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Third Girl: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 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. When the Third Girl sharing a London flat with two others announces to Poirot that she’s a murderer and then disappears, the masterful investigator must figure out whether the missing girl is a criminal, a victim, or merely insane.

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Review

“Agatha Christie was a revolutionary writer; one of the first to make the detective story accessible, with clean, easy prose.” (Kate Mosse, New York Times bestselling author of Labyrinthe)

“A beautifully set trap.” (New York Times)

“First class Christie.” (Sunday Telegraph (London))

From the Back Cover

Three young women share a London flat. The first is a coolly efficient secretary. The second is an artist. The third interrupts Hercule Poirot’s breakfast confessing that she is a murderer—and then promptly disappears.

Slowly, Poirot learns of the rumors surrounding the mysterious third girl, her family, and her disappearance. Yet hard evidence is needed before the great detective can pronounce her guilty, innocent, or insane.…


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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Minor Christie Mystery June 12 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most critics feel that Christie had exhausted herself by the 1960s--and they frequently point to THIRD GIRL as a case in point. But although the novel is very much a "minor" effort by the Queen of Crime, it is nonetheless well written and often amusing, a quick and entertaining read.
The plot concerns three young women who share a London apartment at the height of that city's "swinging sixties"--when drugs, pop art, and wild clothing fashions are at their height. And one of the young women, Norma, thinks she just may have committed a murder. This nagging worry drives her to Hercule Poirot's door, but she both intrigues and annoys Poirot when she rejects him as too old to be of any use. Fortunately, Poirot is not over the hill quite yet, and with the aid of novelist Mrs. Oliver he begins to unravel the mystery of a murder that may or may not have happened.
This is one of Christie's more farfetched novels, a tale that relies on multiple impersonations and a solution that hinges on the recognition of several unlikely coincidences; even so, the book still has considerable interest in the way Christie looks upon the counterculture of the era--and takes a leap away from her typically "cozy" mysteries to make certain aspects of the counterculture key to the motivation of her typically complex plot. Dated? In the sense that it regards an era long past and therefore alien to most moderns, yes... but one would do better to regard it as a period piece. Final word: unlikely to become a favorite, but worth reading once.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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4.0 out of 5 stars The thirtieth Hercule Poirot novel Feb. 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hercule Poirot has just completed his analysis of great writers of detective fiction when he is interrupted by Miss Restarick, an unimpressive lass of twenty or so with long straggly hair. The young girl starts by explaining that she might have killed someone, but before Poirot can ask more information, she says she's changed her mind and must leave. Before she closes the door, she adds "You are too old. Nobody told me you were so old... I'm really very sorry." Poirot is intrigued by the girl, and enlists Mrs. Oliver's help in investigating Miss Restarick. The detective duo soon discovers that not only is the girl nowhere to be found, but that no one seems to care that she is missing.
In his thirtieth appearance in a novel, Hercule Poirot is claimed to be too old. But that is surely not what the reader will think of the author's wit and cleverness. At the age of seventy-five Agatha Christie still succeeds in composing a quite entertaining mystery. Admittedly The Third Girl is not one of her masterpieces, but it still has the basic ingredients of a good detective story. The things that have changed more dramatically, in comparison to the novels she wrote in the 30's, are the flamboyant characters that make up the story. It is clear that Agatha Christie does not totally agree with the way teenagers are beginning to behave in the sixties. All they seem interested in is "sniffing snow", "swallowing LSD" and "using hemp". Surely, this is an exaggeration in which Agatha Christie reveals slowly losing touch with modern age.
Nevertheless Poirot is as absurd and as able as ever, which pulls this story out of the pool of mediocrity. And be warned: the book starts of with a vital clue, so try to avoid reading the denouement while blaming yourself: "I should have known it!"
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3.0 out of 5 stars A mystery that might not be a mystery Aug. 6 2002
By snowy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What was the vain Hercule Poirot to do when a girl insisted on seeing him outside his official hours, and upon one look at him, blurted out that he was too old and left without accounting for herself? Especially after she mentioned she might have murdered someone?
Weaving together several subplots from her previous works, Agatha Christie tried to create a new setting for her recurrent characters: Hercule Poirot and Oliver Ariadne.
The Third Girl referred to a term used to advertise for a third female tenant to share the rent of a London apartment. She was also the "Orhelia devoid of physical attraction" who insulted Hercule Poirot. It was later realised from his indignant outpouring to Oliver Ariadne that she was probably the one who recommended Poirot to this girl.
Thus began the mystery that might not have been a mystery. Poirot's connections to the police did not reveal any possible candidate for the murder mentioned by Norma Restarick, youthful daughter to one Andrew Restarick. Andrew Restarick had abandoned his wife and daughter fifteen years before and left for Africa with another woman. The deaths of his wife, then his brother, brought him back to England, with a new wife, and took over the family business.
Between their visits to Norma's flat and Restarick office in London, and the visit to their home in Crosshedges, Long Basing, Poirot and Ariadne composed a picture of a family challenged by the "revolution" of the 60s. Yet there was something beyond the normal angst, and as Poirot and Ariadne continued in their pursuit, they realised there was a very real danger. There were gossips of guns, knives and bloody stains, but no murder victim to account for; which begged the question whether Norma was guilty, innocent or insane.
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