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The Pale Horse

(Ariadne Oliver #5)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  13,111 ratings  ·  841 reviews
"Wickedness...such wickedness...."
The dying woman turned to Father Gorman with agony in her eyes. "Stopped....It must be stopped....You will...."

The priest spoke with reassuring authority. "I will do what is necessary. You can trust me."

Father Gorman tucked the list of names she had given him into his shoe. It was a meaningless list; the names wer of people who had nothing
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Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published February 10th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1961)
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Greg Hi Terry Lee, there is a trivia question right here on goodreads which does answer which Shakespeare play is mentioned. But I'm not sure it was Miss…moreHi Terry Lee, there is a trivia question right here on goodreads which does answer which Shakespeare play is mentioned. But I'm not sure it was Miss Marple who mentions it, I don't remember.(less)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  13,111 ratings  ·  841 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
”And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him…”

A certain Mrs. Davis dies suddenly in a boarding house. Her death is not remarkable, but the list of people’s names that she shared with a priest before dying turns out to be very interesting indeed. This list includes the names of some people who have recently died of natural causes, or was it? When the priest is found murdered, the police are confounded by how it all ties together.

Mark
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carol.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christie fans
Shelves: mystery, classic
Imagine: a Christie I hadn't read. Ever. But I've re-read enough Christie in my adult life to know that sometimes she works well, sometimes less so. Which would this be?

It turns out, a strange mix of classic Christie, modern Christie, Christie commentary and something unfinished that makes it a most odd kind of book.

It begins with Christie's traditional rather anonymous, milquetoast narrator, something along the lines of Roger Ackroyd. He is supposed to be working on his latest manuscript on
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Veronique
Re-read in light of new tv adaptation coming out in Feb 2020 with Rufus Sewell.
With the material here, I can well see this being rather dark and scary... I’ll post more once I see it :O)


"Evil is nothing superhuman".`

As much as I love Poirot and Marple, there is something even more appealing to a Christie book with a totally unknown 'investigator'.

Mark Easterbrook senses all is not what it seems in a series of events that lead him to look into The Pale Horse. The narrative follows him as well as
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Vikas Singh
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-book
Christie at her poisonous best. What sets apart this novel from her other writings is the development of the plot is not linear. There are interesting diversions to keep you glued till end with great deal of occult and witches in the plot. The inspiration for solving the murder appears to be too sudden. Mrs. Oliver without her friend Poirot manages to add that extra bit of fun and frolic.
Ken
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dame Agatha’s first novel of the 1960’s demonstrates that not only does she have her pulse on current trends, while also writing another brilliant engaging mystery.

Opening in a Chelsea coffee shop our main protagonist Mark Easterbrook witnesses an argument between two girls, when Mark learns that one of those girls has subsequently died and is included on a list of surnames of a recently deceased priest he soon fears that the other names are marked for death.

Whilst the trendy London setting
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Susan
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1961, this is a later Agatha Christie novel, and a slightly different plot to that which you might be expecting. This is not a cosy mystery, set in a stately home, amid the drawing rooms of the aristocracy. Rather, this has a feel of Dennis Wheatley about it, with a real sense of the supernatural.

A dying woman gives her last confession to a Catholic priest. Father Gorman is troubled by what she tells him and, on the way home, he scribbles a list of names she has given him and tucks
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Nandakishore Varma
A mystery which contains non of the Christie regulars (except Mrs. Oliver), which was surprisingly much better than I expected from the lukewarm first half. The discovery made by Mrs. Oliver gives the vital clue for solving the mystery - interestingly, it was instrumental in saving a person's life also in the real world.

