Dumb Witness: A Hercule Poirot Mystery Paperback – May 26 2011
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“Agatha Christie’s ability to devise intricate plots, coupled with her understanding of human natureat its best and worsthave made her tales timeless.” (Jan Burke, award-winning author of the Irene Kelly mysteries)
“Novelty, intriguing character types, and ingenuity. ” (New York Times)
“One of Poirot’s most brilliant achievements.” (Glasgow Herald)
From the Back Cover
Everyone blamed Emily Arundell’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her.…
On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously, he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th…by which time Emily was already dead.…See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a typical Agatha Christie story in that the possible suspects is a small group of people. Old Aunt Emily invites her remaining family down for the weekend which include a nephew and two nieces, plus one respective husband. The house also contains two servants and lastly involved is the local doctor's assistant, who happens to be the other niece's fiance. Emily has never given the family any money or even loans always saying that they'll have time enough to spend her money when she's gone, but that of course doesn't stop them from repeatedly asking over the years.On this particular weekend Aunt Emily takes a header down the stairs, blamed on the cursed dog's ball, but all is well and Aunt Emily is taken to bed with nothing more than bumps and bruises. Aunt Emily hasn't been well for years though, often taking spells of jaundice as she has liver problems. Two weeks later she takes another turn and dies, cause diagnosed as liver disease.
Two months later Hercule Poirot receives a letter from Aunt Emily and rushes to her home to find that she has died and her housekeeper has inherited her entire fortune. With a letter in his hand written the day of the tumble down the stairs but not mailed until two months later, Poirot knows that liver disease was not Aunt Emily's fatal nemesis, but rather a murderer is walking loose and he sets out to find the culprit for the sake of old woman's plea for help called out to him unfortunately to late to save her.
A great little Christie story and a fabulous experience to read in graphic format.Read more ›
Nonetheless, it was an interesting story - Poirot received a letter more than a month after the writer died, written just days before the demise. The writer had not mentioned the problem except her having suspicions after the incident of the dog's ball, and need utmost discretion to protect the family name.
Upon arrival at the Littlegreen House in Market Basing, Poirot and Hastings learned that the late Ms Arundell changed her will right before her passing and left everything (except gifts to servants) to her none-too-brilliant companion Ms Lawson, denying her only relatives, 2 nieces and 1 nephew, even a single penny.
Here, we saw Hastings mortified by Poirot's employment of deceptions in gathering information from various people in Market Basing. A familiar reader would find that odd, wouldn't a long-time companion of Poirot be familiar with his un-Englishness approach to problem solving?
The characters involved were interesting, but not very colourful. One dowdy niece married a charming Greek doctor, practically a scandal in the insular society. Another led a fast life in London, then inexplicably got engaged to a pedantic country doctor who seemed more interested in his research than her. The nephew was generally acknowledged as an incorrigible rascal, charming, but not to be trusted. Last but not least, the suddenly wealthy Ms Lawson who had an unhealthy interest in spiritualism.
The sharp-eyed Poirot immediately deduced the truth of the incident of the dog's ball which prompted Ms Arundell to write the letter.Read more ›
Poirot is brought into this case in an unusual manner. He receives a letter from the elderly lady in which she hints at a possible attempt on her life. When Poirot realizes the letter had been written two months before he receives it, his little grey cells are alerted. He takes a trip to Market Basing only to find the writer of the letter, Miss Arundell, is dead. Since he considers her still his client, he is determined to prove her death was not accidental, but a deliberate murder. The cold trail of clues leads to a beautiful society lady, a handsome scientist, a faithful servant, and a pair of specialists in the occult. Will Poirot be able to unmask the killer before another death occurs? A dog's bouncing ball, a strange spiritual manifestation, and a mirror reflection of a brooch are all pivotal to solving this mystery.
This book is notable in that it will be the last of the Poirot books to be narrated by Captain Hastings until "Curtain" ends the series decades later. His narrative style, always pleasing, is especially well-done in this one. Also notable in this story is the importance of a cute wire-haired terrier named Bob who will form a special bond with Captain Hastings.
If greed, deception, and jealousy are your cup of cocoa, you'll love matching wits with Hercule Poirot as he tries to stop a brilliant and baffling killer who is about to strike again.
Most recent customer reviews
Overall enjoyed the story with the usual twists and turns typical of a Christie. Although an avid dog fancier, I didn't like the idea of the dog's thoughts being expressed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gail Macmillan
A GREAT STORY WITH SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS AND A COMMON MOTIVE. HERCULE AT HIS BEST!
THE REFERENCE TO THE TITLE IS OBVIOUS FROM THE START BUT THE HOW-IT-WAS-DONE IS CUNNING.
I cannot believe this is the first I have read of Agatha Christie; and what a treat! Having grown up with Hercules Poirot on TV, it never occurred to me that her writing would be... Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2013 by StephTHolland
As usual Agatha Christie brings her little Belgian detective to solve a murder that may not be a murder. Read morePublished on May 13 2013 by Kerry Carswell
The Dumb Witness of the title is a dog named Bob. A dog who loves his mistress and possibly is the only witness to her murder. If it was a murder ... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004
I've read a few of Agatha Christie's book and I thought that this book was only OK. I was a little intrigued by the title of this book, but it has nothing to do with the story! Read morePublished on June 9 2003
This a good book, but not that great. An old woman writes to Poirot, informing him that she fears that one of her own family may murder, one attempt had all ready been made. Read morePublished on July 21 2002
At first the title intrigued me, but as i got down to reading the book, I found that the title had nothing much to do with the story. But nevertheless, i enjoyed the book. Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2000 by Secret Agent Booker
I have only read a few of Agatha Christie's novels: Murder of Roger Ackryod Murder on the Orient Express Dumb Witness ABC Murders Poirot's Last Case
But Dumb Witness is... Read more