Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Unexpected Guest - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie and Adapted by Charles Osborne

Rating:  Liked It (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Purchased

Description:  When a stranger runs his car into a ditch in dense fog near the South Wales coast, and makes his way to an isolated house, he discovers a woman standing over the dead body of her wheel-chair bound husband, gun in her hand. She admits to murder, and the unexpected guest offers to help her concoct a cover story.

But is it possible that Laura Warwick did not commit the murder after all? If so, who is she shielding? The victim's retarded young half-brother or his dying matriarchal mother? Laura's lover? Perhaps the father of the little boy killed in an accident for which Warwick was responsible? The house seems full of possible suspects ...

Genre: Mystery - Classic

My Impression:  Huh.  I'm not quite sure what I thought of this one.  This starts out looking like a very simple straightforward mystery but quickly spins out of control.  Is the obvious suspect the killer or is she covering for someone or was it simply wrong place wrong time?  And just who is the unexpected guest and what are his real motives?

This is a play written by Christie and much later adapted into a novel by Charles Osborne who is an actor and Christie lover.  He does a good job making this into a novel though there are times when the prose does feel like stage directions.  I was easily able to visualize the setting and characters and in some ways the stage directions enhanced this as I could see just how this would take place in play form.  

This is clearly Christie experimenting in the play format.  There's a bit more uncertainty as to just what happened and the atmosphere is much more unsettling with heavy fog and multiple motives.  When I finished this I couldn't quite decide what I thought of it but as a little time has gone by I've gotten more and more positive about it.  I would definitely enjoy seeing this in play form and will probably reread this though it may be a bit.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Of course!  Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors and I have one more of the adapted plays left.

Would I Recommend this Book?   Maybe?  If you're a big Christie fan than definitely if you're not than this probably isn't the book I'd recommend starting with.


  1. Can't go wrong with an Agatha Christie book. This sounds like another good one.

  2. I'd be interested to see this one done as a play, too!

  3. I have not read this one. The mystery, of course, intrigues me.

  4. Oh, this sound good. I want to read some Agatha Christie books, but I'll start with another one before this one.

  5. What a premise, quite messy to be figured out. It stands to reason it would take you awhile to figure out how you felt about it, but sounds like its growing on you.

  6. I am currently busy with Why didn't they ask Evans? Again. I have read it and we are busy watching the Britbox adaptation, so I just had to read it again!

    I don't know this one, ha. Will have to take a closer look....

    Elza Reads