112 pages 3 hours read

Agatha Christie

The ABC Murders

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1936

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Chapters 9-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 9 Summary: “The Bexhill-on-Sea Murder”

Hastings wakes on the 25th of July, realizing Poirot is at his bedside. Poirot tells him that the promised murder has occurred some hours before. The victim is a young waitress named Elizabeth Barnard. She was found strangled by her own belt on the beach in Bexhill-on-Sea. Poirot and Hastings journey there by car with their official Scotland Yard liaison, Inspector Crome. Crome, Hastings declares, was “a much younger man, he was the silent, superior type. Well educated and well read, he was, for my taste, several shades too pleased with himself […] his manner to Poirot was a shade patronising” (62). Crome pontificates about the psychology of crime and is somewhat disdainful when Poirot asks if Betty Barnard was pretty. Poirot retorts that this is often very important in investigations involving women. Crome also ignores Poirot’s impression that the weapon of choice—the girl’s belt—has any significance. Hastings tries to argue in support of his friend but finds Poirot does not appreciate this.

When they arrive at the scene, Poirot and the others are told by another officer that the ABC railway guide was found near the body. Crome is unhappy that Poirot wishes to accompany him on witness interviews, and when the inspector offers to let him see the belt, Poirot demurs.