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Mrs. McGinty's Dead [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2002 Poirot

The new-look series of Hercule Poirot books for the 21st century.

Mrs McGinty died from a brutal blow to the back of her head. Suspicion fell immediately on her shifty lodger, James Bentley, whose clothes revealed traces of the victim's blood and hair. Yet something was amiss: Bentley just didn't look like a murderer.

Poirot believed he could save the man from the gallows – what he didn't realise was that his own life was now in great danger…


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Review

'So simple, so economical, so completely baffling. Every clue scrupulously given, with superb sleight of hand.' Sunday Times 'The plot is perfect and the characters are wonderful.' San Francisco Chronicle 'The best Poirot since such pre-war classics as Cards on the Table.' New York Times

From the Back Cover

Mrs. McGinty died from a brutal blow to the back of her head. Suspicion falls immediately on her shifty lodger, James Bentley, whose clothes reveal traces of the victim’s blood and hair. Yet something is amiss: Bentley just doesn’t seem like a murderer.

Could the answer lie in an article clipped from a newspaper two days before the death? With a desperate killer still free, Hercule Poirot will have to stay alive long enough to find out. . . .

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hercule Poirot has been enjoying his retirement. His main concern of each day is planning the menu for his next meal - it is a pity that one can only truly enjoy three meals a day! His old friend Inspector Spence asks him to look into a case for him. Mrs. McGinty, a charwoman in a small village was brutally murdered. Spence has already caught the murderer, (the woman's lodger) a jury has found him guilty and the date for the execution has been set. The only problem is that the good inspector has doubts.
Poirot agrees to look into the matter and sets off for the village of Broadhinny, where the crime took place. He takes up residence in the only available lodging in town, a very disorganized bed and breakfast, suffering dreadfully from the terrible accomodations and worse meals and begins working on the case. While there Poirot mets an old friend, Ariadne Oliver, famous mystery novelist who was in Broadhinny working on a stage adaption of her work. In the end of course, Poirot solves the crime and sees that justice is served.
The mystery here is a recurring theme of Christie's, an old crime that has resurfaced years later and requiring many old secrets to be revealed. The only problem with this particular novel is that it is quite complicated with many characters and their stories that tend to become a bit difficult to keep straight. On the plus side we are treated to yet another visit with Ariadne Oliver, always a delight. We are also introduced to the Summerhayes family, a wonderfully disorganized group that really diserve their own book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars you can always depend on agatha christie July 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You can always depend on Agatha Christie to give you a good, absorbing mystery. In Mrs. McGinty's Dead, Poirot is getting up in age, his feet hurt, and his greatest passion is breakfast, lunch and le dinner but an old housekeeper has been savagely killed and a completely unlikeable but innocent young man is standing in the shadow of the gallows. Poirot pulls himself out of semi retirement and puts his little grey cells to work at tackling secrets, lies and old sins that several people want desparately to keep hidden. This is a keeper.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too complex, maybe� April 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Death comes to the town of Broadhinny. On November 22, Mrs. McGinthy, a widow of sixty-four who worked in various village houses as a daily domestic, is found murdered, knocked in the back of the head, in her cottage parlour. Her bedroom has been ransacked, the floorboards pried up. Police find her savings, thirty pounds' worth, hidden under a stone behind the house. Suspicion falls immediately on her boarder, the "sometimes cringing and sometimes truculent" James Bently. But Superintendent Spence is not sure James did it, so he calls his dearest friend Hercule Poirot to help.
Mrs. McGinthy's Dead is a very complex story. Maybe a bit too complex to be good. The story evolves on a high pace, but in my opinion the outcome is one of the most disputable of Agatha's long and successful career. What seems to be a clear case at first, becomes a hodgepodge of intrigues and secrets. Finally, just a few pages before the end, a certain vital clue is discovered. Without this clue, it is truly impossible to find the murderer - unless your first name is Sherlock, of course. So "fairness" is not directly a word I would associate with this book. "It had not been an interesting murder," the Belgian sleuth things to himself at a certain point, but it gave me a nasty headache to find out what really happened. Next time I will read something lighter, I guess.
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