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The ABC Murders (Hercule Poirot Series #13)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  33,797 ratings  ·  1,103 reviews
Alice Ascher, a shopkeeper in Andover, is bludgeoned to death at her place of work. Next to die is Miss Bernard in Bexhill, then Mr. Clarke in Churston. More disturbing than the alphabetic sequence of the killings or the ABC Railway guide that the killer leaves at the crime scenes are the taunting notes warning Hercule Poirot before each murder.
Kindle Edition, Masterpiece Ed edition, 240 pages
Published December 15th 2003 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1936)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Agatha Christie is such a crafty devil that midway through a novel she might have you believing that YOU are the murderer!

Indeed, The ABC Murders uses slight-of-hand most deftly. Again, I was thrown off the scent of the real killer and was ready to blame others. I feel a bit foolish when she dangles bait in front of me, and although I guess it for what it is, I take it anyway. And yet, if ever it felt good to be played the fool, it's while reading a cracking good mystery.

Ah, but never fear, Her...more
Valerie
May 28, 2010 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Geometry Students
Recommended to Valerie by: Grandma
Shelves: math
I try to get my math students to read mysteries, because the logical skills of finding a pattern and using inductive and deductive reasoning are often skillfully laid out. If you've read this book, you know why its one that I use to illustrate that point in my class. Sadly, the point is underappreciated by my high school students.
Dina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracey, librarian on strike
What: paperback
What else: First person narrative
Wherefore: it was on Mount TBR, and my Kindle was acting up

Hastings: "I admit," I said, "that a second murder in a book often cheers things up."

Poirot has semi-retired, but has discovered he is no better suited to the state than Holmes is said to have been, and so lets it be known that he is available to take those cases that interest him (again, like Holmes). At the beginning of this tale Hastings has come home to England from his ranch in Argent...more
Grace
I enjoy the Poirot tales, though I often get a little impatient with the ones which are told from the first person narrative of Captain Hastings, who frequently plays Watson to the Belgian detective's Sherlock. These stories, in particular, often seem a bit too heavily padded with scenes where the two men conference - Poirot speaks very enigmatically about the case, Hastings gets frustrated, and Poirot admonishs him to "use the little grey cells." Mystery investigations are by their nature rathe...more
Mitch
Before I begin my review, let me start off my saying I am a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie. Throughout the years I have always used her novels as "go to" books if I am in a literary dry spell and yearn to read something I am guarentee to enjoy. My girl Aggie usually hits the spot! However, sadly, I must say that "The A.B.C. Murders" is thus far my least favourite of all her books.

The following may contain spoilers:

Poirot, everyone's favourite detective, receives a mysterious letter warning him of...more
Kirstine
I got 10 of these books for my birthday, so there might be a few reviews in the foreseeable future. I grew up reading Agatha Christie, and to this day she's one of my go-to authors when I want a comfy, interesting and straight-to-the-chase book.

This one is very good. Poirot is at his best and for once directly involved in the murders, as the murderer contacts him beforehand. I had an inkling of where the story would be headed, but I hadn't figured it out before the big reveal. It will keep you...more
Cata
3,5 estrelas

Penso que por esta altura não é segredo que sou uma grande fã de Agatha Christie, apesar de gostar mais de alguns livros do que de outros [o que é absolutamente normal].

Dito isto, Os Crimes do ABC apresenta uma sinopse extremamente sedutora. Aliado à sinopse, existe uma frase logo no Prefácio que conseguiu captar a minha atenção:
”Quanto à resolução do mistério do ABC, só posso dizer que, na minha opinião, Poirot se revelou um verdadeiro génio no modo como lidou com um problema compl...more
Julie Davis
I really shouldn't have started this book since I have so many others I'm reading right now. However, I saw it was $1.99 for the Kindle and couldn't resist. This is one of my favorite Poirot mysteries, partially because of the other character through whose eyes we see during the book.

After reading Sherlock Holmes fairly devotedly for a while, I am rather stunned to see what a dunderhead Captain Hastings is compared to Dr. Watson. However, I'm enjoying the book quite a lot. I recall a couple of...more
Henry
This is the "serial killer" one out of the Christie opus, a murderer with an alphabetical fixation gradually bringing England into a frenzy as 4 murder victims pile up.

