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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery



The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Reviews of The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Reviewed by Chris' comments - You'll enjoy it.

One of my favorite Poirot mysteries! You'll enjoy it.


Reviewed by Stan Hoobing - Five Stars

It was a great read and a excellent job of writing and keeping one guessing who the murderer was.


Reviewed by JOAN CURTAIN - ABC Murders

Excellent reading, it was hard to put the book down. It kept one guessing until the end. Highly recommended reading.


Reviewed by Akiko - Five Stars

good


Reviewed by anita raines - Five Stars

Good book


Reviewed by Narendra N. Acharya - Five Stars

Interesting.


Reviewed by JMC - Great Reading

The ABC Murders is a wonderful classic book. It is great to buy the complete set to add to your home library.


Reviewed by Amazon Customer - Five Stars

It's AC


Reviewed by Maddy - ABC Murders

Very interesting read. It kept me intrigued through out the story


Reviewed by Ebraheem bouq - Five Stars

Spectacular novel


Reviewed by sloppy joe - hard to get better

I find all Christie books great.. I just go back to 1935 or close and see the story unfold. I should say between the wars.


Reviewed by Amazon Customer - Classic Agatha Christie

Another classic Hercule Poirot mystery. It kept me thinking until the end. Just when I think I have figured it out, there is another turn of events.


Reviewed by Ann O'Keefe - Good read. One of Christie's best

Good read. One of Christie's best.


Reviewed by angeline naylor - Great book

My 11 year old son loved it and would recommend it highly to those who like crime. It was very intriguing yet easy to read.


Reviewed by Thunteratl - Five Stars

Agatha at her best!


Reviewed by Victoria - ABC Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Another great Agatha Christie work. Lots of twists just as you think you've solved the mystery. She keeps you interested until the end.


Reviewed by L. Nery - Parbleu! Poirot at the top of his game!

Much has been said about the plot, which is fine; and the twist, which as some critics have remarked, does not come as a surprise because it's become a trope of the genre since then.

So what I liked the most, and makes this book a must-read, is Poirot's charm, wit, mannerisms and interactions with Hastings. We see real friendship there, and that's not something that many authors get right. Also, we learn that Poirot is dying his hair and resorting to a sort of toupee. And that these crimes take such a toll on his little grey cells that he even neglects caring for his moustache! Quelle horreur!


Reviewed by Stinkerpuppy - Another great Agatha mystery

engaging and surprising, typical Agatha Christie! Thought I had it figured out but as usual wasn't even close, good read.


Reviewed by FictionFanTOP 1000 REVIEWER - A great narration of a true classic...

When Captain Hastings comes back on a trip to London from his new home in the Argentine, he hastens round to visit his old friend, Hercule Poirot. After they've done a bit of catching up, Poirot shows Hastings a bizarre letter he has received, warning that a crime will be committed on a certain date in Andover. When the day comes, so does news of a murder – Alice Ascher, the owner of a small newsagents, has been found dead, with a copy of the ABC railway guide lying beside her body. Poirot and Hastings head to Andover, and soon find that Mrs Ascher's drunken husband had every reason to want her dead, and would surely be arrested for the crime were it not for the strange coincidence of the letter. Some weeks pass before Poirot receives a second letter, this time warning of a murder to take place in Bexhill and, sure enough, a body turns up on the due date, along with another copy of the ABC. Poirot is already suspicious that this murderer is working to an alphabetical plan; a suspicion that is confirmed when the third letter speaks of Churston...

This is a rather typical Agatha Christie story – typically brilliant, that is. It has everything that makes her books such a joy: intriguing clues, plenty of suspects all with strong motives, lots of red herrings and misdirection, and, of course, the hugely entertaining interplay between Poirot and Hastings. It is narrated by Hastings, partly in the first person for the sections where he was present himself, and the rest in the third person, which he tells us he reconstructed from accounts from Poirot and other people.

There are possible suspects for each of the crimes – relatives, lovers and so on – but Poirot must find the link that connects them all. Chief Inspector Japp is always happy to have help from his little Belgian friend, and some of the suspects get together to offer their assistance too, so that they can have justice for the dead and also get out from under the cloud of suspicion that is hovering over them.

People sometimes sneer at Christie for working to a “formula” but I say, if a formula works so well, then why not? There are some things in this one that I feel are standard Christie, and they add as much to the enjoyment here as they do in so many of her other books. Her victims are carefully chosen so that we hope for justice for them, while not having to go through too much of the angst of grief. Poirot and Hastings spend much of their time interviewing people until Poirot's little grey cells give him the solution, which he then reveals at a get-together of all the suspects. The tone is lightened by the warmth of Hastings' narration – his occasional humour at Poirot's expense never hiding the warm regard he feels for his friend. And although Poirot is obviously more intelligent than Inspector Japp, the police are never shown as bumbling incompetents. There is a general respect in the books that makes Christie's world a pleasure to visit, and despite the similarities in tone and structure, the plots are different and original enough to make each book feel unique.

The plot of this one is beautifully complex and elegantly simple at the same time – a true Christie trait – so that when the solution finally comes, it seems both fiendishly clever and satisfyingly obvious. This is a major part of Christie's success, I think – her “twists” are an untangling of a complicated knot, rather than the sudden introduction of some new layer of hitherto unsuspected silliness, as with so much contemporary crime. Her denouements don't so much make one gasp with stunned disbelief as nod with satisfaction at the logical working out, and grin with pleasure at her cleverness in first hiding and then revealing her clues.

I listened to the Audible version of this, narrated by Hugh Fraser, whom Christie fans will recognise as the actor who played Hastings to David Suchet's Poirot in the long-running ITV series. Fraser does a marvellous job – he captures the tone of the books perfectly, bringing out the humour and the warmth of the friendship between Poirot and Hastings. He has a lovely speaking voice and, though he doesn't “act” all the parts, he differentiates enough between the characters so that it's easy to follow who's speaking. Obviously, when he's reading Hastings' dialogue, he sounds just like Hastings. But remarkably, when Poirot is speaking, he sounds just like Suchet's Poirot! I guess Fraser must have spent long enough listening to Suchet do it that he has mastered a faultless impersonation. It gives the narration a wonderful familiarity for fans of the TV adaptations.

So to conclude, one of Christie's finest, enhanced by a fabulous narration – I promptly shot off back to Audible and used up all my spare credits on getting as many of Fraser's Poirot readings as I could, and happily he has done loads of them. My highest recommendation for both book and reading – perfect entertainment!


Reviewed by ADITI SAHA - Poirot and Christie at their best!

“Our weapon is our knowledge. But remember, it may be a knowledge we may not know that we possess.”

----Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery, has spun and extremely intriguing crime fiction and the thirteenth tale from her Hercule Poirot series called, The A.B.C. Murders that revolves around the anonymous letters stating as well as challenging Poirot that a murder will take place in the alphabetical order in a random town, and that intrigues the clever Poirot to come out of his early retirement to catch the mad serial killer striking random people in the alphabetical manner.

Synopsis:

There's a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim's corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught - until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans.

Poirot is tempted by the anonymous letter addressed to him stating about a murder that is going to take place is a particular town on a particular date and signed as ABC. And within no time, the letter's each word comes true as the murder of an old lady takes place on the letter's said date and place, and it seems the killer has left an ABC railway guide book beside the dead body. And pretty soon one after another murder takes place that Poirot could not stop those from happening. So four murders later, Poirot finally manages to lure the serial killer onto his trap. Although this time, Poirot uses his gray matters and logic more than the clues to come to a conclusion about this baffling serial killing case.

One of my absolute favorite Agatha Christie books that, no matter, how many times I read it, always leave me awestruck with the intensity of the thrill and with Poirot's unmatched wits that comes out strikingly only in few of the books from the Hercule Poirot series. Although the book opens bit slow, still somewhere in the middle of the story, the complexity of the plot will drown its readers and leave them anticipating till the very last page.

