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Because I really haven't seen this nearly enough and am sure to have forgotten the identify of the murderer by the time it comes around.... A few of us are going to see The Mousetrap which is on at the Empire. It's playing May 30 to June 1, and we are going to the matinee at 2.30pm on June 01. Buy your own ticket at the theatre or at https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-mousetrap/liverpool-empire. Quite a few good seats still available but if you are interested I'd suggest you get in quick as they are selling fast. I'd be nice to have drinks and dinner afterwards. Please let me know if you are interested in doing this and I will book somewhere closer to the time
Published in 1939, this story made Agatha Christie the best-selling novelist of all time - no other crime novel has outsold it to date! Ten strangers with little in common, are invited (lured) to a mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious Mr. U.N.Owen. Over dinner on the first night, a recording begins to play and the voice of the unseen host booms out accusations of murder, murder and more murder against each of the guests. That same evening, the first of them succumbs to a deadly dose of cyanide. The 'fun' of the weekend away continues as the pack begin to fall one by one until they realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again...and…again! Characters (and the crimes they are accused of) • Anthony Marston - an amoral and irresponsible young man. His crime: killed two young children while driving recklessly • Ethel Rogers - the cook/housekeeper described as a pale and ghost-like woman Her crime: coerced into agreeing to withhold the medicine of a former employer so they might collect an inheritance from her • General John MacArthur - a retired World War I war hero. His crime: sent his late wife's lover to his death by assigning him to a mission where it was practically guaranteed he would not survive • Thomas Rogers - the butler. His crime: killed his former elderly employer by withholding her medicine • Emily Brent - elderly, religiously rigid, socially ‘respectable’ spinster. Her crime: dismissed her teenage maid – Beatrice - for becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Beatrice later drowned herself • Dr Edward Armstrong - a Harley Street doctor. His crime: responsible for the death of a patient, after he operated on her while drunk • William Blore (note: - Blore arrived under the alias "Davis" His identity is revealed on the gramophone recording) - a former police inspector and now a private investigator. His crime: falsifying his testimony for a bribe which resulted in an innocent man, being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment • Philip Lombard - a soldier of fortune. His crime: causing the deaths of a number of East African tribesmen, after stealing their food and abandoning them • Vera Claythorne - a cool, efficient, resourceful young woman on leave from her position as a sports mistress. Her crime: death of Cyril Hamilton, who Vera lets drown so his uncle Hugo could inherit the family estate and marry her • Justice Lawrence Wargrave - a retired judge. His Crime: influencing the jury to hand a guilty verdict to a man and sentencing him to death unfairly • Isaac Morris – a lawyer hired by the killer to purchase the island, arrange the gramophone recording, and make arrangements on their behalf. Not officially included in the ‘10’ island killings, interestingly Morris is the first death chronologically, as he died before the guests arrived on the island. His crime: Morris was responsible for the addiction and suicide of a young woman through his narcotics activities • Fred Narracott - the boatman who delivered the guests to the island • Sir Thomas Legge and Inspector Maine - Scotland Yard detectives who discuss the case in the epilogue. Film, TV and Theatre Many adaptations have been made over the years – more than any other Christie work. It works well on stage and has enjoyed several successful runs since 1943 – the first adapted by Agatha herself. Most recently it had a long run in 2005 in London....time for another go I say! A few good TV and film versions exist – with as many bad versions to counteract. The 1974 version with Richard Attenborough, Oliver Reed and Charles Aznavour is especially hilariously bad. Not intentionally a spoof, it certainly slides into the ridiculous at times. Good for a laugh if you can find a version of it. The latest TV adaptation was released in 2015. The cast includes Charles Dance as Justice Lawrence Wargrave and Aidan Turner (mmmm) as Philip Lombard. Wonderful Australian Actor Noah Taylor as Rogers.
If you have not read this one - prepare for a very big gasp! Published in 1926, this is her third novel to feature Poirot and her seventh book overall. Known for its startling reveal, this is the book that changed Agatha Christie’s career. Plot Poirot has retired to a village near the home of a friend - Roger Ackroyd - and is undertaking a project of perfecting vegetable marrows…as you do. He is not long at this pursuit when his friend is murdered. Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much. He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband and he knew someone was blackmailing her leading to her suicide. Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he’d finished reading it – stabbed through the neck where he sat in the study. Ackroyd's niece calls Poirot in to ensure that the guilt does not fall on Ackroyd's stepson (who she is in love with) and Poirot promises to find the truth with the help of Dr James Sheppard, who becomes Poirot's assistant in place of Captain Hastings who has married and settled in Argentina. Characters • Hercule Poirot – He is a friend of the victim. • Dr Sheppard – The local doctor in King's Abbot, Poirot's assistant in his investigations, and the novel's narrator. • Inspector Davis – Local inspector for King's Abbot and the investigating officer. • Inspector Raglan – Police inspector from the nearby larger town of Cranchester. • Colonel Melrose – Chief constable for the local area around King's Abbot. • Roger Ackroyd – The victim of the case. A wealthy businessman and widower, who is distressed by the recent death of the woman he wanted to marry, Mrs Ferrars. • Mrs Ferrars – A widow who was rumoured to have poisoned her husband Ashley Ferrars. Commits suicide at the start of the novel; her death has a profound impact on her fiancé Ackroyd. • Mrs Cecil Ackroyd – widow of Roger's brother Cecil. She and her daughter have been living at Fernly Park for the past two years and are financially dependent on Roger. • Flora Ackroyd – Ackroyd's niece, Cecil's daughter. Requests Poirot's help to investigate her uncle's murder. She is engaged to Ralph Paton • Captain Ralph Paton – Ackroyd's stepson from his late wife's previous marriage • Major Hector Blunt – Ackroyd's friend, he is a big game hunter visiting as a guest of the household. • Geoffrey Raymond – Ackroyd's secretary, a young and energetic man in his profession • John Parker – Ackroyd's butler • Elizabeth Russell – Ackroyd's housekeeper • Ursula Bourne – Ackroyd's parlourmaid • Charles Kent – Elizabeth Russell's son. He is a drug addict, recently arrived from Canada • Caroline Sheppard – Dr Sheppard's older sister. She has a gift of staying informed on all activities in the village • Mr Hammond – Ackroyd's lawyer