Ariadne Oliver, Queen of Crime Fiction, has been asked to devise a Murder Hunt for a fete at Nasse House, the home of Sir George Stubbs.
But she begins to suspect that someone is manipulating the scenario of her game and fears that something very sinister is being planned.
She sends for her old friend Hercule Poirot. At first he is not inclined to take her very seriously but soon a series of events propels him to change his mind.
Then suddenly all Ariadne's worst fears are realised when the girl playing the part of the murder victim is found strangled in the boat-house.
For Hercule Poirot, the Murder Hunt has become a grim reality.
John Moffatt stars as Hercule Poirot, with Julia McKenzie as Ariadne Oliver. 2 CDs. 2 hrs.
- Format: CD-Audio
- Publisher: BBC Audio, A Division Of Random House
- Publication Date: 10/09/2007
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9781405677202
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Review by bsquaredinoz
Hercule Poirot receives a frantic phone call from his friend Ariadne Oliver, a writer of murder mysteries. She has created a live murder game for a fête to be held in the grounds of Nasse House which is the home of Lord and Lady Stubbs but she believes there is real danger lurking at the House and she begs Poirot to come immediately. Oliver gives Poirot little to go on but her feelings and, perhaps because of this, he fails to prevent the murder of the young girl who was only supposed to be playing the role of victim in the murder game. He subsequently participates in a stop-start investigation before finally solving the crime.<br/><br/>The person who recommended this to me highlighted the humour of the book and as that is an element of crime fiction I enjoy and hadn’t really associated with Christie before I thought it would be an interesting choice for me. I wasn’t disappointed. The Ariadne Oliver character really does make a nice contrast to the somewhat prissy and proper Poirot with her ability to laugh at herself and it does seem like Christie was having a bit of fun with her genre by using the ‘mystery within a mystery’ twist.<br/><br/>This twist is also a perfect device for Christie’s favourite ploy: misdirection of her readers. Even though I know that her plots are always complex and that the obvious clues are red herrings to be ignored I still didn’t come close to picking up on the key hints that led to the solution. As almost always with Christie’s books, the uncovering of the murderer follows a wonderfully convoluted and unexpected journey. One of the things I liked about this book is that Poirot didn’t seem quite so cocky as he is in earlier stories. He doesn’t inveigle himself into every single interrogation and for some time it seems as if he might not even solve the mystery at all. I found this slightly more humble Poirot more likable than I have in the past.<br/><br/>I notice that some people mention struggling to keep track of all the people who appear in this book and I think this is where listening to the audio book had me at an advantage. David Suchet is a superb narrator and manages to provide all the characters a distinctive voice which is very helpful in such a dialogue-rich story. I must admit I am becoming quite addicted to Suchet’s narrations of Christie’s works.