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Crooked House & Endless Night

Crooked House & Endless Night

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by Hugh Fraser


Crooked House & Endless Night

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by Hugh Fraser

ratings:
4/5 (35 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 16, 2012
ISBN:
9780062253033
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Two standalone novels from the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie. From the sprawling Leonide family to dark moors, no one can spin a mystery quite like she can.



Crooked House


The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.



Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.




Endless Night


Strapped by a chauffeur's wages, Michael Rogers' want of a better life seems out of reach. Especially elusive is a magnificent piece of property in Kingston Bishop--unil a chance meeting with a beautiful heiress makes his dreams possible. Marrying her is the first step. Building the perfect home is the next.



Unfortunately, Michael ignored the local warnings about the deadly curse buried in the tract of land, and living out his dreams may exact a higher price than he ever imagined. Praised as one of Agatha Christie's most unusual forays into gothic, psychological suspense, this novel of fate, chance, and the nature of evil was a personal favorite of the author's as well.



Don’t miss the rest of these iconic mysteries in audio!

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 16, 2012
ISBN:
9780062253033
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in over 70 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 20 plays, and six novels written under the name of Mary Westmacott.


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4.1
35 ratings / 33 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Whatever you do, do not read a 1954 book by William March unless you do it after reading this review. and of course, this book itself. The Crooked House of the title refers more to the people living in the vast estate rather than the building itself. The book is set after WWII and it involves a woman who had worked for the Foreign Office (think spy) and the son of a Police Inspector. When Sophia’s grandfather is discovered to have been ingeniously poisoned, Charles Haywood is on the case, doing what his father might have done in similar circumstances. There is a large compliment of suspects including grandfather’s much younger wife who stands to inherit a huge fortune. Larry Brown, tutor for the children, and perhaps the younger wife’s lover, hangs about the place. Josephine, the precocious daughter and Edith, the grandfather’s unmarried sister-in-law are here along with a near-do-well son and his wife and a few others.No alibis of course, and toss in a rewritten will and the result is turmoil, back-biting and, of course, moe than one murder. This is a rather fun outing without the regular detectives. It is a stand alone which is one of Miss Christie’s better efforts. Plus it endures well and comes a few years before that first book I was talking about. Since it was snowing all day today (in the middle of April?) I thought this would make a nice addition to my “stay apart” library.
  • (5/5)
    When his fiancee’s grand-father is murdered, Charles Hayward determines to find out the truth, entering the unnerving, bitterly divided home shared by three generations of an Anglo-Greek family.

