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Malice Aforethought (1931) is a murder mystery novel written by Anthony Berkeley Cox, using the pen name "Francis Iles". It involves a Devon physician who slowly poisons his domineering wife to death so he may be with the woman he loves. It is an early and prominent example of the inverted detective story invented by R. Austin Freeman some years earlier. This novel reveals the murderer's identity in the first line of the story and grants the reader insight into the workings of a criminal mind as his criminal plans progress; it also shows how the crime is investigated, and how a case is developed by the police to the point of prosecution.
"The outcome is at once logical and ironic. This tale is one of four that Sinclair Lewis thought indispensable to an understanding of the genre."
The novel was adapted into a four-part television mini-series by the BBC in 1979, and this version was later featured on the American PBS series, Mystery!, introduced by Vincent Price. Another version was produced by Granada Television and broadcast on ITV in 2005. It, too, has been shown on Mystery!.