Three Act Tragedy

Also known as Murder in Three Acts

Three Act Tragedy book


At a simple drinks party the unthinkable happens - the Reverend Babbington drops down dead after drinking his cocktail. Although initially not deemed suspicious even by Poirot who was himself a guest, when the same thing happens at another house party with the same group of people...Poirot sets out to investigate


The 9th novel to feature Poirot although this time he isn't accompanied by our beloved Hastings.

when to read

An English summer time read - enjoy in a shady spot in the garden with an iced tea or maybe even a cocktail...?

Although this novel doesn't refer to any of the previous ones, latter novels do refer to this one so after you have finished this...consider reading 'Hercule Poirot's Christmas' and 'The A.B.C. Murders' to see if you can spot them.

murder mystery

Closed circle murder mystery


Back in Cornwall for the English summer.

Publishing info

Three Act Tragedy was published in 1935 the same year as 'Why didn't they ask Evans' and 'Death in the Clouds' - a busy year for AC!

overall rating


On Screen

Watching Agatha Christie

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie was filmed as part of the ITV feature length episodes and is Season 12 episode 1 starring David Suchet as Poirot. 

Three Act Tragedy Character List

Alice WestParlour maid for Bartholomew
Angela Sutcliffe Famous actress at Sir Charles’ party
BakerBartholomew Strange’s usual butler
Beatrice ChurchUpper housemaid for Batholomew Strange
Captain DacresOld sea captain, gambler and guest at Sir Charles’ party, married to Cynthia
Colonel JohnsonThe Chief Constable of Yorkshire.
Cynthia DacresDressmaker and wife of captain Dacres
Doris Coker Under housemaid for Bartholomew
Doris SimsEmployee at Cynthia Dakers’ dress shop whom Egg interviews
Dr Bartholomew StrangeNerve specialist and friend of Sir Charles. Second victim
Dr MacDougalDoctor called to attend to Rev Babbington 
Edward BabbingtonSecond son of Rev and Mrs Babbington
EllisButler at Bartholomew Strange’s dinner
Gladys LyndonPrivate secretary to Bartholomew Strange
Hermione Lytton Gore ‘Egg’Also known as Egg and love interest of Sir Charles
Lady CampbellGuest at Bartholomew Strages’ party, attending with her husband
Lady EdenGuest at Bartholomew Strages’ party, attending with her husband
Lady Mary Lyttin-GoreEgg’s mother and guest at Sir Charles’ party
Lloyd BabbingtonThird son of Rev and Mrs Babbington
Lord EdenGuest at Bartholomew Strages’ party, attending with his wife
MarcelleEmployee at Cynthia Dakers’ dress shop
Margaret BabbingtonReverend Babbington’s wife
Martha Leckie Cook for Bartholomew Strange
Mr SatterthwaiteAssists Poirot with his investigation
Mrs De RushbridgerPatient at Dr Strange’s sanatorium and third victim
Mrs Margaret de RushbridgerA patient at the sanatorium Dr Bartholomew Strange runs
Muriel Wills/ Anthony AsterPlaywright and guest at the party
Oliver MandersYoung friend of Egg who rides a motorbike
Reverend BabbingtonVicar in Cornwall and victim
Robin Babbington Deceased son of the Babbingtons
Sir Charles CartwrightFamous stage actor and friend of Poirot
Sir Jocelyn CampbellGuest at Bartholomew Strages’ party, attending with his wife
Stephen Babbington (Junior)Fourth son of Rev and Mrs Babbington
Superintendent CrossfieldInvestigating officer
TempleParlourmaid for Charles Cartwright
Victoria BallBetween housemaid for Bartholomew
Violet Bassington Kitchen maid for Bartholomew
Violet MilraySpinster servant of Sir Charles 


Reverend Babbington is the first victim followed by Dr Bartholomew Strange

Sir Charles Cartwright

Sir Charles is in love with ‘Egg’ and wishes to marry her but is secretly already married to a lady in Bartholomew’s sanatorium. He opts for murder over bigamy. The murder of the Rev. Babbington was simply a dress rehearsal. 

Both victims are poisoned with nicotine

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