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The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451200209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451200204
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Miss Marple is in a class by herself. -- New York Times

About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A must read for the Christie devotee and to be read again if not already done so.
Alex Benben
At her best, Agatha Christie's short stories are the equal of any by these more literary writers--and THE THIRTEEN PROBLEMS is very much Agatha Christie at her best.
Gary F. Taylor
The stories were easy to read and mostly were not easy nto figure out before the end.
Quigley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on June 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Picture yourself with a group of friends that include Miss Jane Marple. Sitting around the fire, someone brings up the idea of presenting mysteries that only you know the answer, and the other friends must solve. Guess who wins hands down every time? Yes, that little lady with lace mitts who is knitting little fluffy things.
This is a fine book of short stories and, as usual, Dame Agatha outfoxed me every time. Though Miss Jane publicly disdains outlandish plots ("undetectable poison from an African village"), her creator is sometimes guilty of just that. The very few that left me less than impressed involved entirely too much running around, an outlandish premise, and an overabundance of purple prose.
My hands down favorite was "Death By Drowning" when Dame Agatha shows her superb ability to misdirect. Even with broad hints, I didn't come near the answer. And never be certain that the villain will be punished, at least right away. "The Tuesday Night Club" and "A Christmas Tragedy" each have her particular brand of cleverness stamped clearly throughout.
This would be a wonderful book to have in the guest bedroom, but be sure to read it first!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not generally fond of short stories, but there exceptions: Somerset Maugham, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker... and Agatha Christie. At her best, Agatha Christie's short stories are the equal of any by these more literary writers--and THE THIRTEEN PROBLEMS is very much Agatha Christie at her best. The individual stories are loosely tied together as something of a party game: after dinner each guest is required to present a mystery to which he or she knows the solution and the other guests must puzzle it out. The concept produces a chatty sort format that is both entertaining and perfectly suited to Agatha Christie's demure yet remarkably sharp Miss Marple--who disconcerts the others by inevitably solving the crime.
In addition to Miss Marple, the storytellers include a number of always welcome re-occurring characters such as Mr. and Mrs. Bantry, Miss Marple's nephew Raymond West, and Sir Henry Clithering. Each of the stories is as memorable as anything Christie wrote in novel form, and although you can easily read any of the stories out of sequence the dinner party concept gives the collection a unified quality which nonetheless escapes the more demanding requirements of tackling a full-length novel.
This is the ideal bedside book, for you need read no more than a single story--drop off to sleep--and then return again to the next story at your leisure. At the same time it will satisfy even the most hardcore Christie fans; every one is sure to have their own favorite tale (mine is "The Herb of Death") and serious Christie readers will enjoy spotting plot devices that Christie later elaborated into full-length novels. Very, very enjoyable and highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is by far one of my favorite works by Agatha Christie - a perfect example of the "cozy" mysteries where the detective would solve puzzlers from his/her armchair. The stories all get to show off Miss Marple at her best. The action begins when six people form a "Tuesday Night Club" aimed at solving various crimes that only they know the solution to. Miss Marple asks to join in and rather condescendingly, the other members allow her to participate. Each week, one member narrates a mystery which the others try to solve. Ironically, it is Miss Marple that unerringly leaps to the truth each time while the supposedly more worldly people fail! Her explanation is that having lived in a small village her whole life, she has developed a very good understanding of human nature and is able to see patterns in crimes that leads her to the truth. There is an air of gentle wisdom about Miss Marple that is a refreshing change from Christie's other detective Hercule Poirot who can be insufferably arrogant sometimes. The other nice thing is that while the stories start out as a game, other players soon develop such great respect for Miss Marple's mental abilities that they start coming to her for solutions to unsolved tragedies. Each story is a little gem, full of atmosphere with some pretty puzzling twists. If you like your mysteries more refined and your preferred means of death arsenic in the teacup instead of a gunshot wound to the head, this book is a must-read!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on April 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
These 13 stories actually form 2 groups; all but one are stories-within-a-story, in which one character reveals a mystery to which he or she knows the solution, and the others are allowed to ask questions and try to solve it. Since the characters' story-telling skills vary, this can be interesting. :) Only the last story, 'Death by Drowning', is a 'live' case. Joan Hickson recorded unabridged narration of all the stories, which are split up over 3 recordings:
- "The Tuesday Club Murders and Other Stories" (TCM)
- "The Blue Geranium and Other Stories" (BG)
- "The Herb of Death and Other Stories" (HD)
The first 6 stories cover one of Raymond West's extended visits to his aunt, Miss Marple, while Sir Henry Clithering is also in the neighbourhood. He, she, and four other guests on the first evening form the 'Tuesday Night Club' (1st story, told by Sir Henry), to see which of the various professions represented has the best chance of solving a mystery. Miss Marple, as hostess, is included as an afterthought - at first. :) One real mystery is why Raymond never quite realizes that he's plain wrong in underestimating his aunt. Given the short format, the characters aren't drawn out at length, but even so, we see signs of a romance progressing between Raymond and Joyce, and that they certainly aren't fooling Jane Marple.
Dr. Pender, local clergyman, sets the 2nd puzzle, 'The Idol House of Astarte' - reader, beware that Christie, as a member of the Detection Club in good standing, never set puzzles requiring a supernatural solution. Raymond West, the writer, tells of a strange Cornish holiday in 'Ingots of Gold' - although he doesn't know the answer, Sir Henry does. Joyce Lampiere, the artist, visited Cornwall more professionally, to find herself painting 'The Bloodstained Pavement'.
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