Book Review: Witness for the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie

Witness for the Prosecution: A Play in Three Acts
by Agatha Christie
4 out of 5 stars

Young Leonard has been arrested for murder. He befriended an old lady, who changed her will and then was murdered under mysterious circumstances. The housekeeper says that she heard Leonard talking with the old lady near the time of death. Leonard’s only alibi is his wife, who states that he was home at the time of the murder. But what jury would believe a wife in the witness box trying to protect her husband?

I loved this mystery! I liked that it is mostly told from the perspective of the lawyers for the defense as they try to find out what really happened and find evidence to prove Leonard’s innocence. The plot kept surprising me around every turn, and there are not one but three plot twists at the end! It was completely fascinating.

However, it is not really a mystery plot in that we have to puzzle out the clues. The murder is not solved by a detective figuring it out based on the evidence. It is more of a confession that reveals the truth. I guess that is more dramatic on stage, but personally I prefer the puzzle aspect.

All the characters are interesting, but the two most mysterious are Leonard and his wife. During the whole play, I was trying to figure out what their relationship is really like. Do they really love each other or not? The whole plot hinges on that one point, and it was fascinating to see it all play out.

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