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Witness for the Prosecution First Edition Cover 1948

Dust-jacket illustration of the first US edition

The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories is a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in September 1948.[1] The first edition retailed at $2.50. The story The Second Gong features Hercule Poirot, the only character in the stories who appears in any other of Christie's works.

Each story, has also appeared in either of the UK collections The Hound of Death and Other Stories, The Listerdale Mystery or Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories and therefore this collection was not published in the UK. Some of the stories are fantasy fiction rather than mysteries.

List of stories[]

Publication history[]

  • 1948, Dodd Mead and Company (New York), Hardcover, 272 pp
  • 1956, Dell Books, Paperback, (Dell number 855), 192 pp, Does not include Sing a Song of Sixpence and The Mystery of the Spanish Shawl.
  • 1984, Berkley Books, Paperback, (Berkley number 07997-X), 230 pp

First publication of stories in the U.S.[]

The first US magazine publication of all the stories has not been fully documented. A partial listing is as follows:

  • The Mystery of the Blue Jar: a 1924 issue of Metropolitan Magazine.
  • The Witness for the Prosecution: January 31, 1925 issue of Flynn's Weekly (Volume IV, No 2) under the title Traitor Hands with an uncredited illustration.
  • Where There's a Will: March 1, 1926 issue of Mystery Magazine under the title Wireless.
  • The Second Gong: June 1932 (Volume LIIX, Number 6) issue of the Ladies' Home Journal with an illustration by R.J. Prohaska.

In addition, the following were published unillustrated in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine:

  • Accident: March 1943 (Volume 4, Number 2)
  • Sing a Song of Sixpence: February 1947 (Volume 9, Number 39)
  • The Mystery of the Spanish Shawl: April 1947 (Volume 9, Number 41)
  • The Red Signal: June 1947 (Volume 9, Number 43)
  • The Fourth Man: October 1947 (Volume 10, Number 47)
  • S.O.S.: December 1947 (Volume 10, Number 49)

For first publications in the UK, see the applicable UK collections referenced above.


  1. Joseph Henry Jackson, "A Bookman's Notebook", The Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug 1948 - "And Agatha Christie fans will want to know that 11 of her short stories which have not previously appeared in book form will be brought outby Dodd, Mead on Sept. 7, under the title, "The Witness for the Prosecution."