    One of my utter favourite Christie books, filled with dynamic characters, a claustrophobic setting, and a truly startling denouement. I won’t go into much detail, because you should read this one unawares. Suffice it to say, Dame Agatha extensively planned this novel, a non-series excursion coming after Poirot’s heyday, and just before Miss Marple’s most prolific period. She remained proud of it throughout her life, and fairly so. "Crooked House" is a cruel, insightful tale of family drama, of the sadistic and jaded side of human nature, and of carefully-concealed murder. Any dialogue or atmospheric flaws can be forgiven, as – by this point – Christie was indisputably the ‘Queen of Crime’. She had been churning out murder mysteries for three decades (often more than one a year, as well as her short stories and plays), and – although there would be a gradual decline in quality over the coming decades – "Crooked House" is a highlight of Christie’s innovation within the formula.
  • (5/5)
    Maybe it's just me, but sometimes, I think that Christie's stand-alones are the absolute best.
  • (3/5)
    This was Agatha Christie's favourite among her novels, and as a reader it is easy to understand why. Christie is best known for her two sleuths, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, though this is a 'stand-alone' offering. The story is narrated by Charles Hayward, son of the Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, and himself an ex-copper, or at least a former inspect at the Special Branch. Towards the end of the Second World War Hayward had been based in Cairo where he had met, and fallen in love with, Sophia Leonides. Once the war is over they return to Britain and plan to be married. In the meantime Sophia returns to her family home in one of London's suburbs. As is so often the case throughout Christie's novels, three generations of the Leonides family live together in the house owned by wealthy patriarch Aristide Leonides. Shortly after her return home, however, Astride is dead, and it soon transpires that he has been murdered. As a consequence of the prominence of the victim, Scotland Yard becomes involved in the investigation and, predictably, Hayward is asked to help out.When I was about thirteen or fourteen I read dozens of Agatha Christie's novels, one after another, in that slightly obsessive manner that adolescent boys so often have. I enjoyed them but devoured them simply at face value. Re-reading this one nearly forty years later I now recognise that there was a lot of social comment in her depictions of domestic life. There is a wry, understated satire to her works. Her books are, however, redolent of their time. For instance, Christie is perfectly happy to describe Josephine, the younger sister of Sophia, as 'a fantastically ugly child'. I doubt whether any modern novelist would care to be so brutal.Christie's prose is never glossy but she has an almost journalistic knack of telling the story with the minimum of fuss. Her characterisations may now seem slightly clichéd, but she always maintains a simple verisimilitude. It is, however, with her plotting that she holds the reader's attention. This book is certainly no exception. The plot is tightly constructed, and the denouement comes as rather a shock, though the clues were all there.I was very glad to have revisited this novel after so long, and I may well try my hand at several more from her prolific output.
  • (4/5)
    This was one of Agatha Christie's own favourite books, and I can see why. It was a lot of fun to read.
  • (3/5)
    It's an Agatha Christie Book, they're all the same, but it's fun.
  • (3/5)
    Unlike any other mystery novel I have read, I found this one slightly predictable and was able to guess the culprit. However, it is still an engrossing story.
  • (3/5)
    This is another book by Agatha Christie and the sleuth is not one of her famous recurring detective's. A kindly old rich man is murdered in his home surrounded by his family and loved ones. All of the suspects of course proclaim their innocence and devotion to the old man and can't think of any reason why someone would want to murder him, except for...This one did have a neat twist at the end, I might have seen it if I wasn't distracted by an accidental phrase I saw at the end of the book and made me think of the wrong person all the way through the book. It wasn't a very deep or tricky book but a fun short read.
  • (5/5)
    April 11, 1999Crooked HouseAgatha ChristieNot a Ms. Marple or Poirot mystery, but an “independent”, about a young man whose fiancé-to-be asks him to help her figure out who murdered her rich old grandfather (with a little help from the young man’s father, an Inspector or something). There’s a house brimming with suspicious characters, like the very young widow and the old man’s grown children who shared the house with him. The murderer is someone you’d never expect, though! I love the title, and only wish I’d thought of it first.
  • (4/5)
    There is a forward in which Christie describes this as one of her favourite novels and a joy to write. It is certainly fun to read and is interesting because its not a Poirot or Miss Marple but personally I prefer some of her other books.
  • (3/5)
    A tragedy as well as a murder story. It's a long time since I read this one and the poinancy of the murderers revalation is hard to beat. Comes once again with the theme of the need for the truth to enable the innocent to move on. Great story.
  • (4/5)
    The head of a family is murdered. All his familymembers are suspects. The son of a policeman has a romantic tie to the family and gets involved in finding the murderer.Good quality. Unexpected (?) ending.
  • (5/5)
    This book was supposed to be Agatha Christie's favorite book she wrote. I can see why. It is classic Christie storytelling, but her ending is one of the best endings I have read. This book definitely shows her talent as a mystery-builder, not just a mystery writer.
  • (4/5)
    In this stand-alone mystery, Charles Hayward meets and falls in love with Sophia Leonides when both are employed in Egypt shortly after World War II. Charles has another posting that will separate him for Sophia for two more years, and he announces his intention to propose to her as soon as he returns to England. Two years later, he arrives back in England to find the Leonides family mourning the death of its head, Sophia's grandfather, Aristide Leonides. While most people would assume that a man of his age (nearly 90) had died of natural causes, this doesn't prove to be the case. He was murdered. Sophia will not agree to marry Charles until the murder is solved, refusing to attach him to the suspicion that will hover over the family with an unsolved murder. Charles has no choice but to go to the family's estate and gather enough information to solve the crime. He'll have no trouble getting information from the police since his father is Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard.This is a characteristic Christie country house mystery with a surprising twist at the end. I didn't see it coming. In the author's foreword, Christie admits that this book is one of her favorites. The characters include the murdered patriarch who controlled the purse strings, two sons and their wives, three grandchildren (the youngest of whom reminded me very much of Flavia de Luce), a very young second wife, a poor relative taken into the family fold, and the younger grandchildren's tutor. There are young lovers separated by suspicion and a missing will. I deducted points because no one really solves the mystery. They discover a letter that reveals the details of the crime that others were only beginning to suspect..”..Some people, I suspect, remain morally immature. They continue to be aware that murder is wrong, but they do not feel it. I don't think, in my experience, that any murderer has really felt remorse . . . And that, perhaps, is the mark of Cain. Murderers are set apart, they are 'different'--murder is wrong—but not for them--for them it is necessary—the victim has 'asked for it,' it was 'the only way.'”
  • (4/5)
    There was a crooked man
    and he went a crooked mile.
    He found a crooked sixpence
    beside a crooked stile.
    He had a crooked cat
    which caught a crooked mouse,
    And they all lived together
    in a little crooked house.


