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Ordeal by Innocence

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  5,839 ratings  ·  301 reviews
According to the courts, Jacko Argyle bludgeoned his mother to death with a poker. The sentence was life imprisonment. But when Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives with the proof that confirms Jacko’s innocence, it is too late—Jacko died behind bars following a bout of pneumonia. Worse still, the doctor’s revelations reopen old wounds in the family, increasing the likelihood that t ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 10th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1958)
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Jan 21, 2013 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christie fans, fans of psychological mysteries
You really have to admire 1950s for their marvelous plot devices. Amnesiacs, mistaken identities, and in this mystery by Agatha Christie, a man with a concussion fails to provide an alibi, and shortly after recovering, heads off to Antarctica for a research expedition. Barring that somewhat awkward premise, Ordeal was an interesting psychological mystery that kept me engaged.

Dr. Calgary, the Antarctic research scientist, discovers through old newspaper articles that he was the missing alibi for
mark monday
Choose Your Own Adventure!

Did you kill the Argyle matriarch? ‘Tis true, she was an awful sort. A control freak: dramatically highly-strung and passionately venomous, her grasping hands ever eager to twist and to bind, to bind you and others to her. She is played by Faye Dunaway in tiny flashback sequences and that is certainly apropos casting. Mama Argyle was ever so unfair to you. She never let you do what you wanted, it was always her, Her, HER! She deserved to die, damn it! The world is a bet
Ick. Not one of Christie's best. Not even close. It's the standard detective story set-up: a murder, a finite set of would-be-murderers, no one has a motive/everyone has equal motive. The twist here is that a man has been convicted, and has died in prison before his alibi turns up.

As far as mysteries go, it's a fairly decent book. But several other things bugged me:
1. Arthur Calgary, the hero. This is the alibi, the scientist who turns up two years too late to provide evidence that the convict
Marija Simić
So many interesting characters in this book, but my personal favourites are Hester & Philip. Philip's death broke my heart, but at least we got a happy ending, i find Dr Arthur Calgary actually perfect for Hester. Definitely one of my favourite books, i would enjoy it even more, only if i didn't spoiled it to myself by watching a movie adaptation..
"Oh, justice! It's not the guilty who matter. It is the innocent." Hester Argyle cries at the end of Dr. Calgary's initial revelation of Jacko's innocence.

There is no murder in the beginning, as Rachel Argyle has been dead for two years, bludgeoned to death by a fireplace poker in her secured home. All of her five foster children were home at the time, and a violent argument was observed between their mother and the black sheep of the family, Jacko on the day of her death.

Now adults, the Argyle
Laurel Young
Agatha Christie claimed that, of all her many novels, Ordeal by Innocence and Crooked House pleased her best. Crooked House is one of my absolute favorites, but I had rather forgotten how very good Ordeal by Innocence is. The premise is gripping: an innocent man convicted wrongly of murdering his adopted mother has died in prison, but new evidence shows that he had an alibi. This means that the murderer is still at large, but it must be a member of his family. The closed setting of the family ci ...more
Classism time in classism town. More precisely, "adoption is unnatural, adoptive children and parents never truly and properly bond the way biological children and parents do, and all good women desperately long to have their own babies" time in [ibid.:] town. Also a lovely running theme about how the one daughter who's half-black and half-white, to whom everyone refers as "half-caste," is all inscrutable and cat-like as has no sense of time because she's half-black. With Aggie, it's all nature, ...more
From BBC Radio 4:
Doctor Calgary comes to visit the Argyle family with good news, or so he thinks. He tells the family he is there to clear the name of Jacko, who was convicted of the murder of his mother. But his news is not greeted with the enthusiasm he expects.

directed by Mary Peate.

Along with Crooked House, Ordeal by Innocence was Agatha Christie's favourite of her own works. It is easy to see why. Eschewing the traditional detective format, it takes an original idea - how the innocent suffe
A perfectly good Agatha Christie mystery with the usual situation. The murderer had to be someone within a small group who all suspect each other. However the 1950s pop psychology/nature vs. nurture aspect of the plot irritated me. Why do I like Ms. Christie's 1930s classism but find her 1950s classism distasteful? Perhaps the 1930s seem a bit like fairy tale times while I remember 1958.

