Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cat Among the Pigeons

Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
Black Dog & Leventhal, 1959
297 pages
Hercule Poirot Mystery
4/5 stars

Source: Bought (it was on sale)

Summary: Meadowbank School is an outstanding school for young girls which is suddenly rocked by the murder of the new games mistress.  Was she too curious for her own good?  Does it have some connection to the recent revolution in a Near East country? (Hint: yes)  Never fear: Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells are on the case.

Thoughts: The book opens with a four page list of the characters, which I read hoping to get set for reading this.  Instead it overwhelmed me and I had to just keep reading in order to be able to follow it.  There are a lot of characters, mostly female because the actions takes place at a fine girls' school.  The opening is very confusing as it shifts from Meadowbank to that Near East country to two females who connect both places. Headmistress Miss Bulstrode of course made me think of Millicent Bulstrode of Slytherin but luckily she's a much nicer person and Eileen Rich is consistently described as ugly although I cannot fathom why that's relevant to the story. 

There seem to be long passages where nothing is really happening.  I found it easy to read and I was motivated to finish it.  Interestingly Poirot doesn't show up until basically two-thirds of the way through the book.  Yet he solves it fairly easily by picking up on a few strands.  I didn't solve the murder (er murders) but I don't mind.  I should have noticed something was up about that person but I didn't connect it fast enough. I also thought there was going to be a romance (I like the little romances Christie throws in) but I was wrong.

Overall: A fine outing although somewhat confusing and less engaging than Christie's best.  Do not begin your exploration of Christie with this.

Cover: Pretty pink although not as pretty as the purple yesterday.  The rackets are also quite important.

1 comment:

  1. I love crime novels that take place in schools, there's just something very thrilling about it, such chaos amidst tradition. Great review!


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