Father Gorman is called to a dingy rooming house to see a woman who, before she dies, confesses a bizarre tale to him. Leaving the house he is followed and, in the fog, a fatal blow is struck. A piece of paper with nine names written on it is found in the dead priest’s shoe. The clue leads to The Pale Horse Inn, home of three women: a psychic, a medium, and a witch.
Can Mark Easterbrook and his friend Ariadne Oliver unravel the occult mysteries?
©1961, 1999 Agatha Christie Ltd (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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"Very nicely dramatised"
This was one of Agatha Christie's later books and generally they aren't as involving or convincing as those from the 30's or 40's, but I'm happy to say that I think this one bucks the trend.
The main protagonist, Mark Easterbrook, is played with a convincing mix of suavity and inquisitiveness by Jeremy Clyde, and Ariadne Oliver (here more than ever obviously based on AC herself) is brought to life superbly by Stephanie Cole. I think she brings a sense of exasperation, muddle-headedness and practical common sense to the role - which I think suits the character well.
The story doesn't really lend itself to a full book, which is probably why it works so well here as a dramatisation. There's just enough pointers in the dialogue and in the use of music to hint that the setting is the late 50's, which I think helps with the atmosphere.
This isn't the normal Poirot or Marple story but for someone looking for a fun, engaging cast and a slightly macabre (but not supernatural) play then you should definitely give it a go!
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