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The A.b.c. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery Paperback – Feb 8 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (Feb. 8 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073587
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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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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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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