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Murder in the Mews: Four Cases of Hercule Poirot (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Paperback – September 27, 2011
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“All great characters are capable of entertaining us again and again, but only the very greatest are new every time we read them. Hercule Poirot is a member of this very small club.” (Timothy Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty thrillers)
“All four tales are admirable entertainment....Her solutions are unexpected and satisfying.” (Daily Mail (London))
From the Back Cover
How did a woman holding a pistol in her right hand manage to shoot herself in the left temple? What was the link between a ghost sighting and the disappearance of top secret military plans? How did the bullet that killed Sir Gervase shatter a mirror in another part of the room? And should the beautiful Valentine Chantry flee for her life from the holiday island of Rhodes?
Hercule Poirot is faced with four mystifying cases—each a miniature classic of characterization, incident, and suspense.
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1. Murder in the Mews-A woman is found dead in her apartment without any explanation of whodunit until Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate.
2. The Incredible Theft-The story reminds this reviewer of the The Naval Treaty story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The plot deals with the theft of an important letter which will determine whether a politician involved has a future in his government.
3. Dead Man's Mirror-A rich old man is found dead in his study. Conflicting reports as to his mood during the day and who among the guests at his estate may have had a motive to slay the chap.
4. Triangle at Rhodes-A marital triangle leads to foul murder but theending will surprise you.
A pleasant diversion of old Agatha Christie stories.
All four of these novellas are quite good; two are even locked-room murders. Overall, I much prefer the Poirot novels to the short stories. The short stories provide insufficient space for much character development or much time for Poirot to fully display his deductive abilities. These novellas, however, are long enough to avoid the shortcomings of the short stories. If you are new to Christie, this collection -- while not quite as good as her best novels -- is not a bad place to start. If you are a Christie fan, then you pretty much know what you are getting.
This collection has also been published under the title, "Dead Man's Mirror." These new Harper paperback editions are quite nicely done. They can be read easily without breaking their spines and should hold up to multiple rereadings. Because they retain British spellings, I assume that they follow the text of the original British editions.
The reader should keep in mind that these works were written in the 1930s and, while they do hold up very well as whodunits, the social mores were quite different from today's attitudes. Sexists and prejudicial statements are peppered throughout the book. Also, Ms. Christie was excellent at creating fun murder puzzles, but the dialogue is clunky as hell. A few years back I began reading the Hercule Poirot series in chronological order. Ms. Christie's mysteries are always a great break from more serious reading material despite her making me feel like an idiot. I guess I'm a glutton for self-esteem punishment because my intention is to intermittently treat myself to her other mysteries whenever I need a surefire piece of entertainment. The arrogant Hercule Poirot is simply too good to pass up.
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First of all any transaction of this size ($1,000,000) would be immediately flagged for review that very evening by an officer...Read more