Parker Pyne Investigates

This selection of short stories by Agatha Christie is delightful. A fun light read when you feel like some comfort-reading.

Unusually most of them are rather different from her usual murder mysteries - Parker Pyne is not a private detective, but is an expert in happiness, so he provides adventurous experiences for bored Empire-builders, romance for bored housewives, and so on. The book divides itself neatly into two halves. The first section is set in England, and is generally lighter in tone, with many moments of humour. Some characters that will later become inextricably linked with Hercule Poirot also appear here - perhaps for the first time? - Poirot's indefatigable secretary Miss Lemon, and his manservant, George.

The second half of the book could almost form a novella in itself. These stories detail the travels of Parker Pyne in the Near and Middle East, and cover places and topics that Christie will return to later in novels such as Death on the Nile and Appointment with Death. I think that Agatha Christie was often at her best when describing places that she had been to on archaeological digs, her enthusiasm and love for the area shines through. An interesting set of short stories worth a quick read for lovers of Christie.


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