Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Dartmoor

The Sittaford Mystery

The Sittaford Mystery

Why a Booktrail?

1930s: Can a sceance session predict or even lead to murder

  • Genre: Cosy crime, Mystery, Suspense

What you need to know before your trail

M-U-R-D-E-R. It began as an innocent parlor game intended to while away the hours on a bitter winter night.

But the message that appeared before the amateur occultists at the snowbound Sittaford House was spelled out as loud and clear as a scream. Of course, the notion that they had foretold doom was pure bunk. Wasn’t it? And the discovery of a corpse was pure coincidence. Wasn’t it? If they’re to discover the answer to this baffling murder, perhaps they should play again. But a journey into the spirit world could prove terribly dangerous-especially when the killer is lurking in this one.

Travel Guide


Sittaford is a tiny village on the fringe of Dartmoor. Sittaford House is a house owned by Trevelyan, a retired Navy captain. They invite four guests to tea on Friday afternoon: Captain Trevelyan’s long-standing friend, Major Burnaby, Mr Rycroft, Mr Ronnie Garfield, and Mr Duke. They play a game of table-turning ie have a sceance when they are shocked to find a spirit announcing that Captain Trevelyan has just been murdered.

The captain is currently in Exhampton, and so Major Burnaby says he will walk the six miles there. There is no telephone in Sittaford and the very thick snow is going to make any kind of journey difficult if not impossible. ‘Exhampton’ is fictional but it is clearly Okehampton. Sittaford Tor on Dartmoor, apparently inspired Christie to use this name. The physical location of her fictional settlement of Sittaford closely matches that of Belstone, but its description also evokes Throwleigh where Christie owned a house.


Booktrailer Review

This remains a favourite Christie for the setting and the seance which sets the scene in more ways than one. It’s one of the few Christies where there is a lot of snow and which hampers the journey of the characters. As a result, the atmosphere is one of winter, claustrophobia and darkness.

The storyline is simple but the denouement is very clever. I enjoyed finding  out about the relationships between the characters and it was nice to meet then all in this locked room mystery. The very idea that someone could attend a seance, learn a friend is to be murdered, then head out to warm that friend in a snowstorm only to find him dead when he gets there……is a nice mystery I was dying to unravel.

Very atmospheric and very nicely done.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Sittaford Mystery

Destination: Dartmoor, Devon  Author/Guide: Agatha Christie  Departure Time: 1930s

Back to Results

Featured Book

The Winter Visitor

1991: Essex in February. Cold enough to catch your death.

Read more