Unexpected Guest
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Unexpected Guest

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,318 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time with her works outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. She is regarded by generations of fans as the greatest mystery writer ever, and her novels are read and cherished the world over.

But before she can get the body off the premises, a policeman arrives at her front door. The police received an anonymous

Hardcover, 177 pages
Published 1999 by HarperCollins (first published 1958)
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The plot is incorrect: it's the one for Spider's Web. I guess you could say I read "The Unexpected Guest" as an accident, as I thought I would be reading Spider's Web. However, The Unexpected Guest was a very good accident, mind you. The story was fast-paced, had simple and easy-to-read language, and a jaw-dropping ending.

It didn't feature the usual recurring detectives, like Poirot or Marple or Tommy and Tuppence, yet perhaps that's what made this book so intriguing because the inspectors were...more
Adela Cacovean
Avem parte din nou de un roman povestit din prisma celor implicați în această crimă. Totul începe când un bărbat pe nume Starkwedder călătorește în sudul Wales-ului (Țara Galilor) și se blochează cu mașina pe drum, în fața unei case. Cum afară e și ceață, el hotărăște să dea un telefon. Nu răspunde nimeni la ușă, așa că încearcă ușa glasvandului, care e deschisă. Înăuntru e întuneric, dar vede un invalid în scaunul său. Îi explică în ce situație se află, dar niciun răspuns. Așa că aprinde o lumi...more
A simple, small, no-nonsense story! A man driving in the night through the fog finds himself entrenched in a ditch. So he walks up to the nearest house and walks into a murder scene quite unexpectedly! He finds a cripple of a husband murdered, shot through his head, in the wheel-chair, while the wife is standing in a corner with the gun still in her hand and confessing to the murder. But did she really do that? Is she shielding someone else? Maybe a lover? Or her retarded bro-in-law?
TO those who...more
Sumit Singla
I have to say that this book was good - though I read a novelized version of the play and not the play itself. It is about a dark, rainy night when a man's car breaks down. He seeks help in a house nearby, and realizes that a man who he thought was sleeping is actually dead.

And then begins a roller-coaster ride, which I cannot begin to describe without giving away spoilers.

However, it'll suffice to say that it is a good book, with some interesting twists that I didn't see coming. (Either Ms. Chr...more
Nikki Nielsen
'The Unexpected Guest' begins on the side of a foggy country road in Scottland. Michael Starkwedder finds himself hopelessly lost on this winding road that seems to lead nowhere when he runs his car into a ditch. He walks to the closest house and although there is no answer to his knock, he sees someone sitting in the library through glass doors. A man asleep possibly? The French doors open to Michael's touch and he has intentions of waking the man up and asking to use the phone, but he is shock...more
Onellyantie Chuah
I thought I succeeded in guessing who the murderer is (and was very proud of it, too), but the final chapter just blew all my confidence away. All the clues and characters play significant roles in the plot, nothing unnecessary (except for the young sergeant Cadwallader and his poetic remarks). A very short read with no-humor but extensively family and revenge related story.

A little bit of the story:
Michael Starkwedder permitted himself to enter an isolated house on a foggy night after his car r...more
So this was originally a play and adapted to a novel format. I did notice that the writing was a bit "off" and didn't feel quite right for an Agatha Christie book. The plot and characters were pretty interesting, as usual, starting off with pretty-clear case of wife being caught red-handed and holding the smoking gun. And in typical Christie style all is not what it appears to be. Not sure if it is because I've read so many of her books, but it didn't take me too long to figure out what the plot...more
Katie Robinson
Its a dark rainy night. Perfect time for a murder.

This book is about an ultimate revenge. A man in a wheel chair turns up murdered. Some would say the neglected and emotionally abused wife is the killer. Others think its the wives lover. The more the book goes on, it starts looking like the mentally handicapped brother has killed his own brother.

