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Witness for the Prosecution and Selected Plays

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  3,581 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
* Witness for the Prosecution
* Towards Zero
* Verdict
* Go Back for Murder

Witness for the Prosecution, Agatha Christie's highly successful and award-winning stage thriller, opened in 1953 to spectacular reviews. It went on to become an acclaimed feature film, nominated for six Academy Awards. This special 50th anniversary edition comes complete with three other mysteries, de
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 7th 1995 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published 1948)
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
83rd out of 5,414 books — 12,207 voters
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingMy Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Best Twists
135th out of 2,343 books — 4,721 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 17, 2014 Diwita 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
Jul 24, 2009 Rebecca 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!
Mar 04, 2016 Katie 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
Oct 29, 2012 Melvyn Foo 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.
Mikki Novakovic
Aug 23, 2016 Mikki Novakovic 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
May 15, 2013 Tali 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
Aug 19, 2010 Chuck rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2010 Tricia 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
Dec 27, 2011 Beetle13 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
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe 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
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!

Sudipto De sarkar
Mar 17, 2014 Sudipto De sarkar 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!
May 28, 2015 Karthik rated it really liked it
These are the first plays I have read. Typical of an Agatha Christie story, the suspense builds up till the end. I found the book really good.
Mar 04, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Opinion is definitely influenced by seeing the play performed live.
Mar 12, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
Read a long time ago
Carmen Smith
Agatha is always fun
Aug 10, 2007 Sara 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 12, 2013 Danielle 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 Meredith 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 26, 2008 Fehr 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.
Jim Hager
Dec 29, 2013 Jim Hager rated it really liked it
After seeing Witness for the Prosecution on stage, I was surprised to see that it is a short story. The stage play has even more twists to it
Aug 23, 2011 Amy 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.
Voy a ser sincera y admitir que la única historia que recuerdo es "Testigo de Cargo". Pero ella sola vale por todas las 5 estrellas. Uno de los finales más sorprendentes de Christie.
Fredrick Danysh
Apr 28, 2014 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
The victim in a bizarre locked-room murder had enlisted the services of Herecules Proitot. Included are several other short stories. A good mystery read.
Jun 11, 2009 Melissa 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.
Oct 06, 2014 Yanni rated it it was ok
It bored me, because I read too many Chrisite's short stories anthology and it was muddled up, like some story mixed with another.
May 29, 2007 Ann rated it it was amazing
This one really redeemed Christie for me. Fantastic story with a chilling surprise twist at the end. I love courtroom drama.
Sep 21, 2009 Chrisshepard12 rated it really liked it
This was really a good one...and the movie was just as good....produced late 40's or early 50's....a Hitchcock.
Karl-Friedrich Lenz
Jul 31, 2012 Karl-Friedrich Lenz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
One of my favorites from Christie.

This is a story with a punch line at the end. And most readers will be surprised.
Dec 20, 2012 Syamala rated it it was amazing
Stunning plays that won six Academy Award! This plays deserves more than that.The best book I have ever read!
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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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