Ascher in Andover, Barnard in Bexhill, Clarke in Churston – all are dead, each with an ABC Railway Guide found beside the body. A serial killer is on the loose, one who is determined to play games with the great Hercule Poirot. But can the Belgian detective come to grips with the mind of a psychopath? With the help of Hastings and Japp, Poirot must travel the length and breadth of England. Is he always destined to be too late?
First published in 1936 by William Collins and Co, The ABC Murders is one of Christie’s most famous novels. Interestingly in chapter three of the book Poirot describes his idea of the perfect crime; Christie would later use this for the plot in Cards on the Table.
This book received excellent reviews: Isaac Anderson in The New York Times wrote, “This story is a baffler of the first water, written in Agatha Christie’s best manner. It seems to us the very best thing she has done, not even excepting ‘Roger Ackroyd’.” Ralph Partridge in the New Statesman and Nation said, “Once more our half-yearly homage is due to Mrs Christie, who has held the throne of detection for the last ten years, and brooks no rival near her.”
The novel was first adapted for the screen in The Alphabet Murders (1966) which starred Tony Randall as Poirot and included a brief cameo by Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple. David Suchet would later star in the ITV adaptation made in 1992.
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