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Spider's Web

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Overview

Clarissa, the young wife of a foreign office diplomat, delights in tweaking the sensibilities of her more serious friends by playing a game she calls "supposing"—imagining a difficult situation and finding out how people would respond. But Clarissa's lighthearted games becomes deadly serious when she discovers the body of an unknown person in her own drawing room. If that weren't bad enough, her husband is on the way home with an important foreign politician. Clarissa decides to dispose of the body and persuades ...

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Overview

Clarissa, the young wife of a foreign office diplomat, delights in tweaking the sensibilities of her more serious friends by playing a game she calls "supposing"—imagining a difficult situation and finding out how people would respond. But Clarissa's lighthearted games becomes deadly serious when she discovers the body of an unknown person in her own drawing room. If that weren't bad enough, her husband is on the way home with an important foreign politician. Clarissa decides to dispose of the body and persuades her three houseguests to help. But before she can get the corpse off the premises, a policeman knocks at her front door. Now Clarissa must keep the body hidden, convince the skeptical police inspector that there has been no murder, and, in the meantime, find out who has been murdered, why, and what the body is doing in her house...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Clarissa Hailsham-Brown loves to pretend. She's pretended that her husband was secretly married to another woman. She's pretended to be a great actress whose world is a stage. She's even pretended that she's had to choose between betraying her country and seeing her husband shot before her eyes. But when Clarissa stumbles upon a dead body in the drawing room, there's no pretending about the mess she'll be in if she can't hide the body before her husband comes home, and convince the police that there's been no murder….
From the Publisher
"Christie's exquisite timing and clever sleight-of-hand tricks are a delight...this is a welcome addition to the Christie cannon."—Publishers Weekly

"Great fun. The perfect way to distract you from the cares of the day."—Arizona Daily Star

"Agatha Christie is the champion deceiver of our time."—The New York Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Osborne completes his homage to Christie with this third and final adaptation of an original Christie play, following Black Coffee (1998) and The Unexpected Guest (1999). Though the play was written in 1954, the story suffers little from the passage of time, and aside from the static setting, reads well as a novel. Christie's exquisite timing and clever sleight-of-mind tricks are a delight, while Osborne has the good sense not to embroider the tale. A typical closed cast of characters occupies the temporary country home of Henry and Clarissa Hailsham-Brown: the seemingly scatterbrained Clarissa; her stepdaughter, Pippa; the odious Oliver Costello, who has married Pippa's mother; Sir Rowland Delahaye, Clarissa's godfather and a man of honor; an outspoken gardener; a butler; a cook; and Inspector Lord, the rather diffident policeman. When Clarissa discovers a body in the drawing room, she decides that it mustn't be found there. Her plans to dispose of the body are interrupted by the arrival of a rather diffident policeman, Inspector Lord, who has come to check out an anonymous tip that a murder has been committed. Christie's bag of tricks includes hidden doorways, secret drawers, French windows and concealed identities--all used to amusing effect. As with Osborne's previous novelizations, this is a welcome addition to the Christie canon and is sure to reach mystery bestseller lists. The cover, with a spider in a web against a green faux-marble background, is as catchy as they come. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Osborne's third novelization of a Christie play—this one based on a 1954 original that ran for two years alongside the West End perennials Witness for the Prosecution and The Mousetrap—takes place in still another country house that, except for the impending hush-hush visit of the Prime Minister and the Soviet premier, could be frozen back in the '20s. As Copplestone Court's latest tenant, rising Foreign Office star Henry Hailsham-Brown, orders his wife Clarissa to get the place ready for his big event, she's already in deeper waters. Minutes earlier, she'd faced off with Oliver Costello, current husband and rumored drug supplier to Henry's ex. Unsavory Oliver threatened to launch a custody battle for Henry's beloved daughter Pippa. And on returning secretly to Copplestone soon after, Costello is promptly murdered, and Clarissa, frantically attempting to preserve the peace Henry needs for his all-important meeting, enlists the aid of three houseguests to hide the body from Inspector Lord, who despite his blandness has much too sharp an eye to be fooled by such rank amateurs. Both the dramaturgy and most of the characters, as usual, are stock—you can almost hear the swish of the curtain falling on the first two acts—but Clarissa, a charming liar, supplies some much-needed humor and pep to the tired proceedings. Better than Christie/Osborne's Black Coffee (1998), not as good as The Unexpected Guest (1999). If this adaptation repeats the sales of those two, expect an Osborne version of Verdict, Christie's last original mystery play, in time for next Christmas.Eccles, Marjorie THE SUPERINTENDENT'S DAUGHTER Dunne/St. Martin's Minotaur (240 pp.) Dec. 2000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312979508
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/13/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 454,342
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature—Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple—and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre. Christie was born in Torquay, Devon in 1890. She died in 1976 in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Biography

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Westmacott (used for her romantic fiction)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1890
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Date of Death:
      January 12, 1976

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Typical Agatha Christie Novel

    This is Agatha Christie at her best. This book is a classic whodunnit and it has a little twist in the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 3, 2009

    Agatha Christie

    The book was in the usual Christie genre and worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    Exhilarating

    This book was outstanding. I felt that I could relate to Clarissa in many ways and I could even get mad at her lying!!This book will definetly keep you up at night. It made me check to see if my doors were locked at night!. : )

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2001

    Agatha impreses readers again

    This is the 2nd Agatha Christie book i have read and i think i have found my favirote author. this book was outsanding. very few writers can achive writting a really good book, specialy a murder mystery. you can bet every book log book that i can pick myself will be one of Agatha Christie outsanding murder mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Scarlet

    She walked in cautiously.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Leader den

    Leader den

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Good

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

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