- This edition published by Center Point Large Print in 2013. The collection was first published in 1950.
- ISBN 978-1-61173-777-6
- 294 pages
- source: my local library
1950 Three Blind Mice and Other Stories (nine short stories - US only)
The collection contains
- Three Blind Mice
- Strange Jest
- Tape Measure Murder
- The Case of the Perfect Maid
- The Case of the Caretaker
- The Third Floor Flat
- The Adventure of Johnnie Waverley
- Four and Twenty Blackbirds
- The Love Detectives
Blurb from back cover
The guests and residents of the newly opened guest house, Monkswell Manor, find themselves trapped by a blinding snowstorm and threatened by a psychotic killer. With a finite cast of characters in this "locked room" mystery it is not long before suspicions are voiced, and under growing pressure newlyweds Molly and Giles Davis start to suspect each other of murder.
This story is the basis for the West End play The Mouse Trap which had its first performance in 1952.
The play began life as a short radio play broadcast on 30 May 1947 called Three Blind Mice in honour of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V. The play had its origins in the real-life case of the death of a boy, Dennis O'Neill, who died while in the foster care of a Shropshire farmer and his wife in 1945.
The play is based on a short story, itself based on the radio play, but Christie asked that the story not be published as long as it ran as a play in the West End of London. The short story has still not been published within the United Kingdom but it has appeared in the United States in the 1950 collection Three Blind Mice and Other Stories.
When she wrote the play, Christie gave the rights to her grandson Matthew Prichard as a birthday present. In the United Kingdom, only one production of the play in addition to the West End production can be performed annually, and under the contract terms of the play, no film adaptation can be produced until the West End production has been closed for at least six months.
The story is really a novella and the action slips past very quickly. Once the guest house becomes cut off by a snow storm, the tension builds and a murder takes place. There is a dramatic quality to the events, or is it just that I know that it is the basis of The Mouse Trap? One can imagine these events being played out on a stage.
Following the tradition with The Mouse Trap there will be no revealing of how the plot works out here. For the record, I did work out who the murderer was.
I am glad I read it.
My rating: 4.2
I read this for my participation in the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, and at last, after over 6 years, I've finished! I have read 66 novels and 154 short stories (including this novella) in 23 collections.