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Crooked House Paperback – February 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Writing Crooked House was pure pleasure and I feel justified in my belief that it is one of my best.” (Agatha Christie)

“Her sleight of hand is impeccable.” (New Statesman (UK))

“Knock-out!” (Saturday Review of Literature)

“We all go where [Agatha Christie] led; you can track us in her snow.” (Reginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe MysteriesReginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe MysteriesReginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe Mysteries)

From the Back Cover

The Leonides are one big happy family livingin a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. Thatis until the head of the household, Aristide, ismurdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.

Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s youngwidow, fifty years his junior. But the murdererhas reckoned without the tenacity of CharlesHayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073532
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on October 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of the Agatha Christies at least twice, I can honestly say that "Crooked House" is my very favorite. One reason is that Agatha Christie does in this novel what she does best---gathers an extended family all under one roof, allows one of the family to be murdered, and shows quite clearly that all the others had motive and opportunity.
"Crooked House" is an excellent story of a complex family. The patriarch is Aristide Leonides, a Greek who has come to England and made a fortune in the restaurant and catering business. His mansion is home to his two sons, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, his first wife's sister, and now to his young and beautiful second wife plus the grandchildren's tutor. When the wealthy old man is poisoned, the reader learns that everyone had not only a motive but also an alibi. The characterizations are wonderful and the characters stand out as some of Mrs. Christie's most memorable ones.
The usual detectives are absent in this one, but the detecting is in the capable hands of Charles Hayward, the son of a Scotland Yard detective and the fiance of Aristide's granddaughter Sophia Leonides. When the blood-chilling ending occurs, one is shocked and yet, on careful reexamination, must admit that all the clues were clearly there.
Curl up with a cup of cocoa (unpoisoned, of course) and enjoy this classic crime with one of Mrs. Christie's most spectacular and unforgettable endings.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on January 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the Christie books I remember reading as a child. When I reread it recently, I was amazed at how superb it is - it is not a Poirot or Miss Marple mystery, not at all, but it is a very different type of mystery. The shocking solution is in fact a brutal attack upon our own culture, our obsession with murderers and murder, and the inexorable impartiality of evil - it is a very frightening book, largely because it does not follow ALL the strictures one expects of a murder mystery. A novel as well as a whodunnit as well as a psychological study. And a grand success.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Having read so many Agatha Christie mysteries, I always appreciate reading one that does not feature her trademark sleuths, especially as Hercule Poirot can be a trifle overbearing at times. "Crooked House" is a delightful, closed door mystery, that will have readers guessing until the very end. It is a tale filled with love and hate, murder and jealousy, all of the elements that make up a good murder mystery.

Charles has just fallen in love with Sophia, the sensible daughter of wealthy but clueless parents. She and her entire immediate family (and some extended) live with her grandfather and his new wife in their strange country house. Their grandfather, Aristide Leonides is a wealthy businessman who does as he pleases and gives generously to all of his children and their offspring. So when he is found murdered, there is very little motive although everyone had the opportunity and knowledge to kill the diabetic when they administered his insulin shots. And Charles finds himself drawn into this mystery, not only because his father works for Scotland Yard, but because Sophia will not marry him unless the murderer is found. Charles is faced with a strange family, at once cold and unwelcoming, but with some members who instantly confide in and beguile Charles. Could Aristide's much younger wife want him dead so she could run off with the grandchildren's tutor? This is what everyone wants to believe. Is one, or both, of his sons angry at some perceived slight? Did one of his daughters-in-law view their living arrangements as more of a prison than a home? Charles knows he must act face before someone else is murdered for knowing too much about the case, and to save his future with Sophia.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Woodward on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm such a huge fan of the fastidious and meticulous Monsieur Poirot and the gentle, yet perceptive Miss Marple, that I rarely stray from them in my Christie-mania. Their mere presence in a book adds a little humor and, yes, comfort - knowing that at least one person is going to make sure justice is done is comforting.

But as Agatha Christie's work isn't infinite (oh, that it were!), I occasionally have to leave behind Poirot and Marple and dive into the unknown. I'm glad I did. Crooked House starts out familiarly enough - the large house in the country, the rambling family and hangers-on that occupy it, no lack of motive or opportunity - but you soon realize that it's a bit darker than that. At some point you start to feel a bit uneasy, and by the end you are fully creeped-out. With no valiant Poirot and Marple to save the day, anyone could be the killer.

The whole thing is just genius and a real page-turner. I found myself thinking about the book for days after reading it. Whether you're a seasoned Christie fan or not, this is a must-read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Seaside Jenn on March 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Crooked House is supposedly one of Christie's top two favorite books and I can see why. Filled with interesting characters, suspenseful twists and a myriad of suspects, Crooked House does not disappoint. On top of that, Hugh Fraser is the best at capturing each character and giving them life. Loved this one!
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