Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot Series)

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot Series)

4.1 24
by Agatha Christie, Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie is still mystery's #1 bestselling author.  See more details below


Agatha Christie is still mystery's #1 bestselling author.

Editorial Reviews

The solution is one of colossal ingenuity.
Times Literary Supplement
The solution is one of colossal ingenuity.
Meg Gardiner
“Poirot is the guide who led me into the wondrous maze of crime fiction. And I’ve never wanted to escape.”
New York Times
“The infallibly original Agatha Christie has come up, once again, with a new and highly ingenious puzzle-construction.”
The Times (London)
“A classic Christie and one of the best.”
The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“The solution is of the colossal ingenuity we have been conditioned to expect.”

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Hercule Poirot Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It was Miss Lemon, Poirot's efficient secretary, who took the telephone call.

Laying aside her shorthand notebook, she raised the receiver and said without emphasis, "Trafalgar 8137."

Hercule Poirot leaned back in his upright chair and closed his eyes. His fingers beat a meditative soft tattoo on the edge of the table. In his head he continued to compose the polished periods of the letter he had been dictating.

Placing her hand over the receiver, Miss Lemon asked in a low voice,

"Will you accept a personal call from Nassecombe, Devon?"

Poirot frowned. The place meant nothing to him.

"The name of the caller?" he demanded cautiously.

Miss Lemon spoke into the mouthpiece.

"Air raid?" she asked doubtingly. "Oh, yes-what was the last name again?"

Once more she turned to Hercule Poirot.

"Mrs. Ariadne Oliver."

Hercule Poirot's eyebrows shot up. A memory rose in his mind: windswept grey hair ... an eagle profile ...

He rose and replaced Miss Lemon at the telephone.

"Hercule Poirot speaks," he announced grandiloquently.

"Is that Mr. Hercules Perrot speaking personally?" the sus picious voice of the telephone operator demanded.

Poirot assured her that that was the case.

"You're through to Mr. Porrot," said the voice.

Its thin reedy accents were replaced by a magnificent booming contralto which caused Poirot hastily to shift the receiver a couple of inches further from his car.

I'M. Poirot, is that really you?" demanded Mrs. Oliver.

"Myself in person, Madame."

"This is Mrs. Oliver. I don't know if you'll remember me —"

"But ofcourse I remember you, Madame. Who could forget you?"

"Well, people do sometimes, " said Mrs. Oliver. "Quite often, in fact. I don't think that I've got a very distinctive personality. Or perhaps it's because I'm always doing different things to my hair. But all that's neither here nor there. I hope I'm not interrupting you when you're frightfully busy?"

"No, no, you do not derange me in the least."

"Good gracious — I'm sure I don't want to drive you out of your mind. The fact is, I need you."

"Need me"

"Yes, at once. Can you take an aeroplane?"

"I do not take aeroplanes. They make me sick."

"They do me, too. Anyway I don't suppose it would be any quicker than the train really, because I think the only airport near here is Exeter which is miles away. So come by train. Twelve o'clock from Paddington to Nassecombe. You can do it nicely. You've got three quarters of an hour if my watch is right-though it isn't usually."

"But where are you, Madame? What is all this

"Nasse House, Nassecombe. A car or taxi will meet you at the station at Nassecombe."

"But why do you need me? What is all this about?" Poirot repeated frantically.

"Telephones are in such awkward places," said Mrs. Oliver. "This one's in the hall ... People passing through and talking ... I can't really hear. But I'm expecting you. Everybody will be so thrilled. Goodbye."

There was a sharp click as the receiver was replaced. The line hummed gently.

With a baffled air of bewilderment, Poirot put back the receiver and murmured something under his breath. Miss Lemon sat with her pencil poised, incurious. She repeated in muted tones the final phrase of dictation before the interruption.

" — allow me to assure you, my dear sir, that the hypothesis you have advanced —"

Poirot waved aside the advancement of the hypothesis.

"That was Mrs. Oliver," he said. "Ariadne Oliver, the detective novelist. You may have read —" But he stopped, remembering that Miss Lemon only read improving books and regarded such frivolities as fictional crime with contempt. "She wants me to go down to Devonshire today, at once, in —" he glanced at the clock, " — thirty-five minutes."

Miss Lemon raised disapproving eyebrows.

"That will be running it rather fine," she said. "For what reason?"

"You may well ask! She did not tell me."

"How very peculiar. Why not?"

"Because," said Hercule Poirot thoughtfully, "she was afraid of being overheard. Yes, she made that quite clear."

"Well, really," said Miss Lemon, bristling in her employer's defence. "The things people expect! Fancy thinking that you'd go rushing off on some wild goose chase like that! An important man like you! I have always noticed that these artists and writers are very unbalanced-no sense of proportion. Shall I telephone through a telegram Regret unable leave London?"

Her hand went out to the telephone. Poirot's voice arrested the gesture.

"Du tout!" he said. "On the contrary. Be so kind as to summon a taxi immediately." He raised his voice. "Georges' A few necessities of toilet in my small valise. And quickly, very quickly, I have a train to catch."

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What People are saying about this

Meg Gardiner
“Poirot is the guide who led me into the wondrous maze of crime fiction. And I’ve never wanted to escape.”

Meet 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. Sophie Hannah is the internationally bestselling author of nine psychological thrillers, which have been published in more than 20 countries and adapted for television. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 15, 1890
Date of Death:
January 12, 1976
Place of Birth:
Torquay, Devon, England
Home schooling

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Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Miss_Marple More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the most facinating Agatha Christies yet! The imagry from her words are astounding and you feel like you are inside of the book as one of the characters, I would recomend this book to anyone who wants to just curl up with a really good mystery!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent Agatha Christie novel complete with twists and turns that keep the reader (and Hercules Poirot) puzzled until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this novel.
kpet More than 1 year ago
When Poirot is summoned to Nasse House by Mrs. Oliver, all he knows is that something's wrong. When a Murder Hunt ends in disaster, and his hostess goes missing, Poirot faces a very tough case. A great mystery, Agatha Christie at her best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thrilling and exciting; I believe this is one of Poirot's best cases!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ariadne Oliver is arranging a fake murder for a party and asks Poirot to come down to hand out the prize to the winner.When he arrives she outlines the whole story.There will be a fake murder victim with real and fake clues thrown in,but everything does not go as planned.When Poirot and Mrs.Oliver go to see how the girl is doing,she is waiting for someone to come across her and find her body as part of the game,they find the girl dead a piece of clothesline around her head.The murder game has become all to real.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty good all the way through, but I really had higher expectations for the ending. I won't reveal it, but it turned out too much like a typical murder mystery, without the much more creative endings found in Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
glauver More than 1 year ago
I'm glad I bought this as part of an Agatha Christie omnibus for a few cents at a library sale. That is all the story is worth. Sherlock Holmes was eccentric; Hercule Poirot was quirky. Here he is called in to investigate a “murder hunt” that turns into the real thing. It takes him five weeks to solve the case. In real life, a routine police background check of the obvious suspects would have cleared it up in a few days. In the words of the immortal Nero Wolfe, “Pfui!”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this format. The size and shape is perfect for carrying everywhere, and I ALWAYS have a book in my purse. Also love the cover art and of course Agatha Christie is classic murder mystery. I highly recommend this.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The fete with a standard cast out of pbs mysteries a releif from grafic gore violence sex in the new english mysteries
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PeculiarPoet More than 1 year ago
This is my second favorite of the Agatha Christie novels. It was entertaining as always. The characters were less cookie cutter than many other books. (Country Squire, younger wife etc.) The plot kept me guessing though it wasn't as unexpected as it could have been.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally enjoyed this book. It wasn't challenging, but the descriptions were very detailed. There was quite a bit of suspense throughout the book which kept me wanting to read more. I would definately recommend this book to others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I`m in the 9th grade and I read this book for a report. This was one of my best grades I ever got.I think it was because I really enjoyed it. It`s a thrilling book that I would highly reccomend to you if you like murder mysteries!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book kept me going, but the ending was so horrible that I threw the book in the garbage.