The writing style is eloquent and is laced with so many layers that makes this plot challenging and interesting that will keep the readers glued to the pages of this book. The narrative is equally engaging with that light French flair mixed heavily with the English undertone thereby making the story line real and enthralling for the readers. The pacing is quite fast as the author unravels her plot through so many twists and turns that will leave the readers guessing till the very end.

The mystery part is extremely well concocted by the author, in fact, I've never ever came across such a mystery book where the plot is so thick and keeps getting thicker until it deludes the readers into its unknown depth and finally in the climax, the plot gradually begins to unravel through the author's smart and clever perspective that is highly absorbing and justifiable. The mystery is one hell of a roller coaster ride filled with some highly anticipating scenes, adrenaline rushing moments and some challenging events.

The characters are, no doubt, very much well crafted through their flaws, psychological challenges, and their thorough mindset, so while reading, it will feel like taking a trip inside the head of the secondary characters apart from Poirot and his friend, Hastings. The author depicts her characters with a clear insight into the minds of those characters, thereby making her readers contemplate with the characters' demeanor easily. Poirot's charm, his French exclamations and his wit simply steals the show. Oui!

In a nutshell, this book is one of the few showstopper crime fiction books that is not only riveting but also enlightening enough for the readers to look beyond the characters demeanor and the fictional plot's development and right into the mind of such an excellent and flawless writer of all times.


Reviewed by Amazon Customer - I suppose this is one of the great appeals of Christie as an author

Certain authors I think pass down over familial lines. A parent or grandparent reads an author, passes it down to their children, nieces and nephews and soon that author is a treasured member of an entire clan. I grew up with Agatha Christie novels littered through out my mother's collection. She devoured them one after another. And when she completed one read through of all that she had she would begin anew. It was only natural that I soon followed in her footsteps.
Over the years I have attempted to hone my skills by trying to guess her who done its. Only twice have I been successful. I suppose this is one of the great appeals of Christie as an author. TV shows and movies tend to reveal themselves to early as to who the nefarious enemy in question is. It of course doesn't hurt that the settings in Christie's novels are always so engrossing, the characters engaging, and the pacing turn-paging. Her characters are some of the most iconic in this or any other genre. Jessica Fletcher, the main character of murder, she wrote, was purposefully modeled on Christie's own Miss Marple. And there is no way to look at the character Monk and not see inspiration from Agatha's Hercule Poirot, an OCD, germophobic Belgian with unusual digestive and facial grooming habits.
I am simply trying to convey the popularity and quality of writing that the Queen of Mystery produces. As the most widely published author in the world it seems a great many others agree with me. All of that being said the A.B.C. murders is probably in my top five of her mysteries. It has the aforementioned Poirot and, without any spoilers, her characteristic plot twist. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to get into her work and not knowing where to start.


Reviewed by L. M. KeeferTOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE - The ABC's of Murder

Although this doesn't have the drama and excitement of some of the more popular Christie mysteries such as MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS or AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, I rather like it as a quintessential English village mystery. The title derives its name from an anonymous murderer who writes the indefatigable Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, to announce the locale up an upcoming murder. The towns follow an alphabetical pattern.

This mystery novel was written in 1936 so it provides insight into English village life during that time period. I enjoy cerebral mysteries that are more mind games, and this is clever. It actually is one of my more favorite of Dame Agatha's mysteries. If you read Agatha Christie's autobiography, she is quite self-effacing about her writing talent. However, when you read her mysteries you understand why she is the best-selling fiction author of all time. Her books have an accessibility and universal appeal which many can enjoy. If you want a more quiet, but still entertaining, mystery, you may wish to sample this one.


Reviewed by R. M. FisherTOP 1000 REVIEWER - "Something About that Letter is Wrong..."

I was under the vague impression that "The ABC Murders" was considered upper-tier Christie, but it was not until finishing and reading further reviews that I realized it was considered one of her very best. This surprised me, as though I thought it was indeed very good, I wouldn't have quite put it among the absolute best she has to offer.

Then it occurred to me that (much like And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) the ingeniousness of the book's crime and solution has since been overshadowed by so many copycats. Christie came up with so many mystery tropes that by now are considered staple features of the genre, that their originality is no longer felt quite so keenly. First published in 1936, when Christie was at the top of her game, "The ABC Murders" utilizes clever misdirection to conceal what's really going on, resulting in a twist ending that really packs a punch.

The novel is also unusual in that it contains both a first-person narrative (courtesy of Arthur Hastings, as was usually the case) but also short segments in third-person narrative that are entirely removed from the main thrust of the plot (Hasting's takes credit for them, stating that he's reconstructed the events himself). Any reader of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd will recall how much Christie likes to play with points-of-view, and play close attention to what she chooses to divulge when it comes to the activities of the mysterious Mr Cust.

The story begins when Captain Arthur Hasting returns from South America and immediately looks up his old friend Hercule Poirot for a bout of reminiscing. By this point the two of them have solved many cases together (this is Poirot's eleventh case, not counting various short-story collections) and Hastings is eager to see if anything will emerge during his visit.

Poirot obligingly shows him a curiosity that has come through the mail, a letter that taunts his intelligence and promises a murder in Andover on the 21st of June. It's signed: ABC. Hastings passes it off as a prank, but Poirot is not too sure - and his worry is justified when the body of Alice Ascher is found on the promised date. An ABC railway guide is left by the victim's body.

A second letter arrives with promise of another killing, and then a third. It's clear that what they're dealing with is a serial killer, yet Poirot notices several discrepancies between what the killer is promising and what's actually occurring. He decides to call together all the friends and family members of the victims together, hoping to find some clue of what the killer might be after by studying their interactions. It's within this eclectic group of people that the answer to the mystery will be solved...

Christie does a surprisingly good job at crafting portraits of various characters, even ones that appear for no more than a few pages, making them all vivid and real. Hasting is naturally ten steps behind, though makes for an observant and amusing narrator, and as ever, Christie delves into interesting discussions on psychology and human nature when it comes to exploring possible motives for a criminal such as ABC.

Reviewed by today's standards, the serial killer genre has all but played out (so much so that many of them are semi-heroic protagonists on their own shows), so it's necessary to keep in mind that Christie was breaking new ground when it came to exploring and subverting this particular type of murderer. It's a testimony to her genius that she was able to change the course of crime-writing so profoundly, and here she's at her sharpest and most creative.

Oh, and watch out for the fun bit of foreshadowing for what was the as-yet unwritten Cards on the Table.


Reviewed by Noble - ABC Murders, not as easy to figure out as 1-2-3!

Agatha Christie leads the reader through a maze of second-guessing, doubt, and confusion in the murder-mystery ABC Murders. This story is a classic Christie mystery, one that evades the reader until the very last pages. Christie also succeeds at weaving the tale with an abundance of suspicious characters, and with so many to choose from, the reader cannot fathom the true identity until Christie reveals it.
This mystery opens with Hercule Poirot, an esteemed detective who receives a letter from an unknown person(s) claiming a murder will take place in Andover. Police discount the letter, but Poirot is uneasy, and sure enough, Mrs. Ascher is killed in Andover. Poirot later receives a second letter warning over a murder in Bexhill, and subsequently Megan Barnard is murdered in Bexhill. The elusive ABC has already claimed two lives, and the stakes are high to catch the madman before he strikes again. Meanwhile, Alexander Bonaparte Cust is checking names off of his list on an ABC Railway Guide.
As murder-mysteries go, Agatha Christie truly is in a league of her own; ABC Murders simply adds to her legacy. Anyone who enters a Christie novel with the mindset of not falling for the obvious perpetrator is clearly going to fail with this novel. Christie’s wizardry leaves the reader shocked and confused, yet slowly understanding how Christie set up her delicate trap to capture the reader. The only choice that Christie allows the reader is to decide if there is a certain element of the letter that doesn’t sit right, or if it is simply a madman, to which Poirot would respond, “Is that all you have to say?”


