Category: Agatha Christie

My Book Notes: The Body in the Library, 1942 (Miss Marple #2) by Agatha Christie

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HarperCollins, Masterpiece Ed., 2010. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 638 KB. Print Length: 226 pages. ASIN: B0046H95MC. eISBN: 9780007422173. First published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in February 1942 and in UK by the Collins Crime Club in May of the same year. The novel features her fictional amateur detective, Miss Marple. The novel was first serialised in the US in The Saturday Evening Post in seven parts from 10 May (Volume 213, Number 45) to 21 June 1941 (Volume 213, Number 51) with illustrations by Hy Rubin.

51n5wQ5vopLSynopsis: It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing evening dress and heavy make-up, which is now smeared across her cheeks. But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry? The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple to solve the mystery… before tongues start to wag.

More about this story: One of Miss Marple’s finest cases, here we see her at the height of her female intuition, an inconspicuous elderly lady who can investigate undetected. Several other detectives get involved in the case – almost as many as there are suspects. Of course, it is Miss Marple who will unveil the ultimate clue.The novel was first released in February 1942 in the US and later that year in the UK. There is a rare example of Agatha Christie name checking herself, via the voice of Peter Carmody, who claims to love detective fiction and has signed copies by Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers among others. The novel’s title was an in-joke between Agatha Christie and her character Ariadne Oliver, who reveals in Christie’s earlier work Cards on the Table, that she herself had written a crime novel titled The Body in the Library.

It was adapted for TV in 1984, starring Joan Hickson as Marple, her first appearance in what would become an acclaimed role for her. It was broadcast in three parts over the Christmas period of that year. 2004 saw a more radical adaptation, with Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. It featured several well-known British actors, including Ian Richardson and Joanna Lumely. BBC Radio 4 dramatised the story in 2005, with June Whitfield reassuming her role as the radio Marple.

Foreword by Agatha Christie: There are certain clichés belonging to certain types of fiction. The “bold bad baronet” for melodrama, the “body in the library” for the detective story. For several years I treasured up the possibility of a suitable “Variation on a well-known Theme.” I laid down for myself certain conditions. The library in question must be a highly orthodox and conventional library. The body, on the other hand, must be a wildly improbable and highly sensational body. Such were the terms of the problem, but for some years they remained as such, represented only by a few lines of writing in an exercise book. Then, staying one summer for a few days at a fashionable hotel by the seaside I observed a family at one of the tables in the dining room; an elderly man, a cripple, in a wheeled chair, and with him was a family party of a younger generation. Fortunately they left the next day, so that my imagination could get to work unhampered by any kind of knowledge. When people ask “Do you put real people in your books?” the answer is that, for me, it is quite impossible to write about anyone I know, or have ever spoken to, or indeed have even heard about! For some reason, it kills them for me stone dead. But I can take a “lay figure” and endow it with qualities and imaginings of my own.

So an elderly crippled man became the pivot of the story. Colonel and Mrs Bantry, those old cronies of my Miss Marple, had just the right kind of library. In the manner of a cookery recipe add the following ingredients: a tennis pro. a young dancer, an artist, a girl guide, a dance hostess, etc., and serve up à la Miss  Marple!

My Take: As suggested by the title, in Gossington Hall, the house of Colonel and Mrs Bantry, one morning their maid discovers a body in the library. It belongs to a young and beautiful blonde woman in evening dress and with heavy make-up. Nobody in the household seems to know who she is. The Colonel calls the police while his wife calls her old friend Miss Marple. Colonel Melchett, the Chief Constable of the county, and Inspector Slack take charge of the investigation. To identify the woman they head towards a nearby cottage rented by a young man who seems to work in the film industry. But a platinum blonde young woman, completely alive, welcomes them at the door. The autopsy reveals the victim was drugged before being strangled and was not sexually assaulted. However, Miss Marple observes some things don’t fit neatly in. The list of persons recently missing leads the police to the Majestic Hotel in Danemouth, where one of the guests, an elderly man wheelchair-bound, has reported the disappearance a woman who works as a dancer at the hotel. In this way, the body is identified by a close relative to the victim, a woman who also works at the hotel. Meanwhile, Mrs Bantry and Miss Marple move to the Majestic to follow the investigation more closely.

The Body in the Library is the second full-length novel featuring Miss Marple. It follows The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) in Miss Marple’s canon, a book published some twelve years before. I don’t know why it took Christie that long to take up again this character, though probably John Curran may have some explanation on this matter in any of his books that I look forward to reading soon. Returning to the theme of the novel before us I would like to stress that Christie though it as a kind of farce in which she challenges herself to use some of the most prevalent clichés in detective fiction, and she comes out successfully of this trance. Besides, the reader will have the opportunity to become familiar with Miss Marple’s method of investigation. To the casual observer it may seem based only on her feminine intuition, when in reality it is founded on her own experience, on examples from the daily life of her own village. In short The Body in the Library is a brilliant novel, very well written, carefully crafted, and second only to Christie’s masterpiece featuring Miss Marple, A Murder is Announced. A superb summer reading that brings me back to my childhood when I started reading Christie’s novels during the long summertime siestas, when we couldn’t leave the house due to excess heat.  

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

The Body in the Library has been reviewed, among others, at Golden Age of Detection Wiki, Bitter Tea and Mystery, Cross-Examining Crime, The Grandest Game in the World, Countdown John’s Christie Journal, Books Please, In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, Mysteries in Paradise, ahsweetmysteryblog, Classic Mysteries, ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’ 

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Dodd, Mead & Company (USA), 1942)

About the Author: Agatha Christie is the world’s best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 80 novels and short story collections, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant little Belgian Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world-famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie also wrote romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. As well, she wrote four non-fiction books including an autobiography and an entertaining account of the many expeditions she shared with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan. Agatha Christie died in 1976. (Source: Fantastic Fiction)

The Murder at the Vicarage [1930] ,The Body in the Library [1942], The Moving Finger [1943], A Murder is Announced [1950], They Do it with Mirrors apa Murder With Mirrors [1952], A Pocket Full of Rye [1953], 4.50 from Paddington apa What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! [1957], The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side [1962], A Caribbean Mystery [1964], At Bertram’s Hotel [1965], Nemesis [1971], Sleeping Murder [1976], and Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories [1985].

