The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot Series)

The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot Series)

by Agatha Christie


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Agatha Christie’s beloved classic The A.B.C. Murders sets Hercule Poirot on the trail of a serial killer.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the whole country is in a state of panic.

A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting more confident—but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal, mistake.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073587
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: Hercule Poirot Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 51,288
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.68(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

What People are Saying About This

Julian Symons

A masterwork...stunningly original.

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The A.B.C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first ever Agatha Christie book I read-and certainly not the last! She is now one of my favorite authors. It is so easy to see why she is the Queen of Crime. This name of the book sounded interesting, so decided to read it. I loved it! The plot was wonderfully unique, the twist completely surprising, and the detective, of course, sheer genius. Only Hercule Poirot could be this clever. I recommend this book to any mystery lover!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for any age I read this and I am 11. You get into the book and you think that you know who the murderer is but at the end it takes a total twist it is a great book if you are getting bored with the Nancy Drew books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first Agatha Christie book and I really enjoyed reading it. It is not like the normal mystery suspense book I normally read. It was extremely easy to tell that she was the queen of mysteries. The ABC murders were quite twisted because of the serial killers mind set. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10 only because a couple of the pages were quite dull, but needed to be in the book so that the reader would have a better understanding. I felt the best part was when the investigators found a common theme of the murders was the victims names started with the letters ABC and E because of mistaken identity. Also he was selling stockings at all the places of victim's houses. Selling stockings back then was a very common job so the killer didn't seem out of the ordinary. Every witness had a different look at the killer and had no distinguishing characteristics about him. He would also leave an ABC railroad guide to distinguish it wasn't a random murder but serial killing's. I wanted to read this book because when I read the description of the ABC killings it was very thrilling. I actually thought that the book had occurred in Rochester New York because the same plot happened in later years. Turns out the crimes in this book happened in Europe. There were some parts in the book where I couldn't understand what was happening do the fact that a sentence or a phrase was in a different language. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading about murders and investigators who try to solve the crimes. Almost all the investigators since the beginning said that the murders would not turn into killing streak it was a random murder. But one investigator really new what he was doing once he had one suspect and evidence against him he didn't quit he found the real killer. If you plan on reading this book you may want to read the beginning pages about the characters for a better understanding there is multiple characters and investigators that come into play throughout the book. ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christie's mastery of human nature helps build great characters and wonderful mysteries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coldblooded Genius
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
I adore Agatha Christie's writing, so even if this book is not my favorite of her mysteries, I still enjoyed it.  Agatha Christie was not a technically brilliant writer -- She never claimed to be. But where she is unmatched is in her study of human nature. She knew that people will say one thing, and project an image one way, and could be almost entirely opposite of what they were saying or projecting. She could see the cracks where the "real" person could be glimpsed. And she could write her characters so that they projected an image that was contrary to their true nature. Her detectives could, and close readers can, always see the cracks, and that is how the mysteries are solved. The clues are all there, but don't expect her detectives to point them out to you along the way. The ending with either surprise or validate you, depending on how closely you read the story. 
Love_Musik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the first ones I read. Loved it! it was so creative and brilliant, good twists.
Asphalt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting, and although Agatha always keeps you in the dark as to A.B.C.'s true identity, it's still quite a fun book. I do dislike the few french words squeezed into the text however, mostly due to the fact that I don't speak French. Outside that however, I would reccomend this book to any mystery fan. Somebody who dislikes mysteries however, will of course find this book quite lacking.
BookPurring on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one is truly one of my favorite Agatha books, it's in my opinion very modern. The conflict of having a serial killer is new for Poirot and makes the book current (as opposed to some other of the mysteries that wouldn't work in this day and era, though I do love them don' t get me wrong!)
Cerian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun quick read. My first Agatha Christie; I will definitely read more of her novels.
Daniel.Estes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Monsieur Poirot and his team of Captain Hastings and the detectives from Scotland Yard are up against a serial murderer this time, and this one is killing sequentially and alphabetically. Does he (or she, as Poirot often points out) murder for fame or perhaps for some other sinister reason?The joy of this novel is more than unraveling the mystery. The real heart of the story is tagging along with the ever-witty and always self-assured Hercule Poirot as he "exercises the little grey cells." Watching the local authorities rush to judgment while Poirot seeks a deeper truth never fails to delight. And the brilliant Agatha Christie seems to give the reader that one missing piece of the puzzle, at just the right moment, to find out whodunit.
moonshineandrosefire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The little Belgian detective exercises his "little grey cells" against a mysterious correspondent who writes to him predicting the murders of several people. Poirot is forewarned when the first two murder victims' names begin with an A and a B, now he must solve the case before the killer strikes again in an attempt to complete the alphabet. I must say that I enjoyed this book very much. I had first read this years ago but had forgotten who the murderer was and why he actually committed the murders. I give it an A!
arielfl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one of the lingering books I hadn't gotten to yet from the cool down with A.C. challenge this summer. I am so glad that I finally got to it. Usually Hercule Poirot annoys me but I kind of liked him in this one. This was a fast paced mystery coming in at around 200 pages. In this book we find Hercule Poirot challenged by a killer through letters sent to him. He must stop the killer before he commits another murder based on the alphabetical letter of the victim's name. Of course the killer's downfall is that he thinks he can outsmart Poirot. Let's just say that it doesn't took many letters for Poirot to figure the killer's identity. Like most of Christie's books I didn't have the solution figured out. The wrap ups are always so brilliant that I am always left wondering why I didn't put the clues together. This is another wonderful outing from the queen of crime that should leave Poirot fans especially pleased.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The A.B.C. Murders is a cleverly plotted story about a serious of random murders. The victims are from different places, are of different sexes and ages. The only sure thing is that that killer started with the initial A and is working his way through the alphabet. Hercule Poirot comes into the hunt due to the letters he receives from the killer taunting him and giving him slight advance notice of the location of the next murder. A slightly different plotline from her usual Hercule Poirot stories, but it did include the familiar ending where Poirot gathers all involved for the big reveal. A well-crafted, interesting mystery with enough twists to keep the reader on their toes. The A.B.C. Murders is one of my favorite Agatha Christie mysteries and I thoroughly enjoyed this visit with the quirky detective.
Emily.D on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely one of the better Poirots. Unusually for Agatha Christie, a psychopathic serial killer is murdering people completely unknown to him, based only on the alphabet and an ABC railway guide. Could be seen as more modern than some of her other books. I'm not sure why I think that but the thought struck me very early on and didn't go away. There was more tension built up by the end than in some others because everyone can tell what will happen unless Poirot works out who did it, in a seemingly unsolvable mystery. Ending was both believable and completely surprising. I certainly didn't guess it, and I have a fairly good track record.
mauveberry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The ending was a bit unexpected, but I didn't enjoy this book as much as other Agatha Christies. I don't feel like the characters were as fleshed out as they usually are in her other books.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A foreword to this story by Captain Arthur Hastings saysIn this narrative of mine I have departed from my usual practice of relating only those incidents and scenes at which I myself was present. Certain chapters, therefore, are written in the third person.Hastings returns to England from South America in June 1935 to put his finances in order. Mrs Hasting stays home to look after the ranch. He finds Hercule Poirot installed in a new service flat in London - a sign of the times. Poirot looks remarkably well, his hair is blacker than Hastings expects (per favour of a bottle).Poirot has tried to retire several times already but is fearful that his "little grey cells.. [will].. grow the rust". So now he only takes cases that are the "cream of crime". In his most recent case he says he had a narrow escape, he was nearly exterminated. He is however looking forward to teaming up again with Hastings.I believe in luck - in destiny, if you will. It is your destiny to stand beside me and prevent me from committing the unforgiveable error.With that he plucks from his papers a note he recently received signed A B C that challenges him, in quite unpleasant terms, to solving a mystery that will take place at Andover on the 21st of the month. Poirot fears the note may be referring to a murder.Poirot consults his old friend Inspector Japp from Scotland Yard and so the police are alerted to look out for a murder in Andover on the 21st. This duly occurs. And elderly woman, a shop keeper is struck down in her shop, and the prime suspect, but for the letter to Poirot, would have been her estranged drunken sot of a husband.This begins what appears to be a spree of killings, each with an alphabetical clue. In each case a copy of the ABC Railway Guide is left with the body. Poirot recognises this is different to the intime sort of crime he is usually called on to investigate - crimes committed by one member of a family against another. This killer appears to be psychotic and he is playing with Poirot's mind.To help him solve the crime, or perhaps to keep an eye on them, Poirot calls together all the immediate family victims of the crimes, and turns them into a sort of vigilante band. This is an unusual step but quite in line with his usual strategies, where he will make at least one of the characters a confidante.I could tell you much more, but you need to read it for yourself. As you can probably tell from the tone of what I've written above, I really enjoyed THE ABC MURDERS. There's an occasional sprinkling of humour - looking for the one about Hasting's "comb-over" - and there is tension built by Poirot's likening of the acts of a serial murderer to the roll of the dice on the roulette wheel. He says that eventually the murderer will make a mistake. We also have a red herring to contend with from almost the beginning of the story.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A serial killer sends Hercule Poirot a letter telling him about the murder he plans to commit in Andover. The victim turns out to be an old woman by the name of Alice Ascher, and an ABC train guide is found near her body. The next letter tells Poirot the murder will take place in Bexhill-on-Sea, where the young Betty Barnard is found strangled, and again the ABC guide is found near her person. While the police force and Poirot are scrambling to find the identity of the madman before he gets through the entire alphabet, two more people are killed, and while the case is complicated enough, things are not at all what they seem. This was a good, solid Poirot mystery, but I can't say I was enthralled. Is it because I was passionate about Agatha Christie novels as a teenager and devoured them like so many chocolate bonbons that the second time around doesn't seem quite as sweet? Might I have sated my hunger then? or have my memories of those first discoveries failed to evolve along with me over the years? Have I become too jaded? I don't know, maybe all of the above. There's no denying that the dame knew how to write a great crime novel, but she's influenced so many generations of writers since that it's hard for me to appreciate the originality of her work anymore without feeling like the whole deal has grown a bit stale with age. An image of precious antique lace doilies and trinkets covered with a fine coating of dust comes to mind. Apologies to Christie's unerring fans. Perhaps I might grow to appreciate her fully again in another quarter century or so.
Luv2danse9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A mysterious "homicidal maniac" by the name of A.B.C. begins knocking people off based on an alphabetical scheme -- beginning with A. Ascher in Andover. It's up to private investigator Hercule Poirot and his friend Captain... er... Hastings to catch this crook before he can get from A to Z. This book chronicles the events of the murders and chase of the killer, with a nice little twist at the end which readers know must be coming but cannot quite figure out. The question Poirot asks himself through the whole case is not "who?" but "why?" which helps him catch the killer in the end. The twist at the end itself was clever and surprising, but I found myself waiting impatiently for it. While the rest of the book held my attention, I found it a little dull at times. The characters for the most part did not enthrall me, and the methodical investigation of the murders was a little redundant. However, after I finished the book, the turn of events kept me thinking for a while. I'd recommend it, but it definitely is not a "must read."
AmphipodGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this fairly disappointing. Christie is less fun when she's trying to be creepy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a classic Agatha Christie puzzle with the best of her detectives; Hercule Poirot
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
Really good read! It had me guessing all the way through the end as to how they were going to figure out who did it, and more importantly, why.
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