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The Man in the Brown Suit Paperback – April 17, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062074377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062074379
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Agatha Christie’s ability to devise intricate plots, coupled with her understanding of human nature—at its best and worst—have made her tales timeless.” (Jan Burke, award-winning author of the Irene Kelly mysteries)

“The acknowledged queen of detective fiction the world over.” (Observer (UK))

From the Back Cover

Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her—and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.

The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: "17-122 Kilmorden Castle"?

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on October 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Man in the Brown Suit" is a drab title for Ms. Christie's most romantic novel. It is interesting to see what type of girl (Ann Beddelfield) is Dame Agatha's ideal: well born, raised by her academic father but not devoted to him, beautiful and aware of it, uses her many charms to get her way, intelligent but wildly impractical, idealistic, adventurous and believes in that knight in shining armor will come and carry her away.
Ann is deeply afraid she will end up in a rut forever as an underpaid secretary only to marry a ho-hum businessman and while away her life. Her father's meager inheritance, 87 pounds, even in 1924 money, will not see her far. She impulsively buys a ticket to South Africa that costs exactly 87 pounds, hoping for adventure. The subsequent story exceeds her wildest dreams with mysterious deaths, kidnapping, diamonds and Russian ballet dancers.
Miss Christie has some excellent descriptive scenes of South Africa. It is clear the author is in love with the landscape, the mystery and the vivid life of the area. I never quite got in the spirit of the "adventure," as I worried incessantly (seeing as Ann would not) over what she was going to use for money once she stepped off the boat. The book does not contain a master sleuth, so it is not a case of one grand mystery, but a series of small mysteries solved as you go. There were so many subplots, I lost all sight of the main purpose, but was agreeable if confused.
"The Man in the Brown Suit" is a departure for Christie, one I'm glad she did not make too often. However, it is a good natured, high-spirited romp, and I am sure she had a grand time writing it. 3-1/2 stars.
-sweetmolly- Amazon Reviewer
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "tessalemonyellow" on July 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one of Christie's earlier novels, but one of her most entertaining. It's pure brain candy, full of wit and adventure, with an appealing, intelligent heroine of the kind found in P.G. Wodehouse books of this period, and, later on, in the mysteries of Elizabeth Peters. Anne makes some nice points about the difficulties of the usual cinematic methods of freeing oneself when bound and dumped in a cellar. She also eats an extraordinary number of ice-cream sodas and collects native art to interesting effect. Oh, yes, and there are some murders and stolen diamonds involved.
An advantage to the light tone, aside from its sheer entertainment value, is that it makes the reader a little more forgiving of Christie's stretches of credibility, which especially in some of her middle period novels can be a bit much. Not that I don't love her novels. But in some there is an almost palpable sense one kind of talent trying to be "Endless Night", for example, she's rather clumsily dealing with the kind of psychological issues that writers like Thomas Harris would take up.
This book, however, is Christie at her brightest and most appealing, and shows the facility with plot which would develop into one of the greatest gifts for story-construction that English literature has ever known.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on June 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anne Beddingfield has lived all her life in a small village with her father, an anthropologist who is interested only in Paeleolithic Man. Anne longs for romance and adventure, and rather envies their maid, who has 'walked out' with a variety of young men. Then Anne's father dies suddenly, and she gets a chance at adventure when she witnesses the accidental death of a man at a London tube station. She has reason to beleive that this death is connected to the murder of a woman at a house in Marlow, but the police aren't interested in her theories, so she persuades a newspaper proprietor to take an interest. Anne takes passage on a ship bound for South Africa, believeing the answer to the mystery is to be found on the ship. There are a number of interesting people on board, charming Mrs Blair, enigmatic Colonel Race, the creepy clergyman Chichester, and eccentric and delightful Sir Eustace Pedler. Some or all of them may be up to no good. A lot of exciting things happen to Anne on the voyage, not the least exciting is when a handsome wounded stranger takes refuge in her cabin. Her adventures continue when they get to South Africa, and she finds herself with more excitement than she had ever dreamt of. Anne is a delightful heroine, adventurous and resourceful and humorous (and despite what a previous reviwer says, not in the least like tiresome, pompous Amelia Peabody). This book has an exciting plot, interesting characters, adventure, romance and humour, what more could you want? ( Actually, again disagreeing with a previous reviewer, I thought the film of this story, allowing for the fact that it was updated by sixty years, stuck reasonably closely to the original story).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By snowy on September 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I suppose like characters in PG Wodehouse, many educated English girls yearn to break free from the bindings of the Victorian society as the world appeared to be open to them, with past explorers having blazed the trails and the availability of modern transportation such as steamers and railroads to take them beyond the horizons where thousands had gone before. Oh, and of course the proliferation of trashy adventure thrillers also helped spark off their imagination; few glamourous adventure heroines suffered from sea-sickness or the availability of dashing boyfriends always there for them.
When Anne, an orphaned English young lady, witnessed a death in the London tube, she found herself drawn into a real adventure without any clues to what she was really going after. All she had were vague clues that she had seen the "man in the brown suit", who was known to be present at two apparently unrelated deaths, one being the supposed accident at the tube, another was a strangled woman in the house belonging to an English MP Sir Eustace Pedler.
Finding herself on board a cruise to South Africa, Anne found the web of intrigue expanded to include several more persona dramatis; the events seemed to surround these people whom all appear to be totally legitimate.
Slowly, she learned that the affair was somehow related to one of the most daring diamond theft that occurred years ago, to a mysterious criminal organisation led by a shadowy mastermind known only as the Colonel, and with the luck of the British, she only got a couple of attempts on her life. Of course, just to make things a little bit more interesting, she found herself drawn to a man who personally declared he would strangle women with his bare hands.
Although the background of South Africa had certain significance to the plot, like the attitudes of most colonials of the time, the native colour and people were relegated far to the background.
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