Normally I deplore the "serial killer" genre, the one which has strangely 1,000 books published from various Scandinavian countries that probably have 1 or 2 such fiends a century. But we accept Christie can do anything, we already accept the fantasy of "clever" murders solved by old ladies and vain Belgians, not the reality of mo...more
An Odd1
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Cheryl
Just like the scheduling details in Hampton's ABC Railway Guide, Hercule Poirot is receiving letters taunting him with the specific dates and places of the murders of random victims whose surnames begin with A, B, C, and D. The mad serial killer threatens to continue murdering through each letter of the alphabet!

What is the connection between the killer's ABC signature, the railway schedule, and Alexander Bonaparte Cust, a traveling salesman following Hampton's Guide who just happened to be in e...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 08, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
I recently read a biography of Agatha Christie and it gave me a hankering to read one of hers I had never tried. I've heard The A. B. C. Murders called one of her best, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I thoroughly enjoyed myself from beginning to end, and goodness this was a fast read--just a few hours. It's a short novel, and Christie is very dialogue heavy and undemanding, so her books zip right along. I was amused early on by the little jokes about the detective novel in the repartee between...more
Chris
Hercule Poirot is not having fun at this party.

Our favorite little Belgian detective's little gray cells are most offended by the actions of the ABC killer. Why? Because this is, to use his term, a "public" murder. Messr. Poirot is much more comfortable with "personal" murders where there the deed is done to act out one of those common (and personal between the killer and victim) human emotions like greed, lust, jealousy, desire for revenge, or a quest for power---but usually cash is king. In M...more
Hellen
I can't be the only one in my generation that used to watch CSI religiously and after that the other CSI's and after that all the old and new crime series to satisfy the need for new crime show episodes. After all those years and hundreds of episodes my interest in such shows has decreased a lot. They try to offer different angles, but after several hundred hours a lot's needed to surprise me and my crime show heuristics(if the killer is found within 30 minutes, it's not the killer and then it's...more
El
Anytime someone talks to me about Agatha Christie lately, I find myself heaving a big sigh. By all accounts I should be all over this lady, I should be ripping through her mysteries like no one's bidness. But so far each of the books I've read feel interchangeable and if you were to ask me the plot of one over another I'd probably tactfully change the topic. Or say, "Look, a deer!" and run the other direction.

I'm not discounting what Christie has done for detective fiction, or what she has done...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
It's hard to believe this was my first Agatha Christie. I enjoyed it thoroughly, as I love to watch David Suchet's Poirot. Usually watching a movie or TV and then reading the book spoils the book because I'd have pictures created for me rather than using my own imagination. Not so, in this case. I loved hearing the accents in the written word. Also, one scene in the book seemed familiar to me - I decided it was the same place as the ending in The 39 Steps. I guess you can use a "movie" set over...more
Lizzie
I won't say too much so as not to spoil it for those who've not yet had the pleasure - but the basis of this book has been used in loads of books since written and films produced. What an original thinker Agatha Christie was... The book is thrilling and sinister and a superb ending...great Poirot to start you off if you've not already discovered him
Jenny
This is the first Agatha Christie book I ever read, on a recommendation from a friend. I don't remember the details now (I read it about 10 years ago), but I know enough to say that I loved it. It turned me into a Christie fan!
Rebecca
This one was ok...nothing too exciting. I was able to pick out the bad guy early but this was at the end of a Christie reading marathon so I was totally satuarated wiht her writing style.

Nancy O'Toole
I've read quite a few Agatha Christie books, but a little while back I got burned by a particularly bad one (The Big Four) which ended up putting me off her books for a while. I'm glad I decided to come back though, as The ABC Murders is pretty much everything you'd want in a Hercule Poirot book, an intricate little mystery filled with surprising twists, a colorful cast of characters, and just the right mix of humor and drama. Retired detective, Hercule Poirot finds himself facing a very differe...more
Ashrakat Deyab
This is the first time I've read an Agatha Christie book and hopefully it will not be my last. After watching BBC's Sherlock, I felt a need to shift my general trend of reading fantasy books to reading mystery books. And so I picked up The ABC Murders.