(view spoiler)
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Lata
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember rereading this Christie several times in high school. I really enjoyed this non-Poirot and non-Marple story of the deaths of various people from flus and other normal causes. And if it weren't because of a number of odd little things about these deaths setting off main character Mark Easterbrook's questions, and the wonderful Ariadne Oliver's emphatic statements pushing Mark in useful directions, and the murder of a parish priest, the baddie could conceivably have continued on with ...more
Hannah
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, mystery
Extremely dark and chilling - read with a stuffed animal or a huggable friend nearby! Very thrilling and powerful read, and definitely my favourite non-Poirot or Marple mystery, hands down. Definitely a tense and creepy affair; the atmosphere is very much like what I would imagine the dark streets of Whitechapel would be during the late 19th Century. Mark Easterbrook is a loveable hero, intelligent and brave, and you can't help but be nervous and root for him at the same time as he plunges ...more
mark monday
Choose Your Own Adventure!

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

If you’ve decided that you’ve had your fill of dying, then choose http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

If you’ve decided that you’ve had enough of living, then choose http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
F.R.
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Early in this novel a character muses about how best to portray the Witches in a production of ‘Macbeth’. It’s his contention that rather than pushing up the weirdness so the sisters become something which could feasibly fit into a pantomime, they are instead portrayed as the kind of normal – if slightly sinister – old ladies who are frequently dismissed as witches in English country villages. As apparently all English villages have witches (a fact which all country folk know), and it would just ...more
Obsidian
The non-Poirot or Jane Marple books are usually hit or miss for me. However, Christie does a great job with this one. The book is slow moving at first. We follow a man named Mark Easterbrook who narrates the majority of the book. Initially we don't exactly know what's going on, we just know that there are some deaths that are somehow linked to a place called "The Pale Horse." It took me til about the 20 percent mark to get really into the book. I liked Easterbrook and was delighted with Mrs. ...more
Jammin Jenny
I really liked this Agatha Christie story featuring Mrs. Ariadna Oliver. A priest is murdered and found with a list of names in his pocket. Did one of them murder the priest? Who is the murderer? Mrs. Oliver helps the local police find the murderer and bring him to justice. It was a good story, and I liked the characters. I do feel though that parts of it were "phoned in" so I only gave it three stars.
Crime Addict Sifat
Remember the word : Wickedness

A Catholic priest is killed on his path home from giving the last ceremonies to a lady. He has a list of names in his shoe of detached individuals who have all kicked the bucket resoundingly from normal causes.

Check Easterbrook witnesses battle between two lady in which the hair turns out in bunches without recognizable agony. At that point there is the secretive Pale Horse Inn now shut and involved by three abnormal lady who broadcast to be witches and mystics.
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Vicki
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-books
The pale Horse is a really dark mystery. There are scenes that are just down right creepy. There are spells and threats that lend a spooky air to this book.

I listened to the AudioBook and found it very intense during those witch scenes. The mystery begins with the murder of a Catholic priest. He has a list of names in his shoe and that turn out to be a list of dead people. When Mark Easterbrook begins to look into this mystery because his godmother is on the list. Mark was a great character. He
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Mara
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started super strong, got a little wonky midway through, but totally delighted me with the ending! I thought I was reading one type of Christie tricks (type A) but it was actually a totally different type of mystery (type b), and it has been so long since I’ve been totally faked out by her. The type b version of mystery is so much more my kind of Christie, anyways, so that made me happy. Overall, this gave me all the happy, cozy Christie vibes, and I’m now super interested to see the ...more
Robert Vanneste
I was a bit disappointed. This is the weakest Christie book I've read but still entertaining.
Tara
Loved loved loved this! Read by the inestimable Hugh Fraser (aka Captain Hastings), which is quite delightful, despite the lack of Hastings or Poirot in the story. It has murder, it has mystery, supernatural seances, and even a bit of romance. A great stand alone tale that shows why Christie was the master (or mistress) of mysteries.
Kwoomac
I was quite happy with this one. At first I thought it might be dated. Written in 1962, she writes about hip, rich, young girls playing at being poor. I was afraid it was going to be full of silly 60's lingo, man. You dig? But it wasn't.

