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Crooked House [Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

Agatha Christie , Hugh Fraser
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 2007 Mystery Masters
In a sprawling mansion in affluent Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning, much-younger beauty rumored to be having an illicit affair. But criminologist Charles Hayward, who's in love with the dead man's granddaughter Sophia, has his suspicions about the whole unsavory Leonides clan. Can he solve the puzzle without implicating Sophia? Christie considered this novel, dramatically read by Hugh Fraser, one of her two best.

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Product Description


“Writing Crooked House was pure pleasure and I feel justified in my belief that it is one of my best.” (Agatha Christie)

“Her sleight of hand is impeccable.” (New Statesman (UK))

“Knock-out!” (Saturday Review of Literature)

“We all go where [Agatha Christie] led; you can track us in her snow.” (Reginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe MysteriesReginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe MysteriesReginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe Mysteries) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The Leonides are one big happy family livingin a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. Thatis until the head of the household, Aristide, ismurdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.

Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s youngwidow, fifty years his junior. But the murdererhas reckoned without the tenacity of CharlesHayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie is always wonderful May 13 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not my favorite Christie story. A little more convoluted than usual and too many characters that do not get developed to the usual extent. A nice casual read
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars Sept. 20 2014
By sheila
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
couldn't get into it
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising and sad ending June 17 2013
By Shahira
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love all agatha christie's books. This one was very thrilling and completely threw the suspicions away from the real killer. In most of agatha's books i was able to guess the muderer this one was a bit tricky and sad at the same time but still carries the sense of humor known of Agatha Christie. I enjoyed reading this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  90 reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And They All Lived Together In A Little Crooked House Oct. 30 2001
By Antoinette Klein - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of the Agatha Christies at least twice, I can honestly say that "Crooked House" is my very favorite. One reason is that Agatha Christie does in this novel what she does best---gathers an extended family all under one roof, allows one of the family to be murdered, and shows quite clearly that all the others had motive and opportunity.
"Crooked House" is an excellent story of a complex family. The patriarch is Aristide Leonides, a Greek who has come to England and made a fortune in the restaurant and catering business. His mansion is home to his two sons, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, his first wife's sister, and now to his young and beautiful second wife plus the grandchildren's tutor. When the wealthy old man is poisoned, the reader learns that everyone had not only a motive but also an alibi. The characterizations are wonderful and the characters stand out as some of Mrs. Christie's most memorable ones.
The usual detectives are absent in this one, but the detecting is in the capable hands of Charles Hayward, the son of a Scotland Yard detective and the fiance of Aristide's granddaughter Sophia Leonides. When the blood-chilling ending occurs, one is shocked and yet, on careful reexamination, must admit that all the clues were clearly there.
Curl up with a cup of cocoa (unpoisoned, of course) and enjoy this classic crime with one of Mrs. Christie's most spectacular and unforgettable endings.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, chilling, cunning - and brilliant. Jan. 27 2000
By Daniel - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the Christie books I remember reading as a child. When I reread it recently, I was amazed at how superb it is - it is not a Poirot or Miss Marple mystery, not at all, but it is a very different type of mystery. The shocking solution is in fact a brutal attack upon our own culture, our obsession with murderers and murder, and the inexorable impartiality of evil - it is a very frightening book, largely because it does not follow ALL the strictures one expects of a murder mystery. A novel as well as a whodunnit as well as a psychological study. And a grand success.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christie and Fraser- a combination made in Heaven! March 25 2008
By Seaside Jenn - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Crooked House is supposedly one of Christie's top two favorite books and I can see why. Filled with interesting characters, suspenseful twists and a myriad of suspects, Crooked House does not disappoint. On top of that, Hugh Fraser is the best at capturing each character and giving them life. Loved this one!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the many faces of Christie. Pure genius. April 5 2011
By S. Woodward - Published on
I'm such a huge fan of the fastidious and meticulous Monsieur Poirot and the gentle, yet perceptive Miss Marple, that I rarely stray from them in my Christie-mania. Their mere presence in a book adds a little humor and, yes, comfort - knowing that at least one person is going to make sure justice is done is comforting.

But as Agatha Christie's work isn't infinite (oh, that it were!), I occasionally have to leave behind Poirot and Marple and dive into the unknown. I'm glad I did. Crooked House starts out familiarly enough - the large house in the country, the rambling family and hangers-on that occupy it, no lack of motive or opportunity - but you soon realize that it's a bit darker than that. At some point you start to feel a bit uneasy, and by the end you are fully creeped-out. With no valiant Poirot and Marple to save the day, anyone could be the killer.

The whole thing is just genius and a real page-turner. I found myself thinking about the book for days after reading it. Whether you're a seasoned Christie fan or not, this is a must-read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Crooked Family Feb. 26 2013
By RCM - Published on
Having read so many Agatha Christie mysteries, I always appreciate reading one that does not feature her trademark sleuths, especially as Hercule Poirot can be a trifle overbearing at times. "Crooked House" is a delightful, closed door mystery, that will have readers guessing until the very end. It is a tale filled with love and hate, murder and jealousy, all of the elements that make up a good murder mystery.

Charles has just fallen in love with Sophia, the sensible daughter of wealthy but clueless parents. She and her entire immediate family (and some extended) live with her grandfather and his new wife in their strange country house. Their grandfather, Aristide Leonides is a wealthy businessman who does as he pleases and gives generously to all of his children and their offspring. So when he is found murdered, there is very little motive although everyone had the opportunity and knowledge to kill the diabetic when they administered his insulin shots. And Charles finds himself drawn into this mystery, not only because his father works for Scotland Yard, but because Sophia will not marry him unless the murderer is found. Charles is faced with a strange family, at once cold and unwelcoming, but with some members who instantly confide in and beguile Charles. Could Aristide's much younger wife want him dead so she could run off with the grandchildren's tutor? This is what everyone wants to believe. Is one, or both, of his sons angry at some perceived slight? Did one of his daughters-in-law view their living arrangements as more of a prison than a home? Charles knows he must act face before someone else is murdered for knowing too much about the case, and to save his future with Sophia.

"Crooked House" is a fast-paced read that will have readers guessing and confused to the very end. Christie paints a logical case for nearly every suspect and follows several red herrings to their convoluted ends. The ending is unique and sinister and not quite what one would expect, although there have been similar murderers in other Christie works, and indeed in real life.
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