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Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot #31)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  13,045 Ratings  ·  595 Reviews

Ariadne Oliver, Queen of Crime Fiction, has been asked to devise a "Murder Hunt" for a fête at Nasse House, the home of Sir George Stubbs. But she begins to suspect that someone is manipulating the scenario of her game and fears that something very sinister is being planned.

She sends for her old friend Hercule Poirot. At first he is not inclined to take her very seriously

Hardcover, Facsimile of first edition, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by HarperCollins (first published October 1956)
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Eve His prize was d. a puppet. He tried to give it to the man in the turtle shirt as Poirot had bumped into him just before.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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For those who have read my reviews in the past, I have mentioned that I enjoy reading mysteries as palette cleansers in between denser reads. I use the summer school vacation to read a lot of classics, nonfiction, and poetry collections that I may not have time for during a busy school schedule. Yet, it is impossible to maintain this level of reading all the time, and, rather than go into a reading slump, I read mysteries. I have a few favorite contemporary authors, but I still measure all myste ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something to be said about red herrings and clues. When an author of the crime genre renders it impossible to distinguish between the two, it means that the book one is reading is worth praise.

Praise Dame Christie with great praise. Indeed, the queen of crime is also the first cozy mystery writer. This is a claim I make without delving into the history of cozies but I found this fact often online.

Hercule Poirot nabs the criminal. But how wonderful it was that the criminal is not on scene
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-done-it

Hercule Poirot stood in front of the gathered group, toying with his ostentatious mustache and proclaimed, “Using my methods of deduction I have ascertained with much ingenuity, the vexing solution to this crime.”

He paused to build the on the moment and allow his words of triumph to have their greatest effect.

“The Jacuzzi salesman dressed in a gimp outfit, first rendered our victim unconscious with a sharp blow to the back of the head; drugged him; then gutted him with a Samurai sword that belon
David Schaafsma
Poirot #31: Enter Ariadne Oliver, celebrated mystery writer, who is one of the most interesting and refreshing additions to the Poirot world, giving Christie a chance to do a little self-deprecating meta-fictional commentary on mystery writing, and herself.

“I mean, what can you say about how you write your books? What I mean is, first you've got to think of something, and then when you've thought of it you've got to force yourself to sit down and write it. That's all."

Christie gets a chance thro
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read somewhere that detective novels, particularly the ones from the Golden Age, can in fact be considered 'fantasies' since the culprit(s) is always found out and the 'order' restored. I can see that, but they are also more than just that - the result being more than the sum of its parts.

Once more Christie delivers a great mystery featuring not only the great Poirot but also the indomitable Ariadne Oliver, who I personally adore. The author is not exactly kind to her, especially in her descri
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ο λογος που αγαπω να διαβαζω Agatha Christie βρισκεται κρυμμενος στις κιτρινισμενες σελιδες της απαρχαιωμένης εκδοσης που εχω αγορασει σε καποιο παρακμιακο μαγαζακι. Ταξιδευει μαζι με την λατρεμενη μυρωδια παλαιοκαιρισμενου χαρτιου μεχρι τα ρουθουνια μου και εκει σκαει γεμιζοντας το κορμι μου με την αναμνηση της Αγγλιας οπως την γνωρισα απο κοντα αλλα και της Αγγλιας του 1920/1930/1940 κτλ που θα ηθελα να γνωρισω. Ας πουμε πως διαβαζω Agatha Christie για συναισθηματικους λογους και οχι γιατι ειν ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
One thing is for sure: I am never disappointed by the Queen of mystery.
Rachel Hall
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the novels of Agatha Christie having been extensively featured on British television and having enjoyed many, I am almost embarrassed to confess that this is my first read of her work in print. Having read very few of the novels that are typically considered as the golden age of crime fiction I chose this book for several reasons, not least because of it's compact length and a humorous synopsis which made it sound so accessible to a novice of the genre. The other significant factor was t ...more
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I thought this book from beginning to end was classic Agatha Christie. I was happy to read it, especially since it felt like the last few books have been hit or misses for me.

