Nancy O'Toole's Reviews > Murder in Three Acts

Murder in Three Acts by Agatha Christie
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: mystery, paperbackswap
Read in October, 2009

When Reverend Stephen Babbington dies after consuming a cocktail, the final analysis is that he died of a fit, ruling out murder. That is until a second death takes place in a manner almost identical. Three amateur detectives take the stage: Sir Charles Cartwright, a former actor, his friend Mr. Satterthwaite, and a young woman known as Egg, whom Sir Charles is not so secretly in love with. The trio begins to inspect the guests at each party, but struggle to find how the two murders are connected. Will world-famous detective Hercule Poirot manage to help them find the murderer, before someone else ends up dead?

Murder in Three Acts is a different type of Hercule Poirot case simply because Hercule Poirot is not the protagonist here. In fact, he doesn’t play a major role until over half-way through the novel. The benefit of this is it does set the book apart from novels where he plays a more prominent role. Seeing as Christie ended up writing thirty-three Hercule Poirot novels (and even more short stories), it makes sense that she would want to break up the formula a bit. The main drawback to this is, despite Poirot’s secrecy, he does, with his manner of drawing attention to important details, guide the reader through the mystery and help them try to solve it on their own. Where he plays a smaller role in this volume, it’s more difficult for the reader to play along with the detective. This did end up diminishing my enjoyment somewhat.

Despite the drawback, Murder in Three Acts is a cleverly put together mystery. Although I managed to find out who the killer was this time, the method and motive where hidden from me and I was purely surprised when Poirot revealed it at the end. The characters that we are introduced to this volume are a lot of fun as well. I particularly liked Sir Charles, who, after being an actor on stage for so long, has a habit of sliding into roles subconsciously. His friendship with the more grounded Mr. Satterthwaite and almost-romance with the lively Egg were also enjoyable to read about. Although I would not recommend this to a first time Agatha Christie reader, established fans will sure to enjoy this mystery.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Murder in Three Acts.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.