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Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot Series #11)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  7,194 ratings  ·  304 reviews
At an apparently respectable dinner party, a vicar is the first to die...Thirteen guests arrived at dinner at the actor's house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died. But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison --...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1934)
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Community Reviews

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Dina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: At an apparently respectable dinner party, a vicar is the first to die...Thirteen guests arrived at dinner at the actor's house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died. But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison -- just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was ab...more
Erin ~ (It's October, time for creepy books)
This book was a bit frustrating for awhile. Hardly any Hercule Poirot was in it! Even so, I grew a bit bored and not just because of the absence of the detective. At first the story was all over the place before the middle act, which was distracting. The characters and scenes were interesting enough for a bit, but meh...I kept wanting to skim ahead after awhile. Much of it was thoughtful dialogue among secondary characters without any continuing ties to go on.

After page 128, seriously, Hercule...more
Laurel Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis Brock
This was my 10th book in my quest to finish every Poirot mystery written by Christie. I rather appreciated the fact that once again the author used a unique style in presenting this mystery. Every book seems to be written differently and I love that! With that being said though I was disappointed that Poirot was not really in the novel until well after a hundred pages. But once he was around he was in top form! I also struggled to understand the motive for the murders, and felt it was a rather w...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3.5 stars

I listened to the audio book, which made it a little hard to keep track of all the characters, but I enjoyed the complexity of this mystery. It also seemed to have more humor than a lot of Agatha's other works. I loved hearing Hercule Poirot's explanation at the end about why he sometimes pretends not to speak English very well. He's a clever one, the little Belgian with the mustachios.
Mary Ronan Drew
Plotting is Agatha Christie's forte of course but she outdoes herself with this 1934 Hercule Poirot mystery. It begins with the death of the beloved rector of the parish, a man without an enemy in the world. Who would want to kill him? Maybe it was natural causes - no poison was found in the martini he had just sipped when he collapsed at a party given by a recently retired actor, Sir Charles Cartwright. When another man dies in a similar manner (only this time it's a glass of port) a post-morte...more
Olga
Nothing ever happens in a quaint little town of Loomouth, not until the local vicar dies at a dinner party at Sir Charles Cartwright's mansion. The police attribute his death to natural causes and the matter is forgotten until Sir Charles' friend, a renown doctor of psychiatry dies in a chillingly identical fashion. Luckily for them Ercule Poirot is there to untangle the mystery and identify the murderer.

The more I read Agatha Christie's mysteries the more I like them. It seems like with every...more
Sammy
In which a clergyman dies at dinner – with no apparent motive or reason – and it’s only the beginning…

On the one hand, it features a varied cast of characters, including a charismatic actor friend of Poirot’s, Sir Charles Cartwright, who dominates the proceedings. Cartwright was played by Tony Curtis in the Ustinov film, and Martin Shaw in the lovely Suchet adaptation, and is the best thing about both the novel and the films. The structure of the murders is well-conceived and elaborate without f...more
Philip
Another Christie re-read: I first read this in 1975 as MURDER IN THREE ACTS, the title under which it was first published in the US in 1935 (it was already evident that her American publisher felt that "Death" or "Murder" in a Christie title made for better sales). It's a smooth read - Christie was in her 'golden age,' here, after futzing around during the 1920s, when she produced a mixture of detective novels and thrillers (and one masterpiece of detection, THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD). During...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Jill
Cover Story: Spooky Stuff
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Sit Up And Pay Attention
Bonus Factors: Cocktails
Relationship Status: Friends Forever

Read the full book report here.
Mervi
Agatha Christie establishes an atmosphere of foreboding in the very first chapter, as the likable Mr. Satterthwaite (who here fills the role of the absent Captain Hastings) sits on the terrace of the Crows Nest resort, remarking on the personalities and the actions of the people around him, who include the retired actor Sir Charles Cartwright and the respected doctor Sir Bartholemew Strange. From here, the novel takes the form of a "tragedy in three acts," with a new murder in each act and a ser...more
Mith
I might have been finished with this review earlier but I was a bit TOO BUSY REFRESHING POTTERMORE FOR THE DAMN CLUE.

