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Five Little Pigs

(Hercule Poirot #25)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  49,463 ratings  ·  3,173 reviews
It was an open and shut case. All the evidence said Caroline Crale poisoned her philandering husband, a brilliant painter. She was quickly and easily convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Now, sixteen years later, in a posthumous letter, Mrs. Crale has assured her grown daughter that she was innocent. But instead of setting the young woman's mind at ease, the letter
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 15th 1985 by Berkley (first published May 1942)
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Ayesha She says she recalls walking in a haze of delirium repeating the words "under the green translucent wave" to herself in those days. I always assumed i…moreShe says she recalls walking in a haze of delirium repeating the words "under the green translucent wave" to herself in those days. I always assumed it was a quote from that book. Poirot mentions it to Angela because he has a passion for exactitude and since he wishes to genuinely question a couple of characters about points he feels its only correct he should present each one of them with a single question after reading their accounts. Incidentally each question also shows his remarkable powers of deduction and Poirot was never averse to a little 'showing off' :)(less)
Kris If I understand correctly, you have an e-book or downloaded audiobook version of the book. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll get help opening the fi…moreIf I understand correctly, you have an e-book or downloaded audiobook version of the book. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll get help opening the file on goodreads. If you got the e-book from a vendor (, Barnes and Noble, etc.) you'll need to contact them (or the vendor or manufacturer of your device - Kindle, Nook, etc.) for help.
You might also check with your local library. I work at our library, and we have people on staff to help with these kinds of questions!(less)

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The best thing that can be said about this book is that you get a lot of Poirot. He is present in almost every page where there are no notes that had been written by the characters. We are privy to his thoughts.

Not only that, but the Poirot we see is almost human. He is normal, foreign, but normal. He isn't the eccentric walking bag of tics that a few generations of fans have grown to laugh at/deride. Despite that, I gave the book 3 stars.

Oh, the story is cleverly written. But we get the same mu
Amalia Gkavea
“One does not, you know, employ merely the muscles. I do not need to bend and measure the footprints and pick up the cigarette ends and examine the bent blades of grass. It is enough for me to sit back in my chair and think. It is this – ” he tapped his egg-shaped head – “this, that functions!”

In one of the finest mysteries of Queen Agatha, five people - five little pigs - are suspect for the murder of Amyas, an allegedly brilliant artist who was a womanizer, a manipulator and one of those m
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Poirot fans
Some Christies are very absorbing, but Five Little Pigs (alternate American title: "Murder in Retrospect") left an emotional gap that was never was quite bridged. Perhaps because this was the last book in her "prolific Poirot period" (try saying that three times fast) and she was stretching plotting boundaries, this feels more constructed, a more deliberate challenge to Poirot.

Poirot's famous 'little grey cells' are put to the test when a young woman comes to him begging him to solve the murder
Review hopefully later 😬🐷😬

So, although I am sure I have said this before, “I really don’t remember this story at all, either reading it or watching the Suchet TV version”. How I really don’t know, but there it is.

This is quite a lot different to other Poirot novels, but maybe thats what I needed, to re-invigorate my Poirot challenge. This book focusses on a many years-old murder that Poirot is asked to investigate. The story is good, well crafted, the characters, well despicable in some cases bu
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“Ah, but my dear sir, the why must never be obvious. That is the whole point.”

It is no secret that I am a fan of Agatha! The idea of a lady writing mystery/ murder novels almost a decade ago and they are so smart and good is just mind-blowing! I was in the mood to read something by the queen of mystery in the second half of 2018 and I finally did this only days away from 2019.

I only picked this because I bought the bo
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five Little Pigs is the 25th book in the Hercule Poirot series by Dame Agatha Christie. My friend Medhat reminded me that Christie's birthday was this month, so we agreed to read a few of her books together. I've probably finished at least 50% of her novels and usually read them out of order (a rarity for me). First up was Five Little Pigs, and it was quite a fun story. Let's dive into my review.

Caroline Crale went to prison for killing her husband. The jury felt sorry for her and rather than se
‘What are you going to do?’
‘I am going to visit these five people-and from each one I am going to get his or her own story.’
Superintendent Hale sighed with a deep melancholy.
He said: ‘Man, you’re nuts! None of their stories are going to agree! Don’t you grasp that elementary fact? No two people remember a thing in the same order anyway. And after all this time! Why, you’ll hear five accounts of five separate murders!’
‘That,’ said Poirot, ‘is what I am counting upon. It will be very instructive.’
Dannii Elle
Deceived again! Well played, Christie. Well played.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought, for once, I had figured out an Agatha whodunnit, and I was like, dang this one was predictable. But she steered me in wrong direction, presumably on purpose, and that is why she is the QUEEN.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A young woman came to Poirot skillfully playing on his vanity. She said she needed the best detective, and how Poirot was to admit he was not? As a result he got stuck with her assignment. Sixteen years ago when his client were a little girl her father was poisoned while he was painting a picture of a beautiful woman with whom he was madly in love and ready to abandon his wife, the girl's mother.
All the clues and motives pointed to the later; she was arrested, convicted, and died while imprison
Dave Schaafsma
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally titled Murder in Retrospect (ugh!), Five Little Pigs is one of several books where Christie used nursery rhymes for titles/concepts, such as Ten Little Indians and Then There Were None. In this one, Carla Lemarchant comes to Poirot with a letter her mother had written to her when she died, but had only recently come into her possession. Her mother, Caroline Crale, was 16 years ago convicted of the murder of her husband, accomplished artist Amyas Crale, and she died in prison a couple ...more
daph pink ♡

APRIL 2019- book 8

(I don't review her books, never could because honestly I will be bias because I love her. )

For all who don't know , I am in love with Agatha Christie ever since I started reading her books( 5 years ago) and I planned to read a book of her each month so that I don't run out of her books !
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Also known as “Five Little Pigs”

One of the best Christie's I've read, sorry to see it's not mentioned more. Christie changed it up a bit by having Poirot having to take apart a crime that happened decades ago. Digging into the past and focusing on interviews instead of actual occurrence and eye witness details. A lot has been forgotten in the small details, and some of it has been skewed by memory and deceit. Like some of her other novels, the bulk of this one is interviews. In between that is t
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agatha-christie
4.5/5 stars (rounded up)

I am genuinely surprised that this novel of Christie's is not talked about more. This is one of my personal favorites and this time it was actually a re-read for me.

I've read Five Little Pigs for the first time about 7 years ago, and now that I have picked it up for the second time all I could remember was that I liked it a lot. I didn't remember who the murderer was, or how the book played out - so in a sense, my experience was like reading it for the first time.

“One do
Ahmad Sharabiani
Five Little Pigs = Murder in Retrospect (Hercule Poirot #25), Agatha Christie
Five Little Pigs is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie. The UK first edition carries a copyright date of 1942. The book features Hercule Poirot. Five Little Pigs is unusual in the way that the same events are retold from the viewpoints of five people present on the day of the murder sixteen years earlier. Sixteen years after Caroline Crale is convicted for the murder of her husband Amyas, her
Nandakishore Mridula
A really terrific story. Carla Lemarchant gets a letter from her mother Caroline, who has died in prison while serving her sentence for murdering her husband, the philandering artist Amyas Crale- a letter professing her innocence. So young Carla has to go back in time to find the real murderer - and who to employ, other than Hercule Poirot?

There are five suspects (the five little pigs of the title) - Philip and Meredith Blake, Amyas's neighbours; Elsa Greer, the young girl Amyas is painting (and
She got me. I went for the red herring set up person as the murderer in this one and thought I was soooooooo clever for guessing it. I was feeling a little superior, even! But no, in the end, Christie wins again. It's always simpler than we think it is- and probably nastier. And maybe it’s just me being a teacher but this novel is a great example of solving problems through close reading of documents- see! Your history and English teachers are giving you a skill that's good for something! When y ...more
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’d already seen the stage production of ‘Go Back For Murder’ which is an adaptation of this story minus Poirot, so I was already aware of the solution.

It meant that I could enjoy the Belgium detectives inclusion in the original story whilst also appreciating the structure of this novel.

The same events are recounted by the five people who were present that day of a murder sixteen years previous.
I loved how the clues were slowly scattered throughout the story, it’s slightly easier to spot them wh
Medhat The Book Fanatic
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

Started on the 129th birthday of Dame Agatha Christie, Five Little Pigs made up my 2nd Agatha Christie buddy-read in 2019 with my good friend James, with the first one being Sad Cyprus.

Due to a long-term slump, I didn't have a good beginning with the book. I thought it to be boring, with a repetitive writing.


The soon I got out of the slump, this book took me by surprise. It had a very interesting concept, and was a very different Agatha Christie
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: christie
What do you do if a murder took place sixteen years ago and you are asked to investigate it,as if the clues would still be there ?

That would be no problem if you're Agatha Christie's little Belgian detective with the egg shaped head,Hercule Poirot.

And Poirot,genius that he is,solves it easily enough.It doesn't matter that so much time has elapsed.All he has to do is to interview the suspects from sixteen years ago,and arrive comfortably at the solution.It is as if the crime took place yesterday.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: murder mystery fans who like quieter, melancholy family tragedies of past years
Recommended to jade by: Shannon { Magical Wonder of Books }
“what do most people mean when they say that? so young. something innocent, something appealing, something helpless. but youth is not that! youth is crude, youth is strong, youth is powerful — yes, and cruel! and one thing more — youth is vulnerable.”

sixteen years ago, caroline crale poisoned her temperamental husband amyas and was convicted of the crime. armed with a letter written by her mother and a wish to lay all doubts to rest, caroline’s daughter now wants to reopen the case a
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.

Another nursery rhyme book! Poirot solves a cold case in this one. The daughter of a convicted murdereress, Carla Lemarchant, approaches him to find the truth behind the murder of her father. Poirot takes it only because of his passion for the truth, but it is not an easy journey. He interviews everyone connected with t
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Damn it! I thought I had it resolved! The more vicious the characters, the better the novel. Nothing like the classic everyone could've done it or none did it to feel the Christie style, and Five little pigs has the best Christie vibes. Lots of Poirot, long conversations, ambiguous characters, perfect ending! And once again, we may be smart readers but not as much as Agatha as an author.

A story Christie adapted for the stage.

"La verdad…tiene la costumbre de darse a conocer s
Jason Koivu
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
Another fun whodunnit!

This time around Hercule Poirot is tasked with digging up a 16 year old murder cold case. Everyone is satisfied with the previous resolution, except for one person. And that person asks Poirot to look into it. Of course, once he gets those little grey cells working, he finds something amiss.

In play form, this quicky still manages a modicum of depth within the story and characters, not a trait mysteries are always well-known for! And the plot is just as slippery as many of
Aug 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Poirot mysteries ever. Listening to this BBC adaptation was sheer joy, and I never knew how my jogging time flew past with Poirot and co. for company. Carla hires Poirot as she believes her mother, who was imprisoned for her father's death by poisoning, and who subsequently died in prison, is innocent, and wants him to prove so. Pour it agrees, provided that he will not tamper with the truth, if the truth is that Caroline, the mother is the actual murderer.
Here enter the five lit
This is one cleverly written murder-mystery by Agatha Christie. The story is quite different from other installments of the series, whereby Poirot is called to look into a murder conviction that took place over sixteen years ago. A letter that was written by the convicted lady to her daughter declares her innocence, and the daughter is determined that Poirot looks into the issue and uncover the truth.

How is Poirot to perform this miracle? The facts were sixteen years old. Only the five eyewitne
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly the most underrated Poirot novel… though the very thing that makes it so excellent in my mind may be what puts off some readers. You see to a certain extent, it doesn’t matter who the killer is in this one.

Let me explain; a famous painter is poisoned and all evidence points to his wife Caroline. It seems to be a closed case… in fact it is closed, as Caroline was already found guilty. No, this isn’t a case where Poirot has to solve it and get an innocent woman off death row, becaus
Hajarath Prasad Abburu
The ending is just exhilarating and was as smashing as Iron Man soaring into a Malibu Point Sky.

Mr. Poirot, my heart is still with Sherlock but you are as brilliant as Him!! What a reasoning! I bow to thee
“Poirot said placidly, “One does not, you know, employ merely the muscles. I do not need to bend and measure the footprints and pick up the cigarette ends and examine the bent blades of grass. It is enough for me to sit back in my chair and think. It is this – ” he tapped his egg-shaped head – “this, that functions!”

I know I am a little late to the Agatha Christie world, but well, here we are.

I always had kind of assumed my first Agatha Christie, whenever that was going to happen, to be ma
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Hercule Poirot said with a shrug of the shoulders, 'It is human nature. You and I, Mr. Blake, who know the world, have no illusions about our fellow human beings. Not bad people, most of them, but certainly not to be idealized.'" (PAGE 59)

This is how I feel about humanity. Not in a negative way but in a way I will always be watchful and protective of myself and my kids. You never know one's past or what one is capable of.

M. Poirot is tasked with a murder that happened sixteen years ago. The fiv
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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 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 t

Other books in the series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 45 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: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

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“Poirot said placidly, “One does not, you know, employ merely the muscles. I do not need to bend and measure the footprints and pick up the cigarette ends and examine the bent blades of grass. It is enough for me to sit back in my chair and think. It is this – ” he tapped his egg-shaped head – “this, that functions!” 33 likes
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