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Five Little Pigs: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Paperback – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Hercule Poirot Mysteries
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073570
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The answer to the riddle is brilliant.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))

“A brilliant piece of detective fiction, in which character plays an important part.” (Daily Telegraph (London))

“Straightforward bamboozling from start to finish.” (New Statesman (UK))

“As usual, Mrs. Christie hoaxes us with a double twist at the denouement, and provides excellent entertainment.” (Punch (UK))

“Agatha Christie never fails us, and her Five Little Pigs presents a very pretty problem for the ingenious reader.” (Manchester Guardian (UK))

From the Back Cover

Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoningher husband, but just like the nursery rhyme, therewere five other “little pigs” who could have done it:Philip Blake (the stockbroker), who went to market;Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist), who stayedat home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcée), whohad her roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devotedgoverness), who had none; and Angela Warren (thedisfigured sister), who cried all the way home.

Sixteen years later, Caroline’s daughter is determinedto prove her mother’s innocence, and Poirotjust can’t get that nursery rhyme out of his mind.


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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on March 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This classic Christie was published in Britain as "Five Little Pigs" and in the US as "Murder in Retrospect" because Poirot must solve a crime that took place 16 years before the story opens. Dame Agatha wrote this during the 1940's, a period that critics agree was when she did her best work.
The crime in this book is the murder of the brilliant painter Amyas Crayle. His wife is convicted of the crime and sent to prison. However, their young daughter is now of age and receives a letter from her mother professing her innocence. The daughter turns to the famous Hercule Poirot for help. If the wife is innocent, Poirot must look a the five people who were present at the time of the crime---hence, the "five little pigs." In true nursery rhyme fashion, one little pig went to market (financial counsellor), one little pig stayed home (thanks to an inheritance), one little pig had roast beef (had made a good marriage), one little pig had none (retired teacher with limited income), and one little pig cried all the way home (a woman with a disfiguring facial scar).
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that Poirot will get an account of the murder from each of the five characters. At the end of these five accounts, you will have all the information that Poirot has and can try your hand at out-detecting the master.
This is a great detective story and, in my opinion, one of the best by Agatha Christie.
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Format: Paperback
Five Little Pigs was published in 1942 during the period when Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was writing at the top of her murderous genius. The novel is the first of a quartet of novels in which the original murder being investigated occurred in the past. In this case it was 16 years prior to the time when Hercule Poirot stepped in and solved the case.
The Plot: Carla Lemarchant,a young Canadian woman planning on being married in the near future, visits England to hire Hercule Poirot. Sixteen years in the past her mother Caroline had been arrested for the murder of her husband Amyas Crale. Crale was a famous painter. His poisoned body was found in the garden of his estate Hardcross Manor in Devonshire. The five suspects (hence the "five pigs" designation) are:
Phillip Blake-The best friend of the victim. Blake is a businessman. He tells Poirot that Mrs. Crale was guilty.
Meredith Blake-Phillip's brother who informs Poirot that Amyas Crale was having an affair with Elsa Greer a sexpot who was several years his junior. "Merry" is an expert on herbs and poisons.
Elsa Greer-the much married wealthy woman who was Crale's lover. She was posing for Crale on the September day when the painter was found dead after drinking a cold beer.
Cecilia Williams-the elderly nursemaid for Carolyn Crale's half sister. She believes in Mrs. Crale's innocence, (Mrs. Crale died in prison).
Angela Warren-The half-siter of Mrs Crayle. Mrs Crayle through a paperweight at Angela causing her to be blind in one eye. Every since this childhood act of violence Mrs. Crale has taken good care of her Miss Warren.
What makes this Christie thriller of special note is:
a. Each of the five suspects writes a summary of the events surrounding the murder.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This classic Christie was published in Britain as "Five Little Pigs" and in the US as "Murder in Retrospect" because Poirot must solve a crime that took place 16 years before the story opens. Dame Agatha wrote this during the 1940's, a period that critics agree was when she did her best work. The crime in this book is the murder of the brilliant painter Amyas Crayle. His wife is convicted of the crime and sent to prison. However, their daughter is now of age and receives a letter from her mother professing her innocence. The daughter turns to Hercule Poirot for help. If the wife is innocent, Poirot must look at the five people who were present at the time of the crime---hence, the five little pigs. And in true nursery rhyme fashion one little pig went to market (finanacial counsellor), one little pig stayed home (thanks to an inheritance), one little pig had roast beef (had made a good marriage), one little pig had none (retired teacher with limited income), and one little pig cried all the way home (the woman with a disfiguring facial scar).
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that Poirot will get an account of the murder from each of the five characters. At the end of these five accounts, you will have all the information that Poirot has and can try your hand at out-detecting the master.
This is a great detective story and one of the best by Agatha Christie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By hacklehorn on December 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The truth has a habit of making itself known. Even after many years"-a maxim that sums up Five Little Pigs (Agatha Christie, 1942), quite simply one of the best books she has ever written, combining the well-written "novel" of The Hollow or Taken at the Flood with the classic plotting of her books of the 1930s--producing a book as satisfying as Nicholas Blake at his best.
This book, the first investigation into a murder committed in the past (and one of the many nursery rhyme books, the rhyme inappropriate to the general tone of the piece), tells of the murder of Amyas Crale, apparently poisoned by his wife Caroline sixteen years before, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, dying in prison. Their daughter, also Caroline, believes that her mother did not kill her father, and hires Hercule Poirot to find out who did, on the grounds that "a case of murder is a case of murder whether it happened yesterday or sixteen years ago". Poirot is, of necessity, at his most cerebral here-as Caroline Crale II tells him, `It's psychology that interests you, isn't it? Well, that doesn't change with time. The tangible things are gone-the cigarette-end and the footprints and the bent blades of grass. You can't look for those any more. But you can go over all the facts of the case, and perhaps talk to the people who were there at the time-they're all alive still-and then-and then, as you said just now, you can lie back in your chair and think. And you'll know what really happened...'
In an attempt to find out the truth, Poirot approaches the five survivors of the tragedy-Mrs.
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