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The Hunter’s Lodge Case by Agatha Christie

The Hunter’s Lodge Case

The Hunter’s Lodge Case: A Classic Mystery by Agatha Christie

Introduction

If you’re a fan of detective stories, you’ve probably heard of Agatha Christie, the best-selling author of all time. She wrote over 60 novels and 150 short stories, featuring famous sleuths like Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Tommy and Tuppence. Her stories are full of twists, turns, and surprises that keep the readers hooked till the end.

One of her most fascinating stories is The Hunter’s Lodge Case, which was first published in 1924 as part of the collection Poirot Investigates. It’s a short story that features Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective with a brilliant mind and a distinctive moustache. In this story, Poirot is called to investigate a murder that takes place at a remote hunting lodge in the countryside. The case seems simple at first, but soon Poirot discovers that nothing is as it seems.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at The Hunter’s Lodge Case by Agatha Christie and see why it’s such a classic mystery. We’ll also give you some tips on how to solve the case yourself, if you’re feeling adventurous. Let’s get started!

 Agatha Christie

The Plot

The story begins with Poirot receiving a telegram from his friend Inspector Japp, who asks him to join him at a place called Hunter’s Lodge in Derbyshire. Japp says that he has a very interesting case for him, involving a rich man who was shot dead in his room.

Poirot agrees to go, but he catches a cold on the way and has to stay in bed at a nearby hotel. He sends his assistant, Captain Hastings, to Hunter’s Lodge instead. Hastings meets Japp there and learns more about the case.

The victim is Roger Havering, a wealthy businessman who owns a large estate in Yorkshire. He was staying at Hunter’s Lodge with his wife Zoe and his cousin Harrington Pace. Hunter’s Lodge is owned by Pace, who invited the Haverings for a hunting trip.

The murder happened on the previous night, when Havering and Pace went out for a walk after dinner. Zoe stayed in her room, saying that she had a headache. A few minutes later, she rang the bell and asked for some soda water from the maid, Edith. Edith went to fetch it from the kitchen and returned to find Zoe standing outside her room, holding a revolver. Zoe said that she heard a shot and found her husband dead on the floor.

Edith ran to get help from the cook, Mrs Middleton, who was also the only other person in the house. They called the police and waited for them to arrive. Japp was the first one to reach the scene and he questioned Zoe and Edith. He also examined the body and found that Havering was shot through the heart at close range. The revolver belonged to Pace and had one bullet missing.

Japp also noticed some strange things about the crime scene. For example, there was no sign of a struggle or forced entry. The window was open, but there were no footprints outside. The door was locked from inside, but there was no key in it. And most importantly, there was no motive for anyone to kill Havering.

Japp was puzzled by these facts and hoped that Poirot would be able to solve them. He also suspected that Zoe was lying about something, but he couldn’t prove it.

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The Characters

The Hunter’s Lodge Case has four main characters: Roger Havering, Zoe Havering, Harrington Pace, and Edith Rossiter. Here’s a brief description of each one:

  • Roger Havering: He was the victim of the murder. He was 45 years old and very rich. He inherited his fortune from his father, who made it in South Africa. He married Zoe three years ago and they lived in Yorkshire. He was fond of hunting and fishing.
  • Zoe Havering: She was Roger’s wife and the prime suspect of the murder. She was 25 years old and very beautiful. She came from an aristocratic family that had fallen on hard times. She married Roger for his money and didn’t love him. She was unhappy in her marriage and wanted to get away from him.
  • Harrington Pace: He was Roger’s cousin and his host at Hunter’s Lodge. He was 40 years old and very handsome. He had an adventurous life and travelled around the world. He made some money in mining and bought Hunter’s Lodge as a retreat. He was friendly with Roger and Zoe and invited them for a visit.
  • Edith Rossiter: She was the maid at Hunter’s Lodge and the only witness of the murder. She was 20 years old and very plain. She came from a poor family and worked as a servant. She was loyal to Pace and respected him. She was scared by the murder and told the truth to the police.

