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The Witness for the Prosecution: A Short Story

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
When wealthy spinster Emily French is found murdered, suspicion falls on Leonard Vole, the man to whom she hastily bequeathed her riches before she died. Leonard assures the investigators that his wife, Romaine Heilger, can provide them with an alibi. However, when questioned, Romaine informs the police that Vole returned home late that night covered in blood. During the t ...more
ebook, 100 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1983)
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Sam Quixote
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gold-digging man is accused of murdering a wealthy old woman who took a shine to him. He says he’s innocent but the evidence looks damning. Did he or did he not dunit? His defence lawyer sets out to uncover the truth.

This writer - Agatha bloody Christie! - always makes me feel like a fool and I love it! She effortlessly leads me by the nose, taking me exactly where she wants me to go while making me think I’m totally in charge and know where things are going. I thought I knew where the story
...more
Jason Koivu
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Wait...what?! Dang it! I've been duped again!

A man accused of murdering an old woman for her money must rely upon his wife to set him free. Seems simple enough until it's discovered that the wife is not so reliable.

This is one of those stories that plays well with modern readers with its twists aplenty. Highly recommended for all, especially mystery lovers looking for a quick fix!
☮Karen
Long ago, as this is a very old book, this was made into a Billy Wilder film and remains one of my favorites to this day. It has a jaw-dropping ending, and hopefully no one has spoiled it for any of you who haven't seen it yet. I found this short available as a 52 minute audio book and couldn't resist it. The ending still puts me in awe of Agatha Christie's mind.

Well worth an hour or so of anyone's time, I highly recommend this, particularly if you like old films, courtroom dramas, and/or Ms. C
...more
Franky
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Probably best known for the 1957 Oscar-winning film it produced, Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution is fine in its own right, a short story that packs quite a punch. It is easy to see why this had the makings for the big stage and Hollywood, as it relies heavily on moments of suspense and tension, a slow build up to the resolution as we await the verdict in court. There’s also a little misdirection carefully placed by Christie towards the conclusion that, to me, make the mystery and u ...more
Veronique
In light of the new BBC adaptation being aired on Boxing Day, I thought it was high time I read this short story.

Don't let the format deceive you - short, yes, but powerful! Christie takes on a different path, following the lawyer John Mayhew in his efforts to save his client Leonard Vole, accused of murdering Emily French, an older, rich socialite. Normally the author turns all her characters into potential culprits/killers, but here the focus is on the defense instead. Is Vole guilty or innoce
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Ceri
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The version I listened to was a BBC audio play, dramatised by Bill Morris.

This story is about a man who is accused of the murder of an older lady that he has befriended to benefit from her recently changed will. The man's wife should be able to corroborate his alibi - except that it turns out that not only is she not really his wife, but that she intends to be a witness for the prosecution. Will justice be done?

This was a really enjoyable mystery. I only worked it out very late on because I am a
...more
Joy H.
Apr 23, 2017 marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Added 4/23/17. I did not read this story but watched the movie adaptation instead.

"Witness for the Prosecution" is a play adapted by Agatha Christie from her short story. The play opened in London on 28 October 1953."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness...

On 4/23/17, I watched the film adaptation On TCM-TV. It was terrific! I had never seen it before. Charles Laughton was superb!
"Witness for the Prosecution" (1957)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051201/?...
"A veteran British barrister must defend
...more
Charlotte Jones
This short story was narrated by Christopher Lee and was just 51 minutes (40 pages) long.

I liked how this story was almost told from the point where mystery novels usually end; the fact that the murder had already taken place and someone accused was an interesting perspective. It read more like a court drama than a traditional crime story, though there were elements of detective fiction in there. Overall I think that this was a great mystery with a wonderful twist at the end and, though it is a
...more
Bekah
Oh, that was very tricky. Very tricky, indeed. Great little story, wonderfully performed by the marvelous Christopher Lee. Too short to say anything about without leaking spoilers. But just read it (or listen to it like I did). So very sneaky.
DeAnna Knippling
Listened to this on audio, read by Christopher Lee, who was so good I kept having to remind myself it was just the one guy.

Short, sweet, amazing twists. Of course I went back to the beginning to see if she'd told me the trick of it at the beginning--of course she had.
Karen
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a wonderfully twisted novella -- that Agatha Christie sure knew how to write!
Ross
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omg. Was gonna give this 3.5 stars but that ENDING!
I loved Romanie, she was such a badass sassy amazing character.
Anna
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
just the bare bones here but a very intriguing plot nonetheless.
Daniel Clark
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short? Yes. Sweet? No! The true murderer is revealed at the end and it may not be who you expect. This was clever and scary in a way--because I felt the events could play out in real life. Fun murder mystery with a very satisfying ending.
Nanosynergy
The Agatha Christie short story that is the basis of the excellent movie (same title as book). Watch the movie. One translations of book (short story) to movie. I believe the movie even enhances/improves the story.
Kevin
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Far too short, but able to enjoy this standalone story by Agatha Christie.
Beth
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clever, surprising and very enjoyable short story! I never would have guessed the ending but in retrospect, it was all there!
Farissa Nuri
This is interesting short story! I think I will watch the movie/tv mini series adaptation after this.
Natalya Kahmann
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very fun short story especially when Christopher Lee reads it. I really enjoyed it and it makes me want to read more Agatha Christie.
Brittney Epple
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good
Stephen
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic short story.
Snehith Devalapalli
It might have been a sensation back then, it is a worn-out idea in 21st century.
Meredith
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
0.0

Tatiana Pereira
Interesting short story, but it feels a little unfinished. The mystery is only somewhat mysterious.
Bookish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allegra S
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Great twisty short story for fans of Robert Cormier or Shirley Jackson - would recommend!
Saravanan Mani
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a thrilling ride that subverts the genre tropes leaving us wondering if this if actually possible
Ruben Dario
Clever, concise suspenseful short story.
Nicole
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-read
Not a Poirot or Miss Marple book. Short story.
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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 eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
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