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The Sittaford Mystery

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  6,199 ratings  ·  362 reviews
M-U-R-D-E-R. It began as an innocent parlor game intended to while away the hours on a bitter winter night. But the message that appeared before the amateur occultists snowbound at the Sittaford House was spelled out as loud and clear as a scream. Of course, the notion that they had foretold doom was pure bunk. Wasn't it? And the discovery of a corpse was pure coincidence. ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 19th 2001 by Minotaur Books (first published 1931)
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Laurel Young
Just for maximum confusion, many of Christie's novels have different titles in the British vs. American editions. What I actually read was entitled Murder at Hazelmoor, but it is aka The Sittaford Mystery. Whatever one calls it, this novel typifies why Dame Agatha is the Mystery Goddess to me. I love many of her contemporaries--Sayers, Marsh, Tay, Wentworth, and esp. Rinehart--but it is rare for them to stump me. I've just been at this game too long; I usually have the solution figured out by th ...more
Cheryl Kennedy
Just the idea of a seance in the twilight of a winter's snow storm puts the reader on watch. With five or six people sitting around a table asking questions of spirits from the other world, well, isn't that atmospheric enough? Do we really want to know the answer to who will face death within the hour?

And what are the believers' motives for conjuring up those on the other side to predict someone's demise? Is there a wish to eliminate a rival to claim a competition prize?

"Major Burnaby drew on his gum boots, buttoned his overcoat collar round his neck, took from a shelf near the door a hurricane lantern, and cautiously opened the front door of his little bungalow and peered out."

I love this opening paragraph. It sets the scene for one of my favourite cozy mysteries: A small village near Dartmoor - you know, the misty remote parts of Baskerville fame.
Some of the villagers have are gathering for tea and enjoy a game of table-turning, adding a supernatural edge to
Agatha Christie does it again.

No Marple or Poirot in this one. Instead, Emily Trefusis is our plucky heroine. Christie adores creating a smart, attractive, sharp female character.

Emily is determined to get her fiancée, James Pearson, out of jail. He's accused of murder - but Emily knows there's no way he could have done it. "Jim is a frightful idiot. But he doesn't murder people.”

Once again, Christie's wit and humor blow me away. She is such a funny writer! I would almost classify her books as
During a freak snowstorm, guests at a country house amuse themselves by conducting an impromptu seance. What starts as an innocent game of table-turning, turns genuinely sinister when the spirits spell out that the house's absent owner, Captain Trevelyan, is not only dead, but that he has just been murdered. Hours later the Captain's body is discovered in a neighboring village, slain just as the "spirits" predicted. So begins Agatha Christie's novel The Sittaford Mystery (published 1931), but pe ...more
There is something very appealing about murder mysteries set in remote English villages under heavy snow. It is more than the Christmas card prettiness and the excuse for roaring fires. There is an expectation that something interesting will happen, like the murder of a rich old Scrooge.

The Sittaford Mystery is an absolute Agatha Christie classic. It has an interesting mix of characters, young and old, plenty of red herrings, and a clever riddle at its heart. The surprising item here is the youn
Nour El Houda
This is the third Agatha Christie novel I read. What I love about it and what makes it special to me is that when I started reading it I wasn’t in a good place as a reader, and it just made love reading again so I guess it came in the right place at the right time. It actually caught my attention very early on; I was hooked in the first chapter, which is too early for me because I usually start appreciating a book after at least 2 chapters. It really flew by quickly. I guess this is the Agatha C ...more
Vintage Christie. However, I found it hard to keep all the characters straight in my head and I'm not sure I completely understood who a few of them were, and next I found the reason for the murder pretty lame. Also, the whole murder episode had a pretty unbelievable element in there, too.

This novel didn't not have Miss Marple or Poirot but a different, and never again used, Inspector. While he was present in the story, he seemed to do very little in solving the case.

On an aside note, I read thi
1931, apa MURDER AT HAZELMOOR; Miss Emily Trefussis, Charles Enderby, reporter, and Inspector Narracott, the little town of Sittaford, near Dartmoor Prison. Cranky (but wealthy) Captain Trevelyan is murdered during a snowstorm and while many suspects have motive, they didn't have the opportunity... Four stars.

