The ABC Murders

Also known as The Alphabet Murders

The ABC Murders book


There's a serial killer on the loose in England and Poirot and Hastings are on the case. With the killer apparently choosing victims based solely on their name and location, leaving an A.B.C. railway guide beside each body and working his way through the Alphabet... just how far will he get before he can be caught?


Poirot is joined once again by Captain Arthur Hastings in the 11th novel he features in.

when to read

This is an anytime read - I often listen to the audio book of this novel whether sunbathing on holiday or just doing the housework. There's a reference to 'Three Act Tragedy' in this one (can you spot it?) so if you've not read that first you might want to although it's not a huge spoiler.

murder mystery

A murder mystery with a larger pool of suspects than the usual closed circle ones.


Set in England with various towns mentioned including Andover and Doncaster

Publishing info

The ABC Murders was published in 1936 following on from 'Death in the Clouds' and before 'Murder in Mesopotamia'.

overall rating


On Screen

Watching Agatha Christie

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie was filmed as part of the ITV feature length episodes and is Season 4 episode 4 starring David Suchet as Poirot. 

The ABC Murders Character List

Alexander Bonaparte CustSalesman who suffers with blackouts
Alice AscherShopkeeper and victim
Captain Arthur HastingPoirot’s friend
Chief Inspector James JappScotland Yard detective
Constable DoverPolice officer investigating the dead of Alice Asher
Donald FraserBoyfriend of Elizabeth Barnard
Dr KerrDoctor who inspects Alice Asher’s body
Dr ThompsonForensic Psychologist creating a profile of the killer for Japp
Elizabeth ‘Betty’ BarnardWaitress at the Ginger Cat and victim
Franklin ClarkeBrother of Sir Carmichael
Franz AscherEstranged husband of Alice Ascher
George EarlsfieldBarber and fourth victim
Inspector CromeInvestigating office
Inspector GlenInvestigating officer into the killing of Alice Asher
Lady Charlotte ClarkeSir Carmichael’s terminally ill wife
Lily MarburyDaughter of Custs’ landlady
Mary DrowerMrs Ascher’s niece
Megan BarnardSister of Elizabeth Barnard
Michael HartingtonAquaintance of Cust’s landlady and an old friend of his
Milly HigleyCo-worker at The Ginger Cat with Betty Barnard
Roger Emmanuel DownesSchool teacher attending the cinema in Doncaster
Sir Carmichael ClarkeChinese art collector and victim
Thora GreySir Carmichael’s secretary
Tom HartiganLily’s boyfriend


A – Alice Asher 

B – Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Barnard

C – Sir Carmichael Clarke

D – George Earlsfield (mistakenly)

Although set up as the culprit, it is in fact Franklin Clarke

Franklin Clarke hopes to inherit his brother’s fortune but he can see the closeness between his brother and his young secretary building so he worries that after his wife’s soon and inevitable death, they will marry and potentially have children replacing him as beneficiary. He kills the others to disguise this personal crime among a series so the police will not look ‘close to home’.

Alice Asher – Bludgeoned 

Betty Barnard – Strangled

Carmichael – Bludgeoned with a spade

George Earlsfield – Stabbed

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