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Publisher's Summary

Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, but just like the nursery rhyme, there were five other "little pigs" who could have done it: Philip Blake (the stockbroker), who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist), who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee), who had her roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess), who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister), who cried all the way home.

Sixteen years later, Caroline's daughter is determined to prove her mother's innocence, and Poirot just can't get that nursery rhyme out of his mind.

This title was previously published as Murder in Retrospect.

©1942 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Tomsde
  • Newark, DE, United States
  • 11-05-12

A Top Notch Mystery

Where does Five Little Pigs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Five Little Pigs ranks among some of the best audiobooks I've listened to.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The story was very suspenceful with a great twist at the end.

What does Hugh Fraser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Fraser always does a good job with characterizations, listening to him read a book is like listening to an old time radio show, the book comes to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending was emotionally satisfying.

Any additional comments?

One of the best of the Piroit mysteries, Christie really grew as a writer as she developed the character. Piroit developed from a Sherlock Holmes knock off to a detective with a distinctive personality who ended up being quite unique in the annals of detective fiction.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Possibly my favorite Poirot novel

This is one of my favorite Christies for a number of reasons.

On the surface level, I always enjoy reading about art and artists. The murder victim was a professional painter, and I'm intrigued by authorial perceptions of artists. (Sometimes the mind reels).

Second, there is nothing quite as interesting as examining how different people perceive the same event, and it's done with brilliance here. That's what makes the book really special for me. Each of those who knew the accused see her differently, and thus see the murder differently. The same goes for the artist himself.

The ending is wonderful and for me, it was quite unexpected. (I'd pegged a different suspect!)

The writing style, is of course, dated. (The novel was published in 1942). I appreciate Christie as a brilliant storyteller rather than as a literary stylist.

A family member received the complete Poirot for Christmas, so we've been binge-watching the wonderful David Suchet and company. No spoilers, but just a word to say if you saw the beautifully filmed adaptation in the series, the novel is different in significant ways. But I loved them both.

Hugh Fraser never disappoints, on screen or on audio. I just love him.

Recommended for old-school mystery fans.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 11-21-12

Don't let the name scare you away!

This was a very well-told, engrossing mystery that I thought I had figured out several times - enough said about that!
I highly recommend this book on every level - great characters, action, suspense and a wonderful feel for the period of summer houses, England, and the great performance by Hercule Poirot himself. The way he solved this mystery was seemingly simple (which is why I thought I had solved it) but was clever because he had each character involved in the murder write a summary of what happened - 16 years later. And it takes little grey cells to unravel the truth.
Hugh Fraser is so consistently good I am in awe of his talent - his reading of the characters makes you forget you're not there listening to them speak.
Don't miss it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good, but not Christie's best

Hugh Fraser (who played Hastings, the sidekick of Hercules Poirot on the well-loved tv series) narrates this book, as he has done with several other Christie books.

He did the best he could with this book I think. While I doubt there are actually any "bad" mysteries by Agatha, I would not place this among her best works. It is tedious, and Poirot goes back and forth among the possible candidates for the murderer just interviewing them.

There is very little action otherwise, and I found myself actually becoming a little bored (almost a first for anything by AC). Don't know whether a different narrator might have spiced it up a bit--Fraser wasn't terribly animated in his reading--though perfectly ok in other respects.

I'd say, if you love Agatha Christie, this should be on your listening/reading list so you can complete the works. It is not bad--it just is not up to the usual quality of her writing.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Classic Christe

Worth the time. Twists and turns to find the truth. No need for 7 more words to describe this book

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good mystery with fabulous performance

Not my favorite Christie, but pretty good. An somewhat unusual structure, analyzing 5 different memories of what happened the day of a murder 16 years earlier. The performance was perfect.

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typical Poirot story

I hadn't read this one for several years so remembered bits & pieces but not the ending. Narration was easy to listen to and let me get lost in the plot.

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A Wonderful Mystery

This is one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels I have listened to on audible this far! I managed to figure out who done it and why before it was revealed but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story. The narrator did a fantastic job as well.

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Another Great Poirot Novel

Any additional comments?

Well read as usual by Hugh Fraser. Five Little Pigs is an interesting murder done in retrospect. Poirot finds a way to "relive" the crime by interviewing the people around at the time of the murder 16 years ago.

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A cliff hanger of a story

Where does Five Little Pigs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best I've listened to. This book has you hanging on to every word to see if you could solve the murder before it is revealed.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked all of the characters.

What about Hugh Fraser’s performance did you like?

Love how he changes his voice to fit the many characters.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Definitely the 5 little pigs.