g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Short Stories Site

BellaOnline's Short Stories Editor


The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

Guest Author - Jacqueline Suffolk

The Pale Horse is a novella by Agatha Christie, approximately 50,000 words and was published in 1961 by Fontana Books. I found this book in a parcel of a dozen books in a charity shop (Goodwill) in Sourthern England for a princely sum of 50pence (0.70 cents).

This story revolves around an amateur sleuth, Mark Easterbrook, an historian who resides in Chelsea, a wealthy part of London. Parts of the story are written in the first person, Marks narrative and others in the thrid person, when the story dosen't include Mark. The story is set in two distinct places, which is usual for a novella, a country village, near Bournemouth and Chelsea, in London.

It opens with a womans deathbed confession, a priest and a list of names. This list contains amongst other things, the police surgeon's name, he jokingly, imparts this information to Mark. Mark is coincidentally, aquainted with several of the names on the list, a few of whom have recently died, of natural causes, naturally. Their relatives have benefitted from the deceased's will and the stepmother of one is now leading a very comfortable life.

The main story takes place in Much Deeping,a fictional village near Bournemouth. All the suspicious characters we expect are there, the vicar and his bossy wife, a rich eccentric, (where did his money come from?), three ladies who live in ‘The Pale Horse’ an ex public house. The old dirty pub sign remains over the fireplace inside, a clue there for you. The three ladies, Sybil, a medium, Bella, the servant and Thyrza the modern woman in charge, live and thrive on their notoriety of practicing the dark arts. They offer a service, a very expensive one, to remove a relative, allegedly by witchcraft but with a modern scientific twist, an electrical box.

We are used to Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, collecting everyone in the room at the end of the story and pronouncing to the assembled, the murderer. So, although we have a central character in Mark Easterbrook, he solves the crime with Chief Inspector Le Jeune, not by himself. He also has two love interests, the first, Hermia a very suitable young lady but boring and the second Ginger, who you warm to immediately, who puts her life in danger, so the crime can be solved.

The story is very well crafted; I enjoyed being misled by the many red herrings. Although in a similar vein to her other novellas, I wondered if she was developing her central character to be a modern Hercule Poirot. I think Mark’s a bit wet for my liking, but intellectual, and in the end when brains couldn’t solve the mystery, Ginger’s spark for life and direct action did. I definitely think my charity shop find was a bargain. I’ve only another eleven to read.
Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Twitter Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Facebook Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to MySpace Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Digg The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Yahoo My Web Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Google Bookmarks Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Stumbleupon Add The+Pale+Horse+by+Agatha+Christie to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Short Stories Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Jacqueline Suffolk. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jacqueline Suffolk. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Michelle Anne Cope for details.


g features
Danny and the Dinosaur Storybook Collection Review

How They Met And Other Stories by David Levithan

Seventy-Six Dollars and Forty-Nine Cents Review

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor