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.


  1. I've only read one Christie in my life and it was forgettable. This one sounds interesting though.

  2. I read this story not too long ago and liked it too. In the past I've read only Christie's novels but, now that I'm on this challenge to read everything, I'm enjoying a different side of Christie. As you say, "charming and ingenious."

  3. John, I may have mentioned to you before that I only began reading her in the past few years. You may not be old enough yet!

    Margot, I love the way Hercule talks; the way he phrases his thoughts- one of the many reasons I think AG is such a good writer.

  4. I enjoyed that story and you just bought it back beautifully..Thanks Nan

  5. I've yet to read Christie, but I'll get around to it soon. Audios really give a whole new dimension to a story, I think.

  6. I've always loved Hercule and Miss Marple. I need to go back and read those stories again.

  7. Val, JoAnn, and Kay - this was such a good story. Intriguing and fun at the same time. I loved seeing Hercule get so upset at himself because he couldn't figure it out.


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