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Publisher's Summary

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation starring Peter Sallis as the great Belgian detective. Tyrannical millionaire Simeon Lee has been estranged from most of his family for years. But now, on Christmas Eve, the old man calls them all together once more. Unable to disobey, the children gather uneasily and wonder what their father’s intentions are. Does he want to clear up past misunderstandings or cause fresh mischief?

Before they can find out, a deafening crash is heard overhead. Rushing upstairs, they discover a shocking sight: Simeon Lee is lying in a pool of blood, his throat cut. But it is the strangest thing - the door has been locked from the inside and there is no trace of the murderer.

With so many possible suspects, it is lucky for Superintendent Sugden that the Chief Constable has his old friend Hercule Poirot staying with him. It seems to be an impossible case. But, as Poirot knows only too well, things aren’t always as they seem.

©1938 Agatha Christie Ltd (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Upright Ape
  • 27-12-2010

Amateurish, uneven production

This production is so badly done for so many reasons that I hardly know where to start with this review. I'll try using highlights:

1. Hercule Poirot speaks with an English accent. The performer makes a poor attempt to mimic a French accent but fails utterly.
2. One performer does produce a believable French accent. The only problem is that the character speaking that accent is from Spain!
3. The abridgment is careless and sloppy. Audio fades are used during critical conversations and events, disrupting the continuity. The arrivals and departures of key characters have been removed in several places, making it impossible to know who is and isn't present at the start of any scene.
4. Hercule Poirot is a minor player. He does nothing but say things like "Yes, curious" and "No, curious" for most of the production. His presence in England is never explained satisfactorily. No time at all is given to his thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Even at the end, when he manufactures his solution, he states facts and evidence he's never discussed or seen in this butchered production.

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie and/or Hercule Poirot, avoid this half-baked BBC attempt to milk the Christie cash cow. The milk is sour.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-05-2016

Hercule Poirot

I enjoyed this dramatised edition of Hercule Poirot's Christmas. However, I found it strange having Peter Wallis as the lead. All I thought of throughout the audio book was Wallace & Grommit or Clegg from Last of the Summer Wine.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon Wilson
  • 07-02-2016

good read. a mystery right until the end.

a true mystery performed to perfection. great to have a dramatised version. can't beat a classic who done it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Agatha
  • 14-07-2015

Poirot Solves A Christmas Murder

Another good Agatha Christie mystery solved by Poirot, this time played by Peter Sellers which is a wonderful addition to the collection.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dominic Gill
  • 07-02-2015

Poor Poirot

Peter Sallies is unfortunately a very poor Poirot. His accent is a joke. Disastrous performance. Ruins an otherwise excellent Christie.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Parker
  • 14-04-2015

Dated

I love Agatha Christie. Trouble is...she uses the same 'twist' in her stories too many times...she's still very very clever though...what a mind!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Highlight
  • 18-01-2013

ANOTHER GOOD CHRISTIE STORY

Another good story from the enigmatic Agatha Christie’s BBC Radio Collection. Full professional cast (Any Cheese Gromit?) plays Hercule Poirot - not sure if I agree, but he is passable this this one. John Moffat is the best Radio Poirot and is in the rest of this huge collection which are a delight to listen to many times over.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 15-07-2017

Neither Top Drawer Christie nor BBC Drama

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

In a word No. Any chance that the story had was destroyed by the inexplicable decision to cast Peter Sallis as Poirot

Would you be willing to try another book from Agatha Christie? Why or why not?

I have read many, as well as listening to BBC Drama productions. That explains, in part, why this story was a disappointment

How did the narrator detract from the book?

A parody of a French accent and a performance lacking in characterization. What worked in Last of the Summer Wine does not in this performance.

Was Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Dramatised) worth the listening time?

No, and there will be no second chance.

Any additional comments?

Remake with John Moffat - though even he cannot make good all of the deficiencies of the plot.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful