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The A.b.c. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 8 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…including The A.B.C. Murders, which sets Hercule Poirot on the trail of a serial killer.

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Product Description


“There is no more cunning player of the murder game than Agatha Christie.” (Sunday Times (London))

“An entirely original idea.” (Daily Telegraph (London))

“Mrs. Christie has invented an entirely new plot for a detective story—a difficult thing in these days; she is to be congratulated on the perfection of her invention.” (The Times (London))

“Her best yet. Where does she get hold of these brilliant notions?” (Bristol Evening Post)

From the Back Cover

There’s a serial killer on the loose, workinghis way through the alphabet and the wholecountry is in a state of panic.

A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for BettyBarnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarkein Churston. With each murder, the killer is gettingmore confident—but leaving a trail of deliberateclues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might justprove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, Not Great, Agatha Christie May 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The A.B.C. Murders strength is also its weakness. It has a very unusual twist. That is typical of the Agatha Christie of the superb Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Murder on the Orient Express. The only problem in this mystery is that, for once, the twist seems a lot more forced, with a group of suspects that are not particularly unique or interesting. It still is alway good to read about Hercule Poirot and Hastings has returned for this adventure. And, of course, for those desiring a higher than usual Christie body count, this mystery provides a healthy dose of dead bodies. It makes for a pleasant summer read but is not up to the usual Christie standards and does not bear up to repeated visits unlike many of the Christie classics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Poirot Mystery May 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is the Poirot Mystery I like best. There are few whodunits I want to read again, but this book is the exception. I read this book second time and I love it again. It is not only an excellent mystery, but also an excellent suspense story. The battle against the fiend who commits murders alphabetically is thrilling, fast-paced and highly enjoyable.
Reading whodunits, I rarely feel sympathy for victims nor hatred to murderers. This book is the rare case. The murderer is really a cold-blooded fiend. Even affable Poirot expresses a cold rage to the murderer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars an ok book, average April 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hercule Poirot is the main detective in a murder mystery where there is a murderer on the loose. This murderer is on a killing spree killing people in alphabetical order. The killer is leaving clues behind him on where he will strike next. Hercule Poirot, with the help of Hastings and Japp, travel throughout england to stop this ruthless killer. If your into murder mystery books this is one of the books to choose. I would'nt recomend you buy this book but I do recomend you go to your nearest library and get it on audio. It's only 3 hours long!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Let's get one thing straight.... April 9 2004
By Bill
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dame Agatha Christie may have revolutionized the mystery genre, and her detectives are undoubtedly clever, the cases certainly puzzling, and the solutions are deffinatley surprising. The problem is in the superhuman nature of her characters.
(Warning: Plot Spoilers Ahead)
Take the solution to the ABC murders, for example. Somehow, Poirot managed to figure out that Cust was innocent, and unravel an extremely complx murder/frame up plot by one of the victim's family members. Very clever, but by the logic he used, ANY NUMBER OF OTHER SOLUTIONS WOULD BE EQUALLY POSSIBLE. The way he arranges what scant clues he has into this elaborate solution is kind of like trying to solve the New York Times Crossward puzzle with only the clue to 43 down.
And not to mention the fact that her books are so mind-numbingly boring! Absolutely nothing in the way of solving the case happens in between, and the reader finds themselves propelled through the plot by only the curiosity to know the outcome. And sometimes that isn't enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot the magician can be tricked but by whom? March 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This woman is a killer in murder stories. She has no complex with Sherlock Holmes always in the wings and she is able to do things differently and yet in the tradition. The tradition here is of course the revelation of the real culprit in a conference by Hercule Poirot in the last five pages of the book. The tradition is to use Hercule Poirot's brains more than his magnifying glass. Already a difference in this similarity. But then everything is very different, is in a definitely more modern mood. Hercule Poirot is looking for the psyche of this serial killer and the motivation he has. He follows the line of a madman on the loose and yet keeps his awareness open to facts that could lead to a completely different solution, and sure enough it is the psychology and motivation necessary for these crimes to appear logical that enables Hercule Poirot to tell the name of the killer. This is more important than real evidence which can always be collected afterwards when the mystery is cleared. In other words Agatha Christie is already in 1936 on a « profiling » line that will appear in the world as a standard method only in the 1980s in the FBI to answer the challenge of serial killers. She is in other words postmodern when everyone is nothing but premodern. She is ahead of her times and by at least one if not two generations. The story itself is fabulous in the way it is organized and told. Suspense is perfect. The mystery is dense and dark. The solution is clear and logical. There is only one difficult element : two girls, two victims have a birthday before their murders and their parents or relatives buy them silk stochings for this same reason. This is a little bit coincidental. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Darker Than Usual Tale Feb. 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Poirot has gotten a letter challenging him to stop a murder. He is given the date and location, the letter is signed ABC. The police dismiss the incident as yet another harmless crank letter - until a murder takes place on the day and time stated in the letter and an ABC railway guide is found on the scene. More letters arrive and a pattern begins to form, the killer is working his way through victims and towns alphabetically - Ascher in Andover, Barnard in Bexhill, Clarke in Chruston... Poirot and the police are in pursuit but always it seems a frustrating step behind. Ultimately Poirot is successful of course. The solution to the crime is clever and original, even by Christie standards.
This is a departure from the usual 'cozy' style that is more typical of Christie (ie confined location, murderer and victim know each other, motive clearly established, little focus on the crime itself). This is darker than her usual work, the victims are seemingly chosen at random, the entire country is threatened, and the messages from the killer are reminiscent of Jack the Ripper.
Poirot gives a description of the killer based on the letters and evidence collected at the crime, in a manner that is very like a modern day profiler. Keep in mind that this book was written nearly 80 years ago.
If you are a Christie fan this is definitely a must read but if you are looking for a more comfortable 'cozy' you may find this one a bit disturbing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever twist
If you are a fan of Agatha Christie's, as I am, you may think that you've read all of the clever plot twists that there are, but this book has a real gem of a twist. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by Karen Potts
5.0 out of 5 stars A B C Murders... The best
ABC Murders is one of the best books ever. Agatha Christie makes everything interesting and you never want to put the book down. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Hercule is challenged in navigating a serial killer's mind
Hugh Fraser narrates Agatha Christie's ABC Murders, an unabridged Hercule Poirot mystery which tells of three murders of ABC Rail employees. Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by Midwest Book Review
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie is the Queen
It is difficult to write a review of Christie's work, as any hint of the plot could give away a clue. So I'll just say that this is one of her best. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by H. Huggins
5.0 out of 5 stars [A]ltogether [B]rilliant and [C]aptivating!
One of Dame Christie's most famous books, The ABC murders certainly lived up tp its expectation.
The story in brief: The great Hercule Poirot receives a challenge from the... Read more
Published on July 23 2003 by
5.0 out of 5 stars Flower Reviews...
Okay, so maybe 12 year olds shouldn't be reading Agatha Christie books, but I was VERY impressed. I've read classics like 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and, of course, all the Harry... Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder From A to Z
One of Christie's most famous novels of the 1930s, THE ALPHABET MURDERS finds Poirot racing against time to unmask a dangerous serial killer who taunts the detective with... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2001 by Gary F. Taylor
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