Ariadne Oliver organizes a murder hunt as the main event for a village fete. The set, on the grounds of Sir George & Lady Stubbs' estate, is perfectly arranged. But is it too realistic Ariadne senses something sinister, & calls on her old friend Hercule Poirot for help
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William Morrow Paperbacks
April 30, 2000
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Excerpt from Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie
It was Miss Lemon, Poirot's efficient secretary, who took the telephone call.
Laying aside her shorthand notebook, she raised the receiver and said without emphasis, 'Trafalgar 8137.'
Hercule Poirot leaned back in his upright chair and closed his eyes. His fingers beat a meditative soft tattoo on the edge of the table. In his head he continued to compose the polished periods of the letter he had been dictating.
Placing her hand over the receiver, Miss Lemon asked in a low voice:
'Will you accept a personal call from Nassecombe, Devon?'
Poirot frowned. The place meant nothing to him.
'The name of the caller?' he demanded cautiously.
Miss Lemon spoke into the mouthpiece.
'Air-raid?' she asked doubtingly. 'Oh, yes- what was the last name again?'
Once more she turned to Hercule Poirot.
'Mrs Ariadne Oliver.'
Hercule Poirot's eyebrows shot up. A memory rose in his mind: windswept grey hair... an eagle profile...
He rose and replaced Miss Lemon at the telephone.
'Hercule Poirot speaks,' he announced grandiloquently.
'Is that Mr Hercules Porrot speaking personally?' the suspicious voice of the telephone operator demanded.
Poirot assured her that that was the case.
'You're through to Mr Porrot,' said the voice.
Its thin reedy accents were replaced by a magnificent booming contralto which caused Poirot hastily to shift the receiver a couple of inches farther from his ear.
'M. Poirot, is that really you?' demanded Mrs Oliver.
'Myself in person, Madame.'