This collection of short stories includes stories with Miss Marple, Poirot, and Parker Pyne. I enjoyed these so much! It’s amazing to me how Agatha Christie can create this little puzzle in just a few pages, and lay out all the clues and a few red herrings, then cleverly reveal the solution in an entertaining way.
Not all of the stories were murder mysteries though. Some of them were just interesting things that happened and the explanation of how they came about, one of them was a supernatural phenomena and it’s affect on the people involved, and one was how Parker Pyne fooled an old lady into changing her mind.
I enjoyed all of these stories so much! Each one is so refreshing and fun!
In the Regatta Mystery, a diamond goes missing with a half dozen witnesses staring right at it. One young man falls under suspicion, and he goes to Parker Pyne to clear his name. Just from hearing a description of how the diamond disappeared, Pyne solves the mystery and find the diamond! This one was a clever mystery with a simple solution, so simple that I never guessed it!
The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest was full of psychological analysis of the characters involved in a cold-blooded murder. It was all laid out- opportunity, motive, temperament, relationship with the deceased. But how exactly did the murdered man die? Poirot is called in to investigate and scrutinize the statements of the witnesses.
In How Does Your Garden Grow?, Poirot receives a letter from an elderly lady asking for his help, but when he arrives at her home, she has already been murdered. I really liked the clever way that Poirot notices every little detail of everything, and sifts through every tiny clue to solve this mystery!
In Problem at Pollensa Bay , Parker Pyne is trying to enjoy a relaxing holiday, but an old lady asks for his help in persuading her son against a questionable engagement with an undesirable young lady. Pyne puts his mind to the problem, and comes up with the perfect solution. I loved this funny story! It was so dramatic, and there is no murder or theft. It’s just fantastic fun!
In Yellow Iris Hercule Poirot gets an anonymous phone call to hurry down to a fabulous restaurant and join the table set with yellow irises. Poirot arrives and finds that he is surrounded by several strangers, one of whom must have called him to come, but which was it? It soon becomes evident that one person at the table is in danger of being poisoned before the dinner is over, but which one? Brilliant writing, and I loved how the history of the group and their past relationships with each other all play a big part in the mystery!
Miss Marple Tells a Story and details how she heard about a murder and solved it just from listening to the descriptions of the crime scene. She uses her expert knowledge of human nature to cut through the lies and solve the case.
In The Dream a millionaire consults with Poirot, saying that he has a recurring dream where he dies. A few days later, the dream comes true, and Poirot is called in to investigate. This mystery was certainly interesting, and I loved how Poirot relies on his instincts to tell him when someone is lying to him.
In a Glass Darkly is about a young man who has a prophetic vision of the future, and because of this he makes different decisions in life. Years later, the vision appears to be coming true, and he wonders if he and his family would have been better off if he had never had the vision. This was a strange story about a supernatural phenomena. I didn’t really like the characters, and the story didn’t have much actually happening in the plot, but it was certainly interesting to read.
In Problem at Sea Poirot is sailing on his way to Alexandria, Egypt, when one of the passengers is murdered. Everyone appears to have an alibi, until Poirot begins to unravel the clues. I liked the elements of the mystery, but I didn’t like the way that Poirot solved the case in the end. There is a shock factor and I didn’t like the results of that among the characters. I feel like Poirot should have adopted a more civilized way of dealing with the criminal and just handed him over to the authorities, instead of being all dramatic and trying to shock people into confessing. It’s fine, but I didn’t like it that much.