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Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot, #11)
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Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot #11)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  7,717 ratings  ·  337 reviews
The novel opens as a theatre programme, with this telling credit: 'Illumination by HERCULE POIROT.' Light must be shed, indeed, on the fateful dinner party staged by the famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright for thirteen guests. It will be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, whose martini glass, sent for chemical analysis after h ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by HarperCollins (first published 1934)
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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
Laurel Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin (*is in a reviewing slump*)
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
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
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
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
Nancy O'Toole
When Reverend Stephen Babbington dies after consuming a cocktail, the final analysis is that he died of a fit, ruling out murder. That is until a second death takes place in a manner almost identical. Three amateur detectives take the stage: Sir Charles Cartwright, a former actor, his friend Mr. Satterthwaite, and a young woman known as Egg, whom Sir Charles is not so secretly in love with. The trio begins to inspect the guests at each party, but struggle to find how the two murders are connecte ...more
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.
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
I might have been finished with this review earlier but I was a bit TOO BUSY REFRESHING POTTERMORE FOR THE DAMN CLUE.


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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
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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

So, this is obviously my absolutely favorite Hercule Poirot novel, since I was such a genius that I solved the crime before the chapters got into double digits. I couldn't guess the motive, but I knew who did it, how said person did it, and other specifics of the crime fairly early on! Christie had me second-guessing myself about half way through, but I stuck with my own detecting skills and was richly rewarded at the end. figuratively of course.

You know, it really not fro
Tami (synchro from BL)
Clever and unusual.

I would have never guessed the culprit until the very end...

A very good one! Also with some kind of sweet romance in the background.
A perfect Christie offering. Slight, subtle, and sublime. Populated by retired stars, church men, hot-headed youths, careful mothers, missing butlers, and other community staples. All of which work together with a smoothness that belies the writer;s craft that keeps it all moving.

Like many Christie series books, this one spends much of its time without the "hero/sleuth" at the center. For her deftness at this, we should all be grateful.

On a personal level, I do love that it closes with Poirot e
A mix between a Poirot mystery, and one of those earlier works with one-time sleuths. Indeed, the famous detective only steps on stage in the second half of the book, to which he might have been a late addition, but he makes up nicely for his tardiness by being his usual brilliant self.
A must read for any Christie fan, the last page features a rare and delightful confession by Poirot (unrelated to the murder but resist the temptation to go read it prematurely, as the eye might inadvertently catc
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.
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
All the strengths and weaknesses of classic Christie: the characterisation is rather crude, the writing sometimes weak. But as ever, the plot moves quickly and the murder is both impossible to guess and, in retrospect, tantalisingly obvious. A fun, easy read.
This book did start off really slow. The first few pages were setting the scene so to speak and it was good to set up all of the characters.

However, this story was told from Hercule Poirot's friend Mr. Satterthwaite third person point of view. I realize that I really don't care for most of the Poirot stories unless they are told from Captain Hasting's points of view. Probably because Hastings is an excellent stand in for the reader and his mind goes to where most readers go to when trying to sol
I liked the explanation of the murder at the end of the story. Agatha Christie always delivers on that. What bothered me about this book more than her other books was the "romance." Christie often throws in romance alongside the murder, and normally it doesn't bother me. But Egg and Sir Charles's romance was just annoying.
Another excellently plotted Poirot novel. I had read it before and remembered who the murderer was, but still enjoyed all the twists and turns. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that Poirot is almost a minor character in this novel and I wanted more of him.
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
Jules Goud
I actually saw this one coming. I think that there is a pattern that is started to develop with some of Christie's novels. But I'm not sure yet. And to reveal that pattern would ruin the novel therefore I will be keeping it to myself for the time being.

This novel isn't really a Poirot novel. He doesn't play a really big part in this novel, but he does use his all important little grey cells and does his thinking. It is more like Poirot is featured in this novel. Everyone else does the running ar
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Agatha Christie L...: July 2012 - Three Act Tragedy 34 67 Nov 08, 2012 05:12AM  
  • Vintage Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #5)
  • The Rose and the Yew Tree
  • Where There's a Will (Nero Wolfe, #8)
  • Lord Peter (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries)
  • The Floating Admiral
  • Flowers for the Judge (Albert Campion Mystery #7)
  • The Murder at the Vicarage
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 about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
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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“One knows so little. When one knows more it is too late.” 16 likes
“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.


"It might have been me," said Hercule Poirot.”
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