Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mrs. McGinty's Dead (1952)

Unusual in that this is a classic village mystery but it is not a Miss Marple, it's a Hercule Poirot. A classic whodunit with Poirot brought in by Superintendent Spence to re-investigate the murder of Mrs. McGinty before the accused is hanged. There are multiple suspicious village inhabitants, a second murder, and an unforeseen and clever conclusion.
What I liked most about this one was the presence of Ariadne Oliver, who shows up in roughly six Poirot novels. She is a successful writer of detective fiction and Agatha Christie uses her to both satirize herself, and air her own grievances. Mrs. Oliver has created a successful Swedish detective who is a vegetarian. The public loves him, she cannot stand him. This mirrors Christie's own feelings about her most successful creation, Poirot.


  1. One of my very favorite Christie books. I've lost count how many times I've read it. This is another book in which characterization is so key. When they say that characterization was Christie's weakness, I always laugh. This is one of several books that proves Christie was superb at characterization.

  2. I loved this book, and re-reading my post, I realize I didn't really say that. Pretty much a perfect mystery.

  3. I love this book too. Now I'm searching for the English version -- since the one I read is a book that translated into Indonesia. I'm searching for its free pdf but somehow I cannot find it. It seems I have to buy the original one.