Tag Archives: Christie

Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective by Agatha Christie (review by Andrew R. ’17)

Mr. Parker Pyne, DetectiveMr. Parker Pyne, Detective by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this collection of short stories featuring Parker Pyne, one of Christie’s lesser-known detectives, various customers answer a mysterious ad in the newspaper: “Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne, 17 Richmond Street.” After solving a number of cases with ease (and suffering one embarrassing defeat), he goes on a long trip around the Mediterranean, encountering a mad noblewoman, an impoverished archaeologist, and—of course—a few murders. Mr. Pyne proves to be a complex character, but his motives remain unclear throughout the collection. Why, exactly, does he consent to help such a wide range of customers? Why does one story portray him as generous and kind, when in the next he shows a total lack of empathy? And how has he come to understand the human mind so fully that he can predict a crime before it even occurs? A full-length novel, perhaps, could answer these questions, but the short story format just left me wanting more details. Nevertheless, any fan of Christie’s novels should read this collection and meet the mysterious, calculating man known as Mr. Parker Pyne. – Andrew R. ‘17

View all my reviews

Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie (review by Andrew R. ’17)

The Seven Dials MysteryThe Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In The Seven Dials Mystery, young Gerry Wade passes away suddenly and mysteriously in bed, just after writing a letter to his sister concerning a secret organization known as the Seven Dials. Days later, his close friend Ronny Devereux is discovered dying on the side of a forsaken road, muttering something about that same mysterious society. Separately, each death seems to be a tragic and unlikely coincidence, but taken together, the similarities are too obvious for the victims’ friends, Bundle and Jimmy, to ignore. Each chapter of this book, it seems, includes a new gunshot in the library or masked figure on the estate; neither the characters nor the reader could possibly complain of boredom until the last page is turned. While the plot seems clichéd at first, the author eventually takes it in surprising new directions that are sure to baffle even the most astute Christie fans. Still, any readers willing to try to solve the mystery before Bundle and her friends will have a thrilling challenge on their hands! – Andrew R. ‘17

View all my reviews

After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (review by Daphne Y. ’16)

After the FuneralAfter the Funeral by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The queen of mystery sets the scene after the death of Richard Abernethie. His sister, Cora, suggests that he was murdered, and she is found dead as well in her room the next day. Thus, Hercule Poirot is called upon to tie the strings together. Although the characterization is very detailed and the ending satisfactory, this book was boring in the sense that Christie’s descriptions of the various suspects and settings seemed long without actually getting anywhere. Evidence does not appear until the end of the book. It is a nice story overall, but recommended only to fans who really enjoy mystery, because to the average reader, the endless paragraphs of vague plot may not seem so appealing. – Daphne Y. ’16

View all my reviews

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (review by Daphne Y. ’16)

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murder on the Orient Express is a page-turner! While reading it, I suspected everyone Hercule Poirot interviewed and every situation possible… except for the actual result. Although a bit hard to understand at times, Agatha Christie’s writing is eloquent and mysterious: never revealing too much but just enough to keep a reader reading. The book is flawless in its intricate characterization, as each suspect mentioned in the story has a distinct and imaginable personality. Readers of all ages will pick up this book thinking they will solve the mystery before Poirot, but guaranteed no way of avoiding the plot twists that await! – Daphne Y. ‘16

View all my reviews