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Dead Man's Folly: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 22 2011 Hercule Poirot Mysteries
The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks. When a mock murder game staged for charity threatens to turn into the real thing, the intrepid Poirot is called in to take part in this Dead Man’s Folly.

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Dead Man's Folly: A Hercule Poirot Mystery + Hercule Poirot Clocks + Hercule Poirot Third Girl
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Review

“Poirot is the guide who led me into the wondrous maze of crime fiction. And I’ve never wanted to escape.” (Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award-winning author)

“The infallibly original Agatha Christie has come up, once again, with a new and highly ingenious puzzle-construction.” (New York Times)

“A classic Christie and one of the best.” (The Times (London))

“The solution is of the colossal ingenuity we have been conditioned to expect.” (The Times Literary Supplement (London))

From the Back Cover

Sir George and Lady Stubbs, the hosts of a villagefete, hit upon the novel idea of staging a mockmurder mystery. In good faith, Ariadne Oliver, thewell-known crime writer, agrees to organize theirmurder hunt.

Despite weeks of meticulous planning, at the lastminute Ariadne calls her friend Hercule Poirot forhis expert assistance. Instinctively, she senses thatsomething sinister is about to happen….


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Poirot Aug. 2 2008
By Betty K
Format:Paperback
Discovering an Agatha Christie mystery you've never read is like discovering gold. And Dead Man's Folly is Hercule Poirot at his best. Even near the end of the book, you wonder if he is actually going to be able to solve this one.

Good friend and mystery writer, Ariadne Oliver, unexpectedly calls Poirot and imperiously demands the little detectives' presence at a village fete in Devon, where a Mystery Hunt is about to take place. She worries that it won't just be a fake murder. Intrigued, our hero immediately takes the train to the village of Nassecombe to try to put a stop to whatever is afoot. Mrs. Oliver turns out to be correct in her assumptions and Hercule is terribly perturbed that he wasn't able to prevent it. As usual there are lots of red herrings and a totally convoluted solution. An excellent read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow going at first, but ... Sept. 30 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
... It really picks up, and when it does, look out! Ms. Christie takes a little longer than usual to introduce us to all the characters -- all of whom will, of course, either become victims or suspects, except for the incomparable Hercule Poirot. The mystery is centered around a real-life game of CLUE, played with real people, that's meant to be entertainment at a local fair. And then it goes terribly wrong. Tortured family relationships and issues of class and heritage complicate matters. Just as the murder was introduced a little too slowly for my taste, its resolution was come upon a bit too abruptly. But these are just quibbles. Suchet's performance as Poirot made this unabridged audio book a delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver has been enticed into devising a "murder hunt game" for a village fundraiser--but as the event approaches she feels increasingly uneasy, as if some one among those in charge of the event is manipulating her game to their own sinister purpose. She accordingly puts through a call to old friend Hercule Poirot, who drops in on the proceedings to discover that some one has turned the game into reality.
DEAD MAN'S FOLLY is not among Christie's better known works, and in truth it does not rank among her great classics. Even so, it has its charms, particularly in the form of Ariadne Oliver, a somewhat frazzled, absent-minded, and eccentric character clearly intended as a parody of mystery novelists in general and Christie herself in particular. The novel itself is nicely written and offers Christie's usual clever twist at the end. An enjoyable read for fans of the genre!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Sept. 19 2001
By Maggie
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to say that this book was far better then Mystery of the Blue Train. It had more twists and turns then a roller coaster. The trouble was I couldn't distinguish between the real clues and all the red herrings. All the characters looked so suspicious, and everyone seemed to have a motive. At one point I thought that everyone in the house was involved in the murder of Marlene and disappearance of Hattie, even the butler (lol). Alec & Peggy Legge was who my mind settled on close to the end. All the clues left by them, the bracelet, the mysterious rendezvous, the boy in the turtle shirt; they were just red herrings produced to stump the reader. I felt that the bracelet was a big clue, I just didn't know where it went, and boy was I wrong. Never in a million years would I have believed who it turned out to be. This was a great book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mark of genius July 8 2005
By Jack Sparrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read and re-read most of Christie's famous works, I decided to sample this lesser-known story set in post-war England. Christie delivers as she always has; the story is gripping, perplexing, witty, and charming.

The premise is nothing new for Christie; most of her mysteries are domestic murders, where one of the household must have done it. This book follows the same pattern. What makes this story different and interesting is the Murder Hunt, organized by the character of Adriane Oliver. Since it will be obvious to the reader from the very beginning that Mrs Oliver is based on Christie herself, the whole Murder Hunt plays very effective mind tricks with him. It is as if the author has jumped into the mystery to give vital clues.

