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The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,623 ratings  ·  385 reviews
The Witness for the Prosecution
1920s London. A murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the glamorous and enormously rich Emily French. All the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 17th 2001 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1948)
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Ernie Magdalen is Mr. Dinsmead's daughter and that's why he's taking her to collect the £60,000 inheritance. Charlotte is the foster daughter and rightful…moreMagdalen is Mr. Dinsmead's daughter and that's why he's taking her to collect the £60,000 inheritance. Charlotte is the foster daughter and rightful heiress who resembles the miniature painting of her mother, not Mrs. Dinsmead. if she dies, no one will see she's the image of her dead mother. it's all explained in Mortimer's last big speech.(less)

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3.93  · 
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 ·  4,623 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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Simona Bartolotta
The Witness for the Prosecution alone deserves a thousand stars. Absolutely brilliant, one of the best short stories I've ever read, of any genre. I also loved The Fourth Man, a little atypical and utterly creepy as it is, and Philomel Cottage, which made me happy with its references to the Bluebeard legend and One Thousand and One Nights. But also Wireless and The Red Signal... in short, I just found two or three stories just below average (Christie's average, which is not the same as that of t ...more
Jill Hutchinson
I picked up this book from my shelves to read only one of the stories, Witness for the Prosecution. I consider this one of the best of the Christie short stories and it doesn't even contain any of the regulars (Poirot, Marple, Quin,et al). And it was made into an equally excellent film with some additional characters and a slightly different ending but did not veer from the final solution.

A young man is accused of murdering a rich elderly woman with whom he has formed a relationship and the card
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Catching up with the classics
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017, fiction
- The Witness For The Prosecution - 5/5
- Accident - 5/5
- The Fourth Man - 3/5
- The Mystery of the Blue Jar - 4/5
- Mr Eastwood's Adventure - 3.5/5
- Philomel Cottage - 5/5
- The Red Signal - 4.5/5
- The Second Dong - 3/5
- Sing a Song of Sixpence - 3/5
- S.O.S. - 4/5
- Wireless - 3.5/5
- Poirot and the Regatta Mystery - 4/5
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
The title story is one of Dame Agatha's best - the twist at the end is absolutely breathtaking. In the famous play based on this story, she added another twist so that she would not have to deceive the viewers about the characters: read the story first, then read or watch the play. You will understand and salute her mastery.

"Philomel Cottage" was one story I really loved - I wonder why Hitchcock did not make a movie out of it! It's a masterpiece in suspense. "Accident" is also a chilling vignett
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All in all I liked most of the stories in this collection. The story starring Poirot was the weakest in my opinion.

"Witness for the Prosecution" (5 stars)-A lawyer is trying to keep his client from the gallows. The man says his wife can prove that he was home at the time an elderly women was murdered. The wife seems feel of spite for some reason. A mysterious witness swears she can prove the man's innocence. The ending will knock your socks off.

"The Red Signal" (5 stars)-A dinner party leaves a
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice set of short mysteries by the Mistress of Mysteries, Agatha Christie. The narration was great, especially the ones done by the indomitable Christopher Lee (yes, that Christopher Lee). For the most part I was not able to solve the crimes (though, in my defense, I was driving while listening so my mind was a bit divided).

The stories were long enough to develop the characters and set up interesting mysteries or twists but no so long as to make me lose the thread of the story. They were one an
Bill Lynas
Here are twelve short stories, some featuring good old Poirot, from the dependable Agatha Christie. I have read some of them before, including Witness For The Prosecution, which I still find a very overrated story. Many of the tales found in this collection have a nice lightness of touch and feature Christie's usual devilish sense of humour.
Luisa Knight
I listened to the audio book narrated by Christopher Lee and really enjoyed his performance.

And I was not expecting the ending! In fact, you could say I wasn't expecting it both ways! I didn't realize this was a short story - only 53 minutes on audio - so when the audio stopped, I was quite shocked. It's over already? So of course I didn't see that coming. And because I didn't see that coming, I didn't begin thinking about formulating any guesses as to "who done it" as I still thought I had ple
Over the past few years, I've been exploring Agatha Christie's mysteries and enjoying them once again. I've enjoyed getting back into the old reliables, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. But I've also enjoyed discovering the Tuppence and Tommy Beresford books and I've also Colonel Race. I've just completed one of her short story collections (I have read others before), The Witness for the Prosecution: And Other Stories, which has two Poirot short stories, but the rest are standalones. I purchased ...more
Quite a fun collection but not quite at the level I have come to expect from Christie. There are some very clever stories, though, and 'The Witness For The Prosecution' was wonderful.
” 'But this is England, where I thought you never arrest, let alone convict, people for crimes they have not committed.'
'We try not to make a habit of it.'”

My first Agatha Christie short story collection, cause I gotta read the title story before the mini-series comes out. In addition, I think it’s so nice that she’s coming back into the spotlight right now. Her works deserve the attention (though my favorite so far, and probably will be, And Then There Were None). However, with the exception
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to say I'm not a huge fan of Christie's short stories. Some are quite good, but she tended to use them as a chance to try more supernatural/horror themes than she had in her books, and I don't care for them. Others are probably short stories because she had one clever idea but not enough material to support a book, so they feel more like an O'Henry story than legitimate mysteries. I'll just comment on a few standouts in this book.

