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Witness for the Prosecution and Selected Plays
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Witness for the Prosecution and Selected Plays

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,868 ratings  ·  66 reviews
This is the first-ever publication in book form of Witness for the Prosecution, Christie's highly successful stage thriller which was made into a film by Billy Wilder. Also included are Towards Zero, Verdict and Go Back for Murder.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 7th 1995 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
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Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Agatha. And yes, I've actually read them all! (Even read a few in French.) While many of her mysteries are formulaic and sometimes even poorly edited (especially her later books), this one is solid, fascinating, and strong throughout. I highly recommend it!
Katie Hart
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christie-read
This is one of the most confusing Agatha Christie books I've ever read. There are so many different angles that I didn't completely understand the story until the last paragraph.
Melvyn Foo
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Gawd. Brilliant, as always. Reading the last page left me deliciously chilled. Agatha Christie's plots are too superior.
Melisende d'Outremer
The movie "Witness for the Prosecution" is a MUST see!!!

30.04.17: additional review here:
Lauren Creech
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution". I was very intrigued by the story and was unable to put it down until I was finished reading. The suspense and the drama was truly riveting. I enjoyed the somewhat witty ending, I found it very clever. The story was also beautifully written. I would highly recommend this story to a friend.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even better than Ten Little Indians, or And Then There Were None.

It was made into a movie, with Marlene Dietrich as the wife. You'll never forget it if you see it. The play is wonderful, too. The BBC has done a radio adaptation, too. I've read/seen/listened to them all.
My absolute favorite by the Dame.
Somayan Basu
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm embarrassed to admit that it's been one of my greatest mistakes to not have read Agatha Christie's works earlier in my life.

Edit: The forced happy endings in all of these four plays weren't necessary. I would have been more moved by these stories had there been a painful ending in at least, a few of them.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I only read this for the one story - Witness for the Prosecution - but I most likely will revisit to read the rest of the stories. Agatha Christie did it again. I didn't see it coming - not even til the last words! I never suspect the outcome and what happens in ANY of her stories. Definitely a great read!
Conrad Reader
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend the Charles Laughton film version, but a stage version I am sure would be worth seeing. I have seen The Mousetrap and, in my view, based on the text, this is better. Superb whodunnit stuff!
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Christie at her best! She knows how to give us twists and knots!
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Very good the first story
And the story with doll was good
The others were bad
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sort of has SPOILERS.

SO, the collection I picked up had:
1. Witness for the Prosecution
2. Towards Zero
3. Verdict
4. Go back for Murder

I thoroughly enjoyed this! It is such an amazing script!
Witness for the Prosecution, is the best, hands down! The sheer brilliance and ingenuity behind it! Agatha Christie left me as spellbound as Sir Wilfrid!

I enjoyed the concept behind towards zero a lot! The idea that a murder is a culmination of events and actions is presented in a very neat fashion.

The Verdict
Jan 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-01-jan
I primarily got this book from the library because I didn't realise one of the story collections I had contained Witness for the Prosecution and I wanted to read it before I read Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks. But it winds up I read Witness in the recent short story collection, and I got to read it in play format in this volume. The play is quite different than the short story, with the focus from the mystery to become more of a courtroom drama for the theatre production. Still a powerful s ...more
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Out of the four plays in this collection, three of them, Witness for the Prosecution, Towards Zero and Go Back for Murder, I had already read either in short story or novel format. I have to say that while I liked how Witness for the Prosecution would've been staged as a play, the other two I preferred in the more detailed and intricate novel format, although it was interesting to see how one of my favourites of Christie's, Towards Zero, would've been adjusted to be staged in a theatre. The play ...more
Tirna Sarkar
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Agatha Christie is the undisputed Mistress of thrillers. The epic twist at the end of the play is shocking and courageous.
This is getting a little too "2 minute mystery"-ish for me right now. Gonna go back to novel-ing it up for a while, but will keep this on my night stand.

Huh, just realized this is a short story. Sure enough it says 'and other stories' right there on the cover. I guess I am none too observant. I was a little confused as to why they were giving away all the plot lines in the "first chapter." Well the fact that it was originally a 24 page short story makes me all the more impressed with the movie!

Mikki Novakovic
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is really a collection of short stories! Don't be fooled like I was! the stories are completely independent and don't connect at all, so you are not getting a novel. The title here says "and selected plays" so I guess that would give it away, but my copy just said "witness for the prosecution" so I didn't know. Anyway, I Love love love Agatha Christie, but these stories just didn't cut it for me. Christie is a master at suspense and bringing all the details together for the amazing rev ...more
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agatha-christie
"Witness For The Prosecution" is an Agatha Christie short story collection, first published in 1948. The edition I have contains ten of the short stories - "Accident", "The Fourth Man", "The Mystery of the Blue Jar", "Witness For The Prosecution", "SOS", "The Red Signal", "Philomel Cottage", "Sing A Song Of Sixpence", "Wireless", and "The Second Gong" - an early version of the Hercule Poirot mystery, "Dead Man's Mirror". Most of them are crime stories with a slight touch of supernatural, and eac ...more
Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
Again, I wrestle with putting Agatha Christie mysteries on the stage. It works for me on film, (essentially adaptations), but I think Christie's best work is in novel format. This play mostly takes place in a courtroom pondering the murder of Emily Jane French, with Leonard Vole as the main suspect. The play moves slowly, but there are some interesting characters. 18 men, 4 Women, various barristers and jurors.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read each of these plays with delight. Christie has long been a favorite of mine and I had the pleasure to direct The Mousetrap at West Orange High School in 1991, 92? The twists and turns are so much fun and although I can frequently figure them out, having read pretty much all of the 80+ books Christie wrote, it's still fun to see where she is taking it every step of the way.
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: play, classic
The edition I read was only Witness for the Prosecution. A very good and suspenseful play. Though over the last 60 years the material has been referenced in popular culture, so you may be able to see the end coming, it still leaves you guessing and impresses itself as being very inventive and cutting edge.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lots of fine twists to the spaghetti. Christie is particularly well served by the short form/script because of her focus on plot. I think I read the play first, then the story for comparison.

Library copies
Arjun BK
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this is probably the best courtroom drama ever written. It looks at not just the legal perspective of a case, but emotionally compels us to see the righteousness of any verdict made in the court.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
It's Agatha, so the mysteries are good, but being that they were so short, I felt disappointed when there wasn't more to the story (or in this case, stories). I did like there was a supernatural/paranormal bend to the last story.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Fehr by: mi abuela
Desarrollé gradualmente un gusto por Agatha Cristie a lo largo del libro. Siempre recae el interés de la lectura en el final cercano. Son nueve cuentos que siempre dejan una duda del victimario y su móvil. La traducción de selecciones de biblioteca oro no era tan buena.
Dunya Al-Mishqab
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
It was great
Sudipto De sarkar
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
And it is just a play! The details are a bit involving at the beginning but with a purpose. The climax is superb!
Carmen Smith
Agatha is always fun
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it
I didn't realize this was a collection of short stories when I picked it up. Some were good, others okay. I'm not a big short story fan to begin with.
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Kindle English My...: Agatha Chritie's, Witness For The Prosecution 7 9 Apr 23, 2017 04:19PM  
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