Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Unexpected Guest” as Want to Read:
The Unexpected Guest
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Unexpected Guest

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  9,270 ratings  ·  580 reviews
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time with her works outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. She is regarded by generations of fans as the greatest mystery writer ever, and her novels are read and cherished the world over.

A thriller as well as a puzzler set in a foggy estate in Wales. This mystery opens as a stranger walks away from his ditched
Paperback, 177 pages
Published 2000 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Unexpected Guest, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kelly I liked the book, but felt like I would have enjoyed reading the play more. There were too many stage directions in the book, and it became tedious "S…moreI liked the book, but felt like I would have enjoyed reading the play more. There were too many stage directions in the book, and it became tedious "Starkwedder crossed the room to the armchair, Laura walked over to the window" that sort of thing seemed kind of clunky.(less)
Kelly Her books are not gory at all, the stories are generally all about the puzzle. Characters are not very complex. These books are basically whodunits, a…moreHer books are not gory at all, the stories are generally all about the puzzle. Characters are not very complex. These books are basically whodunits, and give the reader a feeling of nostalgia for Britain of the past.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,270 ratings  ·  580 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Unexpected Guest
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
The Unexpected Guest began life as a play by Agatha Christie. This is the novelized version written by Charles Osborne.

As you read it is obvious that it is derived from a play because the entire novel takes place in one room. Characters arrive and depart from this room, individually or in groups, from one door or another, just as actors would come and go on stage. This does not detract at all from the quality of the writing or the story itself.

Like many Christie novels the mystery is spun out an
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read every full length novel by the queen of crime I came across this play that has been adapted into a novel. I started to read this book and very soon I knew I had picked a good book to read, I could easily picture this been played out on a stage and it had the usual twists and turns that any Agatha Christie reader would expect. As with most Christie novels the finger of suspicion moved from character to character as more facts were told.
The novel starts with a stranger running his car
Ivonne Rovira
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Like Spider's Web, The Unexpected Guest is yet another play of Dame Agatha Christie’s that was turned into a novel by Charles Osborne. Both of the plays-turned-novels were originally published in 2000 and recently turned into audiobooks; while neither feature Christie’s usual characters of Miss Jane Marple, Hercule Poirot, or Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, both are equally fabulous.

Due to a pea fog, Michael Starkwedder runs his car off the road and arrives at a house, only to find the wheelchair
Vikas Singh
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
The book is based on Agatha Christie play. Charles Osborne has done a wonderful job in bringing alive the play in a typical Christie fashion. The end as in almost all her novels is great and as a reader makes you wonder at the brilliant climax. A Bollywood flick- Dhund is based on this play. Though true to the story line most of he time, the ending in the film is weal compared to the book. One of the best plots by Christie. Awesome read.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The Unexpected Guest is another play by Agatha Christie that was adapted as a novel Charles Osborne - so in short, it is not that great.

Of course I am peeved that I ended up with this book because it was advertised as an Agatha Christie novel, and it is not, but I am also astounded Osborne got to write several novelisations at all, and all of them on commission by Christie's estate!

He has no feel for Christie's characters.

While I can see that the setting in this novel is a typical Christie co
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was originally a play by Agatha Christie, which has now been turned into a novel by another author.
I can easily imagine it as a play, and I think it would probably be better in that form, as, although there are some clever twists and turns, it seemed a little flat and lifeless, and was, for me, just, an ok read.

'Men are really the sensitive sex.
Women are tough.
Men can't take murder in their stride.
Women apparently can.'

A pacy thriller!
Shobhit Sharad
I commend Charles Osborne for his work on the play The Unexpected Guest, because I can imagine it must be a daunting task to turn the play which entirely occurs in one setting - a study room- into an Agatha Christie novel, who is a master of her work. The book, though understandably rushed, manages to capture all the mystery and surprise which, I’m guessing, the Dame wanted the attendees of the play to experience. Her craftiness was clearly shown in the clever setting and as always she managed t ...more
Katie Doyle
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow wow wow this book is good at giving me blow job mouth because in the last 15 pages my mouth dropped so much so hard i literally thought the book was starting to end when another bomb dropped and it ALL came together and WOW okay very good easy read enjoyed the connection between the characters enjoyed the simplicity and the complexity All in all a goodread
18/82(my first AC short story)
Okay so I kinda liked this book. Though i guessed the killer half way through as their were very limited options and I thought of the wildest option and it came out to be true.
Extraordinary start.
A true Christie thriller.
I should have given this book 3.5 stars but I am giving it 4 stars for amazing message at the end.
Liberty K
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second play after ''Mousetrap'' from the queen of crime Agatha Christie. The unexpected guest was so perfect and haunted and it gave me ''Mousetrap'' feels. The fact that you literally find the killer in the last page made it for me a page-turner.
Lady Delacour
The Unexpected Guest
is an entertaining mystery.
It will keep you guessing and
hold your attention to the end.
Narrator Hugh Fraser
does a very nice job.
Clean except for mild Foul Language.
Hmmmmm, not too sure with this one, but the plot twists were great as usual.
I've seen a theater performance of this book which was great. The book is pretty much exactly the same, but seeing it live added something which the book lacked. Meh.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot is incorrect: it's the one for Spider's Web. I guess you could say I read "The Unexpected Guest" as an accident, as I thought I would be reading Spider's Web. However, The Unexpected Guest was a very good accident, mind you. The story was fast-paced, had simple and easy-to-read language, and a jaw-dropping ending.

