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Agatha Christie, The A.B.C. Murders, The world Publishing Company, 1945. pp. 306.
1. Captain Arthur Hastings: Mr. Hastings was a friend and an accomplice to
Hercule Poirot in solving the case of the A.B.C. murders.
Hercule Poirot: He was the main detective and investigator in the A.B.C. murders. He is a very intelligent and intellectual person.
Mary Drower, Megan Banard, Donald Fraser, Franklin Clarke and Miss Grey: These were all close friends or family, and they were all suspects.
2. Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot were sitting in their room when a
letter arrived. It stated that the its author was going to murder someone on the 21st of July in Andover. And it was signed “Yours, etc., A.B.C.”. The two were very confused. When they reported it to the police, the officers said that they got messages like this every day and that it was probably a hoax. But Hercule Poirot wasn’t so sure.
When the 21st arrived, Hercule Poirot was feeling edgy, but
Hastings reminded him that it was probably just a hoax. But later that night they received word that a woman, Mrs. Ascher, had been murdered in Andover. They quickly traveled there and went to her shop. They looked around and the only clue they could find was an A.B.C., or a Bradshaw railway guide. They figured that this just couldn’t be coincidence.
The second letter came on the 24th of July. This next letter taunted Poirot and told him that the second murder was going to take place in Bexhill-on-Sea, the next day. Poirot and Hastings had a pretty good idea that the person to be killed would be one with the last name starting with “B,” but they could not be sure.
In the morning they received a report that a murder took place at about midnight. The victim was Elizabeth Barnard. She had been killed on the beach and another A.B.C. was found near her. There had been no reports of her missing until the next morning. They now knew that they were up against a homicidal murderer.
They received a third letter on the 30th. Once again it made fun of Poirot and said that the next murder would take place on the 30th at Churston. They rushed to get to Churston, but it was too late. Sir Carmichal Clarke had been killed. There again were no witnesses to this murder.
The fourth letter said that there would be a murder at Doncastor. All of the closest friends or family were gathered with them there. They attended a big concert because that’s where they though the murder would take place. When they found the dead body it was George Earlsfield. The murderer was going to kill Mr. Downes, but in the dark he hadn’t noticed that Mr. Downes had moved from his seat. They were about the same build so he had mistaken them for one another. Later that night a maid had noticed a man sneaking away from the hotel he was staying. When they looked at his signature it read A. B. Cust. They followed him and questioned him. He had been in the war and had sustained head wounds and, so, wasn’t thinking straight. He admitted to the murders, but Poirot knew that he hadn’t done it. The detective went back into the room where all the friends and relatives were. Poirot then picked out Franklin Clarke, saying that he
had murdered all of the people. Clarke had done it because he wanted to set it up as though Cust had murdered them with the A.B.C. clue. And when it came to “C” he killed his brother so that he could inherit his money.
3. Some investigative techniques Poirot used were, the retracing of the murders. He went over the murders over and over in his head. He tried tracing the letters but it didn’t help.
4. I would recommend this book to all readers. This is one of the most suspenseful books that I’ve ever read. Some examples of suspense are:
“ “Stabbed this time?” “Yes, varies his methods a bit doesn’t he? Biff on the head, strangling, now a knife.” ”, and “ “It’s about as bad as it can be. Sir Carmichal Clarke has been found dead with his head
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Hercule Poirot, The A.B.C. Murders, Arthur Hastings, Agatha Christie, British films, The Alphabet Murders, Cards on the Table
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