160. Graphic Novel Agatha Christie: Dumb Witness

Agatha Christie: Dumb Witness by Marek. (Canada) - (US)
The Agatha Christie Adventures

Pages: 46
Ages: 12+
Finished: Aug. 10, 2010
First Published: 2009 France (English Trans. July 27, 2010)
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Genre: mystery, Graphic Novel
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

The events which I am going to narrate were not, of course, known to me until a long time afterwards.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: My 11yo niece introduced me to this series when I visited with her in Edmonton this spring and I'd love to read them all!

This is a typical Agatha Christie story in that the possible suspects is a small group of people. Old Aunt Emily invites her remaining family down for the weekend which include a nephew and two nieces, plus one respective husband. The house also contains two servants and lastly involved is the local doctor's assistant, who happens to be the other niece's fiance. Emily has never given the family any money or even loans always saying that they'll have time enough to spend her money when she's gone, but that of course doesn't stop them from repeatedly asking over the years.On this particular weekend Aunt Emily takes a header down the stairs, blamed on the cursed dog's ball, but all is well and Aunt Emily is taken to bed with nothing more than bumps and bruises. Aunt Emily hasn't been well for years though, often taking spells of jaundice as she has liver problems. Two weeks later she takes another turn and dies, cause diagnosed as liver disease.

Two months later Hercule Poirot receives a letter from Aunt Emily and rushes to her home to find that she has died and her housekeeper has inherited her entire fortune. With a letter in his hand written the day of the tumble down the stairs but not mailed until two months later, Poirot knows that liver disease was not Aunt Emily's fatal nemesis, but rather a murderer is walking loose and he sets out to find the culprit for the sake of old woman's plea for help called out to him unfortunately to late to save her.

A great little Christie story and a fabulous experience to read in graphic format. When I was a kid (13yo I think) I went through a phase of reading all Christie's books and I've only re-read a few of them since but, of course, I've seen all the various British TV adaptations numerous times so some of the stories remain in my head. This one, however, didn't so it made it even a little more fun not remembering the story. This is a beautiful book. Very large, oversized with a front cover that is very visually attractive. The simple graphic design is heightened by printing the colour on glossy paper while the black remains matte. I love Marek's rendition of Poirot. He makes him quite serious, and intelligent making him seem to have the whole case almost solved from the beginning while he's only tying up loose ends the rest of the story. Meanwhile, the reader and Hastings are still trying to put everything together.

The art is realistic and typical of the French style. The text leaves some of the little French quotes from the original books and there is a curse once or twice, this may or may not be something a parent would want to consider. I know this would be a good way to get reluctant readers interested in Agatha Christie, but I think these will be even more enjoyed by fans of Christie who've read and watched all her books and the shows. Here is yet another format to experience the classic whodunit.


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