It didn't feature the usual recurring detectives, like Poirot or Marple or Tommy and Tuppence, yet perhaps that's what made this book so intriguing because the inspectors were
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Queen of Crime did it again.
Samuel Wayne Allen
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Quick read, fast paced, intriguing, with lots of enjoyable dialogue(due to the fact that it was adapted from a play). Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
The unexpected guest is Michael Starkwedder who has come to Wales to visit the country of his mother's youth and perhaps buy a house. The night is foggy and he runs his car into a muddy ditch. When he goes for help at the nearest house, he finds that he's not the only unexpected guest there--death has visited the home of Richard and Laura Warwick. The master of the house, Richard, lies dead of a gunshot wound and Laura stands nearby with the gun in her hand. She swears that she has killed her hu ...more
Chaitra Chowdhary
A really amazing read!!! I love Agatha Christie's works. Her way of storytelling is quite unique and the way she wrote each character with an amazing character build is something everyone will appreciate. Coming to the story it's the usual crime thriller but you will have to stick till the end for this to discover who the culprit actually is.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a thriller of a book. Agatha Christie she is the queen of crime in true sense. Loved the plot of book. Simply stunning !!
Fadoua ϟ
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked from beginning to end !
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fair tale, but although well constructed, is remarkably predictable.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great twist ending, although this book's depiction of mental illness has aged horribly.
Ylli Kollçaku
Agatha Christie is sooo good, I can't get enough of her
Mimi 'Pans' Herondale
Spoilers below

So who committed the murder? Please com!ent below if you know. Was it Jan or MacGregor?
Noha Badawi
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'll be damned !!
I went to the store, saw it, read the first two or so pages and DANG that was it I couldn't put it down until I was done with it.

I'm now definitely a HUGE Agatha Christie fan; I can tell I'll be reading a lot of her books soon.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story with an unexpected twist, unexpected to me at least.

The story is a novel adaptation of one of Agatha Christie's plays. I enjoy reading plays and this novalization still has a play feel about it more than a novel. I enjoyed it very much as a quick read.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fast paced; ending had a good twist; really enjoyed this book.
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this was originally a play and adapted to a novel format. I did notice that the writing was a bit "off" and didn't feel quite right for an Agatha Christie book. The plot and characters were pretty interesting, as usual, starting off with pretty-clear case of wife being caught red-handed and holding the smoking gun. And in typical Christie style all is not what it appears to be. Not sure if it is because I've read so many of her books, but it didn't take me too long to figure out what the plot ...more
Rose A
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent plot though I could tell what the twist would be a mile away. While this is a decent novelisation, it feels very much like a play and I think would work better as such. Still, it contains Christie's excellent characterisation and understanding of psychology.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
UCAS English 10 H...: February Reading Assignment 1 2 Feb 22, 2018 07:51AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks
  • The New Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie
  • The Burden
  • The Man in the Brown Suit (Colonel Race, #1)
  • Destination Unknown
  • Absent in the Spring
  • Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?: The Mystery Behind the Agatha Christie Mystery
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1)
  • The Golden Ball and Other Stories
  • Giant's Bread
  • The Sittaford Mystery
  • A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5)
  • Passenger to Frankfurt
  • Third Girl (Hercule Poirot, #38)
  • While the Light Lasts (Hercule Poirot, #45)
  • The Pale Horse
  • Murder Is Easy  (Superintendent Battle, #4)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
See similar books…
Charles Thomas Osborne is a journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991. He is the only author the Agatha Christie Estate has ever allowed to produce adapted works in h ...more

Related Articles

Thirty-four years after the publication of her dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood returns to continue the story of Offred. We talked wi...
364 likes · 58 comments