Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly
Agatha Christie fans will be pleased to know that HarperCollins has made available as an ebook this oddity, an early draft story that later became the novel Dead Man’s Folly.
According to the publisher, the genesis of Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly was an attempt by Christie to raise money for stained glass windows in her local church. She was going to write a story called “The Greenshore Folly” and give the rights to a fund for that purpose. However, the story’s length prevented its sale, so Christie turned the story into the novel and wrote another story, “Greenshaw’s Folly” (this time with Miss Marple) for the church.
Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly is the original, unsold story. It’s being called a “lost classic”, but it’s really more of an insight into the creative process, how Christie fleshed out a story into a novel. The first two chapters are pretty much the same, as are the murder, the ending, and the mystery solution. It’s the details in the middle that are missing here.
Poirot is summoned to Sir George Stubbs’ Greenshore House by mystery writer Ariadne Oliver. She’s been hired to create a fake murder for a local festival, but she has a premonition that something’s going to go wrong. She turns out to be right when the village girl playing the victim winds up murdered for real. The Folly is a small temple-like architectural element on the grounds that’s used as one of the settings for the mystery as well as a way to symbolize the futility of trying to get away with murder. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)