Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The ABC murders

Author: Agatha Christie

A serial killer is murdering people arbitrarily in the order of their names. The first victim is Alice Ascher of Andover, second Betty Barnard of Bexhill-on-Sea, third Sir Carmichael Clarke of Churston. i.e., the first victim is a person with his initial A from a place starting with A, the second victim is B, and so on.The victims are completely unrelated; of different financial backgrounds, and different age factions.

Before each murder Hercule Poirot receives a letter stating the time and place of the next murder, but by the time Poirot and the police reach the place, the murder would’ve already occurred. At each murder spot, the killer leaves an ABC Railway Guide next to the body of the victim with the open page facing the floor.

Some of the clues lead to a stocking salesman called Alexander Bonaparte Cust (ABC), an old, partially blind, epileptic man. His presence at each murder location is proved beyond doubt, and he surrenders stating that he could’ve done the murders as he is unaware of himself many a times in a day. All the letters were typed from his typewriter, but he denies typing any letter and claims that he had never heard of Poirot before meeting him at the investigation office. Though Cust surrenders, he could not be jailed for lack of evidence and loopholes in the evidences against him.

Who is the serial killer? What is his motive? Can an old,weak, epileptic man kill four people with different weapons and cleverly conceal the murder weapon? These are the questions Poirot asks himself. Read the book to find the culprit.

This is a detective fiction, and the easiest way to spoil your pleasure of reading is to reveal the climax.The ABC murder, written in a double point of view is worth your time any day.

1 comment:

pussreboots said...

Excellent review. I think this is on of Christie's books that I haven't had the pleasure of reading.