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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent mystery
Hercule Poirot is feeling bored, so he is delighted when he is visited by his old friend Superintendent Spence of the Kilchester Police. Spence has recently been in charge of murder case, an old charwoman, Mrs McGinty, has been brutally bludgeoned to death. Her lodger, James Bentley, has been convicted of her murder and is due to hang. But Spence is convinced Bentley...
Published on 5 Feb. 2005 by L O'connor

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but only just
Like its magnificent predecessor "Taken at the Flood", this book paints a vivid picture of how hard life was in Britain after the end of WW II. But now we are at the beginning of the '50s; thanks to American financial aid the economy is on the turn, rationing is coming to an end, and things are starting to look up a bit. But that's where the similarities with "Taken at...
Published on 10 May 2012 by Thomas Holt


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent mystery, 5 Feb. 2005
By 
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Hercule Poirot is feeling bored, so he is delighted when he is visited by his old friend Superintendent Spence of the Kilchester Police. Spence has recently been in charge of murder case, an old charwoman, Mrs McGinty, has been brutally bludgeoned to death. Her lodger, James Bentley, has been convicted of her murder and is due to hang. But Spence is convinced Bentley didn't do it, and he wants Poirot to find out who did.
So Poirot goes to stay in the village of Broadhinny, where the grizzly deed was done, and he soon begins to uncover reasons why other people might have wanted Mrs McGinty dead. While striving to discover the real murderer, he also has to cope with the appalling conditions at the truly terrible 'guest house' he is staying at. The Summerhayes, whose house it is, have no idea how to run a guest house, nor even how to prepare an edible meal.
The scenes where Poirot's sufferings at the Summerhayes's horrible guest house are described are among the funniest in the book, which is replete with humour. There are many interesting characters, especially the scatty but charming Maureen Summerhayes, whom Poirot likes in spite of her atrocious cooking. The character of the convicted murderer Jame Bentley is particularly good, he is utterly unprepossesing, which makes Poirot all the more determined to prove him innocent.
The best exchange in this very entertaining book comes near the end:' "Bon Dieu, how stupid I have been" said Hercule Poirot. "The whole thing is simple, is it not?" It was after that remark that there was very nearly another murder - the murder of Hercule Poirot by Superintendent Spence'. Enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a narrator Hugh Fraser is unsurpassed., 29 Sept. 2011
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Hugh Fraser is a master at the art of narrating the audio book. I have never heard anybody as good as he is, and he is very good in this particular one, perhaps because 'Mrs. McGinty's Dead' contains quite a bit of comedy, and he excels at this. The voice he gives to Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, Agatha Christie's alter ego, is quite convincing, but he has a huge variety of different voices upon which to draw for various characters, including Poirot himself. If you are after an audio book do give Mr. Fraser a try - you won't regret it. He is excellent company and I guarantee that you will be back for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and humour filled mystery, 6 Jun. 2013
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
It's been quite a while since I last read an Agatha Christie novel and I'm pleased by what I got on my return to the world of Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver. When the police arrest a man they believe to be innocent, yet to whom all the evidence points, they call on an elderly Poirot to find the truth.

It's a classically complex tale of a rich tapestry of suspects and clues which could point various directions, and which had me fairly baffled almost throughout. At one point I did suspect the truth but only fleetingly amongst a number of other possibilities that I was bombarded with.

This is one of the examples of a novel that Christie has filled with humour, often making herself the butt of the joke, and the amusement it gave nicely balances parts that could come across as brutal (although perhaps not compared to crime novels of the modern day). The comedy absolutely makes the book, and I really loved this aspect, which is often forgotten, of her writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Poirot story., 6 Jun. 2001
By 
W. O'NEILL "Sochalien anglais" (Wirral, England.) - See all my reviews
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An innocent man accused of murder and it is up to Poirot to save him in this well-written story. The wool is pulled well over the reader's eyes and the end is a revelation. I got completely the wrong suspect. A good read, even if it does feature the infuriating Ariadne Oliver.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but only just, 10 May 2012
Like its magnificent predecessor "Taken at the Flood", this book paints a vivid picture of how hard life was in Britain after the end of WW II. But now we are at the beginning of the '50s; thanks to American financial aid the economy is on the turn, rationing is coming to an end, and things are starting to look up a bit. But that's where the similarities with "Taken at the Flood" end. This novel is much less well-written; with little attempt at character development, some behaviour by Poirot that is utterly unbelievable (I can't say what it is without ruining the puzzle), and far too much flagging of the solution.

