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The Unexpected Guest

The Unexpected Guest

不速之客

Author
Christie, Agatha;  
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Catalog
Fiction > Classics
Fiction > Mystery & Detective > Traditional British
Publisher
St Martins Press
ISBN-13
9780312975128
ISBN-10
0312975120
Publish
2000-09
Pages
287
Unit
Size
16.51 * 1.91 * 10.16
Format
Paperback
Version

Product Description

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time with her works outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. She is regarded by generations of fans as the greatest mystery writer ever, and her novels are read and cherished the world over.

Clarissa, the young wife of a Foreign Office Diplomat, delights in tweaking the sensibilities of her more serious friends and for playing a game she calls "supposing" - imagining a difficult situation and figuring out how people would respond. But Clarissa's lighthearted game becomes deadly serious when she discovers the dead body of an unknown person in her own drawing room. If that wasn't bad enough, her husband is on the way home with an important foreign politician and the attendant scandal of the dead body would irrevocably damage his career at the very least. Therefore, Clarissa decides to dispose of the body and persuades her three houseguests to help.

But before she can get the body off the premises, a policeman arrives at her front door. The police received an anonymous tip about a murder in the house and have shown up to investigate. Now Clarissa must keep the body hidden, convince the skeptical police inspector that there has been no murder, and, in the meantime, find out who has been murdered, why, and what the body is doing in her house.

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature—Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple—and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre. Christie was born in Torquay, Devon in 1890. She died in 1976 in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Charles Osborne is a world authority on theater and opera and has written a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie as well as the novelizations of Christie's plays, the best-selling Black Coffee and The Unexpected Guest. He lives in London.

Review

'A lively and light-hearted read which will give pleasure to all those who have long wished that there was just one more Christie to devour' Antonia Fraser, Sunday Telegraph (for Black Coffee) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

This adaptation from the stage play by Christie biographer Charles Osborne gives Agatha Christie fans a new arena in which to hear her masterful mysteries. A traveler's car breaks down in the Scottish countryside, and, while seeking assistance, he stumbles upon a murder in a nearby home. And as is typical with Agatha Christie yarns, all is not as it seems. Lively and well-suited to the humorous undertones in Christie's work is Alexandra Thomas. Her narrative pace adeptly twists with each turn of plot. This audiobook is so faithful to Christie's writing style that fans may not even notice it's an adaptation. R.A.P. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

As he did with Black Coffee (1998), Osborne has taken one of Christie's original play scripts and turned it into a (slight) novel. For those who can't see the play in production or who find a script dull or difficult reading, Osborne's adaptation may fill a need. But Osborne has added little flesh to the bones of the drama, which, with its single-room setting, absolutely retains the feel of a play merely masquerading as a novel rather than transformed into one. That's not all bad, as this novelization preserves the lightning-quick pace of the original. Christie's play had its premiere in 1958, yet remains undated by the passing years. When a stranger having car trouble at night on a lonely road enters a house through the French windows of its study, he finds an invalid who has been shot dead and a woman (his wife) standing nearby and holding a gun. Apparently on impulse, the stranger decides to help the woman hide her crime. Those two plus a small castAthe victim's mother; the victim's teenage half-brother; his housekeeper/secretary; and his male nurseAparade kaleidoscopically in and out of the study with two investigating police officers. Christie cleverly shifts suspicion and parcels out new facts and perspectives in marvelous fashion, proving ingeniously that the obvious isn't always obvious. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Like a martini--crisp, dry, sophisticated, habit-forming, ever-so-slightly dated--Christite's smoothly polished mysteries go down easy. This one was written as a stage play, first performed in 1958, and is here adapted into novel form by Osborne, who last year published a novelization of Christie's Black Coffee . Like Christie's endlessly running Mousetrap, the plot here is full of twists around a single room, with people who are not what they seem. Michael Starkwedder's car runs into a ditch in Wales in the fog, and when he opens the French doors of the nearest house he finds an attractive woman with a gun in her hand, and the very dead corpse of her husband in a wheelchair in the same room. Mentally deficient relatives, loyal and twisted servants, patient inspectors, family secrets, and dramatic dialogue will satisfy all devotees of Christie's neat plotting, even without either Poirot or Marple. Ready for the beach or the fireside. GraceAnne A. DeCandido --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Christie biographer Osborne's second novelization of a Christie play (Black Coffee, 1998) opens with a wonderfully arresting scene: engineer Michael Starkwedder, having run his car into a ditch while poking around the Welsh countryside looking at houses, enters Richard Warwick's house looking for help, only to find the man himself, a big-game hunter now confined to a wheelchair, shot to death. When Richard's wife Laura confesses to the killing, Starkwedder, struck by sympathy for her sufferings at the hands of this brute, encourages her to fake evidence against a fictitious intruder for Inspector Thomas and his quotation-spouting sergeant to find. Veteran readers of the author's work will watch in fascination, secure in the knowledge that Starkwedder and Laura aren't the only ones in the household playing fast and loose, and untroubled by the certainty that the other intimatesRichard's mother, his retarded half-brother, his housekeeper and valet, a neighbor standing for Parliamenthave no more moving parts than necessary to keep the twists coming. It's not clear what Christie, who got into playwriting in mid-career because she thought other writers' stage adaptations of her novels too slavish and unsimplified, would have thought of Osborne's close, stingy reworking of her 1958 play. Here, though, Osborne, working with much less creaky material than Black Coffee, manages a few surprises worthy of his master. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.