Dead Man's Folly: A BBC Full-Cast Radio Dramaby Agatha Christie, John Moffatt, Full Full Cast
Ariadne Oliver, Queen of Crime Fiction, has been asked to devise a Murder Hunt for a fête at Nasse House, the home of Sir George Stubbs. But she begins to suspect that someone is manipulating the scenario of her game and fears that something very sinister is being planned. She sends for her old friend Hercule Poirot. At first he is not inclined to take her… See more details below
Ariadne Oliver, Queen of Crime Fiction, has been asked to devise a Murder Hunt for a fête at Nasse House, the home of Sir George Stubbs. But she begins to suspect that someone is manipulating the scenario of her game and fears that something very sinister is being planned. She sends for her old friend Hercule Poirot. At first he is not inclined to take her very seriously but soon a series of events propels him to change his mind. Then suddenly all Ariadne's worst fears are realised when the girl playing the part of the murder victim is found strangled in the boat-house. For Hercule Poirot, the Murder Hunt has become a grim reality. John Moffatt stars as Hercule Poirot, with Julia McKenzie as Ariadne Oliver.
2 CDs. 2 hrs.
Read an Excerpt
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."
"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."
Meet the Author
Agatha Christie, the acknowledged ‘Queen of Detective Fiction’ (The Observer) was born in Torquay in 1890. During the First World War she worked as a hospital dispenser, and it was here that she gleaned the working knowledge of various poisons that was to prove so useful in her detective stories. Her first novel was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which introduced Hercule Poirot to the world. This was published in 1920 (although in fact she had written it during the war) and was followed over the next six years by four more detective novels and a short story collection. However, it was not until the publication of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd that Agatha Christie’s reputation was firmly established. This novel, with its complex plot and genuinely shocking conclusion, attracted considerable public attention and has since been acknowledged by many experts as a masterpiece. In 1930 the sharp-witted spinster sleuth Miss Marple made her first appearance in Murder at the Vicarage. In all, Agatha Christie published 80 crime novels and short story collections. The brilliance of Christie’s plots, and her enduring appeal, have led to a number of dramatisations of her work on radio, television and film. In 1930 she was one of a number of crime writers asked to contribute a chapter to a mystery, Behind the Screen, that was broadcast on BBC radio on 21st June that year. More recently, June Whitfield portrayed Miss Marple on BBC Radio 4, whilst John Moffat starred as Hercule Poirot. On screen, Peter Ustinov, David Suchet, Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie have all memorably played Agatha Christie’s famous sleuths. As her play The Mousetrap (the longest-running play in the history of the theatre) testifies, Agatha Christie’s detective stories are likely to appeal for a long time to come. Agatha Christie was awarded a CBE in 1956 and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. She died in 1976.
- Date of Birth:
- September 15, 1890
- Date of Death:
- January 12, 1976
- Place of Birth:
- Torquay, Devon, England
- Home schooling
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