Harper Collins UK publicity page

HarperCollins US publicity page

Home of Agatha Christie website

The official Agatha Christie website 

Notes On The Body In The Library

SoundCloud

Agatha Christie page at gadetection

Mike Grost on Agatha Christie

Un cadaver en la biblioteca, de Agaatha Christie

portada_un-cadaver-en-la-biblioteca_agatha-christie_201505291005Sinopsis: Son las siete de la mañana. Los Bantry se despiertan con una desagradable sorpresa: el cuerpo inerte de una joven mujer desconocida en su biblioteca. Lleva un vestido de noche y bastante maquillaje, que ahora embadurna sus mejillas. Pero, ¿quién es ella? ¿Cómo llegó allí? ¿Y cuál es la conexión con otra chica muerta, cuyos restos carbonizados se descubrieron más tarde en una cantera abandonada? Los respetables Bantry invitan a Miss, Marple, amiga de la señora Bantry, a resolver el misterio con su increíble intuición antes de que las malas lenguas empiecen a trabajar. (Fuente: Planeta de Libros)

Más sobre esta historia: Uno de los mejores casos de la señorita Marple, aquí la encontramos en el apogeo de su intuición femenina, una discreta anciana que puede investigar sin ser detectada. Otros varios detectives se ven involucrados en el caso, casi tantos como sospechosos. Por supuesto, será la señorita Marple quien desvelará la pista definitiva. La novela fue publicada por primera vez en febrero de 1942 en los Estados Unidos y más tarde ese año en el Reino Unido. Contiene una rara muestra de Agatha Christie autonomándose a si misma, a través de Peter Carmody, quien afirma que le encanta la novela policiaca y que tiene copias firmadas por Agatha Christie y Dorothy L. Sayers, entre otras. El titulo de la novela resulta ser una broma privada entre Agatha Christie y su personaje Ariadne Oliver, quien desvela en una novela anterior de Christie, Cartas sobre la mesa, que ella misma habia escrito una novela policiaca tituladas Un cadaver en la biblioteca.

Fue adaptada para la televisión en 1984, protagonizada por Joan Hickson como Marple, su primera aparición en lo que se convertiría para ella en un papel de éxito. Fue retransmitida en tres partes durante las Navidades de ese año. El 2004 vio una adaptación más innovadora, con Geraldine McEwan como Miss Marple. Contaba con la presencia de varios conocidos actores británicos, incluidos Ian Richardson y Joanna Lumely. BBC Radio 4 teatralizó la historia en el 2005, con June Whitfield retomando su papel como la Marple radiofónica.111687867

Prólogo de Agatha Christie: Hay ciertos clichés que pertenecen a cierto tipo de novelas: El “barón calvo y malo” en los melodramas, el “cadaver en la biblioteca” en las historias de detectives. Durante varios años atesoré la posibilidad de una adecuada “Variación sobre un tema conocido”. Me impuse ciertas condiciones. La biblioteca en cuestión debia ser una biblioteca sumamente ortodoxa y convencional. El cadaver, en cambio, debía ser extremadamente inverosímil y sumamente fantástico. Tales fueron las condiciones del asunto, pero durante algunos años permanecieron así, representados solo por unas pocas líneas escritas en un cuaderno de ejercicios. Más adelante, mientras pasaba un verano en un hotel de moda junto al mar, observé a una familia en una de las mesas del comedor; un anciano, un inválido, en una silla de ruedas, y con él un grupo familiar de una generación más joven. Afortunadamente se fueron al día siguiente, de manera que mi imaginación pudo ponerse a trabajar sin trabas por ningún tipo de conocimiento previo. Cuando la gente me pregunta “¿Si saco a personas reales en mis libros?” la respuesta es que me resulta imposible escribir sobre alguien que conozca, con quien haya hablado, o de quien incluso haya oído hablar. Por alguna razón, eso los elimina para mi de forma fulminante. Pero puedo utilizar un personaje “cualquiera” y dotarle de características y elucubraciones mias.

De esta manera, un anciano inválido se convirtió en el eje de la historia. El coronel y la señora Bantry, esos viejos amigos de la señorita Marple, tenían la biblioteca adecuada. Y, a la manera de una receta de cocina, agregué los siguientes ingredientes: un profesor de tenis, una joven bailarina, una artista, una chica exploradora, una anfitriona de baile, etc., y sirvase ¡al estilo de la señorita Marple! (Mi traducción libre).

My opinión: Como sugiere el título, en Gossington Hall, la casa del coronel y la señora Bantry, una mañana su criada descubre un cadaver en la biblioteca. Pertenece a una joven y bella mujer rubia en traje de noche y con mucho maquillaje. Nadie en la casa parece saber quién es. El coronel llama a la policía mientras su esposa llama a su vieja amiga, la señorita Marple. El coronel Melchett, el jefe de policía del condado y el inspector Slack se hacen cargo de la investigación. Para identificar a la mujer, se dirigen a una cabaña cercana alquilada por un joven que parece trabajar en la industria del cine. Pero una joven rubia platino, completamente viva, los recibe en la puerta. La autopsia revela que la víctima fue drogada antes de ser estrangulada y que no fue agredida sexualmente. Sin embargo, la señorita Marple observa que algunas cosas no encajan perfectamente. La lista de personas desaparecidas recientemente lleva a la policía al Hotel Majestic en Danemouth, donde uno de los invitados, un anciano en silla de ruedas, informó de la desaparición de una mujer que trabaja como bailarina en el hotel. De esta manera, el cuerpo es identificado por un pariente cercano a la víctima, una mujer que también trabaja en el hotel. Mientras tanto, la Sra. Bantry y la señorita Marple se mudan al Majestic para seguir la investigación más de cerca.

