A Catalogue of Bodies


Gracia Haby
A Catalogue of Bodies (First Edition)
October, 2013
Digital print zine
Edition of 50


A 10.5cm X 15cm, 77 page B&W zine with colour covers and blood red spine.

A Catalogue of Bodies harvested from the television adaptations (1989–2013) of Agatha Christie’s stories featuring Hercule Poirot as played by David Suchet. Included in this grisly catalogue, pretend deaths (such as Magdala ‘Nick’ Buckley’s staged overdose in Peril at End House and Norma Restarick’s staged suicide in the bathtub in The Third Girl, and what appears to be Arlena Stuart’s strangled body on the beach but is actually Christine Redfern in disguise in Evil Under the Sun), suicides, deaths, and murders. In some cases, where the body is not shown, the moment just prior features, giving us Dorothy Craddock, having been earlier injected with bacteria, falling ill in Egypt in Cards on the Table; Rosaleen and Gordon Cloade just before the bomb blast in Taken at the Flood; Major Richard Knighton shown standing on the train tracks at mystery’s culmination in The Blue Train; and because both were simply too good not to include, on a newspaper in Hastings’ hands, a headline announcing Felix Bleibner’s mysterious death in The Egyptian Tomb, and Lady Muriel in the play attended by Poirot and Arthur Hastings in The Third Floor Flat.

Whilst several pretend deaths have been included, any thwarted attempts and near misses have been left out of the catalogue as they did not produce an actual body to document. For example, Nurse Hopkins’ thwarted attempt to poison Poirot (Sad Cypress), Mrs Rendell’s failed attempt to push Poirot before a train (Mrs McGinty’s Dead), Miss Phyllida Campion being “pushed down the moving stairs” (The Case of the Missing Will), and in order to throw suspicion onto others, Miss Gilchrist’s illness as a result of consuming a non-fatal, self-poisoned piece of wedding cake (After the Funeral). Deaths referred to in conversation only, such as Richard Abernethie from After the Funeral, have also not been included in this catalogue.

A Catalogue of Bodies is ordered by original publication as opposed to televised adaptation. At time of printing the final five television adaptations that will conclude the series have not yet aired. Elephants Can Remember (1972), The Big Four (1927), The Labours of Hercules (1947), Dead Man’s Folly (1956), and Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (1975) will be added to the catalogue when they screen in Melbourne, Australia, and the zine will be re-released to include all titles that offer forth a body to record.