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The Clues

The Hunter’s Lodge Case is full of clues that can help you solve the mystery. Some of them are obvious, while others are hidden or misleading. Here are some of the clues that you should pay attention to:

  • The telegram: The story starts with a telegram that Japp sends to Poirot, asking him to come to Hunter’s Lodge. The telegram says: “Come at once if convenient—if inconvenient come all the same.” This is a reference to Sherlock Holmes, the famous fictional detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes often used this phrase when he summoned his friend Dr Watson to join him on a case. This clue suggests that Agatha Christie was inspired by Sherlock Holmes and wanted to create a similar mystery for Poirot.
  • The revolver: The weapon used in the murder was a revolver that belonged to Pace. It had one bullet missing, which matched the wound on Havering’s chest. This clue seems to implicate Pace as the killer, but it also raises some questions. Why would Pace leave his revolver in his room, where anyone could find it? Why would he shoot his cousin, who was his friend and guest? And how did he get into Havering’s room, if the door was locked from inside?
  • The window: The window in Havering’s room was open, but there were no footprints outside. This clue suggests that the killer didn’t enter or leave through the window, but it also contradicts Zoe’s story. She said that she heard a shot from outside and ran to the window to see what happened. But if the window was already open, why didn’t she hear the shot earlier? And why didn’t she see anyone outside?
  • The key: The door in Havering’s room was locked from inside, but there was no key in it. This clue implies that the killer locked the door after shooting Havering and took the key with him or her. But how did he or she do that, if the window was closed and there was no other way out? And where did he or she hide the key?
  • The soda water: Zoe asked for some soda water from Edith, just before she discovered her husband’s body. This clue seems to be irrelevant, but it actually reveals a lot about Zoe’s character. Soda water is a drink that people use to calm their nerves or settle their stomachs. Why did Zoe need it, if she had a headache? Was she nervous or sick about something? And why did she ask for it at that particular moment?

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How to Solve It

If you want to solve The Hunter’s Lodge Case , you need to use your logic and imagination. You need to analyze the clues carefully and look for inconsistencies or contradictions. You also need to consider the motives and alibis of each character and see if they make sense.

Here are some questions that can help you solve the mystery:

  • Who had a reason to kill Roger Havering?
  • Who had an opportunity to kill Roger Havering?
  • Who had access to Pace’s revolver?
  • How did the killer get into Havering’s room?
  • How did the killer lock the door from inside?
  • How did the killer escape from Havering’s room?
  • What role did Zoe play in the murder?
  • What role did Edith play in the murder?

If you can answer these questions correctly, you’ll be able to figure out who killed Roger Havering and how they did it.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about The Hunter’s Lodge Case by Agatha Christie:

  • Q: When and where was The Hunter’s Lodge Case published?
    • A: The Hunter’s Lodge Case was first published in 1924 as part of the collection Poirot Investigates. It was also published as a standalone story in various magazines and anthologies.
  • Q: Who is Hercule Poirot?
    • A: Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous creations. He is a Belgian detective who lives in London and solves crimes using his “little grey cells”. He is known for his eccentric personality, his impeccable manners, and his distinctive moustache.
  • Q: Who is Captain Hastings?
    • A: Captain Hastings is Poirot’s friend and assistant. He is a British soldier who served in World War I and met Poirot in Belgium. He often accompanies Poirot on his cases and narrates some of his stories. He is loyal, brave, and honest, but also naive, impulsive, and romantic.
  • Q: Who is Inspector Japp?
    • A: Inspector Japp is a Scotland Yard detective who often works with Poirot on his cases. He is a competent and professional policeman, but he sometimes lacks Poirot’s insight and intuition. He respects Poirot’s abilities, but he also finds him annoying and arrogant at times.

Conclusion

The Hunter’s Lodge Case by Agatha Christie is a classic example of a locked-room mystery, where the crime seems impossible to commit or solve. It showcases Agatha Christie’s talent for creating clever plots, engaging characters, and surprising endings. It also features one of her most beloved detectives, Hercule Poirot, who uses his “little grey cells” to crack the case.

If you’re looking for a short and satisfying read that will challenge your mind and entertain your imagination, you should definitely check out The Hunter’s Lodge Case by Agatha Christie. You’ll be amazed by how she manages to pack so much mystery and suspense in just a few pages. And who knows, maybe you’ll be able to solve the case before Poirot does! 😉

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