Un cadaver en la biblioteca es la segunda novela protaginizada por la señorita Marple. Sigue a Muerte en la vicaría (1930) en el canon de Miss Marple, un libro publicado unos doce años antes. No sé por qué Christie tardó tanto en retomar este personaje, aunque probablemente John Curran pueda tener alguna explicación sobre este asunto en cualquiera de sus libros que espero leer pronto. Volviendo al tema de la novela que tenemos ante nosotros, me gustaría destacar que Christie lo consideró como una especie de farsa en la que se reta a sí misma a usar algunos de los tópicos más frecuentes en las novelas de detectives, y sale con éxito de este trance. Además, el lector tendrá la oportunidad de familiarizarse con el método de investigación de la señorita Marple. Para el observador casual, puede parecer basado solo en su intuición femenina, cuando en realidad se basa en su propia experiencia, en ejemplos de la vida cotidiana de su propio pueblo. En resumen, Un cadaver en la biblioteca es una novela brillante, muy bien escrita, cuidadosamente elaborada, y solo superada por la obra maestra de Christie protagonizada por la señorita Marple, Se anuncia un asesinato. Una excelente lectura de verano que me retrotrae a mi infancia cuando comencé a leer las novelas de Christie durante las largas siestas de verano, cuando no podíamos salir de la casa debido al exceso de calor.

Mi valoración: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Sobre el autor: Nacida en Torquay en 1890, Agatha Christie recibió la típica educación victoriana impartida por institutrices en el hogar paterno. Tras la muerte de su padre, se trasladó a París, donde estudió piano y canto. Contrajo matrimonio en 1914 y tuvo una hija, pero su matrimonio terminó en divorcio en 1928. Dos años después, durante un viaje por Oriente Medio conoció al arqueólogo Max Mallowan, con quien se casó ese mismo año; a partir de entonces pasó varios meses al año en Siria e Irak, escenario de Ven y dime cómo vives (Andanzas 50, ahora también en la colección Fábula) y de alguna de sus novelas policiacas, como Asesinato en Mesopotamia o Intriga en Bagdad. Además del gran éxito de que disfrutaron sus célebres novelas, a partir de 1953 ganó celebridad con las adaptaciones teatrales de sus novelas en el West End londinense. En 1971 le fue concedida la distinción de Dame of the British Empire. Murió en 1976. (Fuente: Planeta de Libros)

Muerte en la vicaría (The Murder at the Vicarage, 1930); Un cadáver en la biblioteca (The Body in the Library, 1942); El caso de los anónimos (The Moving Finger, 1943); Se anuncia un asesinato (A Murder is Announced, 1950); El truco de los espejos (They Do It with Mirrors, or Murder With Mirrors, 1952); Un puñado de centeno (A Pocket Full of Rye, 1953); El tren de las 4:50 (4.50 from Paddington, or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!, 1957); The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, 1962; Misterio en el caribe (A Caribbean Mystery, 1964); At Bertram’s Hotel, 1965; Nemesis, 1971; Sleeping Murder, 1976; y Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories, 1985.

Planeta de Libros página de publicidad

Lea un fragmento (traducción de Guillermo López Hipkiss)

Other Agatha Christie Mysteries

Besides Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries, Agatha Christie also wrote other mystery books. Among them, we can point out:

The Secret Adversary (1922) [Tommy & Tuppence]

The Man in the Brown Suit
(1924) 

The Secret of Chimneys
(1925)

The Seven Dials Mystery
(1929)

The Mysterious Mr.Quin
(1930) s.s. collection

The Sittaford Mystery
apa
Murder at Hazelmoor (1931)   

Parker Pyne Investigates
apa Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective (1934) s.s. collection.

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
apa The Boomerang Clue (1934)  

Murder is Easy
apa Easy to Kill
(1939)

And Then There Were None
(1939) 

N or M?
(1941) [Tommy and Tuppence]

Towards Zero
(1944)

Death Comes as the End
(1944)  

Sparkling Cyanide
apa Remembered Death
(1945)

Crooked House
(1949)   

They Came to Baghdad
(1951)   

Destination Unknown
apa So Many Steps to Death (1954)   

Ordeal by Innocence
(1958)   

The Pale Horse
(1961)   

Endless Night
(1967)   

By the Pricking of My Thumbs
(1968) [Tommy and Tuppence]

Passenger to Frankfurt
(1970)   

Postern of Fate
(1973) [Tommy and Tuppence]

In bold letters the books I look forward to reading first.

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. John Lane, The Bodley Head (UK), 1924)

The Miss Marple Mysteries by Agatha Christie

This blog post meant to be a private note, but I thought afterwards it might be of some interest to any potential reader. Having finished reading the Hercule Poirot mysteries, it seemed to me a good idea to follow it up with Miss Marple mysteries. Stay tuned.