Reviewed by Kevin KillianHALL OF FAME - The husband did it!

I always thought The A.B.C. Murders was yet another way Agatha Christie was able to pay back her cheating husband for leaving her for Nancy Neele. If everyone is looking for a shadowy figure who moves quietly through England destroying lives, and his initials are A.B.C., it makes sense that he might be a stand-in for Colonel Archi-Bald Christie! This shadowy figure was Christie’s symbol for fear, as she explains in her roman a clef, Unfinished Portrait (a romance novel in which the heroine, Celia, has a recurrent dream that one day she is to meet the evil eyed man whose face she just cannot seem to see clearly in her nightmares). And now here he is.

He is at the heart of what might be the very best of all Christie’s novels, a rousing storytelling feat in which you really come to believe that a serial killer is on the loose, one with a paricularly defiant habit of announcing to the authorities the site of his next murder: shades of the Jack the Ripper murders which must have occurred shortly before Christie’s own date of birth. But the sheer gall of a killer inviting the public to watch for an upcoming murder must have gripped her imagination early on; in fact it repeats itself in “A Murder Is Announced,” does it not, which opens up with the neighbors of Chipping Cleghorn opening their morning papers at breakfast and being startled to find out that the killer has inserted an ad in the papers inviting them to see it!

Another thing that impressed me is Christie’s slow, thorough examination of a huge variety of social classes in England, particularly the first two murders where, if you ask me, she handles every single character, even the minor ones who occupy a [age or two (or less) with equal conviction and gives respect to all In this book, at any rate, I don’t see the “snob” she is sometimes accused of being. She builds up a titanic amount of sympathy for the salesman of nylon stockings who threads through the murders. Even when when we think he’s guilty, we are invited to blame his illness (or madness) on the social conditions that have made him the way he is. She is psychologically the most acute of novelists, and only later do you realize she is also spinning her web of misdirection. Even I, reading the book for the 20th time, and knowing every little twist of the story (or thinking I did), was surprised by some of the revelations at the end. OK, once or twice Poirot makes one too many mistakes in English, like a Belgian Borat, but we always respect him too even at his goofiest. And Hastings is great in this book. In a way it’s a shame Christie couldn’t find it in her to continue to use him as Poirot’s Watson.

The atmosphere is fantastic, the equal of that in Cat of Many Tails by Ellery Queen, or Murder Gone Mad, not tom mention later Thomas Harris-y books like Red Dragon, in which fear of a depraved killer paralyzes entire cities. No one does fear better than Agatha Christie, and no wonder, first her father died on her, leaving her mother near penury (for a rich woman), and then her rotten A.B.C husband keeps hauling the golf clubs out of his dressing room and going for nine holes....


Reviewed by Lady Silverlocks - Kept Me Guessing

I had my suspicions about Alexander Bonaparte Cush, but not enough information to come to the conclusion that Poirot did. But I'm glad I was on the right track. Agatha Christie writes in such a way that you feel she is leading you astray, but she doesn't make it easy to find the truth.


Reviewed by Njkinny - Ingenious and a must read..

...Let us see, Mr. Clever Poirot, just how clever you can be... says the letter which marks the beginning of a madman's killing spree across England with only his letters and the ABC railway guides left behind after every murder as clues and his stubborn adherence to the alphabetical order. While there is no apparent symmetry in the logic behind the choosing of the victims, one thing is clear, this is a case most unique and one which could just become the first ever case where Poirot fails to catch the criminal!

One thing that is guaranteed when you pick up an Agatha Christie book is the completely out of the box nature of the crimes and an assurance that by the end you will be left speechless and completely awed!
The same thing happened with me while reading The A.B.C. Murders. The plot is simply ingenious and one which I could never have imagined. The fact that this book was written as far back as in 1936 simply blew away my mind.

The story line is well conceived and executed with expertly planned and thrown twists and turns. In this book, Poirot and Hastings are on the hunt together again which was great. I love the duo, with Hastings' simple naivety which symbolizes the general public and Poirot's infamous "little grey cells" which are rare and I think possessed only by him! :)

The author gives gives her views on the general anticipation of people for colorful, filmy style mysteries with devious and brooding characters which are often so far removed from the real noteworthy crimes that are always "simple". She gives an example of one of her great mysteries, Cards on the Table and which was yet unpublished when this book came out. Similarly, the author uses Hastings and Poirot to give an in depth insight into human motives, actions and their general character which is eye opening and left me with great respect for the author. Only a person who has experienced life and carefully studied human nature can give this much insight and beautifully use her knowledge to give a mystery that makes its place among the top written mysteries of all time.

There are many memorable quotes that stay with you long after you have finished reading the book.
The characterization is admirably done and each character is diligently kept under suspicion with clues thrown here and there.Their physical appearance is also depicted in such a manner that it is easily relatable to their real character. Agatha Christie keeps one step ahead of the reader throughout and when the climax comes, she succeeds in shocking the reader.

I loved this book through and through. The A.B.C. Murders has great dialogues, expertly developed and very teaching characters and a mystery that stays with the reader long after completing the book. A book that can be read any number of times and which will leave you surprised and awed each time, I give The A.B.C. Murders 5 super shining stars. Go buy and read this book, it is not to be missed! :)

This review is also available on my blog Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff


Reviewed by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt JohnsonTOP 1000 REVIEWER - One of my all-time favorite mysteries!

Poirot is setting off on one of his most baffling and frightening cases ever. A madman has challenged him to a duel – a duel of murderer versus detective. Periodically, the killer will send a letter to Poirot telling him when and where he will murder his next villain, and then it is up to the great detective to stop him. He’s going to work his way through the alphabet, beginning with Alice Ascher of Andover, and only Poirot can stop him...if, indeed, anyone can!

I must say, this is my all-time favorite Poirot mystery, and one of my all-time favorite mysteries period! I loved the way Ms. Christie hid the true motive for the murders, and how she kept me wondering just how Poirot would pull it off. There’s red-herrings and complications, lies and misunderstandings, all of which keep you well off-guard. And, just when you think it’s over, it isn’t. I think that this is a great mystery, one that is sure to please any mystery fan!


Reviewed by John Martin - Wonderful Christie mystery featuring Hercule Poirot

The A.B. C. Murders is one of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries. The story begins with the return to London of Poirot’s long time friends, Col. Hastings, from whose point of view the story is told. Upon first meeting Poirot again after an absence of some years Hastings says he looks younger. The ever vain Poirot then produces a jar of hair coloring indicating that he has dyed his hair black. Such is the fun of this character, vain and supremely confident in his detection skills, or as he refers to them “the little gray cells.”

The story begins to take shape as Poirot shows Hastings a letter he has received saying there will be a murder and signed A.B.C. It turns out that a series of three murders occur and each victim is found with a copy of the British railway schedule (known as A.B.C.) near the body. Moreover each victim’s name and the place they are killed in begins with (in order) A, B and C. A madman (or woman) surely and one that outwits Poirot or so it seems until the little gray cells get to work and solve the case.

This book is another entertaining mystery with Christie’s usual variety of possible suspects and plot twists. It is different in one important respect—the apparent killer is known to the reader virtually from the start. But leave it up to Poirot and his little gray cells to figure out the truth! The book will be a delight for those who are fans of the Poirot series and for those who have not read any of these mysteries it is certainly worth while reading as well.


Reviewed by Damaskcat - The ABC Murders

Hercule Poirot receives a taunting anonymous letter telling him there will be a murder in Andover on a certain date and signed 'A B C'. When a woman is found dead in her tobacconists/newsagents shop with a copy of the ABC train timetable open at the page for Andover it seems the letter wasn't a hoax.

Another murder is announced to Poirot - this time in Bexhill. Poirot is getting increasingly concerned and he and his friend Captain Hastings are soon hot on the trail of this mystery murderer. I found it a totally baffling mystery and I definitely didn't work out who the murderer was until Poirot himself explained in his inimitable fashion.

I really enjoyed reading this story and Agatha Christie could certainly teach many authors writing today a thing or two about plotting! The book is well written, the characters are varied and interesting. The book definitely justifies Christie's unofficial title - 'The Queen of Crime.'


Reviewed by Cozy Reader - Hercule Poirot does it again!

Hercule Poirot receives a letter from A.B.C. taunting him that he will be a murder soon, advertising it's location. And there is. Alice Asher, who is a shopkeeper in Andover. Soon Poirot is receiving more letters from the murderer. The next victim is Betty Barnard from Bexhill, and the third is Sir Carmichael Clarke from Churston. Will Poirot, with the help of Captain Hastings, be able to stop this madman (or woman) before he/she gets to Z??

Agatha Christie is an absolute genius when it comes to writing murder mysteries. She somehow manages to stump me every time. Sometimes I manage to luckily guess the murderer, but I'm clueless to the why. This isn't because of my own inability to guess the murderer. Trust me I have fairly good success record, no it's Agatha Christie herself. She is such a great author, that has the knack of throwing red herrings in the way and leaving me clueless. This was exactly the case with The ABC Murders.

In The ABC Murders she does something unheard of. She gives the point of view from the supposed "murderer", and after all is said and done she says "well maybe that is not the murderer"!! This is clearly the work of someone that is not only a genius crime writer, but knows exactly how to keep her readers hanging off.

I have not read a Agatha Christie mystery that I haven't enjoyed and this was the same with The ABC Murders. I listened to this one on audiobook, and I absolutely couldn't wait to the whodunit was solved.

My love/hate relationship with Poirot continued on in this mystery. He is SO vain (and actually professes that he has the best moustache ever) and at times can be so mean to Captain Hastings, but oh he is brilliant! I will give him that, he is a smart one, that Hercule Poirot.

I absolutely loved The ABC Murders. Unlike a lot of cozy mysteries these can be read as standalone, and without reserve I recommend this one to all cozy readers.


Reviewed by RCMVINE VOICE - In Alphabetical Order Please

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie features Hercule Poirot being challenged by a seemingly insane murderer. It features all of Christie's trademarks - especially those of early Poirot works where the murderer and the detective are somehow intertwined - and that essential twist that makes a Christie mystery better than the rest. "The ABC Murders" offers readers unique insight into the mind of the supposed killer as the famed detective and his pal Captain Hastings try to bring him to justice.

This novel sees the return of Captain Hastings from South America, arriving just as Poirot receives a mysterious communique from an A.B.C. - a letter announcing a crime in Andover on a certain date. Poirot fears murder, and is proven correct, yet before the search can truly begin, another letter arrives, with the town announced starting with a B. Could it be that this madman intends to make his way through the entire alphabet? And why is he challenging Poirot? For publicity? Because he dislikes foreigners? Just because he's plain crazy? There are so many questions that Poirot has no answers for, and as more murders occur, fewer answers announce themselves. Readers, however, are given narrative into the proposed murderer's actions as he kills his victims and leaves his calling card - an ABC train schedule - at each crime scene. With Captain Hastings, various police squads, and an amateur team of sleuths made up of those affected by the murders, Poirot races against the clock to solve the mystery before too many more innocent people are murdered.

Christie was at the top of her game with "The ABC Murders". It is a fast-paced almost frothy read that will leave readers uncertain, especially since it seems like too much about the killer is revealed (even if offered by Hastings in hindsight). It is always delightful when the great Hercule Poirot is stumped, but even more enjoyable when he uncovers the truth behind the great mysteries.


Reviewed by C. M Mills - An Alphabet Soup of serial murders dished up by the crime chef Agatha Christie and her Belgian detective Poirot

The A.B.C.Murders is a vintage Agatha Christie crime novel. The book was published in 1936 when Christie and her Belgian police genius Hercule Poirot were at the top of their incredible careers! This is a clever book which will keep the pages flying through your hands as you peruse a very intriguing novel!
The title is taken from the ABC Railroad Guide published in Great Britain. The guide contains an alphabetical listing of all the railroad stations in the kingdom. The serial killer takes the guide as his compass in his gruesome journey through the alphabet. The first murder is of Mrs. Ascher whose name begins with A. She is killed in Andover. The woman is a lower class store owner who is bludgeoned to death. The second murder is that of the fetching and amorous waiteress Betty Barnard of the seaside resort town of Be-on-the-Sea. The third murder is that of Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. This reviewer found it interesting that the first victim was poor; the second middle class and the third was wealty. Barnard and Clarke were both strangled. A fourth murder occurs in Doncaster on the day of a big horse race. The victim is George Earlsfield. Why does the killer publicize his murders by sending Hercule Poirot letters? The case becomes the most famous in Britain. Why didn't the killer kill someone with the first letter of his/her last name beginning with a "D"? Why is a typewrite and womens' silk hosiery important clues in solving the nettlesome case?
Whodunit? Only the genius of Hercule Poirot can solve the case. Helping Poirot is the narrator of many of the chapters the stolid Captain Arthur Hastings of Scotland Yard.
Is it the traveling salesman Alexander Bonaparte Cust? Did Cust kill all the victims? What was the motive for the murders? This is one of the finest of the Poirot novels which will give readers hours of fun and fascination as the see Poirot use the logic found in his little grey cells to solve a diffcult murder investigation! Christie's prose was prosaic and there is nothing profound in her novels. They are, however, a pure delight to read and use your own rationing powers to help solve the case before you on the printed page!
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Reviewed by S RiazTOP 500 REVIEWER - The ABC Murders

This is one of the most interesting Poirot mysteries. It is 1935 and Hastings has returned from Argentina to visit - will he and Poirot get to hunt a murderer again? Poirot is concerned by an anonymous letter he has received, stating, "look out for Andover, on the 21st of the month." It is signed simply, "ABC". When an elderly woman, named Ascher, is found murdered in her little newsagent shop, Poirot and Hastings become involved in a case which is different to any they have faced before. It seems a homicidal maniac is striking victims at random, based only on the first letters of their name and the place that they live. An ABC railway guide is always placed on or near the vitim. As the bodies mount, the families and friends of the victims propose working with Poirot, to help solve the case.

This novel shows why Agatha Christie is still the best crime writer of all time. The book may be set in the 1930's, but she has such an understanding of human nature and her plot and characters all stand the test of time. Her books never drag, are always immensely readable and Poirot - well, he is simply the best fictional detective ever created. Enjoy!


Reviewed by 7 Ezekiel C. - The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot is back, and about to be caught up in the plans of a dangerous new murderer! It's the summer of 1935 and Captain Hastings has come to visit Poirot in his new London apartment, when a mysterious letter comes announcing that a murder will take place in Andover, and signed A.B.C! The police dismiss it as a hoax, but sure enough Mrs. Alice Ascher, a shopkeeper in Andover, is murdered on the exact date the letter said it would! Poirot knows that the letter was no coincedince, and he is correct! Another letter comes, saying that another murder will take place in Bexhill-by-the-Sea! Sure enough, Betty Barnard is murdered in Bexhill, confirming that the letter was correct!


Reviewed by Red Pineapple - Classic Mystery

This is the first Agatha Christie story I have read, although I am familiar with the Hercule Poirot series on television. This was also my first foray into this genre; most "mysteries" I have read are actually gory crime thrillers. It was refreshing to have a main character, the dapper Poirot, instead of some gritty detective with emotional problems. Poirot is brilliant, polished, and funny. He's even well-adjusted. I also appreciated the fact that the story was told from the perspective of Poirot's friend, Captain Hastings, meaning that I was left out of Poirot's thought-processes, so every twist and turn was a surprise.

