Short summary - Murder Is Easy - Agatha Christie

British literature summaries - 2020

Short summary - Murder Is Easy
Agatha Christie

Luke Fitzwilliam arrives in England on vacation. In the compartment of the next train to London, his fellow traveler is an elderly lady Miss Pinkerton. The talkative old woman reports that she is heading to Scotland Yard. In the village where she lives, someone is dying all the time, and she suspects that they are murders. Miss Pinkerton considers Dr. Humbleby to be the next victim. She would have hit the road before, but somewhere her beloved cat Pooh disappeared, and besides, his ear hurt.

Soon, Luke sees a note in the newspaper that Miss Pinkerton shot down a car to death, and a message about the death of Dr. Humbleby is posted in the obituary department. Luke decides to come to the village and find out. Luke’s friend lives there with cousin Bridget, who serves as secretary to Lord Whitfield and is engaged to his master. Having invented that Luke comes to the village supposedly to collect local folklore, a friend asks Bridget for help. Luke wants to check whether it is easy to kill.

Bridget invites Luke to have a cup of tea with her, Lord Whitfield and her aunts. During the conversation, Luke mentions the deceased Dr. Humbleby. His interlocutors say that the doctor died of blood poisoning, scratched his finger and did not pay attention. In general, over the past year many people have died.

Bridget recalls the deceased over the past year: Mr. Carter, the owner of the pub, Mrs. Horton, the disgusting boy Tommy Pierce, who was kicked out by lawyer Mr. Abbott, and then he washed the windows in the library and fell out of the window, Emmy Gibs, who served as a maid at Bridget, and then went to work for a certain Miss Wainfleet. Emmy mixed up the bottles in the dark and, instead of cough syrup, drank the paint for the hats.

Luke decides to turn to a local priest, a great lover of funeral rituals and ceremonies, who says that his partner, Dr. Thomas, benefited the most from the death of Dr. Humbleby. Dr. Humbleby was more popular than he was, and Miss Rose Humbleby and Dr. Thomas were about to get married despite the fact that the girl's father was categorically against it.

Luke and Bridget visit Miss Wainfleet, who is fully consistent with the idea of a rustic old maid. After the death of her friend Miss Pinkerton, Miss Wainfleet took her cat Pooh, who is now suffering from ears.

Miss Wainfleet warmly greets the collector of folklore and tells him the story of Emmy Gibs. The girl met with a garage mechanic, and then became interested in the owner of an antique shop, Mr. Ellsworthy.

Luke and Bridget enter the Ellsworthy shop, which makes them an unpleasant impression. Going out onto the street, Luke and Bridget meet Major Horton, a rude and grumpy man whose wife died a year ago. Despite his character, the major was under the heel of his wife.

Brigitte realizes that the true reason for Luke's arrival is not folklore. Luke confesses to the girl that he came to investigate the killings, and Bridget offers him his help.

Luke makes a list of victims and those around them, but he cannot find any connection between them. Luke goes to Dr. Thomas as a patient. During the conversation, Luke notices that the doctor is in love with the daughter of the late Dr. Humbleby. Dr. Thomas believes that if you act carefully, you can kill without incurring suspicion.

On the street, Luke meets Mrs. Pierce, the mother of the deceased Tommy, whom everyone did not like. The woman believes that her son just mimicked others. True, he once saw the lawyer Abbott's personal letter from a certain lady. Mrs. Pierce also says that the lawyer quarreled with Dr. Humbleby and the owner of the beer Carter.

Rosa Humbleby approaches Luke. So many deaths happened here that the girl begins to hate this place, not without reason Miss Pinkerton was worried about her father. The old woman was also worried about Bridget. Rosa is afraid of Mr. Ellworth, who performed a magic ritual with his friends, and Tommy Pierce was like a servant. Upon learning about this, Bridget laughs, she is not afraid of witchcraft.

From the manager of the local bank, Luke learns that Major Horton and Mr. Abbot are avid fans of the races, and the day Miss Pinkerton died, they could be in London. Major Horton tells Luke that his wife had gastritis and that Miss Pinkerton and Miss Wainfleet visited her. Mrs. Horton also sympathized with the unpleasant Mr. Ellworth, who brought her some medicine.

Luke is jealous of Bridget for Lord Whitfield and declares her love. A few years ago, because of a rich woman, she was abandoned by a man whom she loved madly. Now Bridget wants to marry the rich.

From Rosa, Luke learns that on the day of the races, Dr. Thomas was not far from London.

Luke decides to confess to Miss Wainfleet that he came to investigate what is happening and what he learned from Miss Pinkerton. He asks a woman about Emmy Gibbs. Miss Wainfleet believes the girl was killed. They examine the room of the deceased, but find no trace. Miss Wainfleet guesses who could be the killer, but does not want to lead Luke on a false track. Hearing of Miss Pinkerton’s assumption of the death of Dr. Humbleby, Miss Wainfleet is horrified.

