AGATHA CHRISTIE BOOKS PDF
PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have Berkley books by Agatha Christie THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE. MURDER IN rkley . Agatha Christie also wrote six romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary This book was previously published under the title “Murder in the Calais Coach.'. Download complete works of Agatha Christie in pdf books format free.
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Find Novels by Agatha Christie - the best selling novelist in history, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Agatha Christie is credited with developing the "cozy style" of mystery, which became popular in, and ultimately defined, the Golden Age of. You can download all versions of the books by Agatha Christi from sppn.info How can I download Agatha Christie's books as PDF books? 3, Views.
Filter by character: Sort by: First published. First published Most popular A - Z. The Mysterious Affair at Styles. First published: The Secret Adversary. The Murder on the Links. The Man in the Brown Suit. The Secret of Chimneys. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The Big Four. The Mystery of the Blue Train. The Seven Dials Mystery. Download the Hercule Poirot reading list. Poirot continued to wander about, poking into rooms and cupboards with a profoundly dissatisfied expression on his face.
Suddenly he uttered an excited yelp, reminiscent of a Pomeranian dog. I rushed to join him. He was standing in the larder in a dramatic attitude. In his hand he was brandishing a leg of mutton! Have you suddenly gone mad? But regard it closely! It seemed to me a very ordinary leg of mutton. I said as much. Poirot threw me a withering glance. Poirot had just accused me of being imaginative, but I now felt that he was far more wildly so than I had ever been.
Did he seriously think these slivers of ice were crystals of a deadly poison? That was the only construction I could put upon his extraordinary agitation.
New Zealand. He knows everything--but everything! How do they say--Inquire Within Upon Everything.
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That is my friend Hastings. Then he looked through the window.
It is well. I have seen all I want to see here. Monday, is it? A bad day of the week. To commit a murder on a Monday is a mistake. An orthodox English summer's day. The other gave a slow smile. I'm a connoisseur of some things, but not of this. So I just stand back and keep out of the way.
I've learnt patience in the East. He insisted on taking us over most of the ground again, but finally we got away. Inspector," said Poirot, as we were walking down the village street again. I have not the least interest in the body. I want to see Robert Grant. But I must see him and be able to speak to him alone. But it's very irregular. Who is. He drove up to Granite Bungalow in a trap, which he left outside. He went in, committed the murder, came 36 Agatha Christie out, and drove away again.
He was bare-headed, and his clothing was slightly bloodstained. Any amount of wheeled vehicles have passed along outside. There's no mark of one in particular to be seen. I was utterly bewildered, but I had faith in Poirot. Further discussion ended in our all driving back to Moreton with the Inspector. Poirot and I were taken to Grant, but a constable was to be present during the interview.
Poirot went straight to the point. Relate to me in your own words exactly what happened.
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He looked a jailbird if ever a man did. It was a frame-up, that's what it was. I went straight to my rooms when I came in, like I said. I never knew a thing till Betsy screeched out. S'welp me, God, I didn't. I tell you solemnly--on my word of honour--that to be frank now is your only chance. I came in, and went straight to the master--and there he was, dead on the floor and blood all round. Then I got the wind up proper. They'd ferret out my record, and for a certainty they'd say it was me as had done him in.
My only thought was to get away--at once--before he was found--" "And the jade figures? You had heard your master say that they were valuable, and you felt you might as well go the whole hog. That, I understand. Now, answer me this. Was it the second time that you went into the room that you took the figures?
Once was enough for me. Now, when did you come out of prison? Bloke met me when I came out. Soft black hat and mincing way of talking. Got a broken 38 Agatha Christie front tooth. Spectacled chap. Saunders his name was. Said he hoped I was repentant, and that he'd find me a good post. I went to old Whalley on his recommendation. I know all now. Have patience. But how did you know? After a word or two to the Inspector, the three of us went to the White Hart and discussed eggs and bacon and Devonshire cider.
Whalley was killed by order of the Big Four--but not by Grant. A very clever man got Grant the post and deliberately planned to make him the scapegoat--an easy matter with Grant's prison record. He gave him a pair of boots, one of two duplicate pairs.
The other he kept himself. It was all so simple. When Grant is out of the house, and Betsy is chatting in the village which she probably did everyday of her life , he drives up wearing the duplicate boots, enters the kitchen, goes through into the living-room, fells the old man with a blow, and then cuts his throat.
Then he returns to the kitchen, removes the boots, puts on another pair, and, carrying the first pair, goes out to his trap and drives off again. Why did nobody see him? Everybody saw him—and yet nobody saw him. You see, he drove up in a butcher's cart! Everybody swore that no one had been to Granite Bungalow that morning, but, nevertheless, I found in the larder a leg of mutton, still frozen. It was Monday, so the meat must have been delivered that morning; for if on Saturday, in this hot weather, it would not have remained frozen over Sunday.
