Sammy's Reviews > Dumb Witness

Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie
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's review
Jan 26, 11

bookshelves: mystery
Read in December, 1999

In which a woman asks Poirot to save her life, and a dog is blamed for murder.

"Dumb Witness" is a book where I worry that my own childhood bias moves it up the list. In retrospect, the eponymous canine – Bob – is overdrawn, and everyone acts like children. The suspects are varied, but none of them are well characterised. Beyond this, the question of who wears a hulking great brooch to bed has always confused me. Still, I’m sticking with my ranking: it may not have much nuance in either the characters or the mystery, but I find "Dumb Witness" to be intriguing. Most importantly, Poirot genuinely fears for the safety of his client here, which is always a nice element of his characterisation. This was Hastings’ last appearance – outside of short story collections – until he returned for his swan song.

[In the US, the book's title was changed to Poirot Loses a Client; I imagine due to concerns over understanding of the meaning of the word "dumb"?]

Poirot ranking: 15th of 38
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