The rest of the mystery is the typical blend of varied and fascinating characters, in a sprawling setting. The exotic foreigner, trophy wife, country squire, efficent secretary, all well-recognized mystery story hallmarks are present. Of particular interest is the character of Mrs Folliat, the old and mysterious ex-owner of the estate in which the story is set. As Hercule Poirot quickly divines, there's something about Mrs Folliat...

The only problem with this book arises towards the end. With the exception of Oliver, Folliat and obviously the incomparable Poirot, the other characters are a shade disappointing. I have always appreciated Christie's shrewd analysis of the psyche of the domestic murderer. The reason why it is always near impossible to guess whodunnit is that the ruthlessness is always so neatly concealed within the character of the murderer. However, in this particular story, the characters are not as well-developed as they should be. They are interesting and plausible people, but rather simple. There is little of the shadowy bent of mind that makes them possible murderers. This leads to the actual solution sounding a tad contrived. A further disappointment is that the ending fails to tie up the Murder Hunt with the parallel tale of the actual murder. All along, the Murder Hunt has proven suggestible and exciting, but in the end nothing comes of it.

Having said that, there is nothing seriously wrong with Dead Man's Folly. It possess all of Poirot's cunning and idiosyncratic charisma. And the true mark of the genius is that the reader will neither be able to guess at the solution before Christie herself decides to reveal it, nor will he be able to put the book down.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WILL SOMEONE LET THE WOMAN SPEAK? May 14 2008
By allitwantedbythunder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What "improvements" have been made for the Berkley edition? There are already major differences in punctuation, word choices, and scene breaks between the original Collins and Dodd Mead editions of this novel. There are further differences between the Dodd Mead editions republished by Random House/Avenel and the Dodd Mead editions republished by Simon & Shuster/Pocket. There are further differences still in the Signet, Bantam, and Black Dog & Leventhal editions. For every publishing house putting out her works, there seem to be a new batch of editors altering Agatha Christie's words and the sound of her voice. What's the matter with these publishers? Whose voice do they think we want to hear when we sit down to a novel by Agatha Christie? And what will she sound like twenty years from now? It's frightening that her estate has failed to see the importance of guarding her words as she wrote them. Please tell me I'm not the only one here who senses that a crime has been committed.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder Hunt Game Leads to Real Murder in This Thriller June 13 2001
By Antoinette Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Aridane Oliver is prominent in this novel as she has been hired to stage a Murder Hunt for the village fete to raise money for local charities. Her famous intuition tells her something is not right and her intuition is shown to be right on target when a real body is found instead of the "pretend" corpse in the murder game. Mrs. Oliver calls in her friend Hercule Poirot for assistance. Poirot is fond of Mrs. Oliver and has been since he first met her while solving the murder of Mr. Shaitana in "Cards on the Table."
This novel is filled with well-drawn characters including: George Stubbs, the owner of Nasse House where the murder occurs; his wife Lady Hattie, a young woman obsessed with her jewels; Etienne de Sousa, Hattie's debonair cousin who arrives unexpectedly and unwelcomed; Marlene Tucker, a sniffling teen-ager who was chosen to play the "corpse"; and Mrs. Folliat, the former lady of the manor. Along with others, they form the backdrop as Poirot and Mrs. Oliver follow clues that lead to impersonation, old sins, and a ruthless killer.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Poirot July 19 2008
By Betty K - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Discovering an Agatha Christie mystery you've never read is like discovering gold. And Dead Man's Folly is Hercule Poirot at his best. Even near the end of the book, you wonder if he is actually going to be able to solve this one.

Good friend and mystery writer, Ariadne Oliver, unexpectedly calls Poirot and imperiously demands the little detectives' presence at a village fete in Devon, where a Mystery Hunt is about to take place. She worries that it won't just be a fake murder. Intrigued, our hero immediately takes the train to the village of Nassecombe to try to put a stop to whatever is afoot. Mrs. Oliver turns out to be correct in her assumptions and Hercule is terribly perturbed that he wasn't able to prevent it. As usual there are lots of red herrings and a totally convoluted solution. An excellent read.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot performs a miracle . . . June 1 2006
By kaduzy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
and solves this crime in the last few pages of the book, with little to go on and less proof than usual that what he says is right. Agatha doesn't let us see the wheels working in this book, as she usually does, which is disappointing. The solution suddenly came about in a big rush after many chapters spent dithering around with a story. Granted, it's an interesting story -- but in the end, I was left wanting more.
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