After the Funeral

  • Hercule Poirot
  • Novel
  • 1953

The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.

For in the long run, either through a lie, or through truth, people were bound to give themselves away...

Agatha Christie

More about this story

Classic Agatha Christie themes are evident in After the Funeral - a healthy inheritance casts suspicion on the family, but as ever, nothing is quite as it seems. The story was first published in the US, titled Funerals are Fatal, two months before it was published in the UK.

It was first adapted for film in 1963 and starred Margaret Rutherford. It was titled Murder at the Gallop and replaced the character of Poirot with Miss Marple, changes which Agatha Christie was less than keen on. More faithful adaptations were made long after Christie was around to see them. In 2005 the story was adapted for BBC Radio 4 with a full cast; John Moffatt was Poirot. And in 2006, the story became an episode in the long-running series Agatha Christie’s Poirot, with David Suchet in the lead role. This episode also featured the acting talents of Lucy Punch (as Susan) and Michael Fassbender (as George).

Did you know?

  1. The family in the story is one of Christie's most complicated and therefore the book includes a family tree.

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