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Dumb Witness: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 6 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. In Dumb Witness, Hercule Poirot investigates the very suspicious death of an elderly spinster who, fearing the very worst, had written to the great detective prior to her demise.

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Dumb Witness: A Hercule Poirot Mystery + Five Little Pigs: A Hercule Poirot Mystery
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Product Description


“Agatha Christie’s ability to devise intricate plots, coupled with her understanding of human nature—at its best and worst—have 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.…

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another classic by Agatha Christie June 25 2002
By snowy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Neither Poirot Loses A Client nor Dumb Witness was actually a good title for the book. Poirot could not lose a client he never had, nor was there a witness, dumb or otherwise.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot Loses A Client, But Solves The Case May 4 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book, published also under the title "Poirot Loses A Client," has all the ingredients of an outstanding Christie tale: a domestic murder which could have been committed by any of several people close to the victim, a charming look at life in a small English village, a delightful and well-bred elderly lady, a fatal poisoning, and lots of clues.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN EASY-GOING MYSTERY July 16 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Beware...this is no adventurous, running-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mystery. It travels slowly and with caution, yet is nontheless sinister, with all the undertones of greed, evil and black thoughts one book could have.
Poirot receives a cryptic letter from a deceased old woman, who obviously suspected her death to be close at hand--and anything but natural. It is only the stubborn Poirot who believes it to really be a murder, while everyone else looks at a very natural death as just that. The tension builds as there are no lack of suspects and WILLING murderers--the question is, who would actually go through with it and at the same time had the ability to make the murder appear natural to every single person--doctor and all?
Because there are so few characters, the ending is not such a shock since at least for me, since I had suspected the murderer anyway. However, it is interesting to listen as Poirot explains how/why the murder was committed. I was actual! ! ly surprised during some of his explanation of the impossible--or seemingly impossible.
I would recommend this book. It held a rather gentle grasp of me, forcing me to read the whole thing in a day. The other good aspect of this mystery was a few obvious clues laid down in the path. These were extremely valuable clues, and whether Agatha intended them to be so obvious or not they were none the less there. Most anyone should pick these clues up. And if you are lucky, and have a good grasp of poisonous substances, you might just solve the entire thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Christie will keep you coming for more! Aug. 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. It's about the murder of an old lady, and the suspects are the relatives after her money. So what's the title have to do with the book? Simple. Only one witness was there to this murder...and the witness is dumb. yep... we're talikng about her pet dog here. The irony to the story is that inspite of having a witness, Poirot has to unravel the mystery, with hardly any clues. But poirot being poirot solves the mystery....making another good book to read. Most of christie's books are a bit similar, but not exactly same, making it possible to read most of her books without getting bored. While this sounds like one of those typical books, it's really not. Read it...then you'll see.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars DOG-GONE-IT!
Published 3 months ago by Gordon Zakrzewski
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
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 more
Published 11 months ago by StephTHolland
5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot with a dog?!
As usual Agatha Christie brings her little Belgian detective to solve a murder that may not be a murder. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kerry Carswell
4.0 out of 5 stars Aunt Emily Has Been Poisoned!
Reason for Reading: My 11yo niece introduced me to this series when I visited with her in Edmonton this spring and I'd love to read them all! Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2010 by Nicola Mansfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!
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 more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Book
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 more
Published on June 9 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars good...
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 more
Published on July 21 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Agatha Christie's Best!
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
Published on May 6 2000 by Graham Leverton
5.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE!
In this book Agatha Christie refers to the murderers in Death in the Clouds, the Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Mysterious Affair at Style and the Mystery of the Blue Train, so make sure... Read more
Published on April 25 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars you'll not be so dumb as you read it.....
believe me....i can't utter more.....you will satisfy with this book and yell to the high pitch..... Read more
Published on April 25 2000 by ainil bahshar
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