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Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie book PDF free download

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie book PDF free download

Overview

Three Act Tragedy is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1934 under the title Murder in Three Actsand in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in January 1935 under Christie's original title The US edition retailed at $2.00and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence.

The book features Hercule Poirot, supported by his friend Mr Satterthwaite, and is the one book in which Satterthwaite collaborates with Poirot. Satterthwaite previously appeared in the stories featuring Harley Quin, in particular those collected in The Mysterious Mr Quin (1930). The novel was adapted for television twice, first in 1986 as Murder in Three Acts, and again in 2010 as Three Act Tragedy.

Plot summary of Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie

Sir Charles Cartwright hosts a dinner party at his home in Cornwall. His guests include: Hercule Poirot; Dr Bartholomew Strange; Lady Mary Lytton Gore, and her daughter Hermione; Captain Dacres and his wife Cynthia; Muriel Wills; Oliver Manders; Mr Satterthwaite; and Reverend Babbington and his wife. When Babbington suddenly dies after sipping one of the cocktails being served, Cartwright believes it was murder. An investigation finds no poison in his glass. After his funeral, Poirot travels to Monte Carlo, where he is met with news from Satterthwaite and Cartwright that Dr Strange is dead. While holding a dinner party at his home in Yorkshire, Strange suddenly died after drinking a glass of port wine. The coroner rules he was poisoned with nicotine, despite there being no trace of it in his glass. With the exception of the three men, Strange's guests are the same ones who attended Cartwright's party. Due to the similarities, Babbington's body is exhumed, whereupon police find he died from the same cause.

Both Satterthwaite and Cartwright return to England to investigate the murders. They learn that prior to the party, Strange had sent his usual butler away for two months. A temporary replacement he hired named Ellis has since disappeared. Satterthwaite and Cartwright later find evidence that shows that Ellis hoped to blackmail someone, while a serving maid recalls that Ellis acted strangely for a butler. When Wills is interviewed, she recalls noticing something odd at the party, and that Ellis has a birthmark on one hand. Sometime later, Wills disappears. When Poirot returns to London to offer counsel on the case, he receives a telegram from Mrs De Rushbridger, a female patient at Strange's sanatorium in Yorkshire, who arrived on the day Strange died. Poirot and Satterthwaite go to meet her, only to find that she had been murdered with nicotine before their arrival. The poison had been concealed in some chocolates she had received anonymously. Learning that Cartwright's servant, Miss Milray, is hastily heading to Cornwall, Poirot follows her to find out why.

Upon his return, Poirot assembles everyone, and denounces Sir Charles Cartwright as the killer. Cartwright wants to marry Hermione, but already has a wife who resides in an insane asylum. As he cannot divorce her under British law, he decided to conceal this knowledge by murdering Dr Strange, the only witness to this marriage. After his party, Cartwright convinced Strange to let him assume the role of his butler, and then secretly poisoned him during his party. He left false evidence to suggest the motive was blackmail, and travelled to Monte Carlo the day after to establish his alibi. The first murder was a dress rehearsal for the second: Cartwright wished to test if he could switch the glass containing the poison. The murder of Mrs De Rushbridger was purely to create a false lead.

Poirot reveals that the nicotine poison came from distilling equipment Cartwright hid near his Cornwall residence; it was found by him, when Miss Milray went to destroy it. His suspicions about Cartwright were based on a few facts. Strange didn't drink the poisoned cocktail because he disliked cocktails, while Cartwright ensured Hermione didn't drink it; he didn't care who else amongst his guests drank it. Mrs De Rushbridger's telegram to Poirot was sent by Cartwright himself. Milray knows he is the murderer; her actions showed she sought to protect him. Wills also suspected him when she spoke up about Ellis; Poirot hid her away before Cartwright could murder her. Cartwright flees, but Poirot doesn't expect him to get far. Hermione is paired up with Manders. In the aftermath of the investigation, Satterthwaite remarks how he could have drunk the poisoned cocktail, to which Poirot remarks there was an even more terrible possibility: "It might have been me".

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