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The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie | Book Review

Published in 1931, “The Sittaford Mystery” by Agatha Christie is set in the tiny, isolated village in Dartmoor. A Mrs. Willet and her daughter has come to live at this outlandish place in dead of winter and are paying a very high rent for the house of Mr. Trevelyan. This seems queer to the entire neighborhood. Mr. Trevelyan, a retired army captain has gone to live at Hazelmoor, Exhampton until Mrs. Willet is staying in his house.

On one afternoon, when it is snowing heavily and is going to continue, a company meets in Mrs. Willet’s drawing room including Captain Trevelyan’s long-standing friend, Major Burnaby, Mr Rycroft, Mr Ronnie Garfield and Mr Duke. For fun, they start the game of Table-turning, and are informed by a spirit that Captain Trevelyan has been just murdered. Though everybody declares this as superstitious and unbeleivable, Major Burnaby decides to go and see Captain Trevelyan. But, the house is dark and nobody answers him. Getting a policeman and a doctor, the major returns to the house to find his best friend dead, hit by a sandbag on the back of the head.

As per Captain Trevelyan’s will, his property is to be equally divided amongst his sister Jennifer and children of his other sister, James Pearson, Sylvia Derring and Brian Pearson. Strangely enough, police finds that James Pearson had been visiting his uncle on the day of murder and has fled the scene on next morning. Police discovers that he is under heavy debt and had gone to his uncle to ask for a loan, suspects him and he is arrested. While Inspector Narracott is leading the official police investigation, James’ fiancée Emily Trefusis decides to find the murderer and set James free.

She arrives to Exhampton and finds an ally in press reporter Charles Enderby, who had originally come to the village to give a cheque for £5000 to Major Burnaby for winning the newspaper’s football competition. Together, they go to stay at Sittaford and start meeting people and searching for clues.

There are several side-tracks like Brian Pearson who was assumed to be in Australia, was actually in England at the time and what is more, he is the fiancee of Violet Vilette. Also, Martin Dering is revealed to have presented a false alibi. Emily meets all the eccentric neighbours of Captain Trevelyan and his relatives and finds something or other that everyone has been hiding.

Finally, truth comes to her in a momentary flash in Captain Trvelyan’s house and the mystery is successfully solved. So, is it happily-ever-after for Emilay & James and Violet & Brian or not? Find out…..

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