Writer: Agatha Christie
Publishing House: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of Publication: September 24th 2019
Rating: 5 stars
”As we entered the grove of trees a curious oppression came over me. I think it was the silence. No birds seemed to nest in these trees. There was a feeling about it of desolation and horror.”
Crisp autumn nights, cold evenings when winter shows its teeth, summer dusks with their long shadows and the feeling of a strange freedom. Old estates, moors, pagan gods, spirits and human vices. Premonitions, evil intentions. The Queen of Crime creates 20 astonishing stories where the supernatural and the mortal world form a macabre dance. In atmospheric writing and attention to the detail, Agatha Christie demonstrates why she is the everlasting, insurmountable representative of the Mystery genre. Everyone else is a caricature.
These are my personal favourite moments in the collection.
The Last Séance: A horrifying story of a séance going horribly wring. Set in Paris and absolutely breathtaking.
In A Glass Darkly: A mirror of prophetic visions and a passionate love affair in a mysterious story of premonitions with striking twists.
S.O.S: It is a stormy night of restless spirits when Mortimer finds himself stranded close to a small cottage in Wiltshire and the family that gives him shelter is full of surprises. Also, Agatha, why are you so perfect?
The Fourth Man: Three men travel in a train on a winter’s night and decide to discuss the issue of multiple personalities. It is a fourth man, sitting in a corner, who sets things straight…
‘’There are certain places imbued and saturated with good or evil influences which can make their power felt.’’
The Last House of Astarte: A story, set in Dartmoor, of old religions, passions and strange murders.
The Gypsy: A sad story of premonitions and the ruthless Fate, set in the moors.
The Lamp: A lonely boy is trapped in time, waiting for his father…
The Dream: Hercule Poirot is called to investigate the strange suicide of a wealthy gentleman. Can a dream make you kill yourself?
Wireless: An elderly lady hears a message from her long-deceased husband through the newly-installed wireless.
The Strange Case of Sir Arthur Carmichael: A story of dark witchcraft and haunting cats. Utterly strange and marvelous!
The Blue Geranium: ‘’I have seen the future. Be warned before it is too late. Beware of the Full Moon. The Blue Primrose means Warning; the Blue Hollyhock means Danger; the Blue Geranium means Death…’’
Also, Miss Marple…
The Flock of Geryon: Hercule Poirot aids an heiress in bringing down a dangerous religious sect.
‘’The doll lay in the big velvet-covered chair. There was not much light in the room; the London skies were dark. In the gentle, greyish- green gloom, the sage-green coverings and the curtains and the rugs all blended with each other. The doll blended, too. She lay long and limp and sprawled in her green-velvet clothes and her velvet cap and the painted mask of her face.’’
The Dressmaker’s Doll: Stories with dolls are always scary and this is one might be the scariest and most unique of them all…
The Hound of Death: A nun who has prophetic visions, a black hound and a strange doctor. Perfection…
Not much to say really. This collection will be the finest Halloween (reading) company.
‘’It’s a wild night, that’s all.’’
Many thanks to William Morrow Paperbacks and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.