Miss Marple first came into being in 1927 in “The Tuesday Night Club”, a short story pulled together into the collection The Thirteen Problems. It was first published in the December 1927 issue of Royal Magazine. Christie never expected Miss Marple to rival Poirot in the public’s affections but since the publication of The Murder at the Vicarage in 1930, Marple’s first full length novel, readers were hooked. While Agatha Christie acknowledged that her grandmother had been a huge influence on the character, she writes that Miss Marple was “far more fussy and spinsterish than my grandmother ever was. But one thing she did have in common with her – though a cheerful person, she always expected the worst of everyone and everything, and was, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right.” Mellowing with appearances (if not with age) Miss Marple graced twelve novels and twenty short stories during her career as an amateur detective, never paid and not always thanked. The Miss Marple of The Thirteen Problems is decidedly more shrewish and Victorian than the later character, who is often more forgiving. She certainly changes with the times, even down to wearing plimsolls in 1964’s A Caribbean Mystery. Miss Marple never married and her closest living relatives are her nephews and nieces. Her nephew, the well-known author Raymond West and his wife Joan (initially Joyce) crop up most commonly in her stories. Marple also employs a selection of maids, all young women from the nearby orphanage, training them in her Victorian way. (Source: The Home of Agatha Christie)

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Collins The Crime Club (UK), 1930)

The Murder at the Vicarage [1930] ,The Body in the Library [1942], The Moving Finger [1943], A Murder is Announced [1950], They Do it with Mirrors apa Murder With Mirrors [1952], A Pocket Full of Rye [1953], 4.50 from Paddington apa What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! [1957], The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side [1962], A Caribbean Mystery [1964], At Bertram’s Hotel [1965], Nemesis [1971], Sleeping Murder [1976], and Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories [1985].

Sleeping Murder, although published in 1976, was written during World War II and portrays a sprightlier Miss Marple than Nemesis.

My Book Notes: The Pale Horse, 1961 by Agatha Christie

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

HarperCollins, Masterpiece Ed., 2010. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 548 KB. Print Length: 275 pages. ASIN: B0046A9N1C. eISBN: 9780062006707. First published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 6 November 1961, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The novel features her novelist detective Ariadne Oliver as a minor character, and reflects in tone the supernatural novels of Dennis Wheatley who was then at the height of his popularity.

9780062074119First sentence: The Espresso machine behind my shoulder hissed like an angry snake.

Synopsis: To understand the strange goings on at The Pale Horse Inn, Mark Easterbrook knew he had to begin at the beginning. But where exactly was the beginning? Was it the savage blow to the back of Father Gorman’s head? Or was it when the priest’s assailant searched him so roughly he tore the clergyman’s cassock? Or could it have been the priest’s visit, just minutes before, to a woman on her death bed? Or was there a deeper significance to the violent squabble which Mark Easterbrook had himself witnessed earlier? Wherever the beginning lies, Mark and his sidekick, Ginger Corrigan, may soon have cause to wish they’d never found it.

More about this story: The Pale Horse combined two ideas that Agatha Christie had been considering. One, a book “would start somehow with a list of names … “. The other reintroduced Christie’s earlier thoughts about “Voodoo etc., White Cocks, Arsenic? Childish stuff – work on the mind and what can the law do to you? Love Potions and Death Potions, – the aphrodisiac and the cup of poison. Nowadays we know better – Suggestion.”

This novel is notable among Christie’s books as it is credited with having saved at least two lives after readers recognised the symptoms of thallium poisoning from the description in the book. In 1975, Christie received a letter from a woman in Latin America who had thus saved a woman from slow poisoning by her husband and in 1977, a nurse who had been reading The Pale Horse correctly suggested that a baby in her care was suffering from thallium poisoning. In another instance, in 1971, a serial killer, Graham Frederick Young, who had poisoned several people, three fatally, was caught thanks to this book. A doctor conferring with Scotland Yard had read The Pale Horse and realised that the mysterious “Bovingdon bug” was actually thallium poisoning.

The black magic theme is handled in a masterly and sinister fashion, and to give away what lay behind it would be unforgivable. This is a book which nobody should miss.

–The Guardian

The title of this book comes from the Revelation of St John the Divine, chapter 6, verse 8. “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him …” It was published in 1961 by Collins Sons in London, and in 1962 by Dodd, Mead & Co. in the US. It was adapted by Anglia TV in the UK in 1996 without Ariadne Oliver and by ITV in 2010 with the addition of Julia Mckenzie as Miss Marple and the omission of Ariadne Oliver, Colonel and Rhoda Despard and Mrs Dane Calthrop. It was dramatised for BBC Radio 4 and released in 2010. The latest adaptation of The Pale Horse aired in the UK on BBC One in February 2020, and is now available on BBC iPlayer. It was released in the US on Amazon Prime in March 2020.

My Take: The story revolves around a series of deaths, all of them apparently by natural causes. Their only thing in common is that the names of all the deceased appear on a list that was found hidden in the shoe of a Catholic priest recently murdered, who had just heard the confession to a dying woman. His violent death arises many questions about the purpose of the crime. Meanwhile Mark Easterbrook, by a series of coincidences, comes across the name of The Pale Horse two days in a row. And, at the same time, Easterbrook has the chance to glance over the list of the priest, when an old pal, who works as police surgeon, shows him the said list. Despite all the efforts to discover the relationship among the people on the list, the only existing clue seems to be associated with a case of witchcraft. Most of the book is narrated in first person by Easterbrook himself, except for a few chapters, describing those occurrences in which he could not have participated, told in the third person.

My friend and fellow blogger Xavier Lechard once said  we are not the ones who chose the books we read, but rather the books choose us. I can’t agree more. No matter if I draw up a list of the books I‘m looking forward to reading next, almost always, by some strange reason, another book stands in the way. This has been the case with Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse, which I had not read before and about which I hardly had any reference. The opportunity presented itself after watching the BBC TV series, supposedly based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same title, adapted by Sarah Phelps, directed by Leonora Lonsdale, and starring Rufus Sewell and Kaya Scodelario. By the way, I won’t add any personal commentary about a  series I found extremely boring and that, in my view, has nothing to do with the original novel. But it encouraged me to read the book and I don’t regret it in the slightest.

The Pale Horse, despite the presence of Mrs Ariadne Oliver, is a stand-alone book, published when the author was over 70,  and quite possible the last of Christie’s great novels. Certainly I’ve enjoyed it very much. I would like to highlight particularly her ability to conceal all the clues while playing fair with the reader at the same time. I liked the way that Christie introduces the supernatural aspect in the plot and how she ends up turning it around, providing us with a perfectly rational and comprehensible explanation on everything that has happened. Besides, all the characters are vividly portrayed and are very convincing.

