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Five Little Pigs (Poirot) Hardcover – Facsimile, 1 Apr 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Facsimile edition edition (1 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007274564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007274567
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Mrs Christie as usual puts a ring through the reader’s nose and leads him to one of her smashing last-minute showdowns”
Observer

“The answer to the riddle is brilliant”
Times Literary Supplement

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, yet there were five other suspects: Philip Blake (the stockbroker) who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist) who stayed at home; Elsa Gree (the three-time divorcee) who had roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess) who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister) who cried 'wee wee wee' all the way home.

It is sixteen years later, but Hercule Poirot just can't get that nursery rhyme out of his mind…

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. She wrote 79 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated into more languages than Shakespeare. Her enduring success, enhanced by many film and TV adaptations, is a tribute to the timeless appeal of her characters and the unequalled ingenuity of her plots.

"Mrs Christie as usual puts a ring through the reader's nose and leads him to one of her smashing last-minute showdowns."
OBSERVER

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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By A Customer on 21 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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Format: 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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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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Format: Paperback
This book is one of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels, and so as such, you should already know what to expect. It’s also interesting because the plot is loosely centred on the “this little piggy” nursery rhyme in which one went to market, one stayed at home, one had roast beef, one had none, and one cried “wee wee wee” all the way home. She uses nursery rhymes a couple of times in her work, and she always takes it and twists it and makes it work well in the context of a cracking whodunnit.

It’s also worth mentioning that a big chunk of this book is dedicated to the written testimonies of some of the people who were present at the time of the murder, because it all happened sixteen years ago. This angle on things has been used before throughout literature – a novel written in this style is called an epistolary novel – but it’s interesting to see how Christie took it and applied it to the detective genre.

Overall, I’d say that this is one of the better Agatha Christie books and a nice little Hercule Poirot read, but – almost inevitably considering the amount of her work that’s out there – there are better ones on the market. This has a lot of reasons to recommend it, though!
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