112 pages 3 hours read

Agatha Christie

The ABC Murders

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1936

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Chapters 4-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 4 Summary: “Mrs. Ascher”

Hastings recounts what he and Poirot learned from the Andover police. Mrs. Ascher was killed in her shop, discovered in the early hours of the morning. She was hit on the head, her back to her assailant. Witness interviews indicated that she was last seen alive sometime between 5:30 and 6 the previous day. The police inform Poirot and Hastings are still searching for the dead woman’s husband, who has no occupation and periodically threatened his wife though she readily supplied him with money to keep him away. She had previously worked as a domestic servant and set up her tobacco and newspaper shop after receiving a small inheritance from a former employer.

The police inspector asks Poirot for the letter, deciding that is unlikely Ascher could have written it and that its presence complicates the case. He hopes that the dead woman’s niece, Mary Drower, may offer more insight. The Aschers married before World War I, and the inspector notes that the war likely made their situation more difficult, though the marriage broke down due to alcoholism. Ascher arrives in a somewhat hysterical state, protesting his innocence. Poirot asks the inspector if anything was found at the scene, and is informed there was a railway guide.