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Murder in Three Acts is the American title of the novel Three Act Tragedy. The U.S. edition was first published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1934, a year before first publication in the U.K. The novel's serialisation was also in an American newspaper The Saturday Evening Post in six instalments from 9 June (Volume 206, Number 50) to 14 July 1934 (Volume 207, Number 2). This preceded book publication and also used the U.S. title.

The American editions of the novel differs from the U.K. editions, one of two novels to do so (the other being The Moving Finger. In the case of Murder in Three Acts, the motive of the killer as recealed in the denouement is changed, but not so significantly as to require adjustment in other chapters of the novel.

The 1986 American film adaptation of the novel starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot also used the American title.

Publication history

  • 1934, Dodd Mead and Company (New York), Hardback, 279 pp
  • 1945, Avon Books (New York), Paperback, (Avon number 61), 230 pp
  • 1957, Fontana Books (Imprint of HarperCollins), Paperback, 192 pp
  • 1961, Popular Library (New York), Paperback, 175 pp
  • 1964, Pan Books, Paperback (Pan number X275), 203 pp
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