Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot Series)

Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot Series)

by Agatha Christie


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The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks. When a mock murder game staged for charity threatens to turn into the real thing, the intrepid Poirot is called in to take part in this Dead Man’s Folly.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073884
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Series: Hercule Poirot Series , #31
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 73,359
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It was Miss Lemon, Poirot's efficient secretary, who took the telephone call.

Laying aside her shorthand notebook, she raised the receiver and said without emphasis, "Trafalgar 8137."

Hercule Poirot leaned back in his upright chair and closed his eyes. His fingers beat a meditative soft tattoo on the edge of the table. In his head he continued to compose the polished periods of the letter he had been dictating.

Placing her hand over the receiver, Miss Lemon asked in a low voice,

"Will you accept a personal call from Nassecombe, Devon?"

Poirot frowned. The place meant nothing to him.

"The name of the caller?" he demanded cautiously.

Miss Lemon spoke into the mouthpiece.

"Air raid?" she asked doubtingly. "Oh, yes-what was the last name again?"

Once more she turned to Hercule Poirot.

"Mrs. Ariadne Oliver."

Hercule Poirot's eyebrows shot up. A memory rose in his mind: windswept grey hair ... an eagle profile ...

He rose and replaced Miss Lemon at the telephone.

"Hercule Poirot speaks," he announced grandiloquently.

"Is that Mr. Hercules Perrot speaking personally?" the sus picious voice of the telephone operator demanded.

Poirot assured her that that was the case.

"You're through to Mr. Porrot," said the voice.

Its thin reedy accents were replaced by a magnificent booming contralto which caused Poirot hastily to shift the receiver a couple of inches further from his car.

I'M. Poirot, is that really you?" demanded Mrs. Oliver.

"Myself in person, Madame."

"This is Mrs. Oliver. I don't know if you'll remember me —"

"But ofcourse I remember you, Madame. Who could forget you?"

"Well, people do sometimes, " said Mrs. Oliver. "Quite often, in fact. I don't think that I've got a very distinctive personality. Or perhaps it's because I'm always doing different things to my hair. But all that's neither here nor there. I hope I'm not interrupting you when you're frightfully busy?"

"No, no, you do not derange me in the least."

"Good gracious — I'm sure I don't want to drive you out of your mind. The fact is, I need you."

"Need me"

"Yes, at once. Can you take an aeroplane?"

"I do not take aeroplanes. They make me sick."

"They do me, too. Anyway I don't suppose it would be any quicker than the train really, because I think the only airport near here is Exeter which is miles away. So come by train. Twelve o'clock from Paddington to Nassecombe. You can do it nicely. You've got three quarters of an hour if my watch is right-though it isn't usually."

"But where are you, Madame? What is all this

"Nasse House, Nassecombe. A car or taxi will meet you at the station at Nassecombe."

"But why do you need me? What is all this about?" Poirot repeated frantically.

"Telephones are in such awkward places," said Mrs. Oliver. "This one's in the hall ... People passing through and talking ... I can't really hear. But I'm expecting you. Everybody will be so thrilled. Goodbye."

There was a sharp click as the receiver was replaced. The line hummed gently.

With a baffled air of bewilderment, Poirot put back the receiver and murmured something under his breath. Miss Lemon sat with her pencil poised, incurious. She repeated in muted tones the final phrase of dictation before the interruption.

" — allow me to assure you, my dear sir, that the hypothesis you have advanced —"

Poirot waved aside the advancement of the hypothesis.

"That was Mrs. Oliver," he said. "Ariadne Oliver, the detective novelist. You may have read —" But he stopped, remembering that Miss Lemon only read improving books and regarded such frivolities as fictional crime with contempt. "She wants me to go down to Devonshire today, at once, in —" he glanced at the clock, " — thirty-five minutes."

Miss Lemon raised disapproving eyebrows.

"That will be running it rather fine," she said. "For what reason?"

"You may well ask! She did not tell me."

"How very peculiar. Why not?"

"Because," said Hercule Poirot thoughtfully, "she was afraid of being overheard. Yes, she made that quite clear."

"Well, really," said Miss Lemon, bristling in her employer's defence. "The things people expect! Fancy thinking that you'd go rushing off on some wild goose chase like that! An important man like you! I have always noticed that these artists and writers are very unbalanced-no sense of proportion. Shall I telephone through a telegram Regret unable leave London?"

Her hand went out to the telephone. Poirot's voice arrested the gesture.

"Du tout!" he said. "On the contrary. Be so kind as to summon a taxi immediately." He raised his voice. "Georges' A few necessities of toilet in my small valise. And quickly, very quickly, I have a train to catch."