The story starts out with the arrival of a teasing letter at Poirot's home. It warns of something happening in Andover on a specific day. When Alice Ascher is found dead, it's obvious that the murderer is engaged in a lethal game with Poirot. The cast of characters keeps expanding as more murders occur, including family members and distraught boyfriends. Although everyone is a suspect, there are mysterious chapters interspersed throughout the book that feature a strange man named Alexander Bonaparte Cust...A.B.C. Who is this man? What is his connection to the murders?

As the police are scrambling to try to find A.B.C. and to prevent these murders from happening on their appointed days, Poirot is using all his mental powers to try and figure out why these murders are happening. Even when it seems that the case is all locked up, Poirot still tries to understand the underlying reasons behind the crimes. It is this reason that finally blows the case wide open and provides a stunning twist at the end.

This book is a classic of Christie's and really demonstrates her skills as the premier mystery writer. It will obviously appeal to all mystery fiction fans, but also to anyone who is curious about this classic genre. I am looking forward to reading more of Christie's books, and especially those featuring this comically brilliant detective.


Reviewed by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU - Poirot the magician can be tricked but by whom?

This woman is a killer in murder stories. She has no complex with Sherlock Holmes always in the wings and she is able to do things differently and yet in the tradition. The tradition here is of course the revelation of the real culprit in a conference by Hercule Poirot in the last five pages of the book. The tradition is to use Hercule Poirot's brains more than his magnifying glass. Already a difference in this similarity. But then everything is very different, is in a definitely more modern mood. Hercule Poirot is looking for the psyche of this serial killer and the motivation he has. He follows the line of a madman on the loose and yet keeps his awareness open to facts that could lead to a completely different solution, and sure enough it is the psychology and motivation necessary for these crimes to appear logical that enables Hercule Poirot to tell the name of the killer. This is more important than real evidence which can always be collected afterwards when the mystery is cleared. In other words Agatha Christie is already in 1936 on a « profiling » line that will appear in the world as a standard method only in the 1980s in the FBI to answer the challenge of serial killers. She is in other words postmodern when everyone is nothing but premodern. She is ahead of her times and by at least one if not two generations. The story itself is fabulous in the way it is organized and told. Suspense is perfect. The mystery is dense and dark. The solution is clear and logical. There is only one difficult element : two girls, two victims have a birthday before their murders and their parents or relatives buy them silk stockings for this same reason. This is a little bit coincidental. But apart from that everything is clear, except why Mrs Malbury's daughters call the suspected criminal to warn him that the police is coming. That sounds both fishy and strange, and is definitely not explained in the story. But what a good detective story-teller Ms Agatha Christie was and still is and will still be for quite a while. In other words she is a classic in the genre.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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Reviewed by Jeanne TassottoVINE VOICE - A Darker Than Usual Tale

Poirot has gotten a letter challenging him to stop a murder. He is given the date and location, the letter is signed ABC. The police dismiss the incident as yet another harmless crank letter - until a murder takes place on the day and time stated in the letter and an ABC railway guide is found on the scene. More letters arrive and a pattern begins to form, the killer is working his way through victims and towns alphabetically - Ascher in Andover, Barnard in Bexhill, Clarke in Chruston... Poirot and the police are in pursuit but always it seems a frustrating step behind. Ultimately Poirot is successful of course. The solution to the crime is clever and original, even by Christie standards.
This is a departure from the usual 'cozy' style that is more typical of Christie (ie confined location, murderer and victim know each other, motive clearly established, little focus on the crime itself). This is darker than her usual work, the victims are seemingly chosen at random, the entire country is threatened, and the messages from the killer are reminiscent of Jack the Ripper.
Poirot gives a description of the killer based on the letters and evidence collected at the crime, in a manner that is very like a modern day profiler. Keep in mind that this book was written nearly 80 years ago.
If you are a Christie fan this is definitely a must read but if you are looking for a more comfortable 'cozy' you may find this one a bit disturbing.
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Reviewed by simple sellers - gotta love those little grey cells.

started out really slow but like an old rollercoaster: The more I went on the momentum it picked up.. I wish their were footnotes to translate what mr. poirot was saying in French guess I will have to look it up.The writing is so precise I can hear a certain mustachioed detective narrating this.and couldn't wait to get home from work so I could find out what happened and how did it because it was driving me crazy. really shows how the world was in 1936 and the prejudice anyone with a slight tan and a foreign accent faced.


Reviewed by Amazon Customer - A must read if you love a good mystery!

Agatha Christie is my favorite mystery writer! As always, she presents all of the information for you to solve the crime - if you can. The ABC Murders was a great read and a great mystery, written with style - kept me wondering and thinking about the facts presented. Loved it!


Reviewed by Antoinette Klein - Poirot and Hastings Hunt Together Again

Captain Aruthur Hastings has returned to England from his ranch in the Argentine to tie up some affairs. One of his first stops is to see his dearest friend Hercule Poirot. The timing is perfect, as Poirot has been presented with one of his most unusual cases, a supreme exercise for the little grey cells.

Apparently, a homicidial maniac is terrorizing England as he taunts Poirot with advance notice of the time and place of his next murder. Because the victims and towns they live in occur in alphabetical order (Mrs. Ascher is killed in Andover, Miss Barnard in Bexhill, Mr. Clarke in Churston, etc.) and because the killer leaves an ABC Railway Guide at each murder scene, the case becomes known as the the ABC murders.

The set-up of this novel deviates from the normal Christie in that while Captain Hastings narrates the story as it has occurred, the reader is also privvy to the comings and goings of the rather strange Mr. Alexander Bonaparte Cust (notice the initials).

The humor is rampant as Poirot and Hastings chide each other over Poirot's dyed hair, Hastings uncanny ability to see the obvious without realizing it, and the unabashed appreciation both men have for a beautiful woman. And even in the midst of murder and mayhem, Poirot has time to do a little matchmaking on the side.

A box of hosiery, a dying woman's grasp of facts,a private murder concealed in a string of unrelated murders, and a meeting with the accused all climax in one of Poirot's most clever deductions as he solves this one and proclaims to his friend Hastings, "Vive le sport."


Reviewed by Franklin the Mouse - ABC Is Not As Easy As 1-2-3 Do-Re-Mi

I needed an entertaining and quick mental challenge. The 12th Hercule Poirot mystery does not disappoint. There's no good reason to give you the gist of the plot. Why spoil your fun? All of Ms. Christie's books are crisply written whodunits. No humor or colorful characters (outside of M. Poirot, of course) grace these pages. But the late author sure knew how to build a good puzzler. Most of the book is narrated by Captain Hastings, Poirot's good friend and confidant. Hastings is much like Sherlock Holmes' trusted sidekick, Dr. Watson. There are not a legion of suspects to sidetrack the reader. Ms. Christie was so good at her craft, she only had to wave a handful of possible candidates in front of the reader's face to keep you guessing. Yet, despite such an advantage, chances are that you'll still be stumped. I was. Written in 1935 and "The ABC Murders" is still a fun read.


Reviewed by M. Buzalka - Dame Agatha Breaking New Ground Yet Again

SPOILER ALERT--READING FURTHER MAY GIVE YOU UNWANTED INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BOOK THAT MAY RUIN YOUR ENJOYMENT OF IT IF YOU ARE READING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. Okay, that settled, let may start by remarking that for most of the A.B.C. Murders--one of Agatha Christie's best so far (I am reading her Hercule Poirot novels in order of publication as part of a larger self-imposed chronological reading project)--I thought this was another Christie coup, the first notable serial killer mystery novel not riffing off Jack the Ripper. Of course, as it turns out, the serial killer angle is the red herring, but nevertheless I think this novel remains historically significant if only for Christie's awareness that she is exploring new territory and her discussion of how an impersonal killer who strikes repeatedly at seemingly random victims is completely different from the norms of the murder mystery tradition to that time.