Anyway.

Three Act tragedy was, in my opinion, not one of Chrisite's best works. Maybe I have read too many of her books by now to recognise her style, because I knew who the culprit was after about the first hundred pages. That's not to say I could guess the motive behind the murder(s) - Christie excelled at it as ever.

Unlike other books, Poirot, after making an extremely brief app...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tali
I first saw this a couple of years ago as a TV adaptation, and I have to say that the novel is much better than that interpretation. That given, it wasn't one of Christie's novels that reached out and grabbed me from the start. The mystery is straightforward enough - two murders which appear to have no motive or bearing on each other, but the solution lies in the novel's title. The plot and the romance in it did lag in the middle which is why I've knocked the stars off. I did enjoy the book bein...more
Leslie
This 5 episode radio drama was very well done, although it took me a while to adjust to someone other than David Suchet as Poirot's voice :) For some reason, this Christie had been left off in my GoodReads shelves but soon after starting, I did recognize the story. However, that didn't prevent my enjoying this production, which I actually listened to on air, and the episodic nature of the broadcast brought back happy childhood memories of listening to books on the radio during summer vacation.
Rebecca
Famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright has retired to Cornwall, and one night has a dinner party that includes Mr. Satterthwaite, the attractive young Miss Egg Lytton-Gore, and Hercule Poirot. At that dinner, the harmless old vicar Mr. Babbington falls over dead, and everyone but Sir Charles thinks it was natural causes. When the famous doctor and friend of Sir Charles, Sir Bartholomew Strange, keels over in much the same manner some time later at his institution in Yorkshire, however, no one think...more
Ines
Sir Charles Cartwright has retired from acting and lives away from the public eye in Cornwall. He plans a dinner party whose guests include Hercule Poirot and Egg - Hermione Gore - that has caught Cartwright's eye. During dinner, Reverend Babbington dies after taking a sip from a cocktail but an analysis reveals there was no poison in it. Some days later, a friend of Cartwright hosts a party with almost the same guests and the same tragedy occurs. Poirot learns of this new death while on holiday...more
Carina Ch
"Mr. Satterthwaite looked cheered.
Suddenly an idea struck him. His jaw fell.
"My goodness," he cried, "I've only just realized it! That rascal, with his poisoned cocktail! Anyone might have drunk it! It might have been me!"
"There is an even more terrible possibility that you have not considered," said Poirot.
"Eh?"
"It might have been me," said Hercule Poirot."

This book was really frustrating. I can’t say that I enjoyed it, as I enjoyed many other novels that are written by Agatha Christie. The...more
Natira
Mein größter Kritikpunkt ist, dass ich sehr sehr lange nichts von Hercule Poirot "sah und hörte", die beiden Mini-Zwischenspiele im ersten und zweiten Akt waren ja kaum erwähnenswert. Ich fand es auch nicht sooo überwältigend, Mr Satterthwaite wiederzusehen (anderen Fans mag das Zusammentreffen ja gefallen haben), zumal er im Roman nach meinem Empfinden viel von eigentlich Poirots Raum einnimmt. Das gefiel mir an der TV-Version mit David Suchet, dass Poirot dort Aspekte Satterthwaites übernimmt....more
Karen
Not her best I think since as others said Hercule Poirot was a back ground detective more this time, but I think that is why this is a 3 act tragedy. The killer killed for a silly reason, but I guess he was mad so that makes sense. Nice easy read.
Debbie
"Murder in Three Acts" is a historical mystery set in 1934 in England (though it was written as a contemporary mystery). It was a clue-based puzzle mystery. Whodunit was my strong favorite (of three possible suspects) even when I started guessing whodunit. Whodunit only seemed more likely as more clues surfaced, but someone not familiar with Christie is less likely to guess correctly. Turns out that I was wrong about the motive, though I was surprised how close I was on the motive for the first...more
A.M.
The middle-aged actor Sir Charles Cartwright has a weekend party that Poirot attends. One of the guests, a seemingly harmless reverend, dies. There is no evidence of foul play and no-one thinks any more of it until, at another dinner party held by Sir Charles’ good friend Dr Bartholomew Strange, the host dies in a very similar way. And worse, most of the guests are the same people. Are they all suspects? Sir Charles, Satterthwaite and Poirot are all in France, but the others, a dressmaker and he...more
Karya
Novel genre misteri pertama yang saya baca. (Karena biasanya baca kisah detektif dari komik saja)