My rating: A (I loved it)

The Pale Horse has been reviewed, among others, at The Golden Age of Detection Wiki, Ah Sweet Mystery Blog, In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, My Reader’s Block, Mysteries in Paradise, The Crime Segments, and The Grandest Game in the World.

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(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets. Collins The Crime Club (UK) 1961)

About the Author: Agatha Christie is the world’s best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 80 novels and short story collections, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant little Belgian Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world-famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie also wrote romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. As well, she wrote four non-fiction books including an autobiography and an entertaining account of the many expeditions she shared with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan. Agatha Christie died in 1976. (Source: Fantastic Fiction)

Harper Collins UK publicity page

HarperCollins US publicity page

Home of Agatha Christie website

The official Agatha Christie website

Agatha Christie page at gadetection

audible

Mike Grost on Agatha Christie

El misterio de Pale Horse, de Agatha Christie

Primera frase: La máquina de café expreso detrás de mi espalda emitió un silbido como el de una serpiente enojada.

Sinopsis: Para comprender las extrañas cosas que sucedían en The Pale Horse Inn, Mark Easterbrook sabía que tenía que comenzar por el principio. ¿Pero dónde estaba exactamente el principio? ¿Fue el golpe salvaje a la cabeza del padre Gorman? ¿O fue cuando el asaltante del sacerdote lo registró tan bruscamente que rasgó la sotana del clérigo? ¿O podría haber sido la visita del sacerdote, solo unos minutos antes, a una mujer en su lecho de muerte? ¿O tenía un significado más profundo la violenta riña que Mark Easterbrook había presenciado antes? Donde sea que se encontrara el principio, Mark y su compañera, Ginger Corrigan, pronto van a poder encontrar motivos para desear no haberlo encontrado nunca.

Más sobre esta historia: El misterio de Pale Horse combina dos ideas que Agatha Christie había estado considerando. Una, un libro “que comenzaría de alguna manera con una lista de nombres …”. La otra, reintroduciendo ideas previas de Christie sobre como funciona en nuestras mentes el vudú, etc., los gallos blancos, el arsénico, .. cosas infantiles, y qué es lo que puede hacer la ley. Pócimas de amor y pòcimas de muerte, lo afrodisíaco y la copa de veneno. Hoy lo sabemos mejor, la sugestión.

Esta novela destca entre los libros de Christie, ya que se le atribuye haber salvado al menos dos vidas después de que los lectores reconocieran los síntomas de intoxicación por talio gracias a la descripción encontrada en el libro. En 1975, Christie recibió una carta de una mujer en América Latina que había salvado a una mujer del envenenamiento lento de su esposo y en 1977, una enfermera que había estado leyendo El misterio de Pale Horse sugirió correctamente que un bebé a su cargo padecia envenenamiento por talio. En otro caso, en 1971, un asesino en serie, Graham Frederick Young, que había envenenado a varias personas, tres fatalmente, fue atrapado gracias a este libro. Un médico al que habia consultado Scotland Yard había leído El misterio de Pale Horse y se dio cuenta de que el misterioso “insecto de Bovingdon” en realidad era envenenamiento por talio.

El tema de la magia negra está manejado de forma magistral y siniestra, y descubir lo que hay detrás sería imperdonable. Este es un libro que nadie debería perderse.

– The Guardian

El título de este libro proviene del Apocalipsis de San Juan, capítulo 6, versículo 8. “Y miré, y he aquí, un caballo amarillento; y el que estaba montado en él se llamaba Muerte; y el Hades lo seguía…. ”Fue publicado en 1961 por Collins Sons en Londres, y en 1962 por Dodd, Mead & Co. en los Estados Unidos. Fue adaptado por Anglia TV en el Reino Unido en 1996 sin Ariadne Oliver y por ITV en 2010 con la incorporación de Julia Mckenzie como Miss Marple y la omisión de Ariadne Oliver, el Coronel y Rhoda Despard y la Sra. Dane Calthrop. Fue dramatizado para la BBC Radio 4 y emitido en el 2010. La última adaptación de The Pale Horse se emitió en el Reino Unido en BBC One en febrero de 2020, y ahora está disponible en BBC iPlayer. Fue emitido en los EE. UU. en Amazon Prime en marzo de 2020.

Mi opinión: La historia gira en torno a una serie de muertes, todas ellas aparentemente por causas naturales. Lo único en común es que los nombres de todos los fallecidos aparecen en una lista que se encontró escondida en el zapato de un sacerdote católico asesinado recientemente, que acababa de escuchar la confesión a una mujer moribunda. Su muerte violenta plantea muchas preguntas sobre el propósito del crimen. Mientras tanto, Mark Easterbrook, por una serie de coincidencias, se encuentra con el nombre de The Pale Horse dos días seguidos. Y, al mismo tiempo, Easterbrook tiene la oportunidad de echar un vistazo a la lista del sacerdote, cuando un viejo amigo, que trabaja como forense, le enseña dicha lista. A pesar de todos los esfuerzos para descubrir la relación entre las personas en la lista, la única pista existente parece estar asociada con un caso de brujería. La mayor parte del libro está narrado en primera persona por el propio Easterbrook, a excepción de algunos capítulos, que describen aquellos sucesos en los que no pudo haber participado, contados en tercera persona.

Mi amigo y compañero bloguero Xavier Lechard dijo una vez que no somos nosotros quienes elegimos los libros que leemos, sino que los libros nos eligen a nosotros. No puedo estar más de acuerdo. No importa si hago una lista de los libros que espero leer a continuación, casi siempre, por alguna extraña razón, otro libro se interpone en el camino. Este ha sido el caso de El misterio de Pale Horse de Agatha Christie, que no había leído antes y sobre el que apenas tenía ninguna referencia. La oportunidad se presentó después de ver la serie de televisión de la BBC, supuestamente basada en la novela del mismo título de Agatha Christie, adaptada por Sarah Phelps, dirigida por Leonora Lonsdale, y protagonizada por Rufus Sewell y Kaya Scodelario. Por cierto, no añadiré ningún comentario personal sobre una serie que encontré extremadamente aburrida y que, en mi opinión, no tiene nada que ver con la novela original. Pero me animó a leer el libro y no me arrepiento en lo más mínimo.