Saying goodbye, Miss Wenfleet tells Luke that she was once engaged to Lord Whitfield. She hopes that Bridget will be happy with him.

Aunt Emmy Gibbs tells Luke that Emmy participated in a ritual with Mr. Allworth. For this, Lord Whitfield scolded her, the girl punished him in response, and he fired her. Mr. Ellworth seems suspicious to her, and she reports that on the day of Miss Pinkerton's death he left the village.

Luke ponders the information he has collected. While he suspects those who left the village on the day of Miss Pinkerton's death. These are Mr. Thomas, Major Horton, Abbot's lawyer, and Mr. Ellworth, but he cannot understand which of them benefited from the death of all the victims.

Luke examines the library where Tommy Pierce washed the windows. Miss Wainfleet comes in for books for Mrs. Humbleby. Talking about his suspicions, Luke leaves the library with her and they pass by the house of Lord Whitfield, who at this time reports to his chauffeur for drunkenness. Miss Wainflit leaves, and the lord tells Luke that her father, Colonel Wainflit, was against their engagement, but they broke up because the lord accidentally turned her neck to her canary. Bridget arrived and said that several extravagantly dressed people had arrived in the village and Mr. Ellworth was preparing a ritual. Upon hearing this, the lord becomes indignant.

Confident that Mr. Ellworth and his friends are performing a ritual, Luke climbs into his house. There he finds notes in a notebook about Tommy Pierce and Emmy. Suddenly, Mr. Ellworth comes into the house and Luke sees bloodstains on his hands. Invisible by the owner, Luke gets out of the house and goes to the lord's estate. Near him, he meets Bridget, who reports that she decided to terminate the engagement with the Lord. Under the pillar they see a dead driver, on whom a stone decoration fell.

Lord Whitfield believes that the driver’s death is a punishment from above. The driver, like Tommy Pierce, Emmy Gibs, Mrs. Horton, Dr. Humbleby and others, dared him, and now they are all dead.

From a London policeman who is in charge of running over Miss Pinkerton, Luke finds out that a certain woman reported the number of the car that drove into an old woman whom she had learned from a witness to the incident. The car turns out to be the car of the Lord, but he and his driver have a 100% alibi. Returning, Luke comes to Miss Wainfleet and tells her that the Lord is a killer. The woman advises Luke to take Bridget and quickly leave here.

Luke and Bridget tell Lord Whitfield that they have decided to get married and are leaving. The Lord courageously endures the blow. He examines the knife that he brought as a present from Morocco, but here comes Miss Wainfleet. Upon hearing of the engagement, she invites Luke and Bridget to stay with her.

Luke is convinced that Lord Whitfield is a serial killer. Bridget does not believe him, but nonetheless decides to accept Miss Wainfleet's invitation and stay with her.

Miss Wainfleet is worried about her ex-fiancé; she believes he is out of his mind and may not be hanged for the killings. Luke leaves Bridget in the care of Miss Wainfleet, and he himself leaves for London for the Superintendent. The hostess offers the girl tea, which she quietly pours.

Miss Wainfleet offers Bridget a walk. Surprised, Bridget sees Miss Wainfleet wearing gloves. In the shade of the trees, tired Bridget lays on the grass and falls asleep. Miss Wainfleet pulls out a Moroccan knife and rolls it over the girl. She admits that she hates Bridget for a long time because she wanted to marry Lord Whitfield. The lord was the son of a simple merchant and cast Miss Wainfleet, daughter of a colonel. It was she who killed those who dared him: she pushed Tommy, poured Mrs. Horton's poison, changed the bottles of Emmy Gibs, dropped the jewelry on the driver. Miss Wainfleet wounded Dr. Humbleby with scissors, and then bandaged his hand with a bandage that was infected with bacteria from Pooh's cat's ear. She pushed Miss Pinkerton under the car, and called Lord Whitfield's car number. Miss Wainfleet hoped to take revenge on her ex-groom that he was found guilty of her crimes. Now she will kill the girl with the Lord’s fingerprint knife.

The Superintendent doubts that he will be able to indict a person holding such a high position in society. Luke meets Mrs. Humbleby. Upon learning that Bridget has settled with Miss Wainfleet, the woman is horrified: Ms. Wainfleet is an evil woman, she wounded her husband. Suddenly, Luke recalls that Miss Wainfleet looked at Bridget with an angry gaze. From the gardener, he learns which way the women went, and rushes there. Luke sees Miss Wainfleet attempting to kill Bridget.

It turns out that the blood in Mr. Ellworth’s hands was from a rooster killed in the ritual. Lord Whitfield forgives Bridget and now she will begin a new life with Luke.