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Book of the Month

Book of the Month: Mrs McGinty's Dead

1st May 2017

Mrs McGinty died from a brutal blow to the back of her head. Suspicion falls immediately on her shifty lodger, James Bentley, whose clothes reveal traces of the victim’s blood and hair. Yet something is amiss: Bentley just doesn’t seem like a murderer! Could the answer lie in an article clipped from a newspaper two days before the death? With a desperate killer still free, Hercule Poirot will have to stay alive long enough to find out…

Mrs McGinty’s Dead was first published in a US magazine in 1951 under the title Blood Will Tell, before being published as a novel in 1952 as Mrs McGinty’s Dead. Christie dedicated the book to theatre producer Peter Saunders, ‘in gratitude for his kindness to authors.’ Coincidentally Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap opened in London in the same year, where it continues to run to this day.

Hercule Poirot features in this village mystery; a setting usually reserved for Miss Marple. Alongside Poirot is fictional crime writer Ariadne Oliver. Hercule Poirot’s famous moustache is referenced throughout the book, altering characters’ impressions of him with Robin Upward saying to Ariadne, “with that moustache and everything, how can one take him seriously? Do you really mean he’s good?” By the end of the book reassurance in Poirot’s capabilities is restored. ‘He was no longer a ridiculous little man with an absurd moustache and dyed hair, he was a hunter very close to his quarry.’

Did you know... the story is named after a children's game which is referenced in the first chapter of the novel!

Find out more about the story here.