6 user 1 critic

Murder by the Book (1987)

Poirot has been murdered! Did Dame Agatha Christie do it?


Nick Evans (as Nicholas Evans)


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Cast overview:
Peggy Ashcroft ... Agatha Christie
Ian Holm ... Hercule Poirot
Richard Wilson ... Sir Max Mallowan
Michael Aldridge ... Edmond Cork
John Atkinson John Atkinson ... Gardener
Dawn Archibald Dawn Archibald ... Sally


Dame Agatha Christie's agents propose that it's time for her to publish the manuscript she wrote thirty-five years earlier, a novel in which she finally kills off her most famous creation. And it's not an entirely sad occasion. "That wretched little man", she says. "He's always been so much trouble. How is it Miss Marple has never upset me at all, not ever?" That night, who should appear at her doorstep but the wretched little man himself, Hercule Poirot? The great fictional detective and his creator proceed to play a very Christie-like game of cat and mouse for the manuscript, and for their own lives. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery




UK | Canada



Release Date:

25 May 1987 (Belgium) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Television South (TVS) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A rater engaging watch.
17 April 2018 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

As a definite Agatha Christie addict, I was intrigued to stumble across this little film, offbeat is definitely a word I'd use to describe it. It's an almost comical take on the fact that Christie wrote Curtain many years before it was published. The demand for Poirot novels remained huge, people just loved him, the only fictional character to receive an obituary in the New York times says it all.

Dame Peggy Ashcroft is rather charming as Agatha Christie, and Ian Holm does a surprisingly good job as Poirot, very reminiscent of Albert Finney. It's a jolly, frivolous watch, not to be taken too seriously, but it does make you think about Curtain. I've only managed to watch Suchet's 'Curtain' the once, as I hate goodbyes, Christie gave us Poirot, David Suchet kept him alive, now it falls on Sarah Phelps and the BBC to return him this Christmas (2018) and Kenneth Branagh in Death on the Nile (2019.)

What this drama shows is that we all love Poirot.

Fun, 7/10

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