Ordeal By Innocence

Another Agatha Christie mystery that I have just finished reading and here I am typing the review! Two more reviews to go and one more book to read! Phew..I am enjoying reading all the novels of Agatha.

So let me say what I have to about the novel and hope to inspire you to read it for yourself!


Dr Arthur Calgary arrives at the Argyle family home to give them the shock of their lives , that is exonerate Jacko Argyle of his mother Rachel Argyle’s murder, two years after Jacko’s death! (Jacko dies of Pneumonia in the prison.)

He hopes the family will be happy by the exoneration of Jacko, but he is mistaken. The family is not happy because, they now have a murderer amongst themselves who has evaded the punishment for the said crime!

Rachel Argyle, the deceased, was a rich philanthropist. Her husband , Leo Argyle is a very noble and intelligent man.

They foster 5 kids, since they have none of their own.

Mary Durrant – the eldest, married to Philip Durrant.

Micheal – the boy who could never forgive his mother for giving him up for a mere 100 pounds to Rachel Argyle.

Tina – a quite librarian, who loves her mother for adopting her and taking care of her.

Jacko – the monkey faced petty thief whom his foster parents could never set right…the problem child.

Hester – the youngest wild child, who loved to rebel.

Miss Lindstrom – the nun like woman who nurses all the children right from their childhood.

Miss Gwenda Vaughan – Leo Argyle’s secretary.

After Jacko is posthumously pardoned, the case re-opens.

Who among all these is the murderer? What is the motive?

Does Tina know something related to the crime?

Or does Miss Lindstrom suspect someone to be the culprit?

Philip the invalid husband of Mary tries to solve the crime but ends up being killed.

Who killed Philip?

Who tries to kill Tina?

What is the meaning of the cryptic message given by Tina?

Does Micheal have anything to do with the crime?

Is Hester really the innocent child she seems to be or is she capable of extreme violence when aroused?

Did Leo kill his wife to marry the secretary he is in love with? Or did the secretary kill Rachel to marry her boss?

One has to read till the last chapter to find answers to all these questions.

I could guess the killer only near the penultimate page, till then I was wondering and hoping it is not the one character I began to like! (I won’t tell which!)

Overall a very engaging novel, worth reading in a single go!


1. The intensity with which Rachel loves her foster kids can be seen in Mary, who loves Philip is the same lines!

2. Suggested pose to read : Using a pillow for support, lying on your side on the bed and a piece of Andhra’s very own Pootharekulu in other hand is a very good idea for a snack during the read!