The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie

The grand dame of the golden age of mysteries, Christie's characters capture the minds of young readers with each new generation.

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The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie


Features

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.77 x 6.76 x 4.21
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; (October 2001)
  • ISBN: 0312979746


    Book Description
    A blinding snowstorm-and a homicidal maniac-traps a small party of friends in an isolated estate. Out of this deceptively simple set-up Agatha Christie fashioned one of her most ingenious puzzlers, which, in turn, would provide the basis for The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in history. From this classic title novella to the deliciously clever gems on its tail (solved to perfection by Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple), this rare collection of murder most foul showcases the inimitable Miss Christie at her inventive best, proving her reputation as "the champion deceiver of our time." (The New York Times)




    Reader Reviews
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful: Everything But the Kitchen Sink, July 20, 2003 Reviewer: gft from Biloxi, MS USA If Agatha Christie's THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS had been written in the 1890s instead of the 1920s, we might actually regard it as a classic of its kind. Instead, it is best regarded as something of a cultural curiosity. The English of Christie's age and background tended to have an 'Empire' mentality, and a sense of national and racial superiority was often the result--and it is seen in the works of many English mystery writers of the 1920s and 1930s. (Dorothy Sayers is particularly notable for a patronizing anti-Semitism.) Unlike some of her contemporaries, Christie would eventually outgrow the mindset--but CHIMNEYS shows her at her most xenophobic, taking swipes at unpolished colonials, Jews, and those troublesome little Balkan states, to name but a few. That said, the plot centers on a monarchy's possible return to power in one of the aforesaid Balkan states--and it offers us everything but the kitchen sink. There are mysterious memoirs, scandalous letters, blackmail, missing jewels, secret passages, a body in a trunk, and gunshots at night. Ultimately, the novel reads like the basis for a Marx Brothers movie that every one thought better of. But it does have one or two charms, and the primary one is a handful of entertaining characters that stand out against the otherwise cardboardish creations that people the novel: the spirited and charming Virginia Revel, the eternally anxious Lord Caterham, and Caterham's "bright young thing" daughter 'Bundle.' And the absurd plot itself has its own odd sort of fascination: you can't help wondering what silly thing Christie will throw at you next. This is really a book more for established fans who will be interested in the writer's earlier and more obscure titles. But for newcomers interested in the same period, I would recommend THE SECRET ADVERSARY, which offers the same convoluted and often ridiculous plot but does so with tremendous humor, spirit, and more memorable characters. --GFT (Amazon.com Reviewer)--

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