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Third Girl (Hercule Poirot Series)

Third Girl (Hercule Poirot Series)

3.8 19
by Agatha Christie

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A desperate woman seeks the aid of Hercule Poirot in a matter of life and death. A near-lethal dose of poison, a blood-stained knife, a revolver, and a family who aren't what they seem all figure in an extraordinary case that takes the celebrated Belgian detective from a village estate to the bohemian streets of London.


A desperate woman seeks the aid of Hercule Poirot in a matter of life and death. A near-lethal dose of poison, a blood-stained knife, a revolver, and a family who aren't what they seem all figure in an extraordinary case that takes the celebrated Belgian detective from a village estate to the bohemian streets of London.

Editorial Reviews

Kate Mosse
"Agatha Christie was a revolutionary writer; one of the first to make the detective story accessible, with clean, easy prose."
New York Times
"A beautifully set trap."
Sunday Telegraph (London)
"First class Christie."

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Hercule Poirot Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Hercule Poirot was sitting at the breakfast table. At his right hand was a steaming cup of chocolate. He had always had a sweet tooth. To accompany the chocolate was a brioche. It went agreeably with chocolate. He nodded his approval. This was from the fourth shop he had tried. It was a Danish patisserie but infinitely superior to the so-called French one nearby. That had been nothing less than a fraud.

He was satisfied gastronomically. His stomach was at peace. His mind also was at peace, perhaps somewhat too much so. He had finished his magnum opus, an analysis of great writers of detective fiction. He had dared to speak scathingly of Edgar Allan Poe, he had complained of the lack of method or order in the romantic outpourings of Wilkie Collins, had lauded to the skies two American authors who were practically unknown, and had in various other ways given honor where honor was due and sternly withheld it where he considered it was not. He had seen the volume through the press, had looked upon the results and, apart from a really incredible number of printer's errors, pronounced that it was good. He had enjoyed this literary achievement and enjoyed the vast amount of reading he had had to do, had enjoyed snorting with disgust as he flung a book across the floor (though always remembering to rise, pick it up and dispose of it tidily in the wastepaper basket) and had enjoyed appreciatively nodding his head on the rare occasions when such approval was justified.

And now? He had had a pleasant interlude of relaxation, very necessary after his intellectual labor. But one could not relax forever, one had to go on to the next thing.Unfortunately he had no idea what the next thing might be. Some further literary accomplishment? He thought not. Do a thing well, then leave it alone. That was his maxim. The truth of the matter was, he was bored. All this strenuous mental activity in which he had been indulging-there had been too much of it. It had got him into bad habits, it had made him restless.

Vexatious! He shook his head and took another sip of chocolate.

The door opened and his well-trained servant, George, entered. His manner was deferential and slightly apologetic. He coughed and murmured, "A-" he paused — "a — young lady has called."

Poirot looked at him with surprise and mild distaste.

"I do not see people at this hour," he said reprovingly.

"No, sir," agreed George.

Master and servant looked at each other. Communication was sometimes fraught with difficulties for them. By inflection or innuendo or a certain choice of words George would signify that there was something that might be elicited if the right question was asked. Poirot considered what the right question in this case might be.

"She is good-looking, this young lady?" he inquired carefully.

"In my view — no, sit, but there is no accounting for tastes."

Poirot considered this reply. He remembered the slight pause that George had made before the phrase — young lady.

George was a delicate social recorder. He had been uncertain of the visitor's status but had given her the benefit of the doubt.

"You are of the opinion that she is a young lady rather than, let us say, a young person?"

"I think so, sit, though it is not always easy to tell nowadays." George spoke with genuine regret.

"Did she give a reason for wishing to see me?"

"She said" — George pronounced the words with some reluctance, apologizing for them in advance, as it were"that she wanted to consult you about a murder she might have committed."

Hercule Poirot stared. His eyebrows rose. "Might have committed? Does she not know?"

"That is what she said, sit."

"Unsatisfactory, but possibly interesting," said Poirot.

"It might — have been a joke, sit," said George dubiously.

"Anything is possible, I suppose," conceded Poirot, "but one would hardly think —" He lifted his cup. "Show her in after five minutes."

"Yes, sit." George withdrew.

Poirot finished the last sip of chocolate. He pushed aside his cup and rose to his feet. He walked to the fireplace and adjusted his mustaches carefully in the mirror over the chimney piece. Satisfied, he returned to his chair and awaited the arrival of his visitor. He did not know exactly what to expect. . . .

He had hoped perhaps for something nearer to his own estimate of female attraction. The outworn phrase "beauty in distress" had occurred to him. He was disappointed when George returned, ushering in the visitor; inwardly he shook his head and sighed. Here was no beauty — and no noticeable distress either. Mild perplexity would seem nearer the mark.

