Not long ago, I chanced upon a gem of a deal on a second-hand shopping app, ZhuanZhuan or ‘转转’. I managed to get 6 Agatha Christie novels for a steal, about US$1.40 each! Albeit, they were second-hand but they were in an excellent condition. Looks like I broke my personal rule of only buying new books. But hey, if it’s in VGC, then why not?
Now, on to the review.
Book Blurb (or synopsis, if you like):
All great crime writers have their favourite creations. Similarly, every great sleuth has his own preferred method of deduction. Take the charming Parker Pyne, who relies upon an intuitive knowledge of human nature to solve the ‘Problem at Pollensa Bay’.
Or Mr Satterthwaite, who seeks inspiration through his collaboration with the enigmatic Mr Quin in ‘The Harlequin Tea Set’ mystery.
Then, of course, there’s Poirot whose measured analysis of motive and opportunity is tested to the full in ‘Yellow Iris’, when he receives an anonymous call about a matter of life and death.
A COLLECTION OF EIGHT STORIES FEATURING SOME OF AGATHA CHRISTIE’S FAVOURITE DETECTIVES
Rating: 3.8/5 Stars
This collection of stories is kind of like an introduction to all of Agatha’s detectives or characters, but not really. For the first eponymous story, I went in with much apprehension as to whether the solution would surprise me or not. But, wonders of wonders, Agatha’s famed plotting skills struck again! The twist just slammed in from nowhere and I had to take a few seconds to marvel in awe at her ingenuity. The Second Gong was good and showed off Detective Poirot’s deducive skills well enough. However, it’s alarmingly similar to another short story of Christie’s called ‘Dead Man’s Mirror’. In Yellow Iris however, I was not blown away as I’d guessed right a tiny twist. This Poirot story wasn’t the most impressive in my opinion but it may be because it’s a short story, where all of Poirot’s magnificent deductions cannot be displayed to their fullest potential. The fourth story, The Harlequin Tea Set, introduced me to Mr.Satterthwaite and the enigmatic Mr.Quin whom I found quite very interesting. It’s not the first one featuring Satterthwaite & Quin, in fact I think it may be one of the last. Anyway, it was pretty good and mysterious and made me want to read more of their stories. The Regatta Mystery fooled me into thinking my mind was sharper than ever and disappointment at Christie for a moment, only to surprise me(gladly) that it was a diversion! The Love Detectives brought back Quin & Satterthwaite for a murder mystery. I quite liked the concept behind the solution. As for Next To A Dog, it was the only story that made absolute no sense to me. Completely baffling! What was Christie trying to convey? If someone can shine a light on this, it’d be great. And the last one, Magnolia Blossom, wasn’t a mystery and didn’t feature any of the old characters. It was just a stand-alone, beautifully capturing the description of the female character but it had a bittersweet ending.
All in all, it certainly wasn’t my favorite out of all Christie’s works but it had a few stories that impressed me.
Should I Get It?
Get it if:
- you want to get a taste of a wider variety of Christie’s works (not all though).
- you’re a die-hard fan and want to collect all her books.
- you enjoy short stories in the mystery genre.
Don’t get it if:
- this is your first Christie book.
- you want your money’s worth. I’d suggest getting the e-book, audible or, like me, second-hand version. I don’t support getting pirated ones though.
- you don’t like slightly archaic English. Fair warning, all Christie’s books are like that but it’s not hard to understand at all, nothing like Shakespeare or even classic novels.
Seeing as I got seven new books, there’ll be more reviews coming up on this blog, InshaAllah! As always, I welcome any comments or discussions, so feel free to give a like or comment below ^_^.