    Crooked House is a stand-alone novel. I.e. it does not feature any of Christie's established sleuths (Marple, Poirot, Tommy & Tuppence, etc.).

    The story tells of a young couple, Charles and Sophia, who decide to postpone any decisions on getting married until after the war. Once the time has come the engagement is again interrupted by a death in Sophia's family.

    From then on, trust is put to the test and motives are questioned. Everyone is a suspect and it is left to the couple to discover whom they can believe, or if they can at all.

    What is interesting with this story is the finding out who the murderer is almost takes a backseat to getting to know the characters of Sophia's relatives. What an interesting bunch of eccentrics! They are all suffering from a past dominated by the misanthropic grandfather who claimed to have killed two people in his youth.

    It's a marvellously dark story and it is easy to see why it was one of Dame Agatha's favourite mysteries.
  • (4/5)
    I read this Agatha Christie novel having watched the Channel 5 TV adaptation just before Christmas. Needless to say, this was a mistake as the TV version was, unlike some others, very faithful to the book, so I knew about the startling conclusion as to who among his dysfunctional household killed wealthy Aristide Leonides. This is well plotted and keeps the suspense up, but I'm still not sure I find the conclusion convincing in practice, though. This is the first Christie novel I have read that does not feature Poirot, Miss Marple, or Tommy and Tuppence.
  • (5/5)
    The Leonides are a wealthy family, living in a sprawling mansion in England known as "Three Gables" or the Crooked House. The Second World War has brought all of the family members to live under one roof. Despite the hardships of the war, the Leonides have more than most could ask for thanks to the head of the household, Aristide. Things turn upside down when Aristide suddenly dies from a fatal barbiturate injection masquerading as his daily insulin injection. Suspicion immediately falls on Aristide's young widow, Brenda, who is responsible for his injections. Brenda has never been accepted by the Leonides family because of the twenty year age difference between her and her former husband, which leads the family to believe she was solely after his money.Charles Hayward met Sophia Leonides, granddaughter of Aristide, before he went away to fight in the war. Now that he has returned, he desperately wants to ask for Sophia's hand in marriage, but she will not allow it until the murderer has been caught. Charles teams up with his father and the Scotland Yard to track down the killer. Charles must get to know each member of this crooked family in order to marry the woman he loves. Who can be trusted in a family where everyone is out to make themselves look good?Agatha Christie does it again in CROOKED HOUSE! The reader is instantly drawn the Leonides family, which is filled with one interesting personality after another. Along with Charles, the reader must determine who they can trust and who is full of lies. Each family member has something to hide and those truths must come to light before the murderer is revealed. The ending to CROOKED HOUSE will leave you in shock! I highly recommend this novel to any reader looking to get to know more of Christie's work or simply an interesting mystery!
  • (3/5)
    Synopsis: Two people meet in a foreign country, but decide not to marry until they both return to England. However, the marriage still can't happen because her grandfather is killed. The only people who could have done it are the family and some old retainers. The very young, second wife, and the tutor are suspected, but the police think there could be someone else.Review: This was a rather interesting story that reminded me of 'The Bad Seed'.
  • (4/5)
    This is my second Christie novel, and I enjoyed it quite a bit! There is a murder in the "crooked house", and everyone - family, staff, visitors - is a suspect! It plays out quickly, and smartly, and I was very satisfied with the revelation of who-done-it! I'm also very inclined to try out a third helping of Ms. Agatha!
  • (5/5)


    "Writing 'Crooked House' was pure pleasure and I feel justified in my belief that this is one of my best." Agatha Christie.

    Definitely my favorite as well......