This one has Hercule Poirot in it from beginning to end. Called in by Adriane Oliver because of a "feeling" she has, Poirot travels to her and listens to her explaining she feels she is being led to something in order for a real murder to take place.

The characters in this one are really fascinating. We have Adriane who was
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A murder mystery role play (to put it in modern terms) turns into a real murder which for all practical purposes does not make any sense as the victim is a harmless girl.

I dare anybody to solve this one without waiting for Poirot to explain everything in the end of the book; all the clues are there, none of them is hidden. The plot is so complicated you will have my greatest respect if you do. I was lost somewhere in the middle of the book, until this time I was able to follow Poirot.

5 stars t
Feb 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Dead Man’s Folly is one of Agatha Christie’s jolliest stories, evidently one she had fun writing. It is set in a country fête held in the grounds of a large country house, so the cast of characters includes the whole span of village life from “Sir George”, through foreign hikers from the next-door hostel, to the locals being obligingly colourful. “Du ee want the ferry, sir?” There is, fortunately, a list of characters at the front of the book in case you get lost.

Christie fans will spot many of
Lisa Kay
Greenway Boathouse, bought by Ms. Christie for £6,000 in 1932, was the setting for a murder in Dead Man's Folly.

★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) What can I say about a talented actor such as David Suchet narrating a classic Agatha Christie mystery? The same actor who has not only won awards for his audiobook narrations, but actually played Dame Christie’s iconic fictional Belgian detective, Poirot? Only that he kicks this one up a notch - or a star, anyway.

If you haven’t listened to
Richard Derus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurel Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one has a perfect setting for a murder mystery : Starts with a "Murder Hunt" (A treasure hunt with a twist) and things start going wrong.
The murder seems without a motive at all & the victim has no known enemies And the mystery keeps deepening. Looking back,the finer clues were very carefully placed right before you, like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
The characters, the setting & the story all are great. The only complain is that Poirot's part in entire investigation is ver
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I like Poirot and his need for lines and objects to be just so, his moustaches to be oh so perfectly pointed, and his shoes to be very shiny. I remember reading this one, though I had forgotten a lot of the plot. I knew there was something fishy going on with the hat. Ariadne Oliver was silly and funny, and I liked how she got Poirot to travel immediately to Nasse House. There are, of course, some horrid statements and beliefs expressed by a variety of characters (the oh so fun aspect ...more
Jessica Prescott
Brilliant. One of the best murder mysteries I've read in a long, long time. Quite compelling as well as puzzling. Also: I PARTIALLY SOLVED IT!!!!!!! (Yes, I know; I didn't *really* solve it. Hush. Don't spoil my fun ;-) )
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime fans, murder mystery fans, Poirot fans, Agatha Christie fans,
Shelves: 4
I've only read two of Agatha Christie's novels before this (And Then There Were None and The Man in the Brown Suit, the former which I found brilliant and the latter which I found dreadful), but I'm very clearly developing a love for Agatha and her marvelous brain; I've heard it said that Dead Man's Folly is lesser Agatha Christie and that this is a rehash of her previous Poirots, but I found this dastardly delightful. Sure, I'd seen DMF twice adapted for the small screen (with David Suchet and ...more
غزل أدم
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
التقييم الفعلى 1.5
Julie Davis
How can this be? I know I must have read this before but nothing seems familiar. So I have the delightful feeling of a fresh, new Agatha Christie.

The premise is delightful. Mystery author Ariadne Oliver has been hired to organize a Murder Hunt game for a small village fete. She asks Hercule Poirot to join her because her intuition tells her something is off.

And, of course, that pretty much guarantees murder is going to be one of the events.
Michael A
I almost rated this two stars, but I don't think I can go that low after thinking about it a little bit. The curious thing about Christie in the later books is her tendency to break her own mysteries. Here is a great example.