Witness for the Prosecution - This title is better known fo
Niki (nikilovestoread)
After reading They Came to Baghdad and loving it, I decided to follow up with this short story collection, The Witness for the Prosecution. Agatha Christie really shines in this collection. The mysteries were all so much fun with the unexpected little twists that she excelled at. There are very few authors that I enjoy their short stories. Most just seem like the story needs more time to develop. That is definitely not the case with Agatha Christie. She excelled at pretty much everything she dec ...more
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
These were very entertaining - they weren't really murder mysteries as such, they were more small studies of human psychology, and because they were I could normally see the plot denouement coming a mile away. I'm hopeless as a detective for murder mysteries but when it comes to how people think I seem to be fairly much right on the money in these sorts of stories. Probably because I'm horribly cynical and tend to think the worst of people :-) I'm also fairly disbelieving in the Supernatural and ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Agatha Christie's short stories - she does a terrific job packing mysteries with real punches into short chapters. Some of the stories in this volume, "Witness for the Prosecution," "The Blue Jar," and others, do a great job of providing red herrings and misdirection to keep the reader guessing. I also liked that in some of the stories the bad guys win - not something that happens often in her books. One of my favorite stories is "Philomel Cottage" - I like the way the narrator (also name ...more
Lisa Brantly
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I know it's blasphemy - but these mid20s short stories are the best I've read of her work. Reminds me of Sanxay-Holding a bit. Lots of tension. 4.5 stars
সালমান হক
Nice collection of stories!! Christie really writes perfect mystery :)
Heather Withington
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short story collection with a reasonable set of stories that I really enjoyed. My favourites were the red signal, wireless and Witness with the only weak story (for me) being the Fourth man. This shows Christie's range of writing and her ability to craft many different stories. I am of the opinion that it is harder to craft a well written short story, and the fact that Christie achieved this consistently throughout this collection demonstrates her ability to say so much with minimum word count ...more
Jannah (Cloud Child)
More or less decent set of shorts, most of them new to me. I like the sometimes abstract and eerie aspect to Christies short stories.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bobbie by: Classics Group
Shelves: short-stories
I read this for the first story, Witness for the Prosecution, for the Classics Group Short Story read and enjoyed it so much I continued to read the whole collection. I am not usually enthralled by short stories and have read very little by Agatha Christie but I definitely enjoyed these stories.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3.5 stars**

Very interesting set of short stories from Dame Christie, totally different than her usual fare. Here she explores the supernatural, mind tricks, the power of suggestion and other plot devices she never would have never used in her popular series. Although I didn't like every single story, she imbued them with such an atmosphere, that most of the time psychology, powers of the mind and some outlandish plots that she usually

Witness for the Prosecution: 4 stars - A bit hard to believe
K. O'Bibliophile
A collection of Christie stories--most crime-related, though at least half not explicitly mysteries-- I picked up, hoping that in audiobook form a variety of shorter stories might be more interesting to my roadtrip companion than a single 7+-hour-long book.

I found it enjoyable, but wouldn't pick the audiobook version again. The narrators, both men, had grave, often gravelly voices that I found wearying after several hours, and they seemed to make the plots of some stories feel slower. (I concede
Ashrakat Deyab
I enjoyed this read so much. It most probably is my favorite collection of mystery short stories to date. Each story was captivating, intriguing, and kept me on the edge of my seat. And almost each one of them ended with a plot twist that made me go:

Here's my ratings for the individual stories contained in this book:

The Witness for the Prosecution 5 stars
The Red Signal 3 stars
The Fourth Man 3 stars
S.O.S. 3 stars
Where There’s A Will 5 stars
The Mystery of the Blue Jar 4 stars
Sing A Song of Sixpen
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading some of the reviews, I was a little concerned that this might not be as good as I have come to expect from Agatha Christie... I should not have feared. The Queen of Mystery reigns supreme once again!
Jessica H
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up because Agatha Christie... :) Short stories are fun every now and then. She is the master of the twist, and so these are fun. I do prefer her novels, and a few of these ended with a "huh?"
Sanne (TheBookDutchess)
I didn't love all the stories, but I liked all of them.
I especially enjoyed how you're always surprised by the ending, even if the surprise is only in the last two lines.
4.5 stars.

As I keep repeatedly saying on this website and in real life, I'm determined to read more Agatha Christie over the coming months and years, a) because I've recently discovered a love for crime novels of the kind she writes, and b) because, if I wait any longer, I'll have watched so many Agatha Christie adaptations that the number of her novels that I can go into spoiler-free will be seriously dwindling. The problem up until now, however, has been that I haven't fully known where to sta
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories with some of my Christmas money, as I very much enjoyed the BBC adaptation of the titular story that aired over Christmastime. One cannot go wrong with Christie, and these short stories particularly are absolutely fantastic. There wasn't a bad tale in the collection, and whilst those that featured Poirot were my least favourites, I still very much enjoyed them. Throughout, Christie is clever and witty, and there are so many chilling i ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice little collection - mind you, this is overall rating and individual story ratings are on the "Christie" scale. Overall, still very enjoyable.

Witness For the Prosecution: 4.5/5
- That final punch though!

The Red Signal: 3/5
The Fourth Man: 2.5/5
- This one seemed kind of far-fetched

SOS: 3/5
Wireless: 3.5/5
-Predictable but great build-up

The Mystery of the Blue Jar: 4/5
-Simple but loved the wit

Sing a Song of Sixpence: 2/5
Mr Eastwoods Adventure: 2/5
Philomel Cottage: 4/5
Accident: 3/5
The Second Gong
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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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t
“Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.

[Witness for the Prosecution, also published in The Hound of Death and Other Stories.]”
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