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Summary

Thirteen guests arrived at dinner at the actor's house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died. But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison, just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was absolutely no motive.
©1934 Agatha Christie Mallowan (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic reviews

"Makes uncommonly good reading." ( New York Times)

What listeners say about Three Act Tragedy

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story and performance, spoilt by editing

As ever, Hugh Fraser’s reading of Christie was excellent, but the effect was spoilt by the poor editing at the end.
I have often been annoyed by the way the ‘Audible hopes you have enjoyed this programme’ is shoved in as soon as the narration ends, allowing no time for reflection on the story, but in this book, it actually cuts across the last word. Surely it’s possible to allow a few seconds gap?

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful

Excellent story
Hugh Fraser makes these books come to life
Definitely up there with the top narrators
Agatha Christie at her best

2 people found this helpful

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All very dramatic, darlings!

When famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright gives a dinner party, one of the guests dies suddenly after drinking a cocktail. Hercule Poirot is there that evening, and of course suspects foul play. But no poison is found in the glass and it appears that no one could have had a reason to murder the dead man. Then a few months later another death occurs in very similar circumstances, at another dinner party where many of the same people are guests. Poirot sets out to investigate, and so does Sir Charles and his young friend Egg.

This isn’t one of Christie’s very best plots, though it has plenty of points of interest and a very original motive for the first murder. However I find it one of her most enjoyable books because I’m very fond of young Egg as a character, and I like the way Christie portrays the May-to-December romance developing between her and the considerably older Sir Charles. Mr Satterthwaite is also involved – a character who turns up occasionally in the Poirot novels and also in the Harley Quinn stories. I prefer him in Poirot where his rather dry lawyerly approach to investigations makes him an excellent sidekick for Poirot, though I still miss Hastings who isn’t in this one. To a large extent Poirot takes a back seat, and allows Sir Charles and Egg to do most of the detecting, but of course it’s Poirot’s little grey cells that work it all out in the end!

Great fun and, as always, enhanced by Hugh Fraser’s wonderful narration. 4½ stars for me, so rounded up.

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Brilliant

A real who dunnit. , excellently performed, once one gets over the annoying high society speech in the beginning . Again Brilliant . Also Hugh Fraser a master narrator.

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Fantastic

Such a good story and I really recommend it to anyone who loves murder mysteries just like I do!

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  • 28-06-20

Good but not my fave

Least fave Poirot so far, not enough Poirot, I felt like I was waiting forever for him to join the story. I guessed the murderer v quickly too. But wonderfully written, and Hugh Fraser is as fabulous as ever.

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Typical Christie, interesting structure.

A fairly typical Agatha Christie novel in which the characters don't seem terribly surprised or distressed by the sudden death of one of their dinner-party companions. The "theatrical" structure is interesting, but the outcome seems pretty obvious by today's standards. Poirot plays a relatively minor part in the story. Quality narration by Hugh Fraser. Would recommend for Christie fans.

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Never tired of listening

Surprisingly there is no much of Poirot in the story but still it is work of A. Christie to wich one I like to come back.

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Three act Tragedy

just before shutting down for supper they all had a cocktail, two had not had them before so tried one of them. Less than 5 minutes later one party members is dead.

2 people found this helpful