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Dead Man's Folly: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Paperback – August 30, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews
Book 31 of 43 in the Hercule Poirot Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Poirot is the guide who led me into the wondrous maze of crime fiction. And I’ve never wanted to escape.” (Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award-winning author)

“The infallibly original Agatha Christie has come up, once again, with a new and highly ingenious puzzle-construction.” (New York Times)

“A classic Christie and one of the best.” (The Times (London))

“The solution is of the colossal ingenuity we have been conditioned to expect.” (The Times Literary Supplement (London))

From the Back Cover

Sir George and Lady Stubbs, the hosts of a villagefete, hit upon the novel idea of staging a mockmurder mystery. In good faith, Ariadne Oliver, thewell-known crime writer, agrees to organize theirmurder hunt.

Despite weeks of meticulous planning, at the lastminute Ariadne calls her friend Hercule Poirot forhis expert assistance. Instinctively, she senses thatsomething sinister is about to happen….

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Product Details

  • Series: Hercule Poirot Mysteries (Book 31)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073884
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,295 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read and re-read most of Christie's famous works, I decided to sample this lesser-known story set in post-war England. Christie delivers as she always has; the story is gripping, perplexing, witty, and charming.

The premise is nothing new for Christie; most of her mysteries are domestic murders, where one of the household must have done it. This book follows the same pattern. What makes this story different and interesting is the Murder Hunt, organized by the character of Adriane Oliver. Since it will be obvious to the reader from the very beginning that Mrs Oliver is based on Christie herself, the whole Murder Hunt plays very effective mind tricks with him. It is as if the author has jumped into the mystery to give vital clues.

The rest of the mystery is the typical blend of varied and fascinating characters, in a sprawling setting. The exotic foreigner, trophy wife, country squire, efficent secretary, all well-recognized mystery story hallmarks are present. Of particular interest is the character of Mrs Folliat, the old and mysterious ex-owner of the estate in which the story is set. As Hercule Poirot quickly divines, there's something about Mrs Folliat...

The only problem with this book arises towards the end. With the exception of Oliver, Folliat and obviously the incomparable Poirot, the other characters are a shade disappointing. I have always appreciated Christie's shrewd analysis of the psyche of the domestic murderer. The reason why it is always near impossible to guess whodunnit is that the ruthlessness is always so neatly concealed within the character of the murderer. However, in this particular story, the characters are not as well-developed as they should be. They are interesting and plausible people, but rather simple.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What "improvements" have been made for the Berkley edition? There are already major differences in punctuation, word choices, and scene breaks between the original Collins and Dodd Mead editions of this novel. There are further differences between the Dodd Mead editions republished by Random House/Avenel and the Dodd Mead editions republished by Simon & Shuster/Pocket. There are further differences still in the Signet, Bantam, and Black Dog & Leventhal editions. For every publishing house putting out her works, there seem to be a new batch of editors altering Agatha Christie's words and the sound of her voice. What's the matter with these publishers? Whose voice do they think we want to hear when we sit down to a novel by Agatha Christie? And what will she sound like twenty years from now? It's frightening that her estate has failed to see the importance of guarding her words as she wrote them. Please tell me I'm not the only one here who senses that a crime has been committed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
and solves this crime in the last few pages of the book, with little to go on and less proof than usual that what he says is right. Agatha doesn't let us see the wheels working in this book, as she usually does, which is disappointing. The solution suddenly came about in a big rush after many chapters spent dithering around with a story. Granted, it's an interesting story -- but in the end, I was left wanting more.
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Mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver has been enticed into devising a "murder hunt game" for a village fundraiser--but as the event approaches she feels increasingly uneasy, as if some one among those in charge of the event is manipulating her game to their own sinister purpose. She accordingly puts through a call to old friend Hercule Poirot, who drops in on the proceedings to discover that some one has turned the game into reality.
DEAD MAN'S FOLLY is not among Christie's better known works, and in truth it does not rank among her great classics. Even so, it has its charms, particularly in the form of Ariadne Oliver, a somewhat frazzled, absent-minded, and eccentric character clearly intended as a parody of mystery novelists in general and Christie herself in particular. The novel itself is nicely written and offers Christie's usual clever twist at the end. An enjoyable read for fans of the genre!
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Aridane Oliver is prominent in this novel as she has been hired to stage a Murder Hunt for the village fete to raise money for local charities. Her famous intuition tells her something is not right and her intuition is shown to be right on target when a real body is found instead of the "pretend" corpse in the murder game. Mrs. Oliver calls in her friend Hercule Poirot for assistance. Poirot is fond of Mrs. Oliver and has been since he first met her while solving the murder of Mr. Shaitana in "Cards on the Table."
This novel is filled with well-drawn characters including: George Stubbs, the owner of Nasse House where the murder occurs; his wife Lady Hattie, a young woman obsessed with her jewels; Etienne de Sousa, Hattie's debonair cousin who arrives unexpectedly and unwelcomed; Marlene Tucker, a sniffling teen-ager who was chosen to play the "corpse"; and Mrs. Folliat, the former lady of the manor. Along with others, they form the backdrop as Poirot and Mrs. Oliver follow clues that lead to impersonation, old sins, and a ruthless killer.
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