The Seven Dials Mystery

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Novel

First published: 1929

Murder
methods:

  • Poison
  • Gunshot

Synopsis

The Seven Dials Mystery

The Seven Dials Mystery

Gerry Wade had proved himself to be a champion sleeper; so the other house guests decided to play a practical joke on him. Eight alarm clocks were set to go off, one after the other, starting at 6.30 a.m. But when morning arrived, one clock was missing and the prank had backfired with tragic consequences.

For Jimmy Thesiger in particular, the words ‘Seven Dials’ were to take on a new and chilling significance.

Fiction is founded on the truth. I mean unless things did happen, people couldn't think of them.

Agatha Christie, The Seven Dials Mystery

More about this story

This is only the second novel that Agatha Christie wrote after her divorce from her first husband, Archie, and she commented “I was gaining confidence over my writing now. I felt that I would have no difficulty in producing a book every year, and possibly a few short stories as well.” She found "light-hearted thriller type" novels easy to write as they didn't require too much plotting or planning compared to say her previous book The Mystery of the Blue Train. With The Seven Dials Mystery, Christie looked back to her earliest writing and revived the popular Lady "Bundle" Brent and her associates from The Secret of Chimneys.

There are some very jolly young people in it, and the fact that they become involved in a murder mystery does not dampen their spirits to any great extent.
The New York Times Book Review

Following the success of their version of Why Didn't They Ask Evans in 1980, The Seven Dials Mystery was adapted by London Weekend Television as a 140-minute drama and transmitted on 8th March 1981. The same team of Pat Sandys, Tony Wharmby and Jack Williams worked on the production which again starred John Gielgud and James Warwick. Cheryl Campbell also featured as "Bundle" Brent. The production was extremely faithful to the book with no major deviations to the plot or characters.

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