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Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories Paperback – Import, 1996

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited; New Ed edition (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006472427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006472421
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 4.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,609,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Haywood on March 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This Christie is a surprising treat for loyal fans. It comprises of eight short stories. Two of which are from the familiar egg headed detective Poirot, "The second gong" and "Yellow Iris" The later of the two involves Poirot being mysteriously called to a restaurant by an unknown lady caller in danger. Poirot has to discover who the caller is and the looming danger. Both these stories like the majority in this collection originally appeared in the Strand magazine. Mr Parker Pyne "The one and only original wizard", appears in two delightful tales which focus on the dapper English gent, solving a problem of the heart In "Problem at Pollensa Bay" and the mysterious disappearance of a diamond in "The Regatta mystery". The first of the two stories was my particular favourite as Christie explores the mystery of relationships in quite a comical almost Wodehousian style. This story shows us what a good sense of humour and keen wit Christie had. The Mr Satterthwaite and Harley Quin double act is really different. Mr Satterthwaite is helped by the supernatural presence of Mr Harley Quin, in "The Harlequin tea set" and "the love detectives". Mr Quin aids Mr Satterthwaite in solving puzzles by slowly revealing and suggesting things to both Mr Satterthwaite and the reader. The most surprising stories are the last two, "Next to a dog" and "Magnolia Blossom." Neither follow Christies usual tale of murder, however they are both morbid and serious. The stories explore the sombre side of life and are perhaps showing what the author thought about relationships she had experienced.. I enjoyed this selection of short stories because it is such an eclectic mixture of tales, illustrating the versatile talent of Christies writing. I would recommend this book both to newcomers to her writing and an unexpected welcome to those familiar with her work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ash Ryan on October 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
While the Poirot and Parker Pyne stories are good, the highlights of this collection are a couple of stories that don't fit the mold of the typical murder mystery generally associated with Christie's name:

"The Harlequin Tea Set"--I can't say much about the plot without giving away the ending (which has an almost surreal quality to it), but this is a brilliant and beautifully crafted tale with a strong emphasis on visual description and color which both enables (almost forces!) the reader to envision the scene in vivid detail and plays an important role in the story;

and

"Next to a Dog"--it's obvious from this heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful story of love, loss and redemption that Christie was a pet lover who deeply felt the loss of her own beloved furry friends, and she communicates that exquisitely, as well as (and perhaps better than) any other writer ever has, and though it's a story focused on a dog, it is perhaps her most human story.

Worth the price for these two gems alone, but the other stories nicely round out the set with the kind of fun, intriguing mysteries one expects from Christie.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By reneereader on September 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Buy nearly any of the other Christie audiobooks created within the past few years rather than spend your money on this one.

It's not nice to be harsh, but I nearly couldn't finish listening to this set, because so few of the stories were compelling enough to even take my mind off the traffic during my commute. Although I like nearly all of Christie's novels, this collection of short stories seems to indicate that Christie really didn't understand short story-writing, or was churning out stories without much heart for it or perhaps much good editing-- at least at the time.

At the end of each story, I sat there feeling cheated--as if the ending had been rushed to fit into a set number of pages. It's more like reading one of those 2-Minute Mysteries than the bit of nice, warm, chewy Agatha Christie brownie of a mystery I was hoping for.

Christie normally excells at creating delightful (either good or bad) characters, whose quirks and social interactions we anticipate and enjoy. Her normally keen sense of social wit is rather lackluster here. These short stories suffer greatly from her inability or lack of time to develop the characters and the social setting within so few pages.

Also, there probably is a following for this character, but I find Harley Quinn stories simply silly, and will never read them again. In a short story format there is simply no scope for a novelist, who isn't trained to have the discipline, to get us to suspend disbelief at the ooh-aah supernatural Mr. Quinn. I enjoy a good fantasy or what have you, but these stories simply fail to build into anything and seem terribly impressed with themselves.

If you'd like to explore Christie's little known "non-star" characters to try something of hers you haven't read, I enjoyed Ordeal by Innocence and Elephants Can Remember (which features "Ms. Oliver", who represents Christie herself).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ash Ryan on October 24, 2008
Format: Audio CD
While the Poirot and Parker Pyne stories are good, the highlights of this collection are a couple of stories that don't fit the mold of the typical murder mystery generally associated with Christie's name:

"The Harlequin Tea Set"--I can't say much about the plot without giving away the ending (which has an almost surreal quality to it), but this is a brilliant and beautifully crafted tale with a strong emphasis on visual description and color which both enables (almost forces!) the reader to envision the scene in vivid detail and plays an important role in the story;

and

"Next to a Dog"--it's obvious from this heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful story of love, loss and redemption that Christie was a pet lover who deeply felt the loss of her own beloved furry friends, and she communicates that exquisitely, as well as (and perhaps better than) any other writer ever has, and though it's a story focused on a dog, it is perhaps her most human story.

Worth the price for these two gems alone, but the other stories nicely round out the set with the kind of fun, intriguing mysteries one expects from Christie.
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