During a snowstorm Major Barnaby becomes worried about his best friend, Captain Trevelyan, who has just recently relocated to a small cottage about six miles away. They're both quite elderl
Re-reading Agatha Christie in order of publication ...

This was an extremely pleasant, if not compelling, book. A classic cozy book. I wasn’t crazy about the seance idea, but it served a purpose in the plot and wasn’t overly emphasized. I fell in love with the characters of Major Burnaby and Emily Trefusis. I didn’t mind the absence of Christie’s famous characters like Poirot or Miss Maple. I also loved how small and isolated the town of Sittaford was. I wish there were additional books with this
I've read enough books that I should have been able to figure out the murderer. But I'm glad I switched off my brain a little and enjoyed the suprise when it came. My favourite thing about this book - like most Agatha Christie books I adore - wasn't themystery, though. It was the characters. Or more specifically the character if Emily Trefusis who is now second only to Anne Beddingford of the Man in the Brown Suit fame, as my favourite Agatha Christie hero.

"Oh! my God," said Jim Pearson. "Can n
Evi Routoula
I really like Agatha Christie and i believe that she is maybe the best writer for this kind of fictional stories. This book is one of her early works most probably ( around 1920s?), it is a rather long book for its kind: too much blah blah, until the last pages you cant imagine who is the killer of course but the reasoning of the whole plot at the end isnt believable for me. It is a good story for relaxing but i was waiting for something better.
Nov 26, 2007 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: crime
Agatha Christie books are like delicious little snacks. Most of them aren't particularly long, they're incredibly easy to read, and they always leave you feeling satisfied. I think that might be why I love her writing so much. The stories are just convoluted enough that you're surprised by the ending, but not enough that it's completely unbelievable.

I get the feeling that I read this story in a short story format, because a lot of the plot seemed very familiar. It's a testament to how interestin
One of the most delightful Agatha Christie's I've read. It's fresh and peppy with all of the intriguing Christie twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. And a girl detective a la Nancy Drew!
Kaito Aileen
Feb 22, 2015 Kaito Aileen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like fun(ny) murder mysteries and/or manipulative characters
The premise goes like this: isolated by a snowstorm, a bunch of neighbours make a séance (for fun) and the ouija board spells out that the landlord is dead. The landlord lives 2h away, but his friend is worried enough that he makes the trip in the storm... and 2h later, does indeed find the landlord dead.

Mysteriously, the time of death is the exact time when the séance took place. (!!) How can that be possible? Clearly, if someone was in on it, they surely wouldn't hint at it!

I guess we can say
The Sittaford Mystery, like The Murder at the Vicarage seems to reflect Christie looking for, if a not a new pattern for writing her books, at least the introduction of a new variation within the mix. Once again, as in several earlier books, the most proactive of the characters is a young woman although the point of view is not hers. The mystery itself is less ornately planned than many of the earlier Christies and is a rare example of a believeable “aha” moment of detection. All the information ...more
Cheryl Landmark
Another fine example of Agatha Christie's clever, imaginative mind. Her portrayal of the insular life and intriguing characters of a small, remote English village was, as usual, very well done.

There were plenty of red herrings, suspects, motives and clues. Emily Trefusis was a great character--high-spirited, determined, intelligent and charming. That she used all of her feminine wiles to coerce men into doing whatever she wanted is not a trait I admire in women, but Emily's tactics certainly net
Bookie | The BookChick
Book Description:
A blizzard has hit England. In the tiny village of Sittaford, on the fringes of Dartmoor, a party of six is gathered in Sittaford House, home of Captain Trevelyan. He has rented the house out for the winter and is staying in a nearby village. As evening draws in, a séance is proposed. But it reveals more than they had anticipated - TREVELYAN DEAD, spells out the board. Slowly the table begins to rock again, spelling out the word M-U-R-D-E-R. Is it true? And who would kill a man
This mystery from the great Christie is full of so much detail, I don't know where to begin. First, there's Miss Emily Fortescu, the "sleuth" of the story. She's the fiancee of Jim Pearson, who has been inprisoned for killing his rich uncle, a crime he did not commit. It's up to her to find out who really did kill the old man. She gets help from a news reporter, Charles, who falls for her, but is supposed to be her cousin. Of course, Emily uses her charm and his affections to her advantage to so ...more
I usually like the Poirot and Marple books the best, but this one with neither of the great Christie detectives on duty - is a marvelous read. I was happily curled up under a blanket most of the afternoon with this one.
In The Sittaford Mystery we have the ingredients of a truly atmospheric old whodunit. A fabulous setting - a wintry Dartmoor just before Christmas. Mysterious characters who are obviously not telling the whole truth, an escaped convict from Princetown, a feisty young woman fightin
Elisha Condie
Is there anything better than Agatha Christie for summer reading? No. No there is not.