    Aristide Leonides is dead of poisoning.... He wasn't a very nice man, yet he was a very rich man who took care of his family. Fully aware of his familys' shortcomings, he spoke the truth as he saw it, no matter whom he upset......

    Living with him in the old mansion were: his two sons & their wives, his three grandchildren, his first wife's sister, his young and beautiful second wife, and his grandchildren's tutor. All had alibis as well as the opportunity and motive for wanting the mean old man dead.

    Charles Hayward (the son of a Scotland Yard detective) is engaged to marry aristide's granddaughter, Sophia Leonides. At Sophia's behest, Charles is the one to investigate and solve the murder; for until he accomplishes the task, Sophia will not marry Charles.

    This was such a surprise ending.... I certainly never saw it coming nor did I ever see the clues for what they were.

    Definitely my favorite of all the Agatha Christie mysteries.... the one I could never figure out or guess what was coming next.
  • (4/5)
    Charles Hayward, the son of Assistant Commissioner Hayward of Scotland Yard, meets Sophia Leonides during the Second World War in Cairo; they fall in love but agree not to marry until Charles has returned to England once the war is finished. On his return he discovers that Sophia's grandfather, the wealthy entrepreneur Aristide Leonides, has just been killed. Preliminary investigations establish, without the shadow of a doubt, that he was poisoned. Straddling the middle ground between the police and a family friend, Charles begins to investigate everyone living in the Crooked House.Crooked House is an enjoyable mystery novel that puts the rather dysfunctional Leonides family under the microscope. Though the individual characters occasionally verge on stereotype, the story is well plotted and the puzzle suitably engaging. Agatha Christie plays with her own detective story conventions to good effect, and the ending is quite unusual.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this audiobook so much, I finished it in one day. It is such a charming little mystery. Hugh Fraser's narration was superb, and the story was great, keeping me guessing til the end. I do believe it is now my new favorite Christie novel.
  • (5/5)
    This was one of Agatha Christie's most "psychological" thrillers. The tension is palpable and never ending. I believe readers will have a hard time guessing who the killer is. And by telling the reason I would be fatally naming the killer... Highly recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    Murder by poison. Eye drops “ersine” substituted for “insulin” in an insulin vial. Aristide Leonides’ is dibetic and every evening his young wife filled a syringe from one of the many insulin vials kept in the house. The poison could have been substituted at any time or by anyone, the murderer knowing that eventually the poison would be injected. This is written as a novel BUT every page has me seeing it as a stage play. There are no stage directions or anything indicating it is a play other than the characters themselves. They are so vividly drawn you can see Magda flounce from the room, Sophia adjust a picture frame to keep Magda on script or Roger bumbling into a room screen and apologizing to it. The denouement is classic Christie, a little of the psychology of Poirot combined with the village wisdom of the elderly Jane Marple. I recommend this to anyone who has missed this Christie gem.51
  • (4/5)
    Aristide Leonides had come to England as an impoverished Greek youth, and had built a fortune - and a lavish but slightly unusual house. At 85, the loving, wise, benificent family patriarch was found dead.Which member of the Leonides household could be crooked enough to have poisoned him?I find almost all of Agatha Christie's work to be very satisying reads, and this was no exception.
  • (5/5)
    In an author's foreword Agatha Christie says this was a plot she had thought through for many years.The action takes place just after the second world war near London. Charles Hayward and Sophia Leonides had met two years earlier in Egypt and were determined to meet again after the war was over.They are back in London and have arranged to meet when Charles learns that Sophia's grandfather has been murdered. Charles' father, a member of Scotland Yard, suggests that Charles try to get an "inside" view of the family, talk to family members, to see if one is a murderer. We see events from Charles' point of view, and it is he who finally assembles the evidence, although in a sense a family member beat him to it.This is a book that keeps the reader guessing, although I have to admit that about a quarter of the way from the end I was pretty sure I knew who the murderer was. That's when, true to form, Agatha Christie threw a final red herring on the path. There's some interesting discussion of what makes a murderer. Charles' father who is a Scotland Yard Commander, believes that most murders are committed by family members because it is oily situations that the depth of hatred and frustration that precedes murder will occur. When the identity of the murderer is revealed he says he had known it for some time.
  • (5/5)
