Agatha Christie is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you're invited to read...
DOUBLE SIN AND OTHER STORIES
In one of London's most elegant shops, a decorative doll in green velvet adopts some rather human-and sinister-traits... A country gentleman is questioned about a murder that has yet to be committed... In summoning spirits, a medium is drawn closer to the world of the dead than she ever imagined possible... In a small country church, a dying man's final word, sanctuary, becomes both an elegy and a clue to a crime. Only the Queen of Crime could have conceived such delicious treats for mystery lovers. Only the inimitable Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, could solve them with such chilling perfection.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful: 4 Poirot, 2 Marple, 2 fantastic fiction, May 26, 2002 Reviewer: M. L. Worley from Kingdom of the Mouse, United States "Double Clue" (December 1923) - Marcus Hardman, a collector of antiques, has been robbed of some historic jewelry during one of his fashionable tea parties. Poirot and Hastings are called in because Hardman (suspecting one of his distinguished guests) wants to avoid scandal. Incidentally, this marks Poirot's 1st meeting with Countess Vera Rossakoff, who we meet again occasionally in later years; Poirot's interest in her isn't entirely professional. :) One of the key clues in this case is similar to one used in _Murder on the Orient Express_; Christie was very thrifty with good ideas and often recycled them. "Theft of the Royal Ruby" (in expanded form, "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding") (December 1923) - A foolish young Middle Eastern prince let his current mistress wear the ruby that had just been reset for his bride - and she stole it. Poirot's main task is to avoid scandal - and it takes a lot of high-powered diplomatic persuasion, plus the promise of oil-fired central heating, to get him to endure Christmas in an English country house in pursuit of the gem. :) "Double Sin" (September 1928, a.k.a. "By Road or Rail") - Hastings and Poirot are taking a week's holiday on the south Devon coast, when Poirot is offered a case on the north Devon coast. Hastings, after looking into the trains, urges Poirot into taking an all-day excursion trip by car to get there instead. One of the endless stream of auburn-haired women who pass through Hastings' life, Mary Durant, is also combining business with pleasure: delivering a case of valuable miniatures for her aunt. Unfortunately, she doesn't have sense enough to keep quiet about it... "Wasp's Nest" (November 1928) - Poirot unexpectedly drops in on his friend John Harrison in his garden at the end of a hot August afternoon. He's travelling on business, rather than pleasure - investigating a murder that has not yet been committed. (Poirot attempts this when possible, but has had a mediocre success rate.) "The Last Seance" (1933) - This is one of Christie's forays into supernatural fiction and can best be appreciated in _The Hound of Death and Other Stories_, rather than this mystery-dominated collection. "The Dressmaker's Doll" (1954) - Sylvia Fox doesn't remember buying or being given the elaborately dressed doll that's kept lying around the studio, and lately there have been some disturbing incidents, as it's been moved from place to place, and nobody will admit to moving it... "Greenshaw's Folly" - Horace Bindler, literary critic, is at heart suited only to the rarefied air of the city intelligencia, but has wished himself as a country houseguest upon author Raymond West. Seeking for a diversion, and knowing of Bindler's fondness for photographing monstrosities - houses apparently designed by architects on drugs - introduces him to Greenshaw's Folly. As it happens, although interrupted while grubby from gardening, Miss Greenshaw isn't upset by visitors - she needs them to witness her will, since her housekeeper is the legatee rather than being on salary. (Her nephew, as the son of her rogue of a brother-in-law, is being disinherited.) On their way home, the critic remarks that all her library needed was a body. On hearing the story, Raymond's aunt Jane Marple is reminded of Mr. Naysmith, who liked deceiving people for fun, and sometimes got trouble rather than laughs... "Sanctuary", a.k.a. "The Man on the Chancel Steps" (October 1954) - Bunch Harmon (one of Miss Marple's many relatives, whom we met in _A Murder is Announced), was asked for sanctuary by a dying man. But why did he come to Chipping Cleghorn in the first place? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title