I like that Christie never takes herself too seriously. One of her characters was an author of mysteries, who was having writer's block. She and the protag, Mark, talked about the three witches in Macbeth and how they should be portrayed as regular women, not so
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Oluseyi Bakare
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is certainly a work that an African reader (like myself) will find fascinating and highly gripping. However the conclusion here would shatter what the likes of me would have hitherto been led to believe: so a white, western writer can write so convincingly about the true powers of “juju” (occult) !Agatha Christie is (was) of course a down to earth western writer, and at the end she coolly and rationally explains the events of this work which one could have sworn could only have been due to
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Moonlight Reader
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into The Pale Horse without much hope that I would enjoy it - I'm down to the last 8 (now 7) Christie novels, and I'm reserving the ones that I thought would be the best bets for enjoyment to the end.

The Pale Horse was published in 1961, between A Cat Among the Pigeons and The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side. It's not a book that shows up on the best - or worst - lists of Christie mysteries, so I knew almost nothing about it.

My first pleasant surprise occurred on page 8, when Ariadne
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Suzanne
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This one was kind of spooky and a good mystery. Although I enjoy Poirot and Marple, I didn't miss them in this one - the narrator was strong, and the story sure kept me guessing!
Claire
An enjoyable read, but less interesting than the series with Miss Marole and H.Poirot.
The story feels at the same time very modern and overtaken by time. The naivity regarding the paranormal issues struck me. And I wondered if A. Christie was a bit of a future teller herself reading her remarks on automatisation:-)
Linda
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2019
Unfortunately I listened to the full cast dramatized audiobook, which was only an hour and a half long, instead of the usual Hugh Fraser narration of the entire book. The dramatized version was actually very well done, it’s just that I had a hard time keeping track of who all the characters were, and I missed all the details given by the narrator of the book. I’m guessing I would have given this book 4 stars if I had read or listened to the book in its entirety.
Beverly
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery, even though there is no sign of Miss Marple.
Nancy Oakes
I'm thinking 3.5 or so. I made today a laundry day so I could read in between loads. I liked the plot, but found it sort of uneven in the telling -- more to come about this book very shortly.


In the meantime, hold out for the newest adaptation coming to Amazon Prime tv and do NOT watch the version that for some screwed-up reason has Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple in it. Miss Marple isn't in this book.
Roman Clodia
A standalone Christie (though Mrs Oliver makes some cameo appearances) which mingles 1960s Chelsea with witchcraft and an ingenious means of death. Only Christie could have pulled off the last minute sleight of hand - and all the clues are in plain sight. Clever, if not one of her best.
Diane
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him." Revelation 6:8

This is one of the best of the later Christies, though it doesn't feature Hercule Poroit or Miss Marple (and thankfully, not Tommy and Tuppence - ugh!).

Mark Easterbrook is suffering from a case of writer's block, and decides to take a break in a rather seedy Chelsea espresso bar. He witnesses a fight between two girls, one of whom pulls the other's hair out. However, the
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Greg
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining, late (1961) Christie. Not great, but Dame Christie never wrote a bad book, imo. And I like Mrs. Oliver, described in the "Cast of Characters" here as 'A charming but muddled mystery writer, she often confused fact with fiction to the advantage of both.' In other words, Christie's voice is clear as a bell: she is, after all, a dear friend of Mrs. Oliver: the person Agatha knows best in the real world. And apples everywhere!
Laurel Young
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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38,654 followers
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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in
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Other books in the series

Ariadne Oliver (8 books)
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  • Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot, #15)
  • Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Hercule Poirot, #30)
  • Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot, #33)
  • Third Girl (Hercule Poirot, #38)
  • Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot, #39)
  • Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot, #40)
“What I wanted, frankly, was someone who would argue me out of the things that I was thinking.” 8 likes
“I avoided my own friends and acquaintances, yet the loneliness of my existence was insupportable.” 8 likes
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