El misterio de Pale Horse, a pesar de la presencia de la Sra. Ariadne Oliver, es un libro independiente, publicado cuando la autora tenía más de 70 años, y es muy posible que sea la última de las grandes novelas de Christie. Ciertamente lo he disfrutado mucho. Me gustaría resaltar particularmente su habilidad para ocultar todas las pistas mientras juega limpio con el lector al mismo tiempo. Me gustó la forma en que Christie introduce el aspecto sobrenatural en la trama y cómo termina dándole la vuelta, brindándonos una explicación perfectamente racional y comprensible sobre todo lo que ha sucedido. Además, todos los personajes están vivamente retratados y son muy convincentes.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Agatha Christie es la escritora de misterio más conocida del mundo. Sus libros han vendido más de mil millones de ejemplares en inglés y otros mil millones en 44 idiomas extranjeros. Es la autora más  publicada de todos los tiempos en cualquier idioma, por detrás tna solo de la Biblia y de Shakespeare. Su carrera como escritora abarcó más de medio siglo, durante el cual escribió 80 novelas y colecciones de relatos, así como 14 obras de teatro, una de las cuales, La Ratonera, es la obra de teatro que ha estado en cartelera  durante mas tiempo en la historia. Dos de los personajes que ella creó, el pequeño y brillante belga Hercule Poirot y la irrefrenable e inexorable señorita Marple, se convirtieron en detectives de fama mundial. Ambos han sido ampliamente dramatizados en largometrajes y series de televisión. Agatha Christie también escribió novelas románticas bajo el seudónimo de Mary Westmacott. Además, escribió cuatro libros de no ficción, incluida una autobiografía y un entretenido relato de las numerosas expediciones que compartió con su esposo el arqueólogo Sir Max Mallowan. Agatha Christie murió en 1976.

Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976) Updated 10 March 2020

agatha-christieAgatha Christie, in full Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, née Miller, (born September 15, 1890, Torquay, Devon, England—died January 12, 1976, Wallingford, Oxfordshire), English detective novelist and playwright whose books have sold more than 100 million copies and have been translated into some 100 languages. Educated at home by her mother, Christie began writing detective fiction while working as a nurse during World War I. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), introduced Hercule Poirot, her eccentric and egotistic Belgian detective; Poirot reappeared in about 25 novels and many short stories before returning to Styles, where, in Curtain (1975), he died. The elderly spinster Miss Jane Marple, her other principal detective figure, first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1930). Christie’s first major recognition came with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), which was followed by some 75 novels that usually made best-seller lists and were serialized in popular magazines in England and the United States.Christie’s plays include The Mousetrap (1952), which set a world record for the longest continuous run at one theatre (8,862 performances—more than 21 years—at the Ambassadors Theatre, London) and then moved to another theatre, and Witness for the Prosecution (1953), which, like many of her works, was adapted into a successful film (1957). Other notable film adaptations include Murder on the Orient Express (1933; film 1974 and 2017) and Death on the Nile (1937; film 1978). Her works were also adapted for television. In 1926 Christie’s mother died, and her husband, Colonel Archibald Christie, requested a divorce. In a move she never fully explained, Christie disappeared and, after several highly publicized days, was discovered registered in a hotel under the name of the woman her husband wished to marry. In 1930 Christie married the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan; thereafter she spent several months each year on expeditions in Iraq and Syria with him. She also wrote romantic nondetective novels, such as Absent in the Spring (1944), under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Her Autobiography (1977) appeared posthumously. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. (Source: Britannica)

Agatha Christie published more than ninety stories between 1920 and 1976. Her best-loved stories revolve around two brilliant and quite dissimilar detectives, the Belgian émigré Hercule Poirot and the English spinster Miss Jane Marple. Other stories feature the “flapper” couple Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, the mysterious Harley Quin, the private detective Parker Pyne, or Police Superintendent Battle as investigators. Dame Agatha’s works have been adapted numerous times for the stage, movies, radio, and television.

Hercule Poirot novels: The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920); Murder on the Links (1923); The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926); The Big Four (1927); The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928); Peril at End House (1932); Lord Edgware Dies (1933) aka Thirteen at Dinner; Murder on the Orient Express (1934) aka Murder in the Calais Coach; Three Act Tragedy (1935) aka Murder in Three Acts; Death in the Clouds (1935) aka Death in the Air; The A.B.C. Murders (1936) aka The Alphabet Murders; Murder in Mesopotamia (1936); Cards on the Table (1936); Dumb Witness (1937) aka Poirot Loses a Client; Death on the Nile (1937) aka Murder on the Nile and as Hidden Horizon; Appointment with Death (1938); Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938) aka Murder for Christmas and as A Holiday for Murder; Sad Cypress (1940); One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940) aka An Overdose of Death and as The Patriotic Murders; Evil Under the Sun (1941); Five Little Pigs (1942) aka Murder in Retrospect; The Hollow (1946) aka Murder after Hours; Taken at the Flood (1948) aka There Is a Tide; Mrs McGinty’s Dead (1952) aka Blood Will Tell; After the Funeral (1953) aka Funerals are Fatal; Hickory Dickory Dock (1955) aka Hickory Dickory Death; Dead Man’s Folly (1956); Cat Among the Pigeons (1959); The Clocks (1963); Third Girl (1966); Hallowe’en Party (1969); Elephants Can Remember (1972); Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (written about 1940, published 1975)

Hercule Poirot short story collections, novellas and miscellanies:

Poirot Investigates a short story collection first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in March 1924. It contain the following eleven stories: “The Adventure of the Western Star”; “The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor”; “The Adventure of the Cheap Flat”; “The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge”; “The Million Dollar Bond Robbery”; “The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb”; “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan”; “The Kidnapped Prime Minister”; “The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim”; “The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman” and “The Case of the Missing Will”. The American version of this book, published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1925, featured an additional three stories which did not appear in book form in the UK until 1974 with the publication of Poirot’s Early Cases: “The Chocolate Box”; “The Veiled Lady” and “The Lost Mine”.