     In a sprawling mansion in the English countryside, the extremely affluent but extremely elderly owner lies dead on the floor of suspected barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely when suspicion has already fallen on Aristide Leonides' luscious but grieving widow who is fifty years his junior and set to inherit his sizable fortune. It is also rumored that the lovely Widow Leonides is having an affair with the strapping young tutor who just happens to live on the family's estate. But Criminologist Charles Howard has his doubts about the entire Leonides' clan. He knows them intimately and also knows that in a household as shaky as Three Gables, nobody is on the level.I really enjoyed this book very much. I had actually never read it before but it was a very quick and absorbing read. I give this book an A!
  • (5/5)
    I am a huge Agatha Christie (15 /09/1890—12/12/1976) fan. I have possibly all of her books, and nearly all the television and film versions of her works, starring a variety of Hercule Poirots (my best is David Suchet) and Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford, Joan Hickson and Julia McKenzie tops). According to the Guinness Book of records, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Often referred to as the “Queen of Crime,” she is also regarded as a master of suspense, plotting, and characterisation.Recently I started rereading her work and began with Crooked House, one of the seven novels inspired by nursery rhymes. Agatha Christie described this as her favourite book. She says in the author’s foreword: “This book is one of my own special favourites. I saved it up for years, thinking about it, working it out, saying to myself, ‘One day when I’ve plenty of time, and want to really enjoy myself—I’ll begin it! … Crooked House was pure pleasure.’”Three generations of the Leonides family live together under the roof of wealthy patriarch Aristide. His first wife died; her sister Edith has cared for the household since then. His second wife is the indolent Brenda, decades his junior, who exchanges love letters with the grandchildren's tutor, Laurence Brown. After Aristide is poisoned by his own eye medicine (eserine), his granddaughter Sophia tells narrator and fiancé Charles Hayward that they cannot marry until the killer is apprehended. Charles' father "The Old Man" is the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, so Charles investigates from the inside along with assigned detective, Chief Inspector Taverner. It seems that everyone could have a motive. The ridiculously young wife Brenda wants to be free to marry the tutor. Then there’s Roger, the eldest son who needs money to prop up his tottering business. Second son Philip has always been jealous of Roger. Not to mention their wives (Clemency and Magda), who could also have motive for various financial reasons. Josephine, Aristides’s precocious granddaughter, tells Charles that the police are stupid and she has already worked out who the killer is, along with copious notes and clues in her little black notebook. When Josephine is attacked and Nanny is mysteriously poisoned by hot chocolate after Brenda and the tutor are arrested, the danger escalates to a surprise finish.This was the first time I’d read the book and it was great. The pace is good, the characters real (we have all met them somewhere along life’s path) and the suspense chilling. I am quite good at guessing the killer in various crime books, but this one stumped (and shocked) me completely. Charles is excellent as the sometimes-bumbling amateur sleuth. Sophia is sharp-witted and courageous. There’s a Roger and a Magda in every family. The family are at once torn apart and cling together in this time of adversity and stalking danger. Highly enjoyable! (A lesson about making a watertight will included!)
  • (4/5)
    I read almost all of Poirot and Miss Marple ages ago, but very few of Christie's stand-alones, and I got this one because it was at a large discount on Kindle.I'll give it three-and-a-half. As one other reviewer put it, there's great poignancy to the revelation of the murderer. Still, though, for someone who isn't that good at guessing Christie endings, I sort of saw this one coming.
  • (4/5)
    This is narrated by a young man called Charles who wants to marry a girl called Sophia. Unfortunately her family is caught up in a murder enquiry. I found the family involved rather interesting, as they’re supposed to be a typical Greek origin family. They live in a rather oddly designed spacious manor house; Sophia is the oldest of the grandchildren. Inevitably there are caricatures: Sophia’s mother Magda is a classic drama queen, and her uncle is vague and clueless. There’s a maiden aunt who raised the grandchildren, a large and benevolent ‘nannie’, a morose teenage boy, and a talkative girl who wants to be a detective…however, I found both Charles and Sophia to be quite well developed, and the book is very readable. Inevitably this novel, first published in 1949, feels rather dated. However, both conversation and the story move at a good pace, and it’s a well-told tale. I surprised myself by guessing 'whodunit', but wasn't entirely certain until the final chapter. The ending is a little abrupt and somewhat morbid, but given the era, not unreasonable.