ago and can still pick it up now, years later and get the same thrill as I did the first time. Another intriguing Christie plot with a whole host of suspicious characters.Poor Ms Lawson the downtrodden companion, the relatives, Charles, Theresa and Bella, all with their tongues hanging out, mysterious Dr Tanios and the delightfully batty "Demoiselles Tripp" the scientology, psychic-medium, veggie eating friends who cant resist in dabbling in the afterlife, spiced up with some seriously hillarious dialogue from the Queen of crime, this has to be a winner. Bob the terrier will steal your heart away but for me the star of this show has to be the razor sharp wit of old Ms Peabody who holds no punches when discussing the revolting relatives of her dear friend Emily. Poirot as usual is sharp as a knife followed devotedly by the bumbling Hastings as he suspects each and every one of the characters in turn, this one is just superb. Ms Christie must have had such fun when writing this and as ever gives the reader another baffling murder to solve. One of her best and one to treasure.
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on 30 April 2002
This has to be one of my favourite Agatha Christie books. The clues flow nicely through the story, but they never let you know the murderer's identity until the end.
Miss Emily Arundell has an accident one night and everyone blames it on the dog's ball, but Miss Arundell knows her terrier Bob too well. She is convinced that her 'accident' was no accident, so she writes a letter to Poirot. By the time Poirot receives this letter two months later, Emily Arundell is already dead. Poirot's curiosity gets the better of him and he undertakes the case on the dead womans' behalf.
This is the classic scenario of the relatives who desperately need money and Miss Christie does not fail the reader in her twisting and turning approach. By the end of the book you will have fallen in love with Bob the terrier.
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on 16 June 2010
Agatha Christie has become one of my favorite authors as she knew all too very well how to conduct a story. A well told story is too important for the reader. This book in particular was developed from a short story she never published because she considered it good enough to become a novel. Okay then, now the short story was found in her secret Notebooks and published too. I wanted to know how she developed the novel, as I read the shortstory when I translated it into Portuguese in the book "Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks". I've just started reading the novel, and as now I know her "secret ways", I can enjoy reading it better. So you should too.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2013
Even though I'm more of a Miss Marple fan, Dumb Witness is one of Christie's most thrilling mysteries. I even understood most of the plot.

Hercules Poirot is summoned to investigate the plea of an elderly spinster, who believes that an attempt has been made on her life. He encounters a playful dog, two copies of a will and a collection of nephews and nieces vying to claim an inheritance, which has been left to the grouchy lady's twittery companion.

Dumb Witness has all the joys - and annoyances - of a classic Christie book. I loved the suspense, as suspicion falls on first one character, then another. However, there are big holes in proceedings. Faithful companion Minnie suddenly decamps to London, for no apparent reason. Does she own property there, or have other connections in the capital? And Bob the Dog isn't a dumb witness - he was locked out of the house when the crucial events happen, so wouldn't have been much use to inquiries even if he could talk. These are quibbles however; the book is a real page-turner.
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on 27 September 2013
I cannot believe this is the first I have read of Agatha Christie; and what a treat! Having grown up with Hercules Poirot on TV, it never occurred to me that her writing would be so un-put-down-able. I loved every word, every sentence, the gripping plot, the great characters (even the dog has his say) and the suspense that is maintained until the last minute. It is really punchy and easy to read. Superb, superb, superb.
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on 29 June 2011
Another fantastic whodunit from Agatha Christie. When Poirot receives a letter from a woman who died months earlier, he sets out to prove she was murdered, and identify who did it.

This is one of my favourite of the Poirot novels I've read. The characters are the typical bunch, but they are all believable and as usual any of them could have done it. The action flows at a good speed and the reader is filled in on every clue as Poirot and Hastings uncover them - exactly as it should be.

I'm pleased to say that I worked it out around the same time as the characters, which was perfect, and feel that this is one of Christie's best. I look forward to more of this calibre of mystery.
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on 5 July 2000
Mrs. Emily Arrundel was sure that one of her friends was trying to murder her. She wrote to M. Hercule Poirot on the 17th April, but strangely her letter arrived on 28th June, after she had died of 'liver failure'. M. Poirot goes down to Littlegreen house to investigate......
Another Excellent 'whodunnit?' by Miss Christie, acknowledged queen of crime.
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