–  Murder in the Mews a short story collection first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in March 1937. In the US, the book was published by Dodd, Mead and Company under the title Dead Man’s Mirror in June 1937 with one story missing (The Incredible Theft); the 1987 Berkeley Books edition of the same title has all four stories. All of the tales feature Hercule Poirot. The four short stories are: Murder in the Mews; The Incredible Theft; Dead Man’s Mirror, and Triangle at Rhodes.

–  The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories a short story collection first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1939. Five of the stories feature Hercule Poirot (“The Mystery of the Bagdad Chest”, “How Does Your Garden Grow?” “Yellow Iris”, “The Dream”, “Problem at Sea”). The collection was not published in the UK and was the first time a Christie book was published in the US without a comparable publication in the UK; however all of the stories in the collection were published in later UK collections.

–  The Labours of Hercules a short story collection first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1947 and in the UK by Collins Crime Club in September of the same year. The twelve stories are:The Nemean Lion”; “The Lernaean Hydra”; “The Arcadian Deer”; “The Erymanthian Boar”; “The Augean Stables”; “The Stymphalean Birds”; “The Cretan Bull”; “The Horses of Diomedes”; “The Girdle of Hippolyta”; “The Flock of Geryon”; “The Apples of Hesperides” and “The Capture of Cerberus”.

–  The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories a short story collection first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1948.  Only the short story “The Second Gong” features Hercule Poirot.

–  Three Blind Mice and Other Stories a short story collection first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1950. The later collections The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (1960), Poirot’s Early Cases(1974), Miss Marple’s Final Cases and Two Other Stories (1979), and Problem at Pollensa Bay (1992) reprint between them all the stories in this collection except the title story “Three Blind Mice”, an alternate version of the play The Mousetrap, and the only Christie short story not published in the UK. The stories featuring Poirot are “The Third Floor Flat”; “The Adventure of Johnny Waverly”; “Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds” and “The Love Detectives”.

–  The Under Dog and Other Stories a short story collection first published in the US by Dodd Mead and Company in 1951 comprising the following stories: “The Underdog”, “The Plymouth Express”, “The Affair at the Victory Ball”, “The Market Basing Mystery”, “The Lemesurier Inheritance”, “The Cornish Mystery”, “The King of Clubs”, “The Submarine Plans” and “The Adventure of the Clapham Cook”. All the stories were published in British and American magazines between 1923 and 1926. All of the stories, save the title story, were to appear again in 1974 in Poirot’s Early Cases.

–  The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding a collection of six short stories, five of which feature Hercule Poirot, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in October 1960. It comprises: “The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding”, or “The Theft of the Royal Ruby”; “The Mystery of the Spanish Chest”; “The Under Dog”; “Four and Twenty Blackbirds” and “The Dream”. It was not published in the US although the stories it contains were published in other volumes there.

–  Double Sin and Other Stories a short story collection first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1961. The collection contains eight short stories and was not published in the UK; however all of the stories were published in other UK collections. The titles featuring Hercule Poirot are: “Double Sin”; “Wasp’s Nest”; “The Theft of the Royal Ruby” (aka “The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding”); “Greenshaw’s Folly”; and “The Double Clue.

–  Poirot’s Early Cases a short story collection first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in September 1974. Although the stories contained within the volume had all appeared in previous US collections, the book also appeared there later in 1974 under the slightly different title of Hercule Poirot’s Early Cases. The eighteen short stories are: “The Affair at the Victory Ball”; “The Adventure of the Clapham Cook”; “The Cornish Mystery”; “The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly”; “The Double Clue”; “The King of Clubs”; “The Lemesurier Inheritance”; “The Lost Mine”; “The Plymouth Express”; “The Chocolate Box”; “The Submarine Plans”; “The Third Floor Flat”; “Double Sin”; “The Market Basing Mystery”; “Wasps’ Nest”; “The Veiled Lady”; “Problem at Sea” and “How Does Your Garden Grow?”

–  Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories a short story collection published in the UK only in November 1991 by HarperCollins. It was not published in the US but all the stories contained within it had previously been published in American volumes. It contains two  stories with Hercule Poirot, “The Second Gong”, first published in issue 499 of the Strand Magazine in July 1932, and the basis of the novella “Dead Man’s Mirror” in 1935. ”Yellow Iris”, first published in issue 559 of the Strand Magazine in July 1937, and the basis of the novel Sparkling Cyanide, in which Poirot was replaced by Colonel Race and the plot was heavily altered. “The Regatta Mystery”, first published in issue 546 of the Strand Magazine in June 1936 under the title “Poirot and the Regatta Mystery” was later rewritten by Christie to change the detective from Hercule Poirot to Parker Pyne before its first book publication in the US in The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories in 1939 and in the UK in this volume. The publication in the Strand Magazine remained the only publication of the original version of the story in the UK until 2008, when it was included in the omnibus volume Hercule Poirot: the Complete Short Stories

The Harlequin Tea Set a short story collection first published in the US by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in April 1997. It contains nine short stories each of which involves a separate mystery. With the exception of “The Harlequin Tea Set”, which was published in the collection Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories, all stories were published in the UK in 1997 in the anthology While the Light Lasts and Other Stories.  “The Mystery of the Spanish Chest” is the only story featuring Hercule Poirot.

