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Book of the Month

The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories

1st December 2016

Ahead of the release of the latest screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s shocking short story, The Witness for the Prosecution, this month we’re reading the newly published collection, The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories, which features twelve tales of baffling crime and brilliant deduction by the Queen of Crime.

Along with Christie's short story The Witness for the Prosecution, the collection features short stories Accident, The Fourth Man, The Mystery of the Blue Jar, Mr Eastwood’s Adventure, Philomel Cottage, The Red Signal, The Second Gong, Sing a Song of Sixpence, S.O.S, Wireless, and Poirot and the Regatta Mystery.

The collection includes an introduction by Sarah Phelps (screenwriter of The Witness for the Prosecution and 2015’s adaptation of And Then There Were None) which gives you an insight into Sarah’s relationship with Agatha Christie from her initial perception of her works, to her discovery of the tiny details and darker elements that she’s enjoyed in Christie’s stories. Sarah says, “What gives Christie’s best novels and stories their contemporary urgency for me is the way she takes the pulse of her times and finds it thread, anxious and febrile. Englishness itself is being dissected. The old certainties are crumbling. The status quo is not restored, everything is not going to be alright in the end.”

Short story The Witness for the Prosecution is based in 1920s London where a murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the glamorous Emily French. All the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily's dedicated housekeeper Janet Mackenzie stands by in court. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence.

Get the TV tie-in edition of The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories here.