Nggak mengecewakan walau ada beberapa kalimat terjemakan di buku yang nggak saya mengerti artinya biarpun sudah dibaca berkali-kali (terus akhirnya saya tinggal aja deh).

Kukira penceritaan akan berpusat ke Hercule Poirot sebagai tokoh utama (secara di halaman depan juga ditulisnya 'a Hercule Poirot Mystery'). Ternyata Hercule Poirot jadi hero di tengah-hampir-akhir sampai novelnya selesai.

Saya mungki...more
Vampress Bathory
Loved this one sooo much! Usually, when it comes to Agatha's works I suspect the murderer from an early start and even if I still love those books ( I am a Hercule Poirot's and Miss Marple's fan), i don't get that surprise/big reveal feeling ( for us, the obsessed with detectives stories people is a bit disappointing when we aren't shocked with the reveal).
I am glad to say that Three Act Tragedy came with a surprising reveal. I would of never, ever thought of that particular person to be the ki...more
Miss.Hanooo
رواية جميلة جذبني غموضها من البداية
جميع توقعاتي للمجرم كانت مختلفة وإنصدمت بالنتيجة العكسية الغير متوقعة في نهايتها
لم يعجبني ظهور بوارو القليل كنت اتمنى أن يمسك بزمام الأمور منذو البداية :)
لم تعجبني شخصية الآنسة إيج كثيراً لكن أحببت شخصية الآنسة ويلز وملاحظاتها الدقيقة
فقرة الخادم إلياس كانت تثير تساؤلات مثيرة لكن لم اتوقع النتيجة التي ظهرت :)
كعادتها أجاثا تسرد فتبدع
احببت آخر جمله لبوارو جداً
" هناك احتمال أسوأ لم تفكر فيه !، ربما كنت أنا من مات بالسم" وظللت أتخيل تلك الجملة !


اقتباس جميل أحب...more
Meghan
I picked this as a palate cleanser after Night Film. Sometimes a light, frothy murder is in order. I followed all the right clues. I guessed most of the right people. But I still missed the whodunit. Nice twist at the end AC!

This is a Poirot case but he doesn't make much of an appearance in it until the end. It makes me wonder if AC was trying out some other characters. She wrote in her autobiography that she immediately regretted making Poirot so old and that she never intended for him to be s...more
David
Well all I can say is that got me.
Shannon
Agatha Christie presents one of her more clever plots in Three Act Tragedy. While resisting the urge to go over favorite details - as, with a murder mystery, ANYTHING can be a spoiler - this is one of the Poirots that fooled me completely. Though Poirot does not figure into this novel as often as others (something I find disappointing, when Christie lends the sleuth's spotlight to otherwise-minor characters), I would recommend it to people who enjoy stories packed with clues, puzzles, and the in...more
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Agatha Christie L...: July 2012 - Three Act Tragedy 34 66 Nov 08, 2012 05:12AM  
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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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“Mr. Satterthwaite looked cheered.

Suddenly an idea struck him. His jaw fell.

"My goodness," he cried, "I've only just realized it! That rascal, with his poisoned cocktail! Anyone might have drunk it! It might have been me!"

"There is an even more terrible possibility that you have not considered," said Poirot.

"Eh?"

"It might have been me," said Hercule Poirot.”
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“One knows so little. When one knows more it is too late.” 13 likes
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