So some one had been to the Bungalow, and a man on whom a trace of blood here and there would attract no attention. Number Four. My friend threw me a glance of dignified reproach. That is enough for one day. The case which he had built up against Grant--the man's record, the jade which he had stolen, the boots which fitted the footprints so exactly--was to his matter-of-fact mind too complete to be easily upset; but Poirot, compelled much against his inclination to give evidence, convinced the jury.
Two witnesses were produced who had seen a butcher's cart drive up to the bungalow on that Monday morning, and the local butcher testified that his cart only called there on Wednesdays and Fridays. A woman was actually found who, when questioned, remembered seeing the butcher's man leaving the bungalow, but she could furnish no useful description of him.
The only impression he seemed to have left on her 41 42 Agatha Christie mind was that he was clean-shaven, of medium height, and looked exactly like a butcher's man. At this description Poirot shrugged his shoulders philosophically.
He disguises himself not with the false beard and the blue spectacles. He alters his features, yes; but that is the least part. For the time being he is the man he would be. He lives in his part. I should never for a moment have dreamt of doubting that he was genuine. It was all a little discouraging, and our experience on Dartmoor did not seem to have helped us at all. I said as much to Poirot, but he would not admit that we had gained nothing.
At every contact with this man we learn a little of his mind and his methods. Of us and our plans he knows nothing. You don't seem to me to have any plans, you seem to sit and wait for him to do something. Always the same Hastings, who would be up and at their throats. Perhaps," he added, as a knock sounded on the door, "you have here your chance; it may be our friend who enters. Poirot threw an extra log on the fire, and brought forward more easy-chairs.
I brought out glasses and the whisky and soda. The captain took a deep draught, and expressed appreciation. He was interested in some concern that went by the name of the Big Four, and he asked me to let him know at any time if I came across a mention of it in my official line of business.
I didn't take much stock in the matter, but I remembered what he said, and when the captain here came over with rather a curious story, I said at once, 'We'll go round to Moosior Polrot's. Poirot, that a number of torpedo boats and destroyers were sunk by being dashed upon the rocks off the American coast. It was just after the Japanese earthquake, and the explanation given was that the disaster was the result of a tidal wave.
Now, a short time ago, a round-up was made of certain crooks and gunmen, and with them were captured some papers which put an entirely new face upon the matter. They appeared to refer to some organisation called the 'Big Four,' and gave an incomplete description of some powerful wireless installation --a concentration of wireless energy far beyond anything so far attempted, and capable of focusing a beam of great intensity upon some given spot. The claims 44 Agatha Christie made for this invention seemed manifestly absurd, but I turned them in to headquarters for what they were worth, and one of our highbrow professors got busy on them.
Now it appears that one of your British scientists read a paper upon the subject before the British Association. His colleagues didn't think great shakes of it, by all accounts, thought it far-fetched and fanciful, but your scientist stuck to his guns, and declared that he himself was on the eve of success in his experiments. Quite a young fellow, he is, Halliday by name. He is the leading authority on the subject, and I was to get from him whether the thing suggested was anyway possible.
I haven't seen Mr. Halliday--and I'm not likely to, by all accounts. His wife came to us in a great state. We did what we could, but I knew all along it would be no good. Went over there on scientific work--so he said. Of course, he'd have to say something like that.
But you know what it means when a man disappears over there. Gay Paree and all that, you know. Sick of home life. Halliday and his wife had had a tiff before he started, which all helps to make it a pretty clear case. The American was looking at him curiously. He is known as Number One. Number Two is an American. Number Three is a Frenchwoman. Number Four, the 'Destroyer,' is an Englishman.
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Maybe there's something in this. What's her name? I know nothing about her. Poirot nodded, as he arranged the glasses in a neat row on the tray. His love of order was as great as ever. Are the Big Four a German stunt? Ie Capitaine. Their aim is world domination.
Who are these men who send a portion of your navy to destruction simply as a trial of their power? For that was all it was. Monsieur, a test of this 46 Agatha Christie new force of magnetical attraction which they hold. Well, you've heard Captain Kent's story.
Anything further I can do for you? You can give me the address of Mrs. Halliday--and also a few words of introduction to her if you will be so kind. Halliday received us at once, a tall, fair woman, nervous and eager in manner.
With her was her little girl, a beautiful child of five. Poirot explained the purpose of our visit. Monsieur Poirot, I am so glad, so thankful. I have heard of you, of course. You will not be like these Scotland Yard people, who will not listen or try to understand.