–  While the Light Lasts and Other Stories a short story collection first published in the UK in August 1997 by HarperCollins. It contains nine short stories. In addition to detailed notes by Christie scholar Tony Medawar, the collection comprises the following Poirot stories: “Christmas Adventure” first published in issue 1611 of The Sketch Magazine on 11 December 1923, later expanded into novella form under the title “The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding”and was printed as the title story in the 1960 UK collection The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding; and “The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest” first published in issue 493 of the Strand Magazine in January 1932. The story was later expanded into novella form and was printed as “The Mystery of the Spanish Chest” in the 1960 UK collection The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.

–  Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories. Omnibus Collection. All 51 Hercule Poirot short stories presented in chronological order in a single volume – plus a bonus story not seen for more than 70 years. First published by HarperCollins Publishers in the UK in 1999. Contents: “The Affair at the Victory Ball”; “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan”; “The King of Clubs”; “The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim”; “The Plymouth Express”; “The Adventure of “The Western Star”; “The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor”; “The Kidnapped Prime Minister”; “The Million Dollar Bond Robbery”; “The Adventure of the Cheap Flat”; “The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge”; “The Chocolate Box”; “The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb”; “The Veiled Lady”; “The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly”; “The Market Basing Mystery”; “The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman”; “The Case of the Missing Will”; “The Incredible Theft”; “The Adventure of the Clapham Cook”; “The Lost Mine”; “The Cornish Mystery”; “The Double Clue”; “The Theft of the Royal Ruby”; “The Lemesurier Inheritance”; “The Under Dog”; “Double Sin”; “Wasps’ Nest”; “The Third Floor Flat”; “The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest”; “Dead Man’s Mirror”; “How Does Your Garden Grow?”; “Problem at Sea”; “Triangle at Rhodes”; “Murder in the Mews”; “Yellow Iris”; “The Dream”; “The Labors of Hercules”; “The Nemean Lion”; “The Lernean Hydra”; “The Arcadian Deer”; “The Erymanthian Boar”; “The Augean Stables”; “The Stymphalean Birds”; “The Cretan Bull”; “The Horses of Diomedes”; “The Girdle of Hyppolita”; “The Flock of Geryon”; “ The Apples of the Hesperides”; “The Capture of Cerberus”; and “Four and Twenty Blackbirds”.

–  Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran. First published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2009. Includes two unpublished Poirot stories: “The Capture of Cerberus” and “The Incident of the Dog’s Ball”.

–  Black Coffee First published in the UK by HarperCollins Publishers in 2000. A stage play written by Agatha Christie in 1929, accepted for production in 1930 at the Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage, London and adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne.

–  Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly. First published posthumously in the UK by HarperCollins Publishers in 2014, a novella that turned into Dead Man’s Folly. In 1954, Agatha Christie wrote this novella with the intention of donating the proceeds to a fund set up to buy stained glass windows for her local church at Churston Ferrers, and she filled the story with references to local places, including her own home of Greenway. But having completed it, she decided instead to expand the story into a full-length novel, Dead Man’s Folly, which was published two years later, and donated a Miss Marple story (“Greenshaw’s Folly”) to the church fund instead.

Miss Jane Marple novels: The Murder at the Vicarage [1930]; The Body in the Library [1942];
The Moving Finger
[1942]; A Murder is Announced [1950];
They Do it with Mirrors
[1952];
A Pocket Full of Rye
[1953];

4.50 from Paddington
[1957];
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
[1962];
A Caribbean Mystery
[1964];
At Bertram’s Hotel
[1965];
Nemesis
[1971] and Seeping Murder [1976].

Miss Marple Short Story Collections: The Thirteen Problems (1932) and Miss Marple’s Final Cases (1979)

Tommy and Tuppence: They appear together in four full-length novels and one collection of short stories. The collection of short stories is Partners in Crime, (1929, each story referencing another writer’s work); the four novels are The Secret Adversary (1922), N or M? (1941), By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968); and Postern of Fate (1973). Postern of Fate was the last novel Christie ever wrote, although not the last to be published.

Non-series works by Agatha Christie : The Sittaford Mystery (1931)  aka Murder at Hazelmoor; Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1934)  aka The Boomerang Clue; And Then There Were None (1939) aka Ten Little Niggers / Ten Little Indians; Death Comes as the End (1945); Crooked House (1949); They Came to Baghdad (1951); Destination Unknown (1954) aka So Many Steps to Death; Ordeal by Innocence (1958); The Pale Horse (1961); Endless Night (1967); and Passenger to Frankfurt (1970)

Harley Quin appears in the 12 short stories: The Mysterious Mr Quin, first published in 1930, and in an additional two short stories, “The Love Detectives” and “The Harlequin Tea Set” from Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories. Mr. Quin’s emissary Mr. Satterthwaite, who appears together with him in all the previously mentioned short stories, also appears without him in Christie’s short story “Dead Man’s Mirror” in the collection Murder in the Mews, and in her novel Three-Act Tragedy.

Parker Pyne appears in Agatha Christie’s anthology Parker Pyne Investigates, and the short stories “Problem at Pollensa Bay” and “The Regatta Mystery

Superintendent Battle appears as a detective in the following novels: The Secret of Chimneys [1925]; The Seven Dials Mystery [1929]; Cards on the Table [1936], with Hercule Poirot, Ariadne Oliver and Colonel Race; Murder is Easy [1939], and Towards Zero [1944].

Miss Ariadne Oliver: After a very brief appearance in Parker Pyne Investigates, mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver appeared in a total of six novels with Hercule Poirot [Cards on the Table (1936); Mrs McGinty’s Dead (1952) aka Blood Will Tell; Dead Man’s Folly (1956); Third Girl (1966); Hallowe’en Party (1969); Elephants Can Remember (1972)], one stand-alone novel The Pale Horse (1961) and Greenshore Folly, an earlier shorter version of Dead Man’s Folly(1956) that was published posthumously.


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(Facsimile Dust Jacket, John Lane, The Bodley Head (UK), 1920)

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