Friday, November 4, 2022

Recent reading: "Dumb Witness"

Another YouTube audio book!
Bob and his beloved ball.
Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie
Read by Hugh Fraser
Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings investigate the death of an elderly woman who is initially believed to have died of a perfectly innocent illness. Everyone believes so except Poirot, who is of course correct: wealthy Emily Arundell was murdered for her fortune. But when her will is read her supposed heirs - a nephew, Charles Arundell, and two nieces, Theresa Arundell and Bella Tanios - have been disinherited in favor of Aunt Emily's mild-mannered companion, Minnie Lawson. And it will be man's best friend - Aunt Emily's pet dog Bob, the supposedly dumb witness of the title - who will help Poirot crack the case, at least in the TV version. Sadly, Bob kind of disappears from the case in the novel. Still, the resolution of this case is one of my favorite Poirot reveals.

Dumb Witness was the first ever episode of the Poirot TV series I watched. My Mom, who had been a fan for years, accidentally ended up with two DVD copies of this episode and gave one of them to me. I've been hooked ever since. It doesn't hurt that the fox terrier who played Bob in the show was untrimmed, making him adorably floofy. As mentioned before, there are differences between the novel and the episode, but in this case (unlike my dislike of the changes made to the episode of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) everything works. I also really liked that in the novel Hastings ends up with Bob, rather than leaving him with a couple of supporting characters as was done in the episode. Maybe the producers made the change so that viewers wouldn't wonder about Bob when he didn't show up in future episodes.

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