And the French Police are just as bad-worse, I think. They are all convinced that my husband has gone off with some other woman. But he wasn't like that! All he thought of in life was his work. Half our quarrels came from that. He cared for it more than he did for me. All those things they take au grand serieux. Now, madame, recount to me exactly, in detail, and as methodically as you can, the exact circumstances of your husband's disappearance.
He was to meet and visit various people there connected with his work, amongst them Madame Olivier. She had been decorated by the French Government, and was one of the most prominent personalities of the day. On the following morning, he had an appointment with Professor Bourgoneau, which he kept. His manner was normal and pleasant. The two men had a most interesting conversation, and it was arranged that he should witness some experiments in the professor's laboratory on the following day.
He lunched alone at the Cafe Royal, went for a walk in the Bois, and then visited Madame Olivier at her house at Passy. There, also, his manner was perfectly normal. He left about six. Where he dined is not known, probably alone at some restaurant.
He returned to the hotel about eleven o'clock and went straight up to his room, after inquiring if any letters had come for him. On the following morning, he walked out of the hotel, and has not been seen again.
At the hour when he would normally leave it to keep his appointment at Professor Bourgoneau's laboratory?
He was not remarked leaving the hotel. But no petit dejeuner was served to him, which seems to indicate that he went out early. His bed had been slept in, and the night porter would have remembered any one going out at that hour. We may take it, then, that he left early on the following morning--and that is reassuring from one point of view. He is not likely to have fallen a victim to any Apache assault at 48 Agatha Christie that hour. His baggage, now, was it all left behind?
Halliday seemed rather reluctant to answer, but at last she said:-"No--he must have taken one small suit-case with him. If we knew that, we should know a great deal. Whom did he meet? Madame, myself I do not of necessity accept the view of the police; with them is it always 'Cherchez la femme.
You say he asked for letters on returning to the hotel. Did he receive any?
Nevertheless, it is there that we must seek. Our inquiries necessarily went over old ground, and we learnt little to add to what Mrs. Halliday had already told us. Poirot had a lengthy interview with Professor Bourgoneau, during which he sought to elicit whether Halliday had mentioned any plan of his own for the evening, but we drew a complete blank.
Our next source of information was the famous Madame Olivier. I was quite excited as we mounted the steps of her villa at Passy. It has always seemed to me extraordinary that a woman should go so far in the scientific world.
I should have thought a purely masculine brain was needed for such work. The door was opened by a young lad of seventeen or thereabouts, who reminded me vaguely of an acolyte, so ritualistic was his manner. Poirot had taken the trouble to arrange our interview beforehand, as he knew Madame Olivier never received any one without an appointment, being immersed in research work most of the day.
We were shown into a small salon, and presently the mistress of the house came to us there. Madame Olivier was a very tall woman, her tallness accentuated by the long white overall she wore, and a coif like a nun's that shrouded her head.
She had a long pale face, and wonderful dark eyes that burnt with a light almost fanatical. She looked more like a priestess of old than a modern Frenchwoman. One cheek was disfigured by a scar, and I remembered that her husband and co-worker had been killed in an explosion in the laboratory three years before, and that she herself had been terribly burned.
She received us with cold politeness. I think it hardly likely that I can help you, since I have not been able to help them. To begin with, of what did you talk together, you and M.
His work--and also mine. It was chiefly of those we spoke. I do not agree. My own line of research has been somewhat similar, though not undertaken with the same end in view.
I have been investigating the gamma rays emitted by the substance usually known as Radium C. Indeed, I have a theory as to the actual nature of the force we call magnetism, but it is not yet time for my discoveries to be given to the world.
Halliday's experiments and views were exceedingly interesting to me. Then he asked a question which surprised me. In here? In the laboratory. It opened on a small passage. We passed through two doors and found ourselves in the big laboratory, with its array of beakers and crucibles and a hundred appliances of which I did not even know the names.
There were two occupants, both busy with some experiment.
Madame Olivier introduced them. Poirot looked round him. There were two other doors besides the one by which we had entered. One, madame explained, led into the garden, the other into a smaller chamber also devoted to research. Poirot took all this in, then declared himself ready to return to the salon.
Halliday during your interview? My two assistants were in the smaller room next door. I am almost sure it could not. The doors were all shut. One thing more: did M. Halliday make any mention of his plans for the evening? Pray do not trouble--we can find our way out. A lady was just entering the front door as we did so.
She ran quickly up the stairs, and I was left with an impression of the heavy mourning that denotes a French widow. Yes, she--" "Mais non, not Madame Olivier. Cela va sans dire!
