"There would always be Folliats at Nasse House”
Our second Installment of the Summer of Christie Read-Along features Dead Man’s Folly. Those who tuned in last night to the PBS premiere of Dead Man’s Folly, starring the acclaimed David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, watched a delightful tale of murder, deceit, and duplicitous characters set against the stunning backdrop of the English countryside (plus some fabulous costumes).
Join me below as I discuss key plot twists and some of the differences in the TV version from the classic Agatha Christie novel; spoiler alert for both versions.
Brief plot outline: Sir George and Lady Stubbs hit upon the novel idea of staging a mock murder mystery for a village fete. Well-known crime writer Ariadne Oliver is invited to organize their murder hunt and she soon senses something sinister is about to happen. She calls in Hercule Poirot to serve as watcher and witness. Soon enough, a village girl is found dead and Lady Stubbs has vanished. Our usual quick-witted Poirot is stumped and blames himself for not being able to prevent such devastating occurrences. As the local police and Poirot are left investigating dead-ends, we soon learn not everyone is who they say to be and sometimes—in the case of a missing wife— it is always the husband. Sir George is revealed to be the original heir to Nasse, long-presumed dead, and Lady Stubbs is an imposter.
TV review: Right from the beginning there was a bit of deviance in the TV version from the book, but as the episode unfolded, it became clear there was only so much detail allowed in an hour and a half, and some of the deeper character storylines had to be either hinted at or summarized to keep the mystery moving along. The vivid Murder Hunt “Fete” was wonderfully brought to life on the Nasse estate and the beautiful grounds were a visual feast, though I personally expected the Folly to be grander.
Character casting was spot-on for the most part and I enjoyed see Ariadne Oliver, Mrs. Folliat, Lady Stubbs, and architect Michael Weyman brought to life. (I was a little put off by a beardless Sir George Stubbs, as that was a key part of his deception in the book).
Discussion: Some of the below questions relate to the differences between the book and TV versions, sorry to those who didn’t catch the premiere.
Please include a link to your answers in the comments below!
Thanks to all who tweeted while watching last night, I loved discussing in real-time with you! We’re getting closer to the release of The Monogram Murders, the new Hercule Poirot mystery by international bestselling author Sophie Hannah, so we’ll be discussing her favorite Poirot mystery, After the Funeral, on September 2nd. Be sure to pick up the new edition featuring a foreword by Sophie. And don’t forget to pre-order The Monogram Murders!