There is a fascinating piece of dialog about two thirds of the way through the book between Poirot and Arthur Hastings in which Hastings remarks that "this is the first crime of this kind that you and I have worked on together." He goes on to define their previous investigations as involving what he terms "private murder" where killer and victim knew each other and the motivation for the crime is a familiar one involving money, jealousy, etc. Poirot agrees, noting that what they are facing for the first time is "cold-blooded impersonal murder. Murder from the outside."

Murder from the outside of course is the foundation of the serial killer novel that has become such a cliche today. In 1936 it was very new territory. As far as I know, the major murder mystery writers to that time worked with "private murders," to use Hasting's term. Their main concern was the elaborateness of the crime and the cleverness of the solution that generally involved some sort of "private murder" type motive. Even the emerging "hard boiled" school of writers (Dashiell Hammett, etc.) worked with plots based on traditional, if unseemly, motivations for the crimes. Kudos to Agatha Christie for yet another groundbreaking development even if she doesn't explore it fully (I would have been fascinated to see where she would have gone with it if she stuck to a truly impersonal killer rather than using that possibility as a feint). Nevertheless, here we see the beginnings of "profiling" and all the other mechanics of the serial killer sub genre still several decades away.

She also makes some very sharp insights about the differences between "private murder" and "murder from the outside." For example, at one point Poirot reacts to a remark by Hastings that the random and impersonal nature of the murders to that point make them more horrible than the traditional murders they've investigated previously. Poirot disagrees: "Is it worse to take the life or lives of strangers than to take the life of someone near and dear to you--someone who trusts and believes in you perhaps?" He also notes that impersonal serial murders don't prompt the police to cast suspicions on people close to the victims, sparing people already grieving about the death of a loved one from the additional trauma of having a potential murder charge lodged against them.

Of course, he also blithely compares random deaths perpetrated by serial killers with random deaths caused by roadway accidents, which is a bit too cold blooded by half. Well, no one's perfect...
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Reviewed by Daniel Estes - As a new Agatha Christie fan, I recommend this one!

Monsieur Poirot and his team of Captain Hastings and the detectives from Scotland Yard are up against a serial murderer this time, and this one is killing sequentially and alphabetically. Does he (or she, as Poirot often points out) murder for fame or perhaps for some other sinister reason?

The joy of this novel is more than unraveling the mystery. The real heart of the story is tagging along with the ever-witty and always self-assured Hercule Poirot as he "exercises the little grey cells." Watching the local authorities rush to judgment while Poirot seeks a deeper truth never fails to delight. And the brilliant Agatha Christie seems to give the reader that one missing piece of the puzzle, at just the right moment, to find out whodunit.


Reviewed by D.M - "Mysteries Number 1 Bestseller"

Franklin Clarke set it all up, and he almost got away with it. Thanks to Poirot's veteran, detective skills! This book reminds me of the story of Jacob in the bible. How he tried to take his brother's inheritance, but Franklin was deceitful and a murderer! I prefer this book to anybody that loves mysteries and like to be on the edge of their seat. The Nintendo DS even made a video game out of this book so now some one will know that this isn't mysteries bestseller for nothing! Great book I rate this 10 out of 10 and Agatha Christe has proven herself as a great author once again!


Reviewed by George R Dekle - The Camouflage Killer

Poirot receives a challenge. A.B.C. declares his intent to begin a series of killings and dares Poirot to stop him. Unbeknownst to Poirot, Alexander Bonaparte Cust ticks a name off a list and heads for the locale of the first murder. Poirot's "little grey cells" work overtime as the victims fall in alphabetical order.

This book seemed a real departure from Christie's formula for Poirot mysteries. "Ah, I thought, Christie is anticipating the 'Columbo' format, where the murderer is known from the outset." Another departure for Christie was the fact that three of the four eventual victims were nobodies. Christie's victims usually come from the elite upper crust.

I followed the story with much interest. I have been involved in a number of serial homicide cases, and several plot themes rung true. The interminable "task force" meetings. The media frenzy. The warring egos of the investigators. Several things didn't ring true, however. The almost antiseptic nature of the murders. Serial homicides are usually messy. The varied modus operandi of the killer. (Blunt trauma, strangulation, knife). Most serial killers find a method that works and stick to it. For most serial killers, murder is a sort of hobby. There was no indication A.B.C. was deriving any sort of pleasure from the killings (other than the pleasure of thwarting Poirot).

Alexander Bonaparte Cust is finally laid by the heels, and an airtight case is made against him. Poirot visits Cust and obtains a confession, then he gathers the friends and relatives of the victims to explain the murderer's motivation. One thing that the modern media loves to emote over is the motivation of the various serial killers they have glamorized. To me the explanation is simple enough, they enjoy killing. I therefore took a deep breath and waited for Poirot to give a psychobabble explanation.

Boy was I surprised. You will be, too. A.B.C.'s motivation was astonishing. You can't say too much about a Christie plot without giving away the climax, but I have taken the chance here by giving this review a title whose meaning should be clear by the last chapter of the book.


Reviewed by J. De Sapio - Poirot and Hastings "Hunt Together" Again

THE A.B.C. MURDERS is not only one of the finest of the "Hercule Poirot" stories and one of the most memorable works in the Agatha Christie canon, it is also one of the greatest of all detective stories; it ranks right alongside Conan Doyle's THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES and Christie's own THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD. The plotting is even more ingenious than is usual for Christie; the story itself is a wonderful human drama about a lonely epileptic who is suspected of being a serial murderer. Also highly recommended, for those who have finished the novel: the superb made-for-TV version of THE A.B.C. MURDERS, starring David Suchet as Poirot and available on DVD from Amazon.com.


Reviewed by Lana K. Kuhns - Absolutely entertaining

Agatha Christie, the most popular mystery writer of all time, recognized that crime is a very romantic topic. Romantic in the sense that it creates drama and demands resolution. The A.B.C. Murders does not disappoint the mystery reader's love of having a puzzle to solve.

The story is narrated by Captain Arthur Hastings, Poirot's friend of some years who has returned home to England temporarily from his ranch in South America. Poirot shares with Hastings a disturbing anonymous letter he received predicting some calamity. Soon enough a murder occurs at the date and location indicated in the letter. Another letter soon follows and Poirot is challenged to find the killer. A pleasure to read from beginning to end.


Reviewed by Scott E Amundsen - Exciting, fast-paced, and very, very misleading.

THE ABC MURDERS is one of Christie's most complex books; the clues and red herrings fall thick and fast, and the plotline is perhaps the most misleading she ever wrote. The plot deals with a series of murders which seem to have a specific and clear pattern to them. The incredible thing about this book is that the reader is quite convinced that he knows what is going on and where the case is headed, up to about the halfway point, where the entire plot twists itself into a pretzel, and the reader is completely lost for a while (as is Hastings), until the shocking conclusion. After reading this one (and so many other Christie's), all I could say was, "Well, she's done it again!" Thrilling reading from start to finish.


Reviewed by A customer - Original entry in the Poirot series

The plot for this book could not be more unusual -a killer who selects victims in alphabetical order! There appears to be no connection between any of the victims other than that the first letters of their names form an alphabetical sequence. Can the killer be a madman and what is the reason for his fixation? Poirot as usual is the middle of things, since the killer keeps writing him taunting letters before and after each crime. But that is where the murderer has made a mistake because Hercule Poirot is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery...An excellent book that is well plotted and pulls the different threads of the mystery together much more logically than in some of Christie's other works. Another nice touch is the return of Captain Hastings from South America, just in time to help solve the mystery. I feel that Poirot is really at his best with Hastings around to serve as the perfect foil. Great fun and a holding read.