There are not many geniuses of her stamp in the world. No, I referred to the other lady--the lady on the stairs. She never looked at us. Mille tonnerres! A tree had crashed down on to the side walk, just missing us. Poirot stared at it, pale and upset.
But clumsy, all the same-for I had no suspicion--at least hardly any suspicion. Yes, but for my quick eyes, the eyes of a cat, Hercule Poirot might now be crushed out of existence--a terrible calamity for the world. And you, too, mon ami-- though that would not be such a national catastrophe. Yes, here and now, we are going to exercise our little gray cells.
This M. Halliday now, was he really in Paris? Yes, for Professor Bourgoneau, who knows him, saw and spoke to him. He was last seen at eleven Friday night--but was he seen then? A man comes in, sufficiently like Halliday--we may trust Number Four for that--asks for letters, goes upstairs, packs a small suit-case, and slips out the next morning.
Nobody saw Halliday all that evening--no, because he was already in the hands of his enemies. Was it Halliday whom Madame Olivier received? Yes, for though she did not know him by sight, an impostor could hardly deceive her on her own special subject. He came here, he had his interview, he left. What happened next? You love footprints, do you not? See--here they go, a man's, Mr. He turns to the right as we did, he walks briskly--ah!
See, she catches him up--a slim young woman, in a widow's veil. Now where would the young woman take him? She does not wish to be seen walking with him.
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Is it coincidence that she catches up with him just where a narrow alleyway opens, dividing two gardens. She leads him down it. The ambush is there. Men pour out, overpower him, and carry him into the strange villa. So, and only so, could it have happened. Come, let us go back to the house. Madame's secretary? Would you be so kind as to ask her to speak to us for a moment.
He soon reappeared. Madame Veroneau must have gone out again. Hercule Poirot, and say that it is important I should see her at once, as I am just going to the Prefecture. This time the lady descended.
She walked into the salon. We followed her.
She turned and raised her veil. To my astonishment I recognised our old antagonist, the Countess Rossakoff, a Russian countess, who had engineered a particularly smart jewel robbery in London. What do you want of me, M. You are a terrible man. You hunted me from London. Now, I suppose, you will tell our wonderful Madame Olivier about me, and hunt me from Paris? We poor Russians, we must live, you know.
Halliday, if he is still alive. I know everything, you see. She bit her lip. Then she spoke with her usual decision. Come, monsieur, I will make a bargain with.
Freedom for me--and M. Halliday, alive and well, for you. By the way, are the Big Four your employers, madame? Instead, "You permit me to telephone? You may give it to the police--the nest will be empty when they arrive. I am through. Is that you, Andre? It is I, Inez. The little Belgian knows all.
Send Halliday to the hotel, and clear out. I expected that. I could see by Poirot's face that he was perplexed. The thing was almost too easy. We arrived at the hotel. The porter came up to us.
He is in your rooms. He seems very ill. A nurse came with him, but she has left. Sitting in a chair by the window was a haggard young fellow who looked in the last stages of exhaustion. Poirot went over to him. John Halliday has a mole just below the left elbow. The mole was there. Poirot bowed to the countess. She turned and left the room. A glass of brandy revived Halliday somewhat.
Those fiends are devils incarnate. My wife, where is she? What does she think? They told me that she would believe--would believe--" "She does not," said Poirot firmly. She is waiting for you--she and the child.
I can hardly believe that I am free once more. They have unlimited power. If I remain silent, I shall be safe--if I say one word--not only I, but my nearest and dearest will suffer unspeakable things. It is no good arguing with me. I remember--nothing. Poirot's face wore a baffled expression. What is that you are holding in your hand, Hastings? He read it.
Just a coincidence, perhaps, that they also stand for Four. Undoubtedly his experience in the villa had broken his nerve, and in the morning we failed completely to extract any information from him. He would only repeat his statement about the unlimited power at the disposal of the Big Four, and his assurance of the vengeance which would follow if he talked.
After lunch he departed to rejoin his wife in England, but Poirot and I remained behind in Paris. I was all for energetic proceedings of some kind or other, and Poirot's quiescence annoyed me. Up where, and at whom? Be precise, I beg of you. But how would you set about it?
Poirot smiled. We have nothing to go upon--nothing whatever. We must wait. See now, in England you all comprehend and adore Ie boxe. If one man does not make a move, the other must, and by permitting the adversary to make the attack one learns something about him.
That is our part--to let the other side make the attack. To begin with, see, they try to get me out of England. That fails. Then, in the Dartmoor affair, we step in and save their victim from the gallows. And yesterday, once again, we interfere with their plans. Assuredly, they will not leave the matter there. Without waiting for a reply, a man stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. He was a tall, thin man, with a slightly hooked nose and a sallow complexion. He wore an overcoat buttoned up to his chin, and a soft hat well pulled down over his eyes.
