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Five Little Pigs is a 1942 mystery novel by Agatha Christie.
Sixteen years ago, Caroline Crale was convicted of the murder of her husband, the painter Amyas Crale. Their daughter approaches Hercule Poirot to investigate the case. Poirot visits the five people present at the time of the murder, and each of them gives a slightly different story.
The story was featured in the television series Poirot in 2003.
- Asshole Victim: Subverted: several characters sided with Caroline Crale when she was convicted of murdering her husband Amyas, since he was having an affair with his model. However, Poirot realizes that Amyas was never going to leave Caroline and only kept Elsa around to finish the painting. Elsa killed him and framed Caroline when she learned that he had always intended to stay with his wife.
- Brutal Honesty: Caroline Crayle believed in this, at least according to her daughter. The reason that Carla believes her mother is innocent is because Caroline sent her a letter saying so, and Caroline never told her daughter comforting lies.
- Clear Their Name: The daughter wants to prove that her mother was innocent.
- Death by Adaptation: Well, she is dead by the start of both the novel and the Poirot adaptation, but in the novel Caroline Crayle'd got a life sentence and died a year later in prison, while the adaptation had her executed.
- Does Not Like Men: Miss Williams.
- Gayngst: Philip Blake in the Poirot adaption
- Ironic Nursery Tune: The five suspects matches the five little pigs in the nursery rhyme ‘This Little Piggy’:
“This little piggy went to market. (Philip Blake)
This little piggy stayed at home. (Meredith Blake)
This little piggy had roast beef. (Elsa Greer)
This little piggy had none. (Cecilia Williams)
And this little piggy went "Wee! Wee! Wee!" all the way home. (Angela Warren)”
- Karma Houdini: Played straight and subverted. Poirot admits to the killer he has no physical evidence to prove her guilt and she won't publically confess to it. However, Elsa Greer has never been able to move on from the day she murdered the only man she ever loved, and lives a wealthy but utterly joyless and miserable life. "I died that day."
- Late to The Punchline: Angela mentions having one of these moments, where she actually said aloud "Oh! Now I get the point of that story about the plum pudding." This led her to recount a similar incident where she realized the significance of something she observed the weekend of the murder.
- Living Lie Detector: Miss Williams to a degree. When she was a governess, none of the kids even tried to lie to her, feeling that it'd be pointless. Poirot, at first, tells to other people that he's writing a book about the case, but he tells the truth to Miss Williams right away.
- Market-Based Title: It was originally published in the US as Murder in Retrospect. Later publications restored the original British title.
- Rashomon Style
- Really Gets Around: Amyas Crale
- Straight Gay: Philip Blake in the Poirot adaption.
- Woman Scorned: Subverted with Caroline, but played straight with Elsa
- Gender-flipped with Philip Blake, who wanted to make Caroline look as black as possible at least partially because she rejected him.
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Meredith Blake's love for Caroline. Subverted, however, because while he claims he's still in love with Caroline, reading his account of the crime makes it obvious he's actually in love with Elsa.
- Another possible example is Elsa, who still seems to be in love with Amyas Crayle even after he rejected her and she murdered him.