The Unexpected Guest

The Unexpected Guest

4.0 16
by Agatha Christie
     
 

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Melodrama / Characters: 7 male, 3 female

Scenery: Interior

A thriller as well as a puzzler set in a foggy estate in Wales, this mystery opens as a stranger walks into a house to find a man murdered and his wife standing over him with a gun. But the woman is dazed and her confession unconvincing. So the unexpected guest decides to help her and blame the

Overview

Melodrama / Characters: 7 male, 3 female

Scenery: Interior

A thriller as well as a puzzler set in a foggy estate in Wales, this mystery opens as a stranger walks into a house to find a man murdered and his wife standing over him with a gun. But the woman is dazed and her confession unconvincing. So the unexpected guest decides to help her and blame the murder on an intruder. Later, the police discover clues that point to a man who died two years previously and a pandora's box of loves and hates, suspicions and intrigues is opened to the night air.

"The impact is tremendous... Just when the murder seems solved ... Miss Christie pulls her almighty knock out punch. I admit her complete victory."-London Evening News

"Tantalizing ingenuity."-London Tatler

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Bookseller Reviews

Michael Starkwedder encounters all the problems that rural Wales is known fir: Ditches adjacent to poorly-lit roads and a corpse in the first house you visit. This charming Agatha Christie cozy derives from a 1956 drama that Ms. Christie never reworked into novel. Without denting the original, Charles Osborne does the trick. As for Starkwedder, we must confess that he slips into a series of small fibs that render this evening less pleasant than ours.
Tom Nolan
The Unexpected Guest is a twist-filled tale of murder in a country house in Wales, is the second Christie stage play adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne; and, as with last year's best-selling Black Coffee, the results are smooth and bracing.
Wall Street Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As he did with Black Coffee (1998), Osborne has taken one of Christie's original play scripts and turned it into a (slight) novel. For those who can't see the play in production or who find a script dull or difficult reading, Osborne's adaptation may fill a need. But Osborne has added little flesh to the bones of the drama, which, with its single-room setting, absolutely retains the feel of a play merely masquerading as a novel rather than transformed into one. That's not all bad, as this novelization preserves the lightning-quick pace of the original. Christie's play had its premiere in 1958, yet remains undated by the passing years. When a stranger having car trouble at night on a lonely road enters a house through the French windows of its study, he finds an invalid who has been shot dead and a woman (his wife) standing nearby and holding a gun. Apparently on impulse, the stranger decides to help the woman hide her crime. Those two plus a small cast--the victim's mother; the victim's teenage half-brother; his housekeeper/secretary; and his male nurse--parade kaleidoscopically in and out of the study with two investigating police officers. Christie cleverly shifts suspicion and parcels out new facts and perspectives in marvelous fashion, proving ingeniously that the obvious isn't always obvious. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Christie biographer Osborne's second novelization of a Christie play (Black Coffee, 1998) opens with a wonderfully arresting scene: engineer Michael Starkwedder, having run his car into a ditch while poking around the Welsh countryside looking at houses, enters Richard Warwick's house looking for help, only to find the man himself, a big-game hunter now confined to a wheelchair, shot to death. When Richard's wife Laura confesses to the killing, Starkwedder, struck by sympathy for her sufferings at the hands of this brute, encourages her to fake evidence against a fictitious intruder for Inspector Thomas and his quotation-spouting sergeant to find. Veteran readers of the author's work will watch in fascination, secure in the knowledge that Starkwedder and Laura aren't the only ones in the household playing fast and loose, and untroubled by the certainty that the other intimates—Richard's mother, his retarded half-brother, his housekeeper and valet, a neighbor standing for Parliament—have no more moving parts than necessary to keep the twists coming. It's not clear what Christie, who got into playwriting in mid-career because she thought other writers' stage adaptations of her novels too slavish and unsimplified, would have thought of Osborne's close, stingy reworking of her 1958 play. Here, though, Osborne, working with much less creaky material than Black Coffee, manages a few surprises worthy of his master.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780573014673
Publisher:
Samuel French Ltd
Publication date:
11/12/2010
Pages:
114
Sales rank:
809,970
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.24(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Dame Agatha Christie (1890–1976) was a British crime writer best known for her detective novels and short stories. According to Guinness World Records, she is the bestselling novelist of all time, her novels having sold over four billion copies and having been translated into more than one hundred languages. The Agatha Award for best mystery and crime writers was named in her honor.

Hugh Fraser is an English actor and theater director who is best known for his portrayal of Captain Hastings in the television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot. He studied acting at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and is currently an associate tutor, director, and member of the audition panel at the Royal Academy of
Dramatic Art, specializing in Shakespeare.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 15, 1890
Date of Death:
January 12, 1976
Place of Birth:
Torquay, Devon, England
Education:
Home schooling
Website:
http://www.agathachristie.com

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The Unexpected Guest 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
basson_mommy12 More than 1 year ago
A man in search of road-side assistance after getting lost in the fog happens upon a woman who has apparently just shot her wheelchair-bound husband in the head moments before. Instead of jumping to the phone to call the police, the man decides to help the beautiful lady in distress cover up her crime. Or IS it her crime? Delight, as I did, in Agatha Christie's play, as realized in novel form by Charles Osborne. Mr. Osborne's prose does not match that of Christie, but his smoothing out of the stage directions is artfully done and the mystery can unfold for the armchair reader on a stage in the mind's eye.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Purely classic example of deception of the mind. Even knowing that you could never guess what is going to happen even on the next page. It starts as an open shut case, but no one knows the real truth. Then, the solution begins to fog up. And what was so obvious...isn't as it appears. One thing leads to another, and an unexpected guest becomes apart of the unfolding plot. And right when he wants to leave, the truth comes out. And the simple and obvious, becomes genius and incredible...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've recently found my love for Agatha Christie novels, and this is on the top of the list of my favorite books. I got so into it that I read it in one day, I'd recommend it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book! it has a great plot and will keep you entwined for hours! i was really suprised at the killer... it has so many twists to it it's hard to just guess whodunit!
Guest More than 1 year ago
sounds like something poe wrote but its really pretty good
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is perfect if you are a fan of mystery books. The book is great due to the way the author write s the text. It just keeps you guessing throughout the book. You won't be able to put the book down because the evidence points to one person then the next then the next. I thought this was going to be one of those books were i was going to get bored while reading, but i was wrong. This book kept me wanting to read more because of the suspense. This is one of the best books I have ever read and I really recommend trying to read it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
There were so many twists in this book.Clues ran into dead ends and no one knew who the killer was until the final chapter.This was the best book i ever read and i highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Agatha Christie sends you in every direction during the course of this book. you never figure it out until the last page. simply amazing
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. You don't really guess what is going to happen because you believe your own ending. Actually, it ends way different then you would think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a book report and it was a overall good book. It was full of excitement and mystery. This book was a great book. This book was about a murder of an old man. The problems were that they could not find the murderer. If you like mysteries then you should read this book. I recommend this book to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. A surprising end, keeps you guessing who was the killer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another Agatha Christie shocker. I was so surprised at who the killer was.At the end of the book, I could not put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've every read! I am usually very picky about books but this book I couldn't put down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I, personally, do not like most of Agatha Christie's work, but I loved this novel. It is very twisted and keeps you guessing who the killer is until the final chapter. The story is great and won't disappoint you.