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August 04, 2014


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Hi. I enjoyed reading and watching Dead Man's Folly. You can read my book review here:

1. I think experience had made Poirot what he is. He's an observer of human nature, and therefore is keen to listen to people instead of ignoring them. Also, I think he believes Ariadne has good instincts, so he trusts her judgement.

2. This case seemed to baffle him as well as me. He was unsure of what the girl wrote on the comics, what the motive was behind her murder, and what had happened to Lady S.

3. I don't think Poirot can give up. I think he was frustrated with himself a lot in this book, but I don't think he would have given up.

4. This is a hard question to answer. I think she should be held accountable for not reporting her son. She could have saved innocent lives if she had done so.

5.I think he was caught in a spiral. Everything he did, it was to protect his secret. Though the murder of the original Hattie was pure evil.

6.I did not suspect her of being anything other than what she claimed to be.

7.I don't think it was pivotal to the plot, though it did provide some background for the characters.

8.I think for the most part it was a good adaptation of the book. I think the biggest change was with de Sousa.He wasn't arrested for murder in the book, and therefore was not in danger of being hanged.

I enjoyed it! I can't wait to read After the Funeral!


1. Poirot's interest in Nasse House and the "evil" that lurked there all started with Mrs. Oliver. The book tells us that the two have been friends for years. Poirot trusts her intuition, even if she has a hard time put her thoughts conscicely.

2. Poirot was able to zero things out as clues, but he had trouble making sense of them. This seems to be because he could not decipher a motive. Without knowing why Marlene was killed, and why Lady Stubbs disappeared, he had no way to assemble them in a sensical way.

3. Though he was certainly frustrated by the case, I don't think he would have ever given up. I can imagine him years later still mulling over the one that got away. It is, in fact, his tenacity that allows him to finally put the disparate pieces together.

4. Technically, no. Each person is responsible for their own actions, ultimately. I found Mrs. Folliat to be much more sympathetic in the book than in the TV adaptation, actually. Maybe it's because she was more richly drawn but I felt for her, especially as she played "hostess" during the fete. It was ironic, hurtfully so.

5. Maybe it was just me, but I saw Sir George as the one who was a bit daft, not Lady Stubbs. As the housekeeper notes, Lady Stubbs knows precisely what she's doing. That said, he is still responsible for his actions, but it was his simplistic view on the world that allowed him to justify his actions. Christie writes her characters with more nuance and subtlety than might be possible in an adaptation.

6. I suspected *something*. I figured people close to her were hiding something, but I wasn't sure what. I didn't expect her to be a different person entirely, though.

7. I loved the architect character in both. I do wish he'd had more of a part in the show. Great comic relief, and great red herring. The lack of development with the Legges also would have provided more color and another red herring.

8.I missed some of the batty dialogue from Mrs. Oliver. The characterization was well-done but I would have liked even a bit more from her. It also would have helped if the detail of the nearby hostel and the wandering backpackers had been established sooner. I missed the very clear xenophobia from the book. Foreigners are not trusted, even hated. In some ways, Sir George was a 'foreigner' as well, since he was able to buy his title (rather than inherit it). It was a major plot point for the solution (not to mention a funny moment for Poirot) that is glossed over. It didn't seem fair to expect the TV viewers to put that together. I also missed the heartfelt conversation that Poirot has at the folly. It is both introspective and gives the reader more character development.

I actually sort of liked the double suicide ending. It added drama to the live action version of things. I did not like the arrest and trial of Etienne. That seemed like a lazy way to distract the audience that wasn't needed. The use of the ferryman as the "fool" was well-done, though he could have been a little less of a caricature.

Also, the hats.

Read my full posts here:

and here:

Lisa Johnson

1. He had a working relationship with Mrs. Oliver. He found her to be a keen observer of people and able to cut through the muck to get to the real person or trait or feeling. I think he respected Mrs. Folliat as an older woman who had experienced much loss in life and was able to survive her loss with dignity. She also had a talent for knowing people when perhaps they would rather not be known so well.
2. The buckle in the summerhouse(in the movie), Hattie’s request for tea to be taken to Marlene Tucker, old Merdall’s saying there would always be Folliats at Nasse house, why Mrs. Folliat said the world was a wicked place and how she knew Hattie was dead before anyone else.
3. No, because he continued to think about the murder after he returned to London, so much so that he made a special return trip just to see Mrs. Folliat to try to get more information from her. He continued to ruminate about the murder using his “little grey cells”.
4. Yes, she should be tried as an accomplice due to her being guilty of knowing about a murder and not reporting it to authorities. While she didn’t actually commit the murder, she knew about it and helped to cover it up.
5. I think he had no problem committing multiple murders. He had no remorse for what he had done and would have continued his life without guilt, but this time he got caught. I wonder how many other murders he had committed prior to arriving at Nasse House.
6. Yes, I thought she was putting on an act. I don’t believe anyone of Sir George’s standing would marry anyone “simple”. I didn’t believe for a second that she was what she was trying to appear to be.
7. I think it was just background filler. It was not necessary to the plot, but did show human nature’s failings to a degree and perhaps offered a slight motive for Michael killing Marlene if she saw his rendezvous with Sally.
8. One difference was actually seeing Michael and Sally meet at the Folly for a tryst in the TV version. In the book, Alec was being blackmailed and meeting one of the youths from the nearby hostel at the Folly. No buckle was found in the summerhouse in the book. No ring was put in Etienne’s pocket in the book to through suspicion on to him. In the book, we see Poirot offer marriage advice to Alec regarding Sally. In the book, we don’t hear the gunshots of the Folliats’ deaths. There is no hint of them taking their own lives.