I must give her credit for the way she tied up loose ends with several new romances--it is nice to get some b
Mar 23, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Royal Sappers
So dull.
Kat Hagedorn

This is what happens when you set your Kindle to "wireless on" and you go on a road trip. Sigh. (If your Kindle has a leaky wireless connection, you will run out of battery by the time you get to your destination. If you are stupid enough not to bring your plug with you just in case or even a real paper book, for heaven's sake, you are hosed.)

The cottage had many mothbally, ancient choices. I have read so many Christie novels in the past that their plots all run togethe
This one dragged through the first 20 chapters or so and then rushed to the finish in the last four. I gave it three stars simply because, as a fan, I couldn't give it anything less than that. Christie at her worst is better than most writers at their best, so she definitely deserves that. I can't say, however, that I enjoyed this one as much as some of her other titles. She herself listed this one as one of her personal favorites, but I just can't agree with her. Maybe she had more fun writing ...more
أظن هذه المراجعة الوحيدة لي لأغاثا ، فلا طاقة لي لحرث رواياتها السابقة التي بدأت في قراءتها منذ صيف حتى توقفت في صيف ثم استأنفت في هذا الصيف قراءة رواياتها، والذي يجعلني أقطّع في قراءتي لها، هو مدى توفر عناوين جديدة لترجمات دار الأجيال بعد أن وقعت في حبائل ترجمتها فلم تعد أغاثا تعني لي إلا وهي مصحوبة بدار الأجيال فحسب

ولا حاجة لي لكتابة مراجعات عن ماسأقرأه لاحقا، فروايات أغاثا وإن كانت تعني لي سابقا إثارة بوليسية تناسب الفتاة المراهقة، إلا إنني كلما أوغلت في القراءة لها على امتداد عمري الفاني،
Neveen Helmi
رغم كل روايات أجاثا كريستي اللي قريتها، ورغم أني حفظت أسلوبها تقريبًا، ورغم أني مش مغرمة بشخصية بوارو عامة. فإن الحاجة الوحيدة اللي ممكن أقراها وأنا ضامنة مية في المية اني هاتسلي واتبسط هي رواياتها. الروايات مش بس محبوكة ومسلية ومكتوبة بحرفية، إنما كمان الشخصيات على درجة كبيرة من التعقيد، ونادرًا لما تلاقي شخصية سطحية أو أحادية البعد، وديما في تحليل نفسي لتصرفاتهم ودوافعهم. يعني مثلًا الشخصية المحورية هنا هي شخصية القتيلة رينا، اللي بنكتشف
ورا كل الكلام الجميل عن أعمالها الخيرية وأفضالها على النا
Well well, now at my 30th book of the year (woop woop) and exactly halfway to my goal which is looking very attainable folks, dare I say I may secretly wish to break 100 books this year whew just book dreams my friends but I am excited to read more and more….Unfortunately and sadly there were no five-star amazing books for me so far and I am disheartened at myself for being hasty and impulsive and not researching like I always do but trying to just jump out there and read it all … there have bee ...more
Vicky (Books, Biscuits, and Tea)
According to the courts, Jacko Argyle bludgeoned his mother to death with a poker. The sentence was life imprisonment.

But when Dr Arthur Calgary arrives with the proof that confirms Jacko's innocence, it is too late - Jacko died behind bars following a bout of pneumonia. Worse still, the doctor's revelations re-open old wounds in the family, increasing the likelihood that the real murderer could strike again.....

Reading these few lines was enough for me to know that it's going to be a great read
I love the fact that I've read 3 Agatha Christie books in a row and each of them had a completely different tone from the other. There is a feeling of dissatisfaction, oppression, and suspicion among the characters which is what leads the tone to feel darker (vs. darker books because of suspense or psychological thriller). There is a large, but not too large, cast of characters, and although most of them are in a family together, since they were all adopted as children (not infants), they have t ...more
Se i romanzi con protagonista il Belga Hercule Poirot sono, a conti fatti, una garanzia quasi totale di qualità o, comunque, di un testo avvincente (non parlo di Miss Marple, non avendola ancora mai letta), devo dire che i pochi romanzi della Christie popolati da personaggi diversi finiscono sempre per rappresentare, almeno per me, una piacevolissima sorpresa.
Libera da un certo tipo di schema che, con personaggi ricorrenti, spesso e volentieri diventa obbligato, l’autrice si lancia in scelte più
Pankaj Goyal
While Agatha Christie is no more with us, her novels still rule the world of murder mysteries. Her novels have been reprinted so many times and most probably will keep entertaining the readers in future too. I started reading Christie a long time back and always enjoyed reading her works (except some which disappointed me). I still reread many of her novels with perfect enjoyment.