I like Sherlock Holmes particularly because his character is very compelling and is portrayed so well both in the original and the retelling. I'm sad to say that Poirot is not as interesting and admirable as Sherlock Holmes. We are barely given...more
Melanie
Read this now because of Hyouka :D...

So I've rated this Agatha Christie somewhat less enthusiastically than the other two I've read so far. Actually, the mystery part of this book was pretty cool, not at all disappointing or less interesting than those other two, but I found this one curiously lacking in the character department.
This is the first Poirot mystery I've read to feature captain Hastings, and I'm not fan. He does not seem to add anything apart from the "reader perspective", as a wa...more
Socialbookshelves.com
This is Christie at her best, published first in her glory period in the 1930s when she also released Murder on the Orient Express, Three Act Tragedy, Death on the Nile and And Then There Were None. I promise, you'll enjoy this one - it's up there with my favourites.

Picture the scene - Alice Ascher is killed in Andover, Betty Barnard dies in Bexhill, and Sir Carmichael Clarke is found dead in Churston. Hercule Poirot receives a letter in advance of each murder, telling him where to expect the cr...more
Ally Atherton
Sometimes murder is as easy as ABC but this time Hercule Poirot seems to be faced with a homicidal maniac and clues seem to be few and far between. Poirot receives a letter that informs him that there is going to be a murder in Andover and Mrs Ascher is found battered to death behind her shop counter. Next young Betty Barnard is strangled on a beach in Bexhill and then Sir Carmichael Clarke is killed in Churston. Why are each of the bodies found with a copy of the ABC railway guide and who the h...more
Dolly
Jan 27, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: 2013, english, mystery, death
I am continuing my tour of Agatha Christie's collected works. I'm taking my sweet time about it, but I'm enjoying the ride. I don't know if I ever realized how many books she'd written.

This was an entertaining mystery and a quick read. The ending surprised me despite the fact that I thought I knew what was going on. I love that about her books. I'm usually caught completely off guard by the solution to her mysteries. The characters in this tale were very intriguing and the narrative is filled wi...more
Andra
I picked up this book because I realised I didin't read something by the famous Agatha Christie and this sounded pretty interesting.

So...there's a murder who kills his victims in an alphabetical order and he announces the locations and the date by letters destined to Hercrule Poirot challenging his skill. At first everybody thinks it's a joke - except of Poirot who intuited something - but they realise it's not when the crime took place,at the date set in the town established, Andover where th...more
Kara
As with most Agatha Christie novels, the mystery solution was imaginative and complicated. Ms. Christie does an admirable job misleading her reader - once you are sure you have solved it, she reveals the true killer to be someone you never suspected! I love the character of Hercule Poirot - the vain, brilliant, moustachioed Belgian detective that solves the case. However, the excitement occasionally drops off. As Poirot himself notes in the novel, there are no muddy footprints that correspond to...more
Jgrace
The A.B.C. Murders – Agatha Christie-
Audio performance by Hugh Fraser
4 stars

“Mr. Hercule Poirot,—You fancy yourself, don’t you, at solving mysteries that are too difficult for our poor thick-headed British police? Let us see, Mr Clever Poirot, just how clever you can be. Perhaps you’ll find this nut too hard to crack. Look out for Andover, on the 21st of the month. Yours, etc., A B C.”

A serial killer with an alphabetical compulsion sends mocking letters to Poirot announcing his intentions. C...more
Rachel
This book wasn't bad - it was engaging and a good story and I was eager to continue reading - but the cleverness in case-solving that I think of as a hallmark of Hercule Poirot felt somewhat lacking in this book. There seemed to be not that much deductive prowess, except right at the end, and more waiting around telling a good story. It was enjoyable, but didn't feel clever as Agatha Christie usually does.
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123715
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
More about Agatha Christie...
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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“Words, madmoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas.” 108 likes
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