Then the police start to pry and find out this dead man is a murderer himself. So who did it, a stranger? the wife? the lover? the brother? Well, there...more
First things first, I should point out that I read a novelisation of this play, not the play itself, therefore I probably gained a different opinion of this Christie story than I would if I'd read the original. This turned out to be a very good novelisation though with a strong plotline, although I did feel that some of the dialogue and action would work a lot better in its original play format. Still a nice book to while away a couple of hours with. Just enough mystery and a nice twist at the e...more
Tina Rae
Apr 24, 2012 Tina Rae rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha fans
Ugh. Why are Agatha Christie mysteries so amazing?! They are my favorite. I absolutely adored this one. Though the ending kind of threw me. The very, very end was not at all what I wanted to happen but oh well. The whole novel was still brilliant. And I believe this one was adapted from a play? I would LOOOOVE to see this as a play. It would be just a superb night at the theatre. So if you're looking for a good Agatha Christie mystery to devour this one is definitely one of her best!
Ana Luisa
Agatha Christie foi e sempre será a rainha do romance policial! Por melhores que sejam outros livros existentes no mercado literário nenhum consegue superar esta diva que será sempre lembrada pelas suas histórias imortais. Já não lia um livro desta autora à muitos anos, o outro titulo que li chamava-se “Matar é facil” e pertencia à colecção “Vampiro”. Este é mais um livro viciante que nos faz devorar cada página de forma quase doentia, com a certeza que nada é aquilo que parece. Devo dizer que n...more
Um estranho (a visita inesperada do título) fica preso com o seu carro numa valeta, numa noite de grande névoa, no sul do País de Gales. Com o intuito de pedir socorro, acaba entrando na casa mais próxima do ocorrido e descobre um homem sentado numa cadeira de rodas, morto.
Este é o prelúdio deste romance policial, adaptado de uma peça de teatro, escrito pela Dama do Crime em 1958. De realçar que A Visita Inesperada é considerada uma das melhores peças de teatro da autora.
Após tal «descoberta»...more
Jazmín Romero
Este libro lo había comenzado a leer, y me enojé tanto con la protagonista que lo dejé a la mitad. Un año después, como parte de mis propósitos de año nuevo de no dejar cosas a medias, lo volví a abrir. Bueno, tuve que empezarlo de nuevo porque ya no recordaba nada de la historia, por lo que tuve la oportunidad de mirar con otros ojos la trama. Esta vez me atrapó y no me dejó ir hasta que lo terminé.

Reconozco que me enojé tanto con Laura por la forma en que le admite a Starkwedder que él sale s...more
Geert Daelemans
A posthumous Christie with a vengeance

After getting his car stuck in a ditch next to a desolate road hidden in thick mist, Michael Starkwedder walks to a cottage to get some help. To his surprise he notices that the front door of the cottage is ajar. Once inside the house he finds a woman with a gun in her hand, crouched next to a lifeless body. The woman, Laura Warwick, immediately admits to having killed her husband. Michael decides to help the woman to cover up her crime, but never expected t...more
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears on my blog, minus the links which appear in the blog version.


The Unexpected Guest was first published as a play in 1958, and written into a novel by Charles Osborne in 1999. The story is set in Wales one foggy night. The protagonist is Michael Starkwedder (sounds rather like Starkadder, doesn’t it?!). He's an oil engineer who has returned to his roots after a spell in the Middle East, perhaps looking to buy a house there. His car gets stuck in a...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Unexpected ending

I chose to give this book 4 stars, as it was amazing but the beginning proved to be a bit confusing. This is another Agatha Christie's "whodunit" and I loved it. The ending was no where close to being expected, I actually thought it was Jan I fell for the trick. I would recommend this to anybody who loves crime and mystery novels. The Unexpected Guest kept me guessing...
Charlotte Adamson
I read this as the adapted book version and was instantly enthralled by the intoxicating writing style of Agatha Christie. I managed to read it in very little time as I found it was unputdownable!!! I was more and more perplexed at the unravelling of the mystery and was also very pleased to discover the element of mystery at the end of the book. I found that the final twist left an everlasting question in my mind that I was desperate to answer. Very pleased that I decided to read this book.

