It doesn't matter that Christie says nothing new about human character here that she hasn't said in countless other mysteries -- between Mr. Pyne and Mr. Satterthwaite, she has beautifully bookended her views on love and happiness. While Mr. Satterthwaite's stories in The Mysterious Mr. Quin are filled with grandeur and heartbreak, Parker Pyne's investigations are filled with humor. He is an excellently realized character (particularly since he isn't ever described by any other characters, Christie's usual method of illuminating her detectives), his methods are highly original (and extremely effective), and he gets in quite a few excellent lines. My favorite story is the same as Christie's, "The Case of the Rich Woman" and the final story has a wonderful twist. A strong collection.
(A further note: longtime readers will be pleased to find the first appearances of Miss Lemon, Poirot's efficient secretary, and Ariadne Oliver, the mystery writer, in two of the early Parker Pyne stories.)
There comes a time when a master detective needs to get away from it alll. But for Mr. Parker Pyne, it was not to be. Crime followed him like a shadow from the moment he took his seat on the Orient Express.
This is a collection of short stories introducing Parker Pyne. Pyne is a former statistician turned advisor to those with troubled spirits (his personal ad reads "Are you happy? If not, consult Parker Pyne"). The first half of the book uses Pyne's knowledge of statistics to cure everything from broken hearts to boredom. The second half of the book follows Parker Pyne on a "vacation" through the middle east where he uses his skills to solve crimes.
All Agatha Christie is great.
my book has a different cover than the one shown.
After reading two of Agatha Christie's short stories featuring the very unconventional private investigator, Parker Pyne, I knew I had to read more, so when I came across this collection, I grabbed it.
Pyne relies upon his thirty-five years in a government office compiling statistics to help him solve any case that's presented to him. Some of the short stories revolve around people who respond to his advertisement in The Times, but Pyne also travels to more exotic climes, such as Jordan, Syria, and Iran and finds himself solving puzzles in those countries as well.
When it comes to solving mysteries relying solely upon his observations of human nature, he has only one equal: Miss Marple herself, although the elderly lady never managed to get paid for all her troubles and Pyne does.
The stories see appearances by two characters seen elsewhere in Christie's fiction: the novelist Ariadne Oliver and Miss Lemon the secretary. (Now I'm curious as to whether Lemon worked for Pyne first before moving on to Hercule Poirot or vice versa.) When in London, Pyne helps those responding to his ad, and I love seeing how he puts his solutions together using a select few actors and other specialists whom he knows. When he's faced with mysteries while traveling abroad, they are more normal investigations. (Naturally, since the people he employs are not traveling with him.)
With the exception of twice when Christie's racism was clearly shown, I found this collection of stories to be delightful, and I'm certainly glad that I've persisted in sampling writing from the Golden Age of Mysteries.