What People are Saying About This

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Dead Man's Folly (Hercule Poirot Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
kpet More than 1 year ago
When Poirot is summoned to Nasse House by Mrs. Oliver, all he knows is that something's wrong. When a Murder Hunt ends in disaster, and his hostess goes missing, Poirot faces a very tough case. A great mystery, Agatha Christie at her best.
Miss_Marple More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the most facinating Agatha Christies yet! The imagry from her words are astounding and you feel like you are inside of the book as one of the characters, I would recomend this book to anyone who wants to just curl up with a really good mystery!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thrilling and exciting; I believe this is one of Poirot's best cases!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ariadne Oliver is arranging a fake murder for a party and asks Poirot to come down to hand out the prize to the winner.When he arrives she outlines the whole story.There will be a fake murder victim with real and fake clues thrown in,but everything does not go as planned.When Poirot and Mrs.Oliver go to see how the girl is doing,she is waiting for someone to come across her and find her body as part of the game,they find the girl dead a piece of clothesline around her head.The murder game has become all to real.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty good all the way through, but I really had higher expectations for the ending. I won't reveal it, but it turned out too much like a typical murder mystery, without the much more creative endings found in Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent Agatha Christie novel complete with twists and turns that keep the reader (and Hercules Poirot) puzzled until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this novel.
PeculiarPoet More than 1 year ago
This is my second favorite of the Agatha Christie novels. It was entertaining as always. The characters were less cookie cutter than many other books. (Country Squire, younger wife etc.) The plot kept me guessing though it wasn't as unexpected as it could have been.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally enjoyed this book. It wasn't challenging, but the descriptions were very detailed. There was quite a bit of suspense throughout the book which kept me wanting to read more. I would definately recommend this book to others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I`m in the 9th grade and I read this book for a report. This was one of my best grades I ever got.I think it was because I really enjoyed it. It`s a thrilling book that I would highly reccomend to you if you like murder mysteries!
Berly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The setup is a beautiful old estate, where an assortment of characters have assembled to take part in a weekend mock murder/mystery game, only someone thinks things might actually turn deadly and they have invited Poirot in to help. The cast includes Sir George Stubbs, he of the newly rich class and owner of the mansion; his air-headed wife; the deposed daughter of the original owners of the estate; the successful crime writer, Ariadne Oliver; the womanizing architect; a couple falling out of love; and the simple teenager playing the "dead body." And, of course, Hercule Poirot.This is usual Christie fare. You just gotta love Poirot! A quick read, and I must admit, I was blindsided by the twist at the end. Recommended.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun outing with Poirot. It¿s much later in his career, 1950s, and we find him amongst the aristocracy clinging to their pre-war sensibilities like grim death. It feels like Christie was too. Poirot¿s old-world fussiness is still front and center. He seems crabbier as well, questioning other people¿s motives and having a short supply of patience. As far as the mystery itself goes, I knew from the outset that Lady Dimwit couldn¿t possibly be as dimwitted as she was made out to be. Stank of ruse. But I didn¿t really go much farther than that and had no idea of her real identity or status. Or that of her husband either. I knew something was up with the old dowager relegated to the gate house, but wasn¿t sure what. As usual, Christie kept the solution a surprise. It wasn¿t earth shattering in it¿s cleverness, but it was satisfactory.
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dead Man's Folly is another mystery featuring the infamous Hercule Poirot but what makes this book different is that a murder has not been committed...yet. Adriane Oliver, the crime novelist, has been asked to help create a murder mystery game and calls Poirot to come assist her as she believes that a real crime is about to be committed. She gives Poirot little to go on though as all of her suspicions are based on a "feeling" that something is off. And then a murder does happen and of course Poirot is there to investigate.This book had all of the elements that make up a classic Christie novel in my opinion. There were plenty of characters (or suspects if you like) which kept me looking at the list of characters in the front of the book from time to time. Of course there was the whodunnit element that kept me guessing throughout the novel. And the clues that don't seem to mean anything until the end of the novel when everything begins to add up. I found myself caught up as always in the mystery that Christie was creating even though this wasn't my favorite one that I've read. She just has a knack for keeping me in the dark until the end and I never am able to figure out the mystery on my own. That being said, this wasn't my favorite novel but I'm having a hard time figuring out why. I guess that it comes down to the fact that And Then There Were None still is my all time favorite novel by Agatha Christie (so far).All in all though, it was a good read and one that I would recommend :)
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Poirot novel takes our mustachioed hero out of the city to officiate at a village fete, on the request of Ariadne Oliver. The old country house at which it's held has been lost to the family that has occupied it for centuries, and now it's home to a vulgar businessman and his vacant-eyed but gorgeous wife. Things fall apart when the murder mystery game Mrs Oliver has set up goes horribly wrong, with the sham victim becoming a real one. I was all ready to award this one with four stars or more, but the denouement was far too complicated and implausible to hold up the deal. Still, it's good fun, and recommended.
victorianrose869 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
January 15, 2000Dead Man¿s FollyAgatha ChristieI actually saw the t.v. version of this last weekend, and after watching it wanted to read the book, which I already had.It¿s a Poirot mystery, in my favorite of Christie¿s classic settings ¿ an English country house. Anyway, this story also featured the writer Ariadne Oliver, who I remember from Halloween Party. Supposedly she¿s something of a spoof on Christie herself, which is interesting. Ariadne is invited to organize a ¿Murder Hunt¿ game on the grounds of this mansion (Nasse House). The house is owned by George and Harriet Stubbs, who virtually snatched it out from beneath the feet of an aging widow who¿s been left penniless by her formerly wealthy, gambling husband. It was a family estate going back generations , owned by the Folliats. Mrs. Folliat, the widow, now lives in a small cottage on the property, on the kindness of the Stubbs.Harriet Stubbs, despite the dumpy name, is young and gorgeous, but very odd. She has headaches all the time, and for some reason she won¿t divulge, becomes very upset and fearful when a letter from her cousin arrives, which announces that he¿ll be coming any day now for a visit.During the Murder Hunt, Harriet disappears, and her floppy hat is found drifting in the river. Then someone kills the poor girl who was slated to be the Hunt¿s victim anyway ¿ for real this time.I like this one. Christie is hit-or-miss with me at times, but this one held me. Not so complex that I couldn¿t understand the solution, at least (unlike The Body in the Library!).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1, possibly 2, bodies and oodles of red herrings make up a great mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought thirty paperback books authored by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot novels) years ago. I have read most of them already. I highly recommend Agatha Christie to everyone interested in the crime fiction genre. She is still the very best, in my opinion. I give five stars to all her novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this format. The size and shape is perfect for carrying everywhere, and I ALWAYS have a book in my purse. Also love the cover art and of course Agatha Christie is classic murder mystery. I highly recommend this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The fete with a standard cast out of pbs mysteries a releif from grafic gore violence sex in the new english mysteries
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