Monday, January 4, 2010
Short Story Monday/The Case of the Missing Will by Agatha Christie
Today's Short Story Monday is The Case of the Missing Will by Agatha Christie.
This story was offered free on audio during the week of Agatha Christie's birthday. It is 21 minutes long and narrated by David Suchet, the man who plays Poirot in the televised versions.
A young woman comes to Hercule Poirot with an interesting story. She was orphaned as a child and brought up by her only relative, her late father's brother. He was kind to her but they had one glaring difference of opinion; she wanted to attend college, and he didn't believe in 'book learning' for women. Though Miss Violet Marsh did go on to school they still had a friendly relationship. Now he has died and left a most unusual will. She may live in the old farmhouse, Crabtree Manor, for a year, 'during which my niece may prove her wits.' If his wits prove better, the house and money will go to various charities but if hers prevail, she will get everything. Violet asks for Hercule's help. He says that somewhere in the house her uncle has hidden either a second will or money. He views the situation as 'a problem charming and ingenious.' 'I shall have all the pleasure in the world of solving it for you.' While at the house, there are revelations and frustrations until Poirot's friend Hastings has an idea. The vain Poirot must admit, 'that may be one of your more sensible observations.'
This reader thought the story itself 'charming and ingenious.' I found myself smiling with delight as I listened.
The story was originally published in a collection called Poirot Investigates published in 1924. Agatha Christie, a Reader's Companion by Vanessa Wagstaff & Stephen Poole, offers the original UK dust-wrapper.
Short Story Monday is hosted by John.