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Publisher's Summary

The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion - until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.

Suspicion naturally falls on the old man's young widow, 50 years his junior. But the murderer hasn't reckoned on the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire's granddaughter.

©2007 Agatha Christie (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Knock-out!" ( Saturday Review of Literature)
"[Christie's] sleight of hand is impeccable." ( New Statesman)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A nice twist

loved it, just when you think it's over there's more. very well done story and narration.

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  • Diana
  • 24-04-2018

a chilling mystery

This was probably one of the more disturbing of Christie's mysteries. It deals with the darker side of family love. It would have been nice if it had one of the popular sleuths Poirot or Marple because this Charles fellow is really wet.

Hugh Fraser is lovely to listen to as always.

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  • Louise
  • 21-06-2016

Excellent story

I loved this story the whole time I was trying to work out who committed the crime. Highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • LJ
  • 26-03-2016

Jolly good!

Any additional comments?

Firstly, the actual story is a good one. This is one of the few Christie novels to have never recieved any adaptation and (don't worry, no spoilers) I can see why, the ending is a little strange. It has a slightly different scope to the other Christie novels I've read, seeming in my opinion, much more self contained. But it kept me gripped and listening intently!

Hugh Fraser reads it brilliantly and has a lovely tone of voice. At times he reminded me of Stephen Fry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathalie
  • 03-12-2015

Addictive, just like any other Christie

Have you listened to any of Hugh Fraser’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Hugh Fraser has become the definitive narrator for Christie's work to me. This one was wonderful as always.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I initially wasn't completely hooked. But the story gets better and better and I definitely didn't want to put it down after a while.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Carnegie
  • 27-12-2017

The victim is the hero

The 87yr old Greek immigrant and wheeler dealer Aristide Leonides, ugly, undersized but charming and generous (within limits) is murdered. He has lived in comfort in a London suburb made fashionable by his presence (with his “county” first wife) in a house he has built, much despised by the “old establishment”. He doesn’t give a ***!
He isn’t bothered by the reactions of his family or wider society to his very late second marriage, at 78, after a long widowhood, to a woman in her 20s who worked in a tea shop.
He’s nobody’s fool.
Unfortunately his wealth and the corruption of English mores of that time in the rich, undereducated classes result, indirectly, in his poisoning.
It is unusual for Christie to paint such a positive (albeit nuanced) portrayal of anyone not English- we must allow Poirot, but she got sick of him!
It is also unusual for her to describe characters who can function without servants, who must be either robotic (Good) or impertinent (I.e. human = bad). Normally Christie characters are incapable of existing without unearned income- how could anyone expect the poor dears to WORK for a living! No wonder the males retain military titles from short service in 14-18 or 39-45, even if of rather lowly officer rank. Captain or Major après-guerre looks like an admission of failure!
For once, the victim is someone I might have liked, if not approved of, someone with substance. A wonderful change from all those stories of wet chinless inbred inept English aristos, and “nasty foreigners”.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. R. Brompton
  • 04-02-2015

A cracking story

Once again Agatha Christie tells a cracking good tale with plenty of twists and turns. Hugh Fraser is so good as a narrator that one soon forgets there is only one person speaking and imagine a whole cast of characters. I heartily recommend this story, especially if on a long train journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire Gibson
  • 02-02-2018

Excellent story

Totally enjoyable, read very well. Kind of guessed the killer in the last 30 minutes of the book as it keeps you guessing throughout.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-11-2017

fabulous

great story gripping conclusion Hugh frsser a brilliant narrator great in doing the different voices

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-10-2017

Another good narration by Hugh Fraser

enjoyable and unusual non Marple/hercule tale by the incomparable Christie. well read by Hugh Fraser.

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  • M
  • 09-03-2014

Amazing!

What did you like best about this story?

The twist was extremely unexpected, kept me on my toes until the very end.

Any additional comments?

Another great Agatha Christie novel. She never disappoints.