Third Girl by Agatha Christie – review

Published by Harper Collins

Publication date – 24 September 2015

Source – own copy

A perplexed girl thinks she might have killed someone…

Three single girls shared the same London flat. The first worked as a secretary; the second was an artist; the third who came to Poirot for help, disappeared convinced she was a murderer.

Now there were rumours of revolvers, flick-knives and blood stains. But, without hard evidence, it would take all Poirot’s tenacity to establish whether the third girl was guilty innocent or insane…

When Poirot is visited by a young girl who says she thinks she may have committed a murder, his interest is peaked. How can someone not know that she has killed another person? There have been no reported recent deaths. Poirot believes that there is more to the case than meets the eye. Is the Third Girl the perpetrator or the victim of a diabolical crime?

Norma Restarick is a quiet girl, prone to unpredictable behaviour. Abandoned by her father, she was raised by a bitter mother. On her father’s return from overseas he brings with him a new wife, one whom Norma hates. There are rumours that Norma tried to poison her step-mother which is why she was shipped off to live in London, the third girl in a flat share.  She has blackouts, and finds things like bloodied knives in her drawer which then disappear. She not sure what she may or may not have done and doesn’t appreciate Poirot’s interference.

According to those in the know this is a rare later novel which features Poirot from the outset. It is true that he is there from the opening pages until the end but he is helped in his investigation by Ariadne Oliver, the enthusiastic crime novelist.

The more Poirot delves into the history of Norma, and her current situation, the more he finds that appears to be unexplainable. The reveal, when it comes is fiendishly clever, showing the depths humans will go to in order to protect themselves and to get their own way. There are hints that things are not quite right throughout. Norma isn’t particularly likeable, her boyfriend David is annoying and her flatmates seem to care very little for her. Poirot knows that the puzzle doesn’t quite fit together and has to work to make the full picture appear.

This is one of the later adventures of Poirot, set in the 1960s when his star is on the wane and the social and political landscape has changed.

Can someone be guilty of murder if there are no bodies, no crime scenes, no witnesses? Can the mere suggestion that you may have killed someone be enough to convince you that you did? These are the questions Poirot must answer to work out what is happening to or has happened because of Norma Restarick.

A fun outing with the egg shaped man with the little grey cells.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I do love the combination of Poirot and Oliver – such fun! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      They do bounce well off each other 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. heavenali says:

    I love Agatha Christie this is such a good one. Time for a re-read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I could remember the story from the TV adaptation but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.


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