This novel has the usual situation as one generally witness in Christie’s mysteries. The murderer is someone within
Onellyantie Chuah
I would say the first 20 chapters bored me as they almost made me give up reading this book. But, I'm glad I didn't because the last 4 chapters are simply BRILLIANT! The ending was very well concluded, everything tied to each other, though I have no idea how the main character, Dr Calgary could arrive to that conclusion. He didn't do very much talking, instead, he was the one who got talked to! But somehow, he got the answers to everything and made a beautiful ending for the whole tragedy and fo ...more
I couldn't find the latest edition that was republished by Gramedia so the old one has to suffice (actually the latest cover was so good i bought it despite having read it before).

Anyhoo, good old 'who done it' mystery from Agatha Christie. Everytime i read books by AC (I re-read almost every one of them for several times) it transport me back to the day when i was a teenager and really love spending my whole day in the local library reading Agatha Christie. What a wonderful memory! I haven't s
Bit of a slow start, but understandable as a slow build up is required to fully appreciate the characters; once this was established, the story took more shape and I was keen to find out who did in fact murder Mrs Argyle. Christie is great at making you think deeply about "justice" and often I found myself sympathising with the Argyle family and thinking "why rake up the past - what's done is done, why did Dr Calgary have to come here and upset everyone", but on the flip side, I found myself kee ...more
The opening is brilliantly atmospheric; a stranger climbs the hill up from the Ferry at dusk one cold evening, asking for directions to Sunny Point, a house still called Viper’s Point by the locals. The stranger is Arthur Calgary, a scientist recently returned from an Arctic expedition; he has important information for the family at Sunny Point. News, which when delivered will change everything for the shocked members of the Argyle family.

Full review:
Manuel Alfonseca
A man has died in prison after being convicted of the murder of his foster mother. Two years later, his innocence is proved by a surprising alibi. How will this fact affect the other suspects, specially those who are innocent?
Un colpevole che era innocente, una storia tornata alla ribalta dopo una amnesia temporanea, denaro, amore, sospetti in famiglia, indagini parallele, insomma un giallo da manuale con un finale ... intrigante!

Piacevole lettura da fine estate.
Bookworm Erica
I enjoyed this book but to many twists and Turns for me. The answer didn't come clear and out till the last 5 pages
Pooja T
Really, really good! Such a satisfying read!
Reggie Billingsworth
If, in her lifetime, Agatha Christie felt this was one of her best works it just goes to show that writers can be their worst editorial archivist. It's also got to be a clear commentary on how thoroughly this writer could immerse herself in the contemporary pseudo-socio-psychological jargon of the 1950s, and field it (almost too well and too thoroughly) for her own creative use.

The overall concept of a murder re-visited is unique in what it might offer, but the entire book staggers along burdene
A postwar Christie with all the claustrophobia of And Then There Were None but with an intriguing twist: it is about a murder in a wealthy family of adopted children. The victim, Rachel Argyle, was an sometimes-obsessive humanitarian who 'rescued' several children from poverty-stricken homes a la Jacqueline Baker or Angelina Jolie. When Rachel is murdered, suspicion falls on her son Jacko, a petty criminal with a bad temper; he is convicted and dies in prison. Eighteen months later, a witness co ...more
Shelby Lee
Okay, really?

Really, book cover chooser people?

You chose this random tells-me-nothing of a cover? Quite frankly, I'm expecting a scary story. Look, there's an eerie graveyard bathed in an odd purplish hue. Spooky.

Guess what, bub? This book is not a scary story. It's not spooky or eerie. Surprising, I know.

After rereading and reviewing quite a few Agatha Christie novels, the plots themselves start to feel a little stale. Someone died, you say? There's at least five people with the motive and oppo
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Agatha Christie L...: November 2015 - Order by Innocence 17 37 Nov 17, 2015 08:09PM  
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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 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 t
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“He felt lost without his hatred–lost and afraid.
About Mickey Argyle”
“Ma non aveva mai tenuto conto della natura umana. Aveva sempre considerato le persone come casi da trattare e problemi da risolvere. Non aveva mai capito che ciascun essere umano era diverso, aveva le proprie idiosincrasie, avrebbe reagito diversamente. Già allora l'aveva ammonita a non aspettarsi troppo. Ma lei si era sempre aspettata troppo, anche se non voleva ammetterlo, e così era sempre rimasta delusa.” 0 likes
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