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Three Act Tragedy (The Christie Collection) Paperback – 27 Nov 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (27 Nov. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006154174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006154174
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 1.5 x 11.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,840,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Makes uncommonly good reading.”
New York Times

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

THREE ACT TRAGEDY

Thirteen guests arrived for dinner at the actor’s house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died.

But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison – just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was absolutely no motive…

'Agatha Christie' was born in Torquay 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 attribute to the timeless appeal of her characters and the unequalled ingenuity of her plots.

A SUCCESSION OF CAREFULLY STAGED MURDERS. BUT WHO WAS THE DIRECTOR?

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
“Three Act Tragedy” is well worthy of the title being split into three separate sections of the story which Agatha Christie even named “First, Second and Third Acts.” The theatrical theme is fully developed within the plot as it concerns the famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright.
***Possible Spoilers***
Sir Charles has retired to the quiet costal town of Loomouth and has organised a small party for a number of distinguished guests. There’s the eminent Harley Street doctor Sir Bartholomew Strange, the beautiful actress Angela Sutcliffe, Lady Mary Lytton Gore and her daughter, the curiously nicknamed “Egg”, Mr Satterthwaite a well known patron of the arts and several others. Also amongst the crowd is the beautifully turned out Hercule Poirot.
When during the serving of cocktails, one of the guests, Rev Babbington keels over and dies, no-one suspects anything more than a unfortunately accident. Sir Charles, who is love sick for Egg decides he has lost her to another and leaves the country for Monte Carlo. Whilst there he meets up with Mr Satterthwaite and they read of the news that Sir Bartholomew has also been killed in an event remarkably similar to the one that happened at Sir Charles’ house in Loomouth. The two immediately decide to return to England to investigate the matter, and when Mr Satterthwaite meets M. Poitrot also in Monte Carlo he lures the famous detective in on their investigations.
As I say the book has a very theatrical feel to it, with the bulk of the investigation being carried out by Sir Charles who adopts the mannerisms of various characters to aid him in this. M.
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Format: Paperback
Two suspicious deaths in similar circumstances but with no apparent motive appeal to the well trained mind of the great Hercule Poirot.
I (like so many) watched (and enjoyed) many Poirot mysteries on TV and film but never actually thought of reading any of the stories until recently. Three-Act Tragedy was my first venture into the books of Agatha Christie and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The plot revolves around the guests and staff who attended two parties (in particular, the people who were at both) in which there were similar deaths. The initial death was thought to be natural and only after the second was there any thought of murder. Unfortunately for the murderer, the famous detective Hercule Poirot (who was a guest at the first party) has decided to investigate the case.
I had not seen the TV adaptation of this book (if there is one) and therefore I was able to approach this mystery without knowing the ending, and it definitely made the book an intriguing read. There are the usual red herrings and plot twists you'd expect from Poirot, but up until he has his familiar gathering of the suspects you are not sure if the person you thought the murderer was 20 pages ago actually is (I got it wrong). Of course, once all is revealed it all makes sense.
This book was not a difficult read and once the characters have been established and the murders have been committed you can't help but turn the next page in the hope to get another clue. Having enjoyed this book I went on to read one other Poirot novel (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) and hope to read another soon.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the Agatha Christie's Mr Quin collection, and was pleasantly surprised to find Poirot and Mr Satterthwaite teaming up to investigate the suspicious death of Rev Babbington, when he suddenly dies at a party Mr Satterthwaite was attending.
I've seen some reviews disappointed that Poirot takes more of a back seat in this book, compared to his usually being the main focus of the book, but I thought this worked well, and I appreciate an author trying something a little different. Likewise Mr Satterthwaite takes a much more active role in this book, as it tends to be Mr Quin providing the answers in his original book.
The mystery may be a little more easily solved than some other Christie's, as suggested by other reviews here. I am somewhat reluctant to admit this possibility as I have only ever managed to solve two mystery novels before the solution was given,and this was the first. That said, just because I solved it doesn't necessarily mean it's easier: different people are probably better suited for solving different mysteries.

To concluded: I loved this book and would read it again, but if your looking for a more standard Poirot (although every book is different in it's own right, so I'm not sure how you'd define this) or a similar read to 'The mysterious Mr Quin' then maybe this is not the book for you.
I would also recommend reading it after having read a couple of Poirot novels and maybe one of the Mr Quin short stories, but it's not essential.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although a Poirot mystery, the great detective is on the fringes of the action in this novel. Attending a house party given by actor Sir Charles Cartwright, he witnesses the seizure and death of the gentle local pastor, Stephen Babbington. There seems to be no reason to suspect foul play, but Sir Charles and his friends Mr Satterthwaite and Sir Bartholomew Strange think the death suspicious. Later, Sir Batholomew Strange, a Harley Street specialist, gives a dinner including many of the guests present at the previous party, during which there is a similar death.

This is an enjoyable novel, with some interesting suspects - a cast which includes the owner of a dressmaking establishment, an ex-jockey, a playwright, a journalist, an actress and the delightfully named Lady Mary Lytton Gore and her daughter Egg. Poirot allows Sir Charles, Egg and the pleasant snob Mr Satterthwaite, to do most of the investigating. His true talent lies more in letting those little grey cells do the work. Although his input is minimal compared to other novels, this is an enjoyable read with great characters and Christie's usual excellent plot, which is always so difficult to work out. Her standard of work was so high that you cannot help being impressed every time you read one of her books.
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