Cat among the pigeons
Cat among the pigeons is a rather strange read. Part mystery (Poirot makes an appearance), and part thriller, it's an odd book with a pretty ridiculous plot. Following a coup in an obscure Arab country, a series of murders takes place in an elite girls' school in rural England. As worried parents hastily remove their daughters, one of the brighter girls pays a visit to Hercule Poirot...
It's an odd tale of spies, wicked women, diamonds and ambition. There are twists and turns aplenty, and it's a fun enough read for a wet autumn day; but as a serious thriller it's pretty limp. With the exception of one or two characters, the characterisation is weak, the plot is unbelievable - no, let's be honest, daft, and the writing is fairly clumsy.
One thing though does make this novel interesting. It's a decent snapshot of society in the early '50s from changing attitudes to women, love and sex, and the end of the British Empire. And that alone does make for a fascinating read. For Christie at her best though, this isn't your book. Enjoyable, but with holes aplenty, not her greatest work.