Marlene Dietrich as Christine Vole

I’ve been an Agatha Christie fan for years, but have only started reading short stories on a regular basis within the last couple of years, so most of her short stories are new to me, “The Witness for the Prosecution is no exception. The story was originally published in Flynn’s Weekly in 1925, then included in collections in the UK in 1933 and America in 1948. It was developed as a play in 1953 and as a film in 1957.

It’s an interesting tale. Leonard Vole is arrested for murdering a rich elderly woman. His alibi is that he was at home at the time of the killing, but when his lawyer goes to meet Vole’s wife, Romaine, she states that she hates Leonard and do everything she can to see him convicted. She becomes a witness for the prosecution. Of course, this is Agatha Christie and the story is not as straight as it at first seems, each character has his/her own motives and plans. I enjoyed the twist at the end. I don’t know that it caught me off guard, but it did seem fitting.

Good short story, not a mystery so much as a puzzle.

I read the story in Christie Classics from 1959, but it can be found in several collections. You can purchase it at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

First published 1925

4 out of 5 stars

John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.

Book source: Library


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