Reviewed by Karen Potts - Clever twist

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie's, as I am, you may think that you've read all of the clever plot twists that there are, but this book has a real gem of a twist. Hercule Poirot begins to receive letters that predict future murders which occur in alphabetical order with regard to the victim and the town. Poirot uses his friend Hastings, the narrator of this book, as a sounding board and begins to try out his theories on him. While the official inspectors are carried away by "evidence" which they discover, Poirot tries to use his "little grey cells" to deduce the identity of the killer. This is a definite "must read" for Christie fans.


Reviewed by Bomojaz - Tough one to crack

A Hercule Poirot mystery, murders are being committed in alphabetical order by name of the victim and by station stop according to the alphabetical listing in the Guide to British railways. Poirot's faithful partner Captain Hastings provides the narrative of the case, with additional chapters included containing information Hastings wouldn't know about. Fortunately the case is solved by Poirot before the killer can get beyond the letter "D." The case is a good one and has everyone stumped for quite a while. Alexander Cust, who becomes a prime suspect after being seen washing blood from his sleeve, is an interesting character. A movie of the book, which took many liberties and poked fun at Poirot, appeared in 1966 starring Tony Randall; it got only fair reviews.


Reviewed by Katherine - Five Stars

The butler did it.


Reviewed by A customer - Oh! what a way to baffle us!

After reading this book, I felt like she might have written A to Z Murders! Of course I have read and studied all the books of Agatha Christie. I would say - in front of Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and other masterpieces, ABC murders may be found a bit slow, but nevertheless it matches the height of mystery and narrative of the masterpieces.


Reviewed by Denise - I truly enjoyed this and all of her books

Agatha never lets me down!! I truly enjoyed this and all of her books!!


Reviewed by APRICOT - The Best Poirot Mystery

It is the Poirot Mystery I like best. There are few whodunits I want to read again, but this book is the exception. I read this book second time and I love it again. It is not only an excellent mystery, but also an excellent suspense story. The battle against the fiend who commits murders alphabetically is thrilling, fast-paced and highly enjoyable.
Reading whodunits, I rarely feel sympathy for victims nor hatred to murderers. This book is the rare case. The murderer is really a cold-blooded fiend. Even affable Poirot expresses a cold rage to the murderer.


Reviewed by Scott E Amundsen - A, B, C...The alphabet has never been so fascinating!

This one is a real masterpiece. Christie was and remains the champion at creating baffling, intricate puzzles; this is one of the greatest. Her ability to confuse, mislead, and in general play head games with her audience is at its peak here; you might THINK you have an idea of what is happening, but THINK AGAIN! I was very grateful that Hastings was in this one; he's usually in the dark as to what is going on, and I really sympathized with him this time.
This book demonstrates brilliantly that, in the mystery field, Christie stands alone as the undisputed master.


Reviewed by M. Heiss - Speedy

Beloved Agatha Christie novel -- Hercule Poirot gets the plot twist figured out. Great book for travel - it zips right along.


Reviewed by peekos@pathak.com - [A]ltogether [B]rilliant and [C]aptivating!

One of Dame Christie's most famous books, The ABC murders certainly lived up tp its expectation.
The story in brief: The great Hercule Poirot receives a challenge from the criminal world. The criminal sends Poirot letters giving certain details about the crimes he is about to commit. The victims names: Ascher, Barnard, Clarke...all in alphabetical order. Next to each victim lies an ABC railway guide open to the page of the corresponding alphabet! Poirot and Hastings begin their hunt....
My views: Thoroughly readable, quick, unique and a must-read.


Reviewed by H. Rink - Gone for good

This must be the ultimate in Agatha Christie thrillers. I just like the period - late twenties I guess - and also the various characters who all look so so guilty and at the same time so so nice. What a pity we will never see the likes again.


Reviewed by A customer - Comedy and Suspense

All of Agatha Christie's mysteries are well-crafted and suspenseful. This one, however, also manages to be very funny. Don't get me wrong, -- it's no comedy -- however Poirot's perpetual sidekick Hastings is at his best here. There are many funny moments with Poirot, Hastings, Inspector Japp, and another cocky inspector whom Poirot is forced to work with. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that the story is quite unpredictable. When Christie strays from blood-curdling terror, she is a very witty comic writer.


Reviewed by Alex - I couldn't put it down!

This was one of the first Dame Agatha Christie books I ever read, and also one of the best. I read it in about twenty-four hours. It was spellbinding. I love Christie's books because the conclusion is always so unexpected. The murderer never turns out to be one of the prime suspects, sometimes not even a suspect at all, in this case. I didn't even like mysteries before I started reading Christie's books. I recommend this to anyone, even someone who doesn't like mysteries. I think you'll love it!


Reviewed by Mae - Inspired

One of my favorite Christies. Breathtaking twists and bold red herrings. Inspired.


Reviewed by Kristen Brogdon - The murder definatly knows his ABC's!

Once again, Christie keeps us all begging for more in this exciting murder mystery. Poirot finds himself in the center of another mystery, along with his dim-witted, but obvious friend Hastings (who narrates). After receiving a taunting letter from a mysterious murderer named ABC, Poirot jumps into action the minute the first murder occurs. Again and again, Scotland Yard are out-witted by what seems to be a mad-man. After 3 murders and a mess-up, the homicidal lunatic is revealed, but you'd never guess who!


Reviewed by Daniel Mackler - five for brilliance, but had major problems...

this was my first Agatha Christie book, and she's undoubtedly brilliant, weaves together an exceedingly tight book which flies right along, and is not written for dummies by any means, in case you happen to think murder mysteries were for people who lacked intelligence...
but my problems: shallow emotional depth in characters. I know, you could argue that people don't read murder mysteries for emotional depth, but regardless, this book lacked it. it's just junk food. no substance. well, though not entirely, because she does give out some insightful philosophy near the end, all about intuition versus experienced reasoning, etc., and about really understanding WHY a person does what he does, what really motivates someone.
my question: why, deep inside Agatha Christie, would SHE write a book like this, and I'm convinced that she did because she was brilliant in the emotional sphere she ventured into in her life, but that she was so utterly blocked off from other parts of herself that she was unable to venture into them in her writing. the result: she wrote these kinds of books (well, I've only read one, but I'll assume they suffice for the rest) that looked at just a very SLIM part of the human experience...
also, I think psychologically this book is all unconsciously about the child overcoming the parent, which is a complete fantasy, the child in this case being Poirot and the parents being so many people - the deceptive murderer, the fancy and arrogant police. it's a big ol' grandiose fantasy, and that, I think, is why so many people are drawn to it. I admit, I liked it, and I felt pretty omnipotent reading it and identifying with Poirot...
one other point that irked me: you know the real way this Poirot guy could have circumvented all the murders, and stopped them before even the first one happened? (and this won't ruin the plot, because I thought of it at the very beginning of the book.) he could have made a big publicity stunt about leaving the country and stating in the papers that he would not be working on the ABC murder case. by declining to enter the contest he would have failed to take on the grandiose challenge, would have not engaged the murderer, and would have utterly foiled the murderer's plan, because it was clear from the beginning (EVEN TO POIROT!!!) that the murderer needed Poirot himself to be involved in the case to be able to DO the murders.
so my question: why didn't Poirot back out?
answer: because Agatha Christie was too grandiose to dare back out of such a challenge. it's her unresolved grandiosity that's motivating her to write such books in the first place!!!


Reviewed by A customer - Defininetly one of her best

One of Agatha Christie's greatest books in my opinion. As in all of her books, there is a mind boggling plot and ending. It is the endings of her books that set her far above most other writers. This book was particularly satisfying because even as you near the end, there are still ironic twists and turns in the plot and detective's investigation. The detail in which she unravels the solution is even more gripping. I could not put this book down until the final page.


