The A.B.C. Murders Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The A.B.C. Murders

Hercule Poirot, the renowed Belgian detective, and his friend/sidekick Hastings, receive a letter informing them of a murder on a certain day in a certain town. They don't really think very much of it, but then the murder actually happens. Strangely, the murder was commited in a town called Andover, on a woman named Alice Ascher, and an A.B.C. railroad guide is left behind. Then there is another murder on a woman named Betty Barnard, and the A.B.C. guide is left behind again. After the C murder, two people working a a boarding house believe that they have caught the murderer- a man named Alfred Bernard Cust, who turns himself into the police, believing that he commited the murders while in an epileptic state. Hercule Poirot interviews him, but has another idea. He believes it to be someone else.
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Chapter Analysis of The A.B.C. Murders

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   90% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, Foreign Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   searching for $$$/treasure Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super genius    -   Cynical or arrogant


Europe    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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