"Pah!" thought Poirot disgustedly, "These girls! Do they not even try to make something of themselves? Well-made-up attractively dressed, hair that has been arranged by a good hairdresser, then perhaps she might pass. But now!"

His visitor was a girl of perhaps twenty-odd. Long straggly hair of indeterminate color strayed over her shoulders. Her eyes, which were large, bore a vacant expression and were of a greenish blue. She wore what were presumably the chosen clothes of her generation — black high leather boots, white open-work woolen stockings of doubtful cleanliness, a skimpy skirt, and a long and sloppy pullover of heavy wool. Anyone of Poirot's age and generation would have had only one desire — to drop the girl into a bath as soon as possible. He had often felt this same reaction walking along the streets. There were hundreds of girls looking exactly the same. They all looked dirty. And yet — a contradiction in terms-this one had the look of having been recently drowned and pulled out of a river. Such girls, he reflected, were not perhaps really dirty. They merely took enormous care and pains to look so.

He rose with his usual politeness, shook hands, drew out, a chair...

What People are Saying About This

Kate Mosse
“Agatha Christie was a revolutionary writer; one of the first to make the detective story accessible, with clean, easy prose.”

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became the best selling novelist in history. She wrote 79 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated into more languages than Shakespeare.

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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Third Girl 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ShellIL More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading it again after all these years. I had all the books that Agatha Christie wrote and they had gotten lost in a move. I have slowly started replacing the ones I liked the most. This was one of them. It is a really good story and if you like Agatha Christie's murder mysterys you'll like this one as well.
Sissy_Girl More than 1 year ago
Here is another great book written by the renowned author Agatha Christie. The Third Girl features her most written about, zany, and pompous detective Hercule Poirot. Any story that begins with a girl coming to a detective saying "I think I may have committed a murder" is sure to be an instant attention grabber. All I can say is, if you like Agatha Christie, you will love this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The main character has obiously never heard of The Great Hercule Piorot, and doubts him because of his appearance, but when she is truely in danger of death, he is their for her... read this book!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book is great!! I loved reading it! It's hard to explain why they call it Third Girl. You have to read it to find out!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Bohemian London in 1966 is the setting for this brillant novel. You can get a taste of life back then. Hercule Poirot does not like it, though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though i read the book faster than her other books, M'am. Christie failed to create a sensation like her other books despite Hercule Poirot and should I say Araidne Oliver. Anyhow the good part was the wierd admission of a young girl that 'she might have murdered someone, her father who had deserted her mother for some nasty woman and married someone else and of course her step mother is a general outline of the mystery. The other characters are an almost gay druggie boyfriend of hte girl and two other girls with whom the first girl shares a room. In the end i felt sort of foolish becsuse i thought i had almost guessed it but i didn't. Yes Christie has lived upto her expectation of not letting her readers guess as to who actually did it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book, Third Girl, Norma Restarick goes to talk to Hercule Poiret because she thinks she might have committed a murder. The murder she was talking about was when Louise Charpentier was shoved out a window or threw herself out the window. Then one day Claudia Reece Holland and Frances Cary, people Norma stay with, found Norma standing over her boyfriend, David Baker, holding a knife with blood on her hands. But Hercule figures out that Norma¿s dad is really not her real dad, he died and his friend impostured him and murdered them. Frances is really Norma¿s new mom, Mary Restarick. They killed Louise because she was Norma¿s dad¿s second wife and she would recognize that the imposter wasn¿t really Andrew Restarick. David was confusing Norma for them and knew too much about them so they killed him too. I recommend this book because it is a good and exciting book. This book has a lot of different and interesting characters. Norma who is looked at as crazy or mad is totally different from David Baker who is paid by Andrew¿s imposter to make Norma think that she is crazy. Norma¿s uncle, Sir Rodick Horsefield, is old, half blind, half deaf, and practically gaga. His assistant Sonia is young, totally alert, and very helpful to Sir Rodick, so in the end, even as different as they are, they get married. This book is very confusing. There¿s so many bits and pieces that it just doesn¿t make sense. First Norma is missing, then David Baker knocks out Hercule¿s partner, Adriene Oliver, then Hercule sees that the so called Andrew wrote a check out to David for one million dollars, then Sir Rodick loses some very important papers and lastly Sonia goes to Kew Gardens and leaves a book on a bench for a man to take and keep. This book has a lot of action packed in it. There are two murders, someone gets hit by a car, someone gets knocked unconscious, and just about everyone gets followed. When Mrs. Oliver follows David, he runs to fast for her and later he hits her over the head because he knew she was following him. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat and wondering what will happen next. I recommend this book especially if you like to figure out confusing puzzles.