Dead Man's Folly

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A murder-themed treasure hunt turns ugly when a real murder takes place. But who is really pulling the strings?

“The murder and the solution of it are ingenious, but then, with Miss Christie, they always are, and it is pleasant to watch M. Hercule Poirot at work again.”

The Times, 1956

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About this story

First released

August, 1956 (serialised, Colliers Weekly, US)

Genre

  • Murder Mystery, 
  • Detective

Formats

  • Novel, 
  • Game, 
  • Radio, 
  • TV, 
  • Graphic Novel

Recurring characters

  • Poirot, 
  • Ariadne Oliver, 
  • Miss Felicity Lemon

Murder methods

Setting

  • House, 
  • West Country

Dead Man’s Folly sees the return of Ariadne Oliver, who summons Poirot to a country house to investigate a lingering suspicion, which she fears might lead to something serious.

The country house in question was inspired by Agatha Christie’s own holiday home, Greenway House in Devon, which looks over the River Dart and contains many of the features mentioned in the novel. Now owned and managed by the National Trust, it was also used in the filming of the TV adaptation in 2013, starring David Suchet and Zoë Wanamaker, one of the final episodes in series 13 of ...

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Dead Man’s Folly sees the return of Ariadne Oliver, who summons Poirot to a country house to investigate a lingering suspicion, which she fears might lead to something serious.

The country house in question was inspired by Agatha Christie’s own holiday home, Greenway House in Devon, which looks over the River Dart and contains many of the features mentioned in the novel. Now owned and managed by the National Trust, it was also used in the filming of the TV adaptation in 2013, starring David Suchet and Zoë Wanamaker, one of the final episodes in series 13 of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

The main plot first saw the light of day in the form of a novella only recently published as Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly. In 1954, Agatha Christie wrote the story with the intention of donating the proceeds to a fund set up to buy stained glass windows for her local church at Churston Ferrers, and she filled the story with references to local places, including her own home of Greenway. But having completed it, she decided instead to expand the story into a full-length novel, Dead Man’s Folly, which was published two years later, and donated a Miss Marple story (Greenshaw’s Folly) to the church fund instead.

Dead Man's Folly was dramatised for BBC Radio 4 in 2007, starring John Moffatt as Poirot and Julie McKenzie (better known for her role as Miss Marple) as Ariadne Oliver. I-play released a downloadable hidden objects game in 2009 based on the story and a graphic novel adaptation was published in late 2012.



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