(I kn...more
Interesting... This novel is actually an adaptation by Charles Osborne of the 1958 play by Christie. It shows, unfortunately, in that the narrative style isn't like her at all -- it's slow and the kind of simple, over-stated style of someone who would like to be a good writer, but isn't. Still, I have to give allowances, because it can't be easy to adapt a play to novel form.

The plot itself is... interesting. Christie's works are always kind of hit-and-miss with me (I tend to stick to her Poirot...more
Julie Golding Page
An avid reader of Christie mysteries, I think she's one of the masters of the craft. However, I was disappointed in this book. It was not actually a novel written by Christie herself, but rather an adaptation of one of her plays. This means that the book is far shorter than other books by Christie, which the publisher tries (unsuccessfully) to make up for by using a larger-than-normal font. Christie's wonderful descriptions of the settings are also missing, and what we have instead are far too m...more
This was an adaptation of an Agatha Christie play into a novel, with the adaptation done by Charles Osborne. I didn't realize this until I finished the book on my nook, and I wondered why it was so short, so I turned back to the title page. I was like, "Ohhhhhh!" because it made what I'd just read make a lot more sense. For one, it's not really like a Christie novel somehow. I can't pinpoint why, but it just doesn't sound quite like her voice. Secondly, it would make a FANTASTIC play. As a novel...more
Suriya Gayathri
My first ever jaunt with a detective novel and I’m happy to have started it with the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. The book is an absolute page turner and keeps the reader on toes with thrill and suspense. It was not the guest who was unexpected but the climax!
I have always loved mysteries even as a child. Agatha Christie tells this story in a simple form and it read most like a screenplay rather than a novel. I liked the easy format for reading the story and the characters did come to life without all that excessive blathering some novels do. I don't think it was her best story but it did make for a good read especially if you're traveling and need something to fill the time (I used it to fill the time at the salon during my hair appointment). In Aga...more
Disappointing. This is a novelisation of an Agatha Christie play and it just didn't work for me. I found the characters stiff and shallow, and the plot predictable. The action all took place in one room which increased the boredom factor. However I managed to wade through it to the end, so gave it 2 stars.
Jaydeep Banerjee
I saw the hindi movie (Dhund) adapted from the original thriller and was floored. However when I discovered the original story and author (my favourite over the last twenty years) I was not surprised. Only a story by the great Agatha Christie could have been so beautifully narrated. It sets your pulse racing on the first page and hope the story continues forever.
Sep 10, 2007 Cindy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans with a little time to kill
Shelves: mysteries
I am a big fan of mysteries and Agatha Christie, but I found this book a disappointment. I know that these are co-authored (to a big extent) by Charles Osborne, and it shows. The story opens with a man entering a house to find a woman standing over the body of her dead husband. He covers up for her. There are lots of twists along the way, but I had the whole thing figured out halfway through the book. I know sometimes you can guess the ending and still enjoy it, but halfway through? I was expect...more
May 29, 2014 Lamees rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lamees by: Alaa
قرأتها بترجمة مزعجة من دار رواق..

ترجمة أفسدت عليّ الكثير !

لكنها تظل رواية جيدة بنهاية جميلة متوقعة من أجاثا :)

شكرًا لصديقتي آلاء على إعارتي إياها ^^

I don't know if it was the way it was translated (I read the Spanish version) or the lack of Poirot or Mrs. Marple, but I didn't enjoyed this one as much I thought I was going to. Sure, Agatha Christie manages to pull you into the story with a plot full of mystery and packed with well crafted characters, but I actually guessed the outcome of this story, which is odd when I'm reading any of Christie's work, usually I never know what to expect. I was also a bit confused through most of it and...more
One day, I will be able to figure out who the killer is before Agatha Christie wants me to. Today was not that day.
I like these kinds of books, better find another book of Agatha Christie. Love it, short, interesting, page turner!
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880...more
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And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)

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