I do like her self reference, though it is deeply superficial. The odd Mrs. Oliver again makes her appearance, trying to arrange a pageant of murder within a book that does the same thing. Once again we have her saying she doesn't know why people like her books and having di
Jill Hutchinson
A short and interesting (although a bit far-fetched) entry in the Poirot series in which Poirot gets a call from his friend and best selling mystery writer, Ariadne Oliver, begging him to come to a country estate where "something is not quite right". She does not elaborate but Poirot is curious enough to make the trip to Nasse House where Ms. Oliver is preparing a Murder Game for the village fair. Although she cannot seem to explain what "isn't quite right", it soon turns out that, indeed, somet ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Man's Folly is notable for it's rich descriptions of the suspects, brought to life incredibly by David Suchet in the audiobook. Some might say it's not much of a mystery but I couldn't guess this one so I won't complain :)

I do have to comment on one of the characters though, it didn't sit well with me that Hattie was continually referred to as sub normal, just because this was written in the 1950s doesn't make it right.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desiludiu-me um pouco devido à explicação do crime e às suas razões. Parecia que estava a ler sobre um crime completamente diferente daquele que nos foi apresentado ao longo do livro. E não fiquei convencida. Apenas gostei que uma certa e determinada peça, sempre muito presente ao longo da história, tenho tido uma relevância especial no final do livro.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Saya suka kalo berhasil dikecoh. Tadinya saya kira pelakunya si itu. Berdasarkan pengalaman membaca buku Agatha, curigailah orang yg paling tak mungkin dicurigai dan belum tentu fakta sesuai dgn yg dikatakan seseorang. Perkataan. Ternyata pelakunya bukan dia.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Man’s Folly I think I have read twice before – and have seen a TV adaptation too – so maybe it was no real surprise that I began to remember things after about 60 pages. It all remained very muddled in my head though and so I had to read on to see what I had remembered correctly.
In Dead Man’s Folly, Hercule Poirot is summoned to Devon by Ariadne Oliver – a character of Agatha Christie’s that is quite obviously a thinly disguised self-portrait. I’ve always really rather liked Ariadne Oliver
Convoluted tale of murder and mistaken identities at a magnificent mansion during a fete, filled with peculiar characters and interesting twists. A Girl Guide gets herself murdered in a boathouse where she’s supposed to be *pretending* to be a dead body for a peculiar game that starts out being partly “solve the mystery” and part treasure hunt, but soon escalates to something far more deadly.

Sharp characterizations and florid plotting make this fun even though it’s not one of her best - it’s ra
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ‘folly’ of the title is actually an architectural term defined as “an eccentric, generally non-functional structure erected to enhance a romantic landscape.” Of course, the play on words using the more commonly understood meaning of the word is intentional. In this classic Christie, Adriadne Oliver arranges a mock Murder Hunt for charity and calls in her friend Hercule Poirot when a real body is discovered. Although this was published in 1956, it has the feel of one of Christie’s slightly ol ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Man's Folly does not make my list of top 10 favorite Agatha Christie mysteries. The victim, to me is inconsequential and I simply didn't care whether she was throttled or not. The characters (suspects) are not as developed as in some of her other books like Death on the Nile and the ending, albeit satisfactory is abrupt. However, it is still a Christie mystery and it has twists and turns that will entertain most mystery-lovers. The clues are there for the sharp reader to pick up and sort, a ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Je ne me lasse jamais d'Hercule Poirot et des ses aventures. J'en ai lu certaines de nombreuses fois et j'ai vu leurs adaptations à la télévision et au cinéma mais leur lecture me donne toujours autant de plaisir:)
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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
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 39 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 (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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“I mean, what can you say about how you write your books? What I mean is, first you've got to think of something, and then when you've thought of it you've got to force yourself to sit down and write it. That's all." ~ Mrs. Oliver” 16 likes
“I have always noticed that these artists and writers are very unbalanced” 7 likes
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