Diane (bookchickdi)

My review of Dead Man's Folly is here.

1. I think Poirot was merely annoyed when Ariadne summoned him, but he reflected on his relationship with her and when Mrs. Folliat intimated there was evil at Nasse House, he believed both women were onto something.

2. I think it took Poirot awhile to put the clues together. Having met Lady Stubbs, I found it odd that he believed she asked for tea to brought to Marlene, it was completely out of character for her to do that, and it took a long time for him to believe that Lady Stubbs had been murdered.

3. I don't think Poirot ever gave up, he was, however, frustrated that it took so long to put everything together.

4. Mrs. Folliat is morally culpable, and probably could be considered an accessory. She knew her son had committed crimes, and helped him cover them up.

5. I found the characterization of George to be the biggest difference between the book and movie. In the book, George comes across as a loving husband, so the conclusion is more of a surprise. In the movie, he is smarmy, and it is clear that he is up to something. I do think he got caught up in something he could not get himself out of, I don't think he is inherently evil.

6. The Lady Stubbs character was difficult to peg. She was called 'feeble-minded', but others said she was calculating. In the end, however, we never saw the real Hattie, only the fake one. It was clear there was something not right about her, but what exactly that was I did not guess.

7. I agree that the characters in the book were red herrings, brought in to create more suspects for the reader to consider. In the movie, they are shunted aside for time reasons.

8. There were a few differences from the book, the biggest being the end where we are led to believe that Mrs. Folliat and George are killed in a murder/suicide. The de Sousa resolution was handled differently, there was no ring planted on him in the book, and he wasn't arrested. I did miss some of the Oliver/Poirot interactions as David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker made an interesting team.


Here are my answers :)


Both Ariadne and Mrs. Folliat hint to Poirot of an evil lurking at Nasse House. Why do you think Poirot cared to listen to the warnings, instead of chalking it up to empty suspicions?
Although Poirot makes a big fuss about using science and his brain, he always pays a lot of attention to hints and intuitions, because he believes they are signs of things wrong that are sensed but not recognized. He also respects Adiadne's intuitions very much, and relies on her. (Aside: I find it fascinating when mystery writers create a mystery writer in their own books. Whenever I read of Ariadne Oliver, I also think of Dorothy Sayer's Harriet Vane.)
Throughout Poirot’s investigation he was so close to uncovering the truth. What were some of the clues he couldn’t decipher along the way?
He couldn't figure out the motive for Marlene's death, and therefore none of the rest of it made sense. It wasn't until he connected her to her grandfather that the old man's cryptic remark (about there always being Folliats at Nasse) began to show a darker reality.
The Chief Constable, Inspector Bland and Ariadne all doubted if Poirot could solve this mystery towards the end. Do you think Poirot himself was starting to give up?
He seems to have, esp in the book, where it's very clear he went home stumped. However, in the end he came through. I don't believe he would have given up, but this case was hard to crack.
Do you think Mrs. Folliat should be held legally accountable for her son’s actions? Does her lack of action make her guilty?
Hmmm. Perhaps. I think she may have found out about the initial murder quite a bit after the fact, but she should definitely have come forward after Hattie Stubbs' (the second) disappearance. I will say that I thought her character was cast very well, but was much more developed in the book, and therefore she was a much more sympathetic character in the book.
In the book, Sir George (a.k.a. James Folliat) was not overly painted as an evil, murderous person; however, in the TV episode his sinister traits were apparent towards the end. Do you think Sir George was inherently capable of performing multiple murders? Or, do you think he was caught in a spiral of deceit that he would stop at nothing to protect?
It's rather a moot point. Even if he was "caught in a spiral of deceit" as you say, that spiral began with the murder of his wife. So yes, he was an evil murderous person.
Lady Stubbs was described as “subhuman” from the beginning. Did you suspect her of being anything but what she claimed to be?
Yes, because I thought it odd that different people had such different reads on her character, and because she seemed more bratty than "subnormal" (what a horrible term!).
Supporting character development played a big role in the novel and was only touched upon in the TV version. Do you think the relationship between architect Michael and Mr. and Mrs. Legge was pivotal to the plot or served as background filler?
Obviously the time constraints of television make it necessary to cut things out of the book's plot (which is why books are always better); however, they played enough of a role. Poirot's discovery of the charm from Mrs. Legge's bracelet in the Folly definitely cast suspicion there for a bit. Michael Wayward was a great minor character in the book and was reduced to almost nothing in the film; again probably necessary but a definite loss.
There were some major plot differences between the TV rendering and Christie’s book. What were they? How did you feel about them?
The biggest difference that I noted was the lack of foreigners from the nearby youth hostel. They have a major role in the book, playing up the suspicion of outsiders (of which group of course Poirot himself belongs) and xenophobia common in rural England of the time, and make Hattie Stubbs' method of disappearance that much more believable. I feel they could have kept them in. The other difference that I noted was that Ariadne Oliver was much less scatty a character. I loved her in the film, but I love her more in the books. Of course Etienne de Sousa was played very differently as well, with the ring planted on him. I didn't mind the addition--I expect that the foreign cousin would have been arrested almost as a matter of course, although it did make George seem much more clever and scheming.


Better late than never!

I really enjoyed this one. :)

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