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The Seven Dials Mystery (St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – Print, September 17, 2001

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Her gift is pure genius." Observer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Gerry Wade had proved himself to be a champion sleeper, so the other houseguests decided to play a practical joke on him. Eight alarm clocks were set to go off, one after the other, starting at 6:30 a.m. But when morning arrived, one clock was missing and the prank then backfired, with tragic consequences.

For Jimmy Thesiger in particular, the words "Seven Dials" were to take on a new and chilling significance. . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; First Edition edition (September 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312979770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312979775
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,962,304 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

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book both as a great depiction of England between the wars as well as a mystery. Unlike some of Dame Agatha's other works, here I genuinely was kept in suspense till the end as to the identity of the criminal. But even more interesting was the characters who make their second appearance after "The Secret of Chimneys" which was also entertaining, but less suspenseful. I loved reading about the adventures of Lord Caterham and Bundle again, both of whom are as funny and sharp as ever. I would definitely recommend the book to even those Christie fans who only prefer Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries - it's good enough to stand on its own.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 15, 2011
Something of a pseudo-sequel to The Secret of Chimneys, only in the sense that it is set in the same location and features a few of the same characters, "The Seven Dials Mystery" is less of a mystery than it is an espionage thriller, reminiscent of Christie's Tommy & Tuppence books. And yet despite containing all the ingredients of a typical 1920s thriller (including secret societies and international documents) "The Seven Dials Mystery" ends up being more of a parody of the genre, with plenty of pokes and winks at the use of its various clichés. There's also fun to be had at the expense of the aristocracy, such as the egocentric Lord Caterham and the foolish George Lomax, and the nouveau riche, in the form of the woebegone Lady Coote, whose husband has risen up in the world, but who is bullied by the servants and secretly longs for the old bicycle shop that she shared with her husband when they first married. When contemplating Agatha Christie, many can forget just how wickedly satirical she could be, and that aspect of her writing is in fine form throughout "The Seven Dials Mystery."

At a gathering at the historical mansion of Chimneys, a group of young men and women decide to play a joke on their friend who is prone to oversleeping. Buying eight alarm clocks in the village, they wait until he's asleep and carefully arrange them in his room, timed to go off simultaneously in the morning. But when he still manages to sleep through the cacophony, the friends go to wake him they find that he's died in the night.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Hunter on July 8, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Seven Dials Mystery takes a few characters from the thriller/comedy Secret of Chimneys and finishes up their romantic storylines, as it were. The mystery itself is a bit silly and a bit fun. It takes Agatha Christie's usual secret society silliness and tweaks it a little while she, for a change, pooks fun at the genre of which she has been such a part in the twenties. The action bounces between three country homes and a club in London so that it never veers too far from territory the author is comfortable in. The character are, therefore, a little more stock than usual but she does get a chance to give Bundle (Lady Eileen Brent) a chance to shine that the character never quite got in the previous book. A slight, nice slice of summer reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on January 26, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE SEVEN DIALS MYSTERY is set 4 years after THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS (1929&1925) and also takes place in that 'Stately Home' Chimneys.
Lord Caterham has taken his family, including oldest daughter 'Bundle' AKA Lady Eileen, abroad in search of peace and quiet after all the excitement that had occured in THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS. He has leased Chimneys to Sir Oswald and Lady Coote who have decided to have one last weekend party before their lease ended. The house is filled with 'bright young things' but one of the party, Gerry Wade has been a difficult guest in that he was consistently late to breakfast. That was bad enough but then he was found dead one morning.
After the Cootes moved out and the Caterhams returned, Bundle found herself bored with country life and decided to return to London. On the way she ran into (literally)a young man, his dying words to her "Seven Dials...tell....Jimmy Thesiger" set Bundle and her friends on the trail of a mystery.
Bundle and Bill Eversleigh (also in THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS) are reunited as they try to solve the murders and the secret of the Seven Dials. False identities, red herrings and secret societies abound until Bundle and Bill, with the aid of Superintendent Battle resolve the mysteries.
This, like THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS, is Agatha Christie a la P. G Wodehouse. Far from the serious mystery that Christie is famous for, this is a comedy with mystery overtones. If you like Wodehouse you'll like this book, but if you are looking for a serious puzzler look elsewhere.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on April 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Seven Dials Mystery" by Agatha Christie is definitely a dated piece of work. It features several characters that readers met in "The Secret of Chimneys" like Bundle Brent, George Lomax, and Bill Eversleigh. While it is not Christie's best work, it still features her trademark twists that will keep readers in the dark about who the guilty party is.

An innocent house party turns to horror when young Gerry Wade is found dead. His death is made worse by the fact that his friends had planned to play a practical joke on him; since he was a notorious oversleeper, they ranged eight alarm clocks around his bed set to go off at intervals. When his dead body is found, however; only seven of those clocks remain, aligned in a row along the mantelpiece. George's friend, Ronny Devereux, ia convinced that his death is foul play, and his suspicions seem confirmed when Bundle finds him shot to death. She soon finds herself enlisting the help of another guest, Jimmy Thesiger and the stepsister of Gerald Wade, to find out what Ronny meant by his last words of "Seven Dials". Bundle's adventures lead her into what looks like an international spy ring intent upon recovering a secret formula that would revolutionize the steel industry. Yet along the way, she quickly learns that she may not be able to trust the people she thought she could confide in, including the Scotland Yard inspector on the case.

"The Seven Dials Mystery" is a delightful, fast-paced lark through the English countryside, but its languge and time period definitely shine through. There is an awful lot of action followed by an almost too quick summary of guilt at the end. However, for fans of Christie's works, it is always enjoyable to revisit familiar characters and to see them in a different light.
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