Murder in Retrospect *** Spoiler***

I finished reading Murder in Retrospect last night.  I loved it!  I just have a few questions. 1. Why did Caroline take the coniine if it wasn't for murder or suicide and 2. When did Elsa have time to put the coniine in the glass without anyone seeing her do it?


  • Hi Gen, I'm glad you enjoyed the book.  I'm rusty on the details so hopefully someone else can jump in with better answers, but as I recall, she went back for her sweater...which was a big hint to the reader right there...and that's when she did it.  If the reader catches that, it gives away the murderer, because it contradicts the information we've already been given.
  • Was Elsa posing alone with the artist ? House guests descended, occasionally, to say hi and view the art work, but opportunity was there during the sittings?
  • GenGen Ottawa
    Hi Madame_Doyle,
    Yes, she goes back to get the ''sweater'' and that's when she gets the coniine from Caroline's room.  This is true, and I had found it odd that she did that.  I supose at the same time she could have put it in the glass. Or as Griselda says, she could have added it when someone came down to visit.
    I love Agatha's books!  Thank you for your input.

  • I love them, too!  Yes, the two were alone long enough for the beer to be drugged.  It was a red herring that everyone believed the beer the wife brought down later contained the poison, because Elsa was able to pour some drops in to frame the wife.  There was plenty of time beforehand for them to remain undisturbed, and the drug was already taking effect, even though the police jumped to the conclusion that he drank the poison right before he died.
  • GenGen Ottawa
    I thought I was clever and had figured out it was Angela all along but it wasn't her.  I love how Agatha does that.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    I think that Caroline did consider suicide (or possibly homicide) for a while, but that was for a brief moment, and she didn't get around to disposing of the poison– and she liked having it around, even if she wasn't going to use it, it was kind of like having a bit of power in a situation that was spiraling out of her control.
  • If I remember correctly, Caroline did consider suicide. She finally gave it up the day of the murder after talking to her husband (the conversation that was overheard and misinterpreted)
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