And the thing that's amazing about Agatha Christie novels - and this will sound so contrived - but it's seriously the last person you'd suspect. It gets me everytime! And I love that. I'll even try to suspect who I think is an innocent, and I still get it wrong.

I liked this story because it had a plucky heroine who was doing most of the deducing. And the inscription in the front of the book was awesome: "T
At a house party during a game of table rapping (similar to using an Ouija board), a murder is announced. Only the victim is living in a village over 6 miles away and the roads are impassable due to a winter storm. Unless you believe messages from beyond, it is dollars to donuts that one of the attendees knew of the murder beforehand, but which one and why? Since this title was mentioned in another book I am reading and I am already woefully behind in the reading quota I set for myself for 2014, ...more
A snowstorm, a seance, a murder. Jolly fun!

Also published under the title Murder at Hazelmoor.
Justine Olawsky
Well, another typical Christie mystery: people gathered together for a house party, the bright young things, the eccentric villagers, the red herrings, the curiously complex murder. This one uses the device of table-turning to speed the murderer's most foul plans along. There is a lot of snow, which is nice, because I love snow, and also the deep drifts play a part in the plot. There are plenty of young people in the cast of characters to forward some romantic diversions and also fuel the main a ...more
Ryan G
This was what I needed to get out of my reading slump, a well written Agatha Christie mystery. She never totally disappoints and I'm mentally better off after I read one of her novels, even if I wouldn't put it on my favorites list. Thankfully this one is in the running for my top 10 list of her books.

The book starts off with a party held in a stately manor in the middle of nowhere. There is several feet of snow covering the ground and more is one it's way. The strange mixture of party goers dec
The title of this book changed at some point. The title I read is Murder At Hazelmoor but it is the same book as the title listed here. I've discovered that has happened with other Agatha Christie books; I have no idea why. I don't really care what any book of Agatha Christie's is called, though, I've read any I can find over the years and they're all wonderful representations for the mystery genre. I find Hercule Poirot to be a huge pain on the page, but the writing and plotting is so good, I c ...more
Agatha Christie did it again! She completely fooled me, even though I thought I had the killer pinned early on. She is definitely the grand mistress of the 'red herring.'

This is a stand-alone mystery written in 1931 and originally published as "Murder at Hazelmoor." Captain Trevelayan is murdered in the drawing room at Hazelmoor with a bolster (sounds like a game of CLUE, doesn't it?)during a massive snowstorm, and his young nephew, Jim Pearson, is accused. Jim's fiance, the charming and beauti
I've had this book in my collection for years, but this is the first time I got round to reading it. The book does not feature one of Agatha Christie's regular detectives. Instead, a lively young woman by the name of Emily Trefusis, tries to solve the crime as her fiancé has been arrested for the murder of Captain Trevalyan.

I do not think this is one of Agatha Christie's most gripping books although I managed to read it. The mystery is solved in rather a contrived fashion. The book was first pub
Another solid entry in the Christie canon, but not a top one. I figured out most of the secondary plot's mysteries, but I was unable to nail down the culprit (from among those who "couldn't" have done it) before the intelligent and lovely Emily Trefusis did so for me. Of course, as was usually the case, Christie cheated the reader on at least two occasions. In one, we get something of an unreliable narrator chapter and in the other, we are not told about a critical piece of evidence that Ms Tref ...more
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Agatha Christie L...: October 2011 - The Sittaford Mystery 51 90 Sep 20, 2012 12:12PM  
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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
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) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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