I was about to spring up, but Poirot restrained me with a gesture. Will you kindly state your business? Poirot, it is very simple. You have been annoying my friends. Monsieur Poirot. You do not seriously ask me that? You know as well as I do. Then he picked them up and returned them to his case, which he replaced in his pocket.
And what do your friends suggest? Hercule Poirot. But regrets, however poignant, do not bring a man to life again. They were for ten thousand francs each. To you, monsieur, I will say this. What is to prevent me ringing up the police and giving you into their custody, whilst my friend here prevents you from escaping?
Ring up the police and have done with it. I was ready for him. In another minute we were locked together, staggering round the room. Suddenly I felt him slip and falter. I pressed my advantage. He went down before me. And then, in the very flush of victory, an extraordinary thing happened. I felt myself flying forwards. Head first, I crashed into the wall in a complicated heap. I was up in a minute, but the door was already closing behind my late adversary.
I rushed to it and shook it, it was locked on the outside. I seized the telephone from Poirot. Stop a man who is coming out. A tall man, with a buttoned-up overcoat and a soft hat. He is wanted by the police. The key was turned and the door flung open. The manager himself stood in the doorway. No one has descended. It is incredible that he can have escaped.
Do not distress yourself, mon ami. All went according to plan-his plan. That is what I wanted. It was a slim pocket-book of brown leather, and had evidently fallen from our visitor's pocket during his struggle with me.
It contained two receipted bills in the name of M. Felix Laon, and a folded-up piece of paper which made my heart beat faster. It was a half sheet of note-paper on which a few words were scrawled in pencil but they were words of supreme importance. And to-day was Friday, and the clock on the mantelpiece showed the hour to be We must start at once--though. What stupendous luck. Come on, Poirot, don't stay daydreaming there. No, no--they are subtle--but not so subtle as Hercule Poirot.
Did our visitor really hope to succeed in bribing me? Or, alternatively, in frightening me into abandoning my task? It seemed hardly credible. Why, then, did he come?
And now I see the whole plan --very neat--very pretty--the ostensible reason to bribe or frighten me--the necessary struggle which he took no pains to avoid, and which should make the dropped pocket-book natural and reasonable--and finally--the pitfall! Rue des Eschelles, 11 a. Poirot was frowning to himself.
If they wanted to decoy me away, surely night time would be better? Why this early hour? Is it possible that something is about to happen this morning? Something which they are anxious Hercule Poirot should not know about? Here I sit, mon ami. We do not stir out this morning. We await events here.
Poirot tore it open, then handed it to me. It was from Madame Olivier, the world-famous scientist, whom we had visited yesterday in connection with the Halliday case. It asked us to come out to Passy at once.
We obeyed the summons without an instant's delay. Madame Olivier received us in the same small salon. I was struck anew with the wonderful power of this woman, with her long nun's face and burning eyes--this brilliant successor of Becquerel and the Curies.
She came to the point at once. I now learn that you returned to the house a second time, and asked to see my secretary, Inez Veroneau. She left the house with you, and has not returned here since. Last night the laboratory was broken into, and several valuable papers and memoranda were stolen.
The thieves had a try for something more precious still, but luckily they failed to open the big safe. Your late secretary, Madame Veroneau, was really the Countess Rossakoff, an expert thief, and it was she who was responsible for the disappearance of M.
How long had she been with you? What you say amazes me. These papers, were they easy to find? Or do you think an inside knowledge was shown? You think Inez--" "Yes, I have no doubt that it was upon her information that they acted. But what is this precious thing that the thieves failed to find? I am now at the crux of my experiments. I possess a small portion of radium myself-more has been lent to me for the process I am at work upon.
Small though the actual quantity is, it comprises a large amount of the world's stock and represents a value of millions of francs.
That is probably why the thieves were unable to open it. Then my experiments will be concluded. Good- then our friends will come back. Not a word of me to any one, madame. But rest assured, I will save your radium for you. You have a key of the door leading from the laboratory to the garden?
Here it is. I have a duplicate for myself.What happened next? Christie's inspiration for the character stemmed from real Belgian refugees who were living in Torquay and the Belgian soldiers whom she helped to treat as a volunteer nurse in Torquay during the First World War.
I was utterly bewildered, but I had faith in Poirot. There's no mark of one in particular to be seen. They are all convinced that my husband has gone off with some other woman. I start for Hoppaton a I'heure memo. There were two occupants, both busy with some experiment.
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