Reviewed by Daphne reads-&-reads - Her best

I'm am Agatha Christie Read-it-all. I have recently found 3 or 4 recently published AGatha Christie books to read. However none of them top The ABC Murders. It kept me up all night reading and after putting together all the clues, I still struggled to figure out who did it. Excellent. Ms Christie entertains and works your mind in this book. It is my favorite.


Reviewed by Ann Raley Reed - A good and twisted one....

This book by Agatha Christie was fabulous!! The entire book I was thrown off. The ending was such a surprise. There was always an element of suspense. I just couldn't put it down! I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading mysteries. It was very twisted and unexpected. You THOUGHT you knew what was happening, but in reality you didn't. 5 stars for Agatha Christie!! A job well done!


Reviewed by Richard Lang - Clever

Very well done, enjoyable read.


Reviewed by Phyllis D'Ambrosio Nichols - A great Poirot mystery!

This is one of Agatha Christies best, lots of clues, but the killer comes out of nowhere.
Hercule Poirot is in typical great form and Hastings is along for the ride


Reviewed by chalktoe - I won't spoil the ending for you

A mystery by agatha Christie a real page turner the action moves fast to keep you reading it's easy to see why her books are so popular.


Reviewed by Craig Musgrove - This is a book that will make you not want to put it down.

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie is a very good book. The story is outstanding and keeps you interested, and is set in 1935 in England. Hercule Poirot, the great detective, receives anonymous letters from someone called ABC. These letters state a city and a date inside them, and Poirot suspects a crime. I liked this book mainly because it keeps you wondering what is going to happen next. The only dislike I have is that sometimes it was hard to follow, but later things clear up. Therefore, if you like mystery novels that make you not want to stop reading, you should definitely read this book.


Reviewed by Alfreda Kurz - The and murders

As usual Ms Christie kept you in suspense to the very end. Love all her books.
Can't wait for the next one.


Reviewed by Jeffrey R. Bednar - POIROT + CHRISTIE = SUBLIME READING

This is definately one of the top five Christies of all-time. The classic Poirot confrontation with the suspects is perfection. You will absolutely be drawn in and fooled by this mystery classic. The solution is the only logical answer but, you won't guess it. Poirot is truly one of the best fictional characters ever. Buy this one and share it with anyone. I promise they will thank you.


Reviewed by Amazon Customer - A book you'll want to read...

Agatha Christie is awesome...Her writing is so proper you'll feel like you're in London. She has this magic that captures a suspenseful theme and keeps you in suspense throughout the whole novel. Without-a-doubt one of my favorite books (not to mention authors). If you like mystery or suspense, this is for you. I'm hoping the ending will surprise you as much as it surprised me...


A Kid's Reviewon October 8, 2002 - Flower Reviews...

Okay, so maybe 12 year olds shouldn't be reading Agatha Christie books, but I was VERY impressed. I've read classics like 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and, of course, all the Harry Potter books, but this is my favorite book, like, ever! It kept you on the edge of your seat (not really, I just REALLY wanted to say that) and was very surprising. A wonderful murder story, though not the classic kind Captain Hasting and I were both longing for. But I still loved it!


Reviewed by Alexander Andrejko - ABC Murders

I did read most of the reviews, but no one mention the Chapter 23 , "September 11th" and the very first sentence. " I shall, I think, remember that 11th September all my life".
I am sure we all will remember this day, but Agatha Christie picket this day and comment in 1936. She was an amazing lady, mistery of the finest.


Reviewed by jeffrey ryan - the ABC Murders

I would put this book on any top 100 list any day. It really is the best mystery Dame Agatha has ever concocted. The style of the 2 different narratives, Poirot determined to solve the case, Hastings confounded as ever, and the superb plot, all combine to make one of the greatest reads of the 20th century. This sounds over dramatic but it's true.


Reviewed by Ariel - Classic Christie

Loved every bit of this book. I think it's because Poirot seems to finally met his match and was clueless even up to the second half of the book! It's rare to find him sporting a droopy moustache, so you can bet the serial murderer is one of the best Christie has developed.

Unputdownable, even after massive re-reads :)


Reviewed by Amazon Customer - A.....B......C......

I think Agatha Christie Myteries are very good books to read. And the book is based on 1st person narration (by Captain Hastings) so you really can understand all these characters feelings. And every time when I read her books, I am very excited and can't stop reading until the solution of the mystery is stated. You should read this book, I mean you standing in front of PC. Great Book!


A Kid's Reviewon October 31, 2003 - A B C Murders... The best

ABC Murders is one of the best books ever. Agatha Christie makes everything interesting and you never want to put the book down. When someone is killed, Poirot come to investigate! This is a great book that any mystery-lover should read! Agatha Christie is a great author!


Reviewed by Brian De Young - An exciting book. One of Agatha Christie's best!

I really enjoy Agatha Christie books. She is by far my favorite author for mystery fiction. This book was one of the most baffling of hers that I have ever read. The surprising plot twists and amazing discoveries made by the clever detective, Hercule Poirot, will keep you guessing to the end.


Reviewed by J. Rodeck - Extraordinary powers of perception.

Speech is an invention of man's to prevent him from thinking. It is also an infallible means of discovering that which he wishes to hide.


Reviewed by Midwest Book Review - Hercule is challenged in navigating a serial killer's mind

Hugh Fraser narrates Agatha Christie's ABC Murders, an unabridged Hercule Poirot mystery which tells of three murders of ABC Rail employees. Hercule is challenged in navigating a serial killer's mind in this challenging audio mystery.


Reviewed by A customer - One of the greatest Christie mysteries!

The "ABC" murders is one of the all time great mysteries ever written. The story is intriguing and will keep you held till the end! If you love Christie, you've got to read this one!


Reviewed by A customer - The best Christie book I have read...so far.

I have read about 7 or 8 Hercule Poirot mysteries and this one was by far the best one I have read. The incredible twists and turns in the plot had me utterly baffled at the end. Definitely a good read.


Reviewed by A customer - Maybe the best Agatha Christie's book!

This was one of first Agatha's books I read and I just couldn't belive how fantastic this book was. Nowadays I adore Agatha's books, but this one is better than any else book!


Reviewed by A customer - One of the best books by Christie

A fantastic mystery, one of the best I have ever read. Thrilling and it will keep you guessing untill the very end. Very well writen, a great story.


Reviewed by A customer - A Devoted Christie fan says....

Excellent!!! I couldn't put it down. I had no idea who the murderer was but Hercule Poirot came through as always!!!^_^ One of my favorites!


Reviewed by A customer - I think this book was GREAT!

This book was fantastic! It had a great plot and a great murderer. It was amazing how Poirot found out who the murderer was! 2nd best next to ATTWN!Simply the a great book!


Reviewed by ainil bahshar - book that makes you think!

i am a big fan of dame agatha christie and sir arthur conan doyle.....i have read so many books of agatha christie and as a matter of fact i have all agatha christie's books in my collection....and this book is one of her best..not the best 10 on my list but it is worth reading it...it shows different plot from many of christie's books...with little evidence and clue...once again hercule poirot(my one of the favorite detective...sherlock holmes too!)had solved the difficult mystery! read it and you will believe me!


Reviewed by A customer - I LOVE THIS BOOK!

One of my favorites by Agatha Christie! It was smart and an unexpected ending. I would never have guessed it would turn out this way! Thrilling and scary, it shows just how twisted yet sane a mind can be. Extremely well planned out, it keeps Hastings and the reader guessing. Read it if you enjoy Hercule Poirot, or if you just enjoy mystery books. This is one of the most puzzling. And don't let Christie fool you. She's always got another trick up her sleeve!


Next.. The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

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