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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Three Act Tragedy: Complete & Unabridged
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 May 2017
Entertaining and full of humour, we see the, somewhat unlikely, combination of M. Poirot and Mr Satterthwaite involving themselves in this Three Act Tragedy. Poirot plays very much a cameo role until half way through the book, then playing through and ultimately solving the crime. The outcome of this one is fantastical, totally theatrical though, as always, superbly drawn and thoroughly engrossing. The final words of Poirot will echo in the readers mind and will, most certainly, bring a smile! The reader will know what those words will be and, when declared by Poirot, will be delighted! You will not be disappointed.
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on 3 November 2010
Three Act Tragedy is an interesting and refreshingly different Christie novel. Poirot himself only appears as a minor character until the end and much of the legwork is done by a team of enthusiastic amateurs who were witnesses to the first crime.

The act structure seems a little out of place in a novel and somewhat forced perhaps to fit the title, the first two acts being mostly taken up with the setting up of the plot. The final act is almost the entire second half of the novel, and it is here that I found the story picking up.

The cast of characters is nicely varied, and the setting more loose than many of Christie's mysteries, with the investigators travelling to meet each of the well rounded but equally implausible suspects. I did get a slight inkling of who the perpetrator might be but was by no means certain once the time came for the big reveal. My one complaint would be that the killer's motive jars rather with some of their other activity in the novel, making it seem slightly less plausible.

Overall I enjoyed this book, which was presented with a much less formal style than some others, possibly due to the new choice of protagonist being somewhat different to Poirot's usual companions (I have since read that he has actually appeared in a number of other Christie stories without Poirot). Christie also manages to weave in a quite plausible love story to keep the characters distinct and alive.
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on 11 September 2017
An excellent read and certainly worth the time it takes to read it and very engrossing, so much so that I couldn't stop until I finished it. Another Agatha Christie masterpiece
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on 2 October 2017
The plot revolves around two mysterious poisonings which occur at separate dinner parties weeks apart. Needless to say there is no point discussing the rest of the story other than to say that this one of Poirot's great books.
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on 23 September 2017
I would recommend fellow readers to read the Mysterious Mr Quinn short stories first before reading this novel. I read the Mr Quinn's short stories a few weeks before and when Mr Satterwhaite's name was introduced in this novel, it reminded me of Mr Quinn and how deeply I misses his mystical character.
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on 21 May 2017
Good listneing
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on 17 March 2017
As you would expect - a gripping read.
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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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on 30 August 2016
Christie at her best - book in good condition
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on 30 October 2005
“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. Poirot really sits on the sidelines a little and the main investigators use him as a sounding board to their various theories on what has really happened.
The key to the murder is a ruse that Christie has used in other books (“Lord Edgeware dies” for example) but it’s still enjoyable and very nicely put together. The book also benefits from some interesting characters, Mr Satterthwaite is a fine example, and makes for great reading.
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