Twelve tantalising cases...the curious disappearance of Lord Listerdale; a newlywed's fear of her ex-fiance; a strange encounter on atrain; a domestic murder investigation; a mild man's sudden personality change; a retired inspector's hunt for a murderess; a young woman's impersonation of a duchess; a necklace hidden in a basket of cherries; a mystery writer's arrest for murder; an astonishing marriage proposal; a soprano's hatred for a baritone; and the case of the Rajah's emerald.
All have one thing in common: the skilful hand of Agatha Christie.
From the Publisher
'They are, without exception, the work of an experienced and artful cook' - Times Literary Supplement
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful: Collection of non-standard Christie short stories, April 21, 2002 Reviewer: M. L. Worley from Kingdom of the Mouse, United States A collection of 12 short stories, none of which feature any of Christie's recurring characters. They are sorted by original publication date (usually magazines). All also appear either in _The Golden Ball and Other Stories_ or _The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories_. "The Girl on the Train" (February 1924) Like another George in "The Golden Ball", George Rowland has just been fired from his City job by his uncle. In this case, they both celebrated too much the previous night, and when George came to work 2 hours late and hungover, the uncle ordered him out. The butler at home (having had a hard night) reassures George, who takes the next train to a picturesquely named spot - Rowland's Castle - on a whim, but leaving a forwarding address against the time when his uncle cools off. And he meets the kind of girl featured in dime novel adventures: she bolts into his 1st-class compartment, and persuades him to hide her from ominous foreign pursuers. This looks promising... "Jane in Search of a Job" (August 1924) - Jane Cleveland is out of work, and needs something fast to be able to eat tomorrow, let alone pay the rent. But she hasn't got enough work experience to land anything that'll keep her head above water, and she resorts to the last hope: the Agony column. And one of the ads specifies a good French-speaking mimic who matches Jane's description. Jane should have smelt a rat at that point, but chose not to see it - when a large fee is finally mentioned, she feels it must be crime, but that crime's OK in moderation. :) "Mr. Eastwood's Adventure", a.k.a. "The Mystery of the Second Cucumber", "The Mystery of the Spanish Shawl" (August 1924) Anthony Eastwood is working on writing "The Mystery of the Second Cucumber" when a mysterious phone call with 1 word - 'cucumber' - entangles him in a *real* mystery. "Philomel Cottage" (November 1924) This story has been adapted for film 3 times as "Love from a Stranger" (U.S. titles were different). Upon meeting an attractive stranger, Alix Marin falls for him, breaks off with her old flame, and marries him. Then, like Bluebeard's wives, she gets curious about his past... "The Manhood of Edward Robinson", a.k.a. "The Day of His Dreams" (December 1924) - Edward's fiancee henpecks him, especially about money. When he wins 500 pounds in a contest, and she complains about spending a few pence at the cinema, he keeps quiet about the prize money and buys the object of his dreams: a red car costing 465 pounds. On his first day out, he eventually parks for a while to take a break from night driving. On his return, someone has mistaken his car for their own. The other, older red car has a diamond neckace and a note for a meeting in it, and Edward takes the chance of romance and adventure, on this one day when he's acting like a man instead of a downtrodden worm... "The Listerdale Mystery", a.k.a. "The Benevolent Butler" (December 1925) As with young "Jane in Search of a Job", the middle-aged, widowed Mrs. St. Vincent answers an ad that's too good to be true: the rental of a charming little house that's more affordable than the flat she and her grown son and daughter have been sharing. It'll be a good setting for her daughter, and get her son away from the crowd he's been running with. But what happened to Lord Listerdale, the house's owner who has so generously and mysteriously rented the place complete with butler? "The Rajah's Emerald" (July 1926) An interesting contrast with "The Day of His Dreams", above. James Bond (no, not the spy), having been talked into taking a seaside holiday in a fashionable place he can't really afford, has been reading a self-help book. (His girlfriend, having come up in the world since they first met, is virtually ignoring him in favor of the more expensive crowd at the hotel she's staying in.) In his new mood of self-assertion, he takes over a private tent to change for a swim - and picks up the wrong trousers, with a stolen emerald in the pocket, when he changes back. "Swan Song" (September 1926) - Just how realistic *is* the diva's performance in _Tosca_? "Accident" - Nobody ever gets away with murder in a Christie story - do they? "A Fruitful Sunday" - Unlike Edward Robinson (see above), Edward Palgrove could only afford 20 pounds for his 4th-hand Baby Austin, but his girl Dorothy appreciates it, especially after spending the week at her parlourmaid's job. But when they pick up a basket of cherries at a roadside stand, Edward and Dorothy get more than they bargained for... "The Golden Ball" - See _The Golden Ball and Other Stories_ for details; this is essentially similar to "The Girl in the Train", although the settings differ. "Sing a Song of Sixpence" - The brutal murder of Great-aunt Lily Crabtree placed her family under suspicion, so Magdalen Vaughn brings in an old flame - Sir Edward Palliser, the barrister - to help find the culprit.