Review: Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie

Although Dumb Witness is not one of Agatha Christie's best novels, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Dumb Witness centres around the death of Miss Emily Arundell. On her death, her estate is made over to her companion Miss Lawson, a move that is greatly resented by Miss Arundell's money hungry family. Miss Arudell's death is taken by everyone to be one of natural causes. Hercule Poirot, however, receives a letter some weeks after her death from Miss Arundell herself, outlining her fears that one of her family members is trying to kill her.

Fascinated by the circumstances and convinced that a murder has taken place (despite all initial evidence to the contrary), Poirot cannot help but attempt to bring the murderer to justice.

I did enjoy Dumb Wintess because it delivered everything I have to expect from an Agatha Christie novel. Interesting characters. Tight knit plot. A certain Poirot and a doubting Hastings. A murderer I could never have guessed at. In short, a page turner.

Having said that, Dumb Witness was not up to Christie's usual standards. My complaint is twofold. Firstly, some of the story elements were too farfetched and too convenient, even for a Christie novel (I am thinking of that nail, string and varnish being set up in the middle of the night for example). Secondly, the story was just a little lacklustre compared to her normal fare. There was no real drama or compelling force pulling me into the novel. Instead it just plodded along from one event to the next without any great feeling of… 'oomph' so to speak.

6 / 8
Really enjoyable and well written. I would recommend it.

Have you read Dumb Witness, and did you find it lacklustre compared to some of her other books? What other Christie books have you found a little disappointing?


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