copyright 1972; Dodd, Mead & Company publishers, New York; hardbound in tan boards with red lettering along spine; Book Club Edition; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket good with minor edge wear previously repaired by original owner.
Elephants Can Remember is a work of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in 1972. It features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the recurring character Ariadne Oliver. This was the last Christie novel to feature either character.
While attending a literary luncheon, Ariadne Oliver finds herself approached by a woman named Mrs Burton-Cox, whose son Desmond is engaged to Oliver's godchild, Celia Ravenscroft. During their conversation, Mrs Burton-Cox questions the truth regarding the deaths of Celia's parents. Ten years ago, Oliver's close school friend, Margaret Ravenscroft, and her husband, General Alistair Ravenscroft, were found dead near their manor house in Overcliffe. Both had been shot with a revolver found between their bodies, which bore only their fingerprints. The investigation into their deaths found it impossible to determine if it was a double suicide, or if one of them murdered the other and then committed suicide. Their deaths left Celia and another of their children orphaned. Although initially put off by Mrs Burton-Cox's attitude, Mrs Oliver decides to resolve the issue after consulting with Celia, and invites her friend Hercule Poirot to solve the disquieting puzzle.
Meeting with a number of elderly witnesses associated with the case, whom the pair dub "elephants", along with researching the case further, the pair make note of a few significant facts: Margaret was in possession of four wigs; the Ravenscroft's dog was devoted to the family, but bit Margaret a few days before her death; Margaret had an identical twin sister Dorothea, who had spent time in a number of psychiatric nursing homes, and was believed to have been involved in two violent incidents in Asia, including the drowning of her infant son after the death of her husband; a month before the couple died, Dorothea had been sleep-walking and died after falling off a cliff. Desmond later gives Poirot the names of governesses who had served the Ravenscroft family, one of whom, Zélie Meauhourat, travelled to Lausanne after the couple's death.
Poirot soon turns his attention to the Burton-Cox family...