Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie – Book Thoughts

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie
Published by Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins

I’m so excited about this Cool Down with Agatha Christie event this summer that Harper Collins is sponsoring and I am co-hosting that I am going to be reading a LOT of Agatha Christie this summer. I just don’t have it in me to review each and every one, so I’m just going to give my brief impressions.

The plot, in brief:

When an elderly parson dies suddenly in the middle of a dinner party, nearly everyone assumes he died of natural causes, including Hercule Poirot. When most of the guests are reunited and another man dies in the same way, suddenly the ruling of natural causes in the first death is suspect. But who is killing these dinner guests, and why?

My thoughts:

Let me tell you, I was SO SURE I knew who the murderer was this time. When I read Towards Zero, I suspected everyone and never had any idea of the motive, but in Three Act Tragedy I was entirely set on one suspect for well over half of the book, complete with motive and everything. Of course, I was dead wrong on the murderer, but I felt good about not being too far off on motive, though.

This was my first Hercule Poirot book, and I was quite surprised at how little the famous detective figured in the story. He was a character from the very beginning, but had very little to do with the story until the book was well over half way through. He did solve the mystery, but other characters did most of the investigation. Three Act Tragedy did take place after his official retirement, so I’m interested to read some of the earlier books and see if that continues to be the case, or if he is more prominent in some of his other stories.


We will be discussing Three Act Tragedy on Thursday, June 23rd at as part of Cool Down with Agatha Christie. If you’ve already read it, come and join us! And if you haven’t, grab it today and come join us, Christie’s books are fast reads.

If you don’t have time to get to Three Act Tragedy, we’ll be discussing Christie’s Endless Night on my blog on Monday, June 27th, at which time I’ll also be giving away five copies of And Then There Were None for our July discussion.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
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14 comments to Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie – Book Thoughts

  • I have GOT to read this book. I love Poirot, but this is one of the few Poirot novels I haven’t read yet. I did, however, watch the new film adaptation that just aired on Masterpiece Mystery this past weekend – I blogged about it yesterday, I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether or not it sounds like the film is a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel. Thanks for the review!

  • Kay

    I read this one many years ago and probably won’t reread it, although I did watch the film adaptation. It was OK, probably not my favorite of the current adaptations though.

    Poirot does play a much larger part in many of the books. My personal favorites (and these will not be everyone’s) are CARDS ON THE TABLE, DEATH IN THE AIR, DEATH ON THE NILE, and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Lovely all of them. :-)

  • I know I have a Christie book from HarperCollins in my BEA box – I need to go back in and pull it out for this event!

  • I’m participating in the short story portion of the Agatha Christie event. I’ve never read her before. I’ve enjoyed the two Miss Marple stories I’ve read so far and will definitely be adding more of her books to my TBR. I love that you were wrong about the murderer. Mysteries that keep me guessing or prove me wrong are some of my favorites.

  • Once upon a time I read a lot of Agatha Christie. I love her work because all her characters get their moment in the sun. Everyone is heard from in addition to Hercule Poirot.

  • Hopefully I’ll get in on one of these before the summer’s over.

  • Having only read those mysteries in which Poirot is actively on his game and a key part in the investigation and resolution of the crime, I was surprised to read that he takes a back seat in this one. I did watch the film adaptation on Sunday but came into it 30 minutes late and therefore missed that he was retired. I can see that making all the difference.

  • This was a Poirot book, but Satterwhite figure more prominently. He was first introduced in The Mysterious Mr. Quinn. I love her books and never get tired of reading them. I’m reading them in order right now and this one is next on the list.

  • I really liked Poirot in this one, I just finished Endless Night and it was kind of a letdown but reading this one totally made me fangirl over Agatha once again!

  • I can’t find my book, Endless Night. I’ve looked, looked and looked. I did feel frustrated without a dead body….Well, I’m sorry. I’ll follow up, maybe, with the next book, “And Then There Was Nothing.”