There's a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the whole country is in a state of panic.
A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarkein Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting more confident - but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.
©1936 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers
I really do enjoy these well-narrated Agatha Christie novels, and this one doesn't disappoint. Although I'm not a huge fan of the egotistical Poirot, I am a big fan of Christie's mysteries and her (other) characters and, yes, Poirot is growing on me, if only as a somewhat laughable genius.
This mystery involves a series of alphabetical murders - the person's name and their town, running down the alphabet - that have been fortold in a series of taunting letters sent to Poirot, daring him to stop them or solve them. For reasons that later become apparent, it takes Poirot to the fourth murder (in Doncaster) to solve the problem and find the murder. In the interim, there are suspects, witnesses, red herrings, subtle clues, and a roulette wheel.
I recently found out that the character of Arthur Hastings (Poirot's friend who chronicles many of his adventures in several Agatha Christie novels) was played for almost 25 years on TV by the narrator of this book, Hugh Fraser. A nice match.
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