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The Witness for the Prosecution: and Other Stories Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1984

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

Special kudos to the voice casting executive at Audio Editions for this project! Horror screen icon Christopher Lee, thrust suddenly into the spotlight again in his 80s, thanks to his stint in LORD OF THE RINGS, steps up to the mike and delivers a vocal masterpiece. Lee embodies blue bloods and cockneys alike with equal aplomb, burnishing Christie's mysteries to a high and satisfying finish. The material is perfectly chosen as well--strong, tight mysteries with three-dimensional characters, particularly the title story with its sophisticated, Sherlock Holmes-ish surprise ending. More lavish packaging would be a nice touch for this audiobook, but that's a niggling concern--this collection of mysteries finds its solution in sterling acting and recording. D.J.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425068099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425068090
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,178,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Each story herein, except "The Second Gong", has also appeared in either _The Hound of Death_ or _The Listerdale Mystery_. Some of the stories are fantasy fiction rather than mysteries, but don't be *too* quick to assign supernatural causes to anything.
"Accident" (1929) - Evans (formerly Inspector Evans of the CID) recognizes in the six-years-married Merrowdenes the notorious Mrs. Anthony, acquitted of poisoning her first husband - judged to have died of an accidental overdose of arsenic. As a girl, her stepfather accidentally fell to his death from a cliff during a walk. Not looking good for *Mr.* Merrowdene...
"The Fourth Man" (December 1925) As a supernatural story, best appreciated in Christie's fantasy-dominated collection _The Hound of Death_. Three ever-so-superior professional men - minister, physician, and lawyer - begin discussing a famous multiple personality case during a night train journey. Even though they're missing a fourth point of view - that of the man in the street - they ignore the fourth man in their compartment...
"The Mystery of the Blue Jar" (1933) Jack Hartington lives for golf; since he's 24 and has to earn a living, he lives near a golf course where he can practice every morning before work. Then screams no one else hears begin coming from a cottage near the course, every morning at the same time - and whatever's going on centers around the image of a woman holding a blue jar.
"The Mystery of the Spanish Shawl" a.k.a. "Mr. Eastwood's Adventure" (August 1924) Anthony Eastwood is stuck, trying to create a plot for the title "The Mystery of the Second Cucumber", when a mysterious phone call with 1 word - 'cucumber' - entangles him in a *real* mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anyone familiar with the 1957 Billy Wilder film "Witness for the Prosecution" knows the plot of the title story. The short story, however, is told from an entirely different vantage point. The change in focus doesn't rob the story of any of its sting, and the product is every bit as entertaining as the excellent movie.
Christie tells the remaining stories in a taut, fast-paced, and satisfying manner, and more than once brings the story to a quite unexpected climax.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The title story is by far the best story in "Witness for the Prosecution" a collection of Agatha Christie short stories that will surely engage readers' imaginations. The other stories in the collection include straightforward deception, murder, spiritualism, and a classic closed-room mystery featuring Hercule Poirot. Some of these stories are certainly dated, but the sheer fun of uncovering the truths behind Christie's mysteries is timeless.

"Witness for the Prosecution" is a mind-bending affair, as a lawyer sets out to prove his client is innocent and deeply in love with his wife. Yet his wife, a witness against her husband, has a different story to tell and the lawyer must find a way to reconcile her testimony with what he believes to be the truth of his client's innocence. Several stories, like "The Red Signal" and "S.O.S" showcase Christie's interest in the occult and mysticism. "Where There's a Will" is a clever and satisfying story of comeuppance about a lonely widower and her devoted nephew who hopes to cash in on his inheritance with the ruse about her dear departed husband. "The Mystery of the Blue Jar" is an interesting lark about a man who keeps hearing a cry of murder on the golf course and is taken in by a story of a haunted house only to be taken for a further ride. "Philomel Cottage" is an exciting story of a woman who marries a man she hardly knows and then begins to fear that he may not be who he claimed to be after all. The collection ends with "The Second Gong" a closed room murder mystery featuring Hercule Poirot that I am certain I have read in another collection, but since I have quite an old copy of this work (1948 to be exact), I may not have the same stories as other collections (especially since some say 11 stories and there are only 9 in this one).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not all of Agatha Christie's ideas made it into novel form. Some quality short stories were among her works, and some of these were included in "Witness for the Prosecution". Some of the tales in this collection are brilliant while others just do not seem to hit the mark. One may wonder if this is why the lesser stories never made it to novel form.

There were a number of highlights in this collection for me. The story from which the collection draws its name shows a lawyer attempting to prove his client is innocent of murder and deeply in love with his wife. Yet the disposition of his wife obscures the plot, raising questions that were unthinkable in the beginning. "Where There's a Will", which has parallels to "Psycho", is a clever story about a lonely widower and her devoted nephew who hopes to cash in on his inheritance with the ruse about her dear departed husband. "The Second Gong" is a murder mystery featuring Hercule Poirot. A mysterious death causes finger pointing among the members of the house. While the culprit may be evident, the motive may not be.

Other stories in the collection draw on themes of mysticism which just seems to be below the boundaries of Agatha Christie's talent. The other stories were enjoyable and make this collection worth acquiring.
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