Having said all that, this is a perfectly acceptable read, with a not too taxing puzzle, and one or two very interesting characters. There are also some amusing references to Christie herself, under the guise of Ariadne Oliver and her fictional Finnish detective - who is almost exactly the opposite of Poirot in every respect other than that he is despised by his author! Ms Oliver first appeared in "Cards on the Table" (1936) and was introduced much more frequently after her success in "Mrs McGinty's Dead". She makes a much more believable foil for Poirot than the increasingly wooden and, let's face it, depressingly thick, Hastings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot does his stuff!, 15 Jan. 2014
By 
John M "John M" (UK) - See all my reviews
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When Mrs McGinty, the charwoman/housekeeper in a small village, is found dead the obvious suspect is her lodger James Bentley who is convicted and sentenced to hang. However Superintendent Spence is not convinced of his guilt and calls in Poirot to re-investigate; wise move!
Hercule Poirot duly visits the local residents and uncovers cupboards full of secrets in his search for the truth. It seems Mrs McGinty's snooping uncovered a dark and deadly secret, which proved fatal for her.
There's plenty of clues and mis-direction along the way as Poirot uncovers the truth in his usual inimitable style. The character of Ariadne Oliver also appears once more, an intriguing self-portrait of Agatha Christie herself. Unlike some, I found her humorous rather than grating. Poirot is such a great character, and here he is laid bare with his sharp and incisive mind and his vanity on display in equal measure.
A good story told in the no-nonsense Agatha Christie style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot in danger, 13 Jun. 2011
An elderly woman apparently murdered for few pounds ... her lodger accused for this crime and condemned to death..
However, the famous Christie's belgian detective Hercule Poirot realises that things may not be as simple as they first appear to be. Some photographs had appeared on a newspaper article: related with some old murder cases, they seems to have connection also with Mrs. McGinty's death. A different Poirot, who usually does not move from his armchair in London, solving cases only using his "little grey cells", but this time accepting to go to the little out-of-the-world village of Broadhinny, in a really odd guest house, suffering for the bad food and the even worst lodging, among crying children and bowls of spinach left on the sofa ... He realises to be on the right track towards the real murderer when he is almost pushed under a train..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Photo Opportunity, 1 Dec. 2010
By 
L. Tait (scotland) - See all my reviews
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I read this book a while ago now, so my recollection of the plot is a bit vague, but it centres around a housekeeper, or charlady, the eponymous Mrs Mcginty. From the outset, Christie presents a seemingly straightforward case of a murder, and a suspect in jail facing the death sentence on account of circumstantial evidence, but when the detective on the case expresses some doubts and enlists Hercule Poirot's help,there are revelations which could potentially overturn the decision, and it all begins with photographs. Christie, and her supersleuth Poirot, with guest appearance from good friend Ariadne Oliver(who I suspect is a character based on Christie herself)are on sparkling form in this sweet little mystery, which, as usual, keeps you going to the very end. A must for all Poirot fans!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying Christie classic, 29 Jan. 2012
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downkiddie "downkiddie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This Poirot mystery has all the elements to make a perfect Agatha Christie: an idyllic village setting, a whole host of savoury and unsavoury suspects and the original murder not being what it seems. Clues are dropped throughout with a thoroughly satisfying conclusion, complete with a mini-twist at the end. The characters have just enough depth to keep the story going and like so many others provide a little glimpse of the period. There are also humourous elements as Poirot suffers at the hands of the well-meaning Mrs. Summerhayes. Ariadne Oliver's inclusion provides us with entertaining asides as well. This 50s mystery is Christie at the top of her game.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dame Christie at her best, 18 Aug. 2012
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Overall that book was an excellent, late Poirot whodunit that exceeded my expectations. The story just flows so brilliantly that I finished the book in hours. Although the murderer revelation in the end is one I didn't guess (alas, that doesn't happen often with Christie's books!!), the story was less contrived and so easy to follow than most other Christie books I've read, and they're a few - so I recommend this book to the educated Christie / Poirot fans and the complete 'novice' alike as an excellent introduction to her fascinating world of crime novels!
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