After the Funeral
Goodreads ratings
3.89 / 5

"After the Funeral" Summary

By Agatha Christie

mystery | 256 pages | Published in NaN

ISBN_13: 9780425173909

Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

A family gathering after a funeral takes a dark turn when a shocking murder is revealed, setting off a chain of events that uncovers hidden secrets and a cunning killer.


In Agatha Christie's gripping mystery novel, "After the Funeral," readers are taken on a thrilling journey filled with suspense, deception, and unexpected twists. As one of Christie's most beloved works, "After the Funeral" showcases the author's unparalleled talent for crafting intricate plots and engaging characters. With its atmospheric setting and cleverly constructed narrative, this novel keeps readers guessing until the very end.

Brief Synopsis

"After the Funeral" revolves around the mysterious death of a wealthy man named Richard Abernethie. Following his funeral, his family gathers at the family estate to hear the reading of his will. During the gathering, Abernethie's sister, Cora Lansquenet, boldly declares that her brother was murdered. Shocked by her statement, the family dismisses her claim as mere speculation.

However, when Cora is found dead the next day, suspicion grows among the family members. They begin to question whether Cora's allegations were truthful and if Richard was indeed murdered. Enter Hercule Poirot, the brilliant Belgian detective, who is called upon to unravel the truth behind the deaths and expose the cunning killer.

Set in the idyllic English countryside, "After the Funeral" takes place primarily at the Abernethie family's estate, Enderby Hall. The grand, yet eerie, mansion provides the perfect backdrop for the dark secrets and hidden motives that unfold throughout the story.

Main Characters

Here are the main characters in "After the Funeral":

Character NameDescription
Hercule PoirotThe renowned detective with a sharp mind and keen observation skills.
Richard AbernethieThe wealthy man whose death triggers the events of the story.
Cora LansquenetRichard's sister who claims he was murdered, only to be found dead herself.
Rosamund ShaneRichard's niece, who becomes a central figure in the investigation.
Michael ShaneRosamund's husband and a potential suspect in the murders.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1-5: Funeral and Gathering at Enderby Hall

The novel begins with the funeral of Richard Abernethie, where his family members gather at Enderby Hall. Cora Lansquenet voices her suspicion that Richard was murdered, but her claim is dismissed. The family returns to Enderby Hall, where strange occurrences and tensions arise.

Chapter 6-10: Cora's Death and Poirot's Involvement

The next day, Cora is found dead, leading the family to question her initial claim. Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate the deaths, and he starts interviewing the family members and staff at Enderby Hall. Clues and motives begin to surface, and Poirot's deductions shed light on the complex web of relationships within the family.

Chapter 11-15: Unraveling Secrets and False Alibis

As Poirot digs deeper, he uncovers long-held secrets and hidden motives among the family members. False alibis and conflicting testimonies complicate the investigation. The detective's astute observations and insightful questioning gradually bring him closer to uncovering the truth.

Chapter 16-20: The Reveal and Capture of the Killer

Poirot gathers the family members together and reveals the identity of the killer, surprising everyone. In a classic Christie fashion, the detective meticulously explains the clues and motives that led him to the solution. The killer is apprehended, and justice is served.

Main Events

  1. Richard Abernethie's funeral and Cora's suspicion of murder.
  2. Cora's sudden death, leading to doubts about her initial claims.
  3. Hercule Poirot's arrival at Enderby Hall to investigate the deaths.
  4. Poirot's interviews and deductions, uncovering family secrets and motives.
  5. The dramatic reveal of the killer's identity and the capture of the culprit.

Themes and Insights

Agatha Christie skillfully weaves several themes throughout "After the Funeral," offering readers valuable insights into human nature and society. Some of the prominent themes include:

  1. Family Dynamics: The novel explores the complex relationships within the Abernethie family, revealing the power dynamics, rivalries, and hidden resentments that can exist within even the wealthiest and most seemingly privileged families.
  2. Deception and Appearances: Christie delves into the theme of deception, highlighting how people's true selves can be concealed beneath a carefully maintained facade. The characters' motives and actions often contradict their outward appearances, emphasizing the dangers of making assumptions based on surface-level impressions.
  3. Greed and Inheritance: The question of inheritance and the desire for wealth play a significant role in the story. Christie examines how the prospect of a substantial inheritance can bring out the worst in people, leading to greed, envy, and even murder.
  4. Justice and Morality: The pursuit of justice and the consequences of immoral actions are central themes in "After the Funeral." Christie explores the idea that even the most carefully planned crimes may eventually be exposed, reinforcing the importance of morality and the notion that one cannot escape the consequences of their actions.

Reader's Takeaway

"After the Funeral" is a captivating mystery novel that keeps readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Agatha Christie's masterful storytelling and intricate plotting make this book a must-read for fans of the genre. With its richly developed characters, atmospheric setting, and unexpected twists, the novel offers readers an immersive and thrilling reading experience.


Agatha Christie's "After the Funeral" is a timeless classic that showcases the author's unparalleled talent for crafting suspenseful and intricately plotted mysteries. Through its engaging storyline, well-drawn characters, and thought-provoking themes, the novel offers readers a captivating journey into the dark secrets and hidden motives of the human psyche. With its clever twists and surprising revelations, "After the Funeral" is a compelling read that will leave readers guessing until the very end.

After the Funeral FAQ

  1. Who is the author of 'After the Funeral'?

    The author of 'After the Funeral' is Agatha Christie.

  2. What genre does 'After the Funeral' belong to?

    'After the Funeral' belongs to the mystery genre.

  3. What is the plot of 'After the Funeral'?

    After the funeral of Richard Abernethie, his family gathers to hear the reading of his will. During the gathering, his sister Cora states that she believes Richard was murdered. The next day, Cora is found dead. Suspicion falls on the family members, and it's up to Hercule Poirot to uncover the truth.

  4. Who is the main character in 'After the Funeral'?

    The main character in 'After the Funeral' is Hercule Poirot, a famous detective created by Agatha Christie.

  5. Is 'After the Funeral' part of a series?

    Yes, 'After the Funeral' is part of the Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie.

  6. When was 'After the Funeral' first published?

    'After the Funeral' was first published in 1953.

  7. Are there any film adaptations of 'After the Funeral'?

    Yes, 'After the Funeral' has been adapted into a film. It was released in 2006 under the title 'Agatha Christie's Poirot: After the Funeral'.

  8. Is 'After the Funeral' a standalone book or should I read the previous books in the series first?

    'After the Funeral' can be read as a standalone book. While it is part of the Hercule Poirot series, each book can be enjoyed independently.

  9. Where can I purchase 'After the Funeral'?

    You can purchase 'After the Funeral' online or at your local bookstore. It is available in both physical and e-book formats.

  10. What are some other popular books by Agatha Christie?

    Some other popular books by Agatha Christie include 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'And Then There Were None', 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', and 'Death on the Nile'.