Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot Book 16) by Agatha Christie #MurderMystery #AudiobookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Agatha Christie

Performed by Hugh Fraser

Category: Murder, Mystery, Book Review

Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… 

When Miss Emily Arundel died, not unexpectedly as her health had been delicate, the contents of her will caused a variety of emotions, including surprise, anger, criticism, excitement and gossip. The residents of Market Basing talked and speculated for weeks, and theories were numerous. Although Miss Lawson, Miss Arundel’s companion, professed to be as astonished as everyone else when the will was read, not everyone believed her, especially the Arundel family.

Emily Arundel had not been looking forward to Easter weekend in the least, when her family, and potential heirs, would all be staying with her. She knew they were only interested in her money. During their visit Emily had an accident, a tumble down the stairs, which was blamed on her tripping over the dog’s ball. 

Dazed and confused Emily Arundel lay in a crushed heap. Her shoulder hurt her and her ankle — her whole body was a confused mass of pain. She was conscious of people standing over her, of that fool Minnie Lawson crying and making ineffectual gestures with her hands, of Theresa with a startled look in her eyes, of Bella standing with her mouth open looking expectant, of the voice of Charles saying from somewhere — very far away so it seemed — ‘ It’s that damned dog’s ball! He must have left it here and she tripped over it. See? Here it is!’

Emily however, was not convinced. Something was wrong. It was nagging at her but she couldn’t grasp it. When her thoughts became clearer, she wrote a long winded and somewhat confused letter to Hercule Poirot. The letter was somehow delayed and only received by Poirot two months later, by which time Emily Arundel was already dead. Still, Poirot was intrigued wasted no time in beginning an investigation with his usual extreme attention to details.

Narrated perfectly by Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings (the perfect foil for Poirot) in the first person, Dumb Witness was a treat to listen to. There was a host of suspects—including Miss Lawson, the potential heirs and their spouses—plus, of course, several twists and red herrings. This enjoyable mystery, it’s always a plus when Hastings is ‘working’ alongside Poirot, is laid out skilfully and kept me guessing until the end. 

Book links ~ Book Depository | Hive Books | Bookshop.org | Amazon UK

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in translation. According to Index Translationum, she remains the most-translated individual author, having been translated into at least 103 languages. She is the creator of two of the most enduring figures in crime literature-Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple-and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.

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