24 January 2023

Review: LORD EDGWARE DIES, Agatha Christie

  • This edition available from Amazon as an e-book on Kindle 
  • Originally published 1933
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BN5NJZJK
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 22, 2022
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 259 pages
  • My earlier review

Synopsis (Amazon)

When Lord Edgware is found murdered the police are baffled. His estranged actress wife was seen visiting him just before his death and Hercule Poirot himself heard her brag of her plan to “get rid” of him.

But how could she have stabbed Lord Edgware in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? It’s a case that almost proves to be too much for the great Poirot.

Lord Edgware Dies was among the first of Christie's works to be adapted for film. In 1934 Austin Trevor took on the role of Poirot for the third time, directed by Henry Edwards. Peter Ustinov also starred in this story in 1985, under the original US title Thirteen at Dinner.

My Take 

I am planning to read another 10 Agatha Christie novels this year with my U3A Agatha Christie Reading Group. Of course I have read them all before, but that doesn't seem to prevent me from getting something out of the re-reading and discussion. My earlier review from 14 years ago.

I'm sure my reading group will enjoy this one. It is well-plotted with considerable misdirection and a number of red herrings.

I made considerable use this time of a note making facility in the Kindle which allows me to keep records of passages and my reactions to them. It helps me pay greater attention to the plot lines.

The story, Christie's 13th novel, and the 7th with Poirot in it, is narrated by Captain Hastings who makes sure he gets our attention by saying
"...from Poirot’s own peculiar private point of view, the case was one of his failures. He always swears that it was the chance remark of a stranger in the street that put him on the right track. However that may be, it was his genius that discovered the truth of the affair. But for Hercule Poirot I doubt if the crime would have been brought home to its perpetrator."

In the end Poirot blames himself for at least one of the deaths. It is actually Hastings who makes the blunder but Poirot excuses Hastings by saying he cannot be expected to recognise danger, because he is so accepting of people at face value. Whereas he Poirot has been used as a "cats-paw" by the murderer at least once.

In the long run it is quite a tangled plot and Poirot finds it hard to resolve the questions he has set himself.

At the end Hastings publishes a letter from the murderer which I felt it would have been out of character for Poirot to publish. However there was something similar in THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD.

I am looking forward to our group discussion in a few weeks time. We will follow the discussion with a viewing of the David Suchet version, which I see has Miss Lemon in it.

I am also going to raise the question of the significance of the US Title THIRTEEN AT DINNER,

My rating: 4.7

My list of Agatha Christie novels

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