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The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
Агата Кристи

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s seasonal Poirot and Marple short story collection.First came a sinister warning to Poirot not to eat any plum pudding… then the discovery of a corpse in a chest… next, an overheard quarrel that led to murder… the strange case of the dead man who altered his eating habits… and the puzzle of the victim who dreamt his own suicide.What links these five baffling cases? The little grey cells of Monsieur Hercule Poirot!

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

and a Selection of Entrées

Copyright (#u36420d25-0454-5604-87fc-39bdd232fd1e)

Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published in Great Britain by Collins 1960

Agatha Christie® Poirot® Marple® The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding™

Copyright © 1960 Agatha Christie Limited. All rights reserved.

www.agathachristie.com (http://www.agathachristie.com)

Cover design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2016

Title lettering by Ghost Design

Cover photographs © Ray Spence/Arcangel Images (hat), Shutterstock.com (http://Shutterstock.com) (wallpaper)

Agatha Christie asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780008164980

Ebook Edition © September 2016 ISBN: 9780007422111

Version: 2017-04-12

Table of Contents

Cover (#uf5079cea-608c-524f-aa90-57c8dd42e81e)

Title Page (#ue5b57869-48d4-55d5-9e57-8c24b6bb2cef)

Copyright (#uaff545ac-5668-5f02-bf3a-fc5b586d41db)

Foreword (#u785bcb79-b8d2-5422-ae8a-0272d5ddfe09)

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (#ue399022c-90c8-5278-b629-ea00dd9d73dd)

The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (#ua3b06806-8e73-5563-b715-87f5ed8c46dc)

The Under Dog (#litres_trial_promo)

Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds (#litres_trial_promo)

The Dream (#litres_trial_promo)

Greenshaw’s Folly (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by Agatha Christie (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

FOREWORD (#u36420d25-0454-5604-87fc-39bdd232fd1e)

This book of Christmas fare may be described as ‘The Chef’s Selection’. I am the Chef!

There are two main courses: ‘The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding’ and ‘The Mystery of the Spanish Chest’; a selection of Entrées: ‘Greenshaw’s Folly’, ‘The Dream’ and ‘The Under Dog’, and a Sorbet: ‘Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds’.

‘The Mystery of the Spanish Chest’ may be described as a Hercule Poirot Special. It is a case in which he considers he was at his best! Miss Marple, in her turn, has always been pleased with her perspicuity in ‘Greenshaw’s Folly’.

‘The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding’ is an indulgence of my own, since it recalls to me, very pleasurably, the Christmases of my youth. After my father’s death, my mother and I always spent Christmas with my brother-in-law’s family in the north of England—and what superb Christmases they were for a child to remember! Abney Hall had everything! The garden boasted a waterfall, a stream, and a tunnel under the drive! The Christmas fare was of gargantuan proportions. I was a skinny child, appearing delicate, but actually of robust health and perpetually hungry! The boys of the family and I used to vie with each other as to who could eat most on Christmas Day. Oyster Soup and Turbot went down without undue zest, but then came Roast Turkey, Boiled Turkey and an enormous Sirloin of Beef. The boys and I had two helpings of all three! We then had Plum Pudding, Mince-pies, Trifle and every kind of dessert. During the afternoon we ate chocolates solidly. We neither felt, nor were, sick! How lovely to be eleven years old and greedy!

What a day of delight from ‘Stockings’ in bed in the morning, Church and all the Christmas hymns, Christmas dinner, Presents, and the final Lighting of the Christmas Tree!

And how deep my gratitude to the kind and hospitable hostess who must have worked so hard to make Christmas Day a wonderful memory to me still in my old age.

So let me dedicate this book to the memory of Abney Hall—its kindness and its hospitality.

And a happy Christmas to all who read this book.

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (#u36420d25-0454-5604-87fc-39bdd232fd1e)

‘I regret exceedingly—’ said M. Hercule Poirot.

He was interrupted. Not rudely interrupted. The interruption was suave, dexterous, persuasive rather than contradictory.

‘Please don’t refuse offhand, M. Poirot. There are grave issues of State. Your co-operation will be appreciated in the highest quarters.’

‘You are too kind,’ Hercule Poirot waved a hand, ‘but I really cannot undertake to do as you ask. At this season of the year—’
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