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Saturday, May 21, 2022

#ReadThis @AgathaChristie @HarperCollins @Morrow_PB #CatAmongthePigeons by #AgathaChristie #Thirty-Second #32 #HerculePoirot #Mystery #ReadChristie2022

Deciding which Poirot you like best is akin to deciding what pair of shoes to buy, what kind of ice cream to eat, and what kind of fish to order at Ammos Estiatorio.  There are beaucoup de fabulous choices.  However, Cat Among the Pigeons is extraordinary in its writing level and twists and turns, making it one of the most superior Agatha Christie Poirot mysteries we have ever read.  It really is the bee's knees!

It is divine timing that this book arrives at the most wonderful time of the year: the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

We love the sports background, and as avid readers know, Peachy first wrote professionally in this realm before she even graduated from Boston College, a powerhouse of intelligence and athletics combined and we believe there is not a better combination of the two anywhere.  Aptly named, Cat Among the Pigeons tells us before we even crack it open that something is rotten in the State of Denmark and that there is a fox in the henhouse...and of course we know a thing or two about going to a school for girls.

As usual, there is the perfect sprinkling of French exclamations by our favorite, Hercule Poirot and bien sur mes amis French is the second language of Whom You Know (go eat some Escargot at La Sirene.)  There is even a French teacher here: Mademoiselle Blanche, but of course she cannot compare to Mademoiselle Marie-Claire Charton.   And at the center of this mystery are jewels!  (Have you read Rock Your Body?)

We love Bob Rawlinson at the start and his attitude to be admired:
"The thing people don't seem to want anywhere, nowadays, is anyone who's got a bit of common sense...I often think that's what the world really needs-just a bit of common sense." (p. 4)

There's more than one murder, but we won't give it away.  An international mystery, Cat Among the Pigeons possesses a tightly woven plot and it will keep you up late at night until you finish it!  New teachers, old teachers, staff at the school...whom can you trust?  Time will tell.  

Pay attention to secret places where stuff can be stashed!  And Hercule Poirot does not enter stage right until p. 179 so that tells you how strong the other characters are in this great work.  A landlady from Mrs. McGinty's Dead also plays a part in this tale.

And the more things change, the more they stay the same perhaps.  This was written in 1959.   Inspector Kelsey says on page 110: "You think such things could not happen?  I say they can.  They are very very wicked, the Communists!  Everybody knows that."  

We are so sad we only have five more Poirots...but as you know, Agatha had other tricks up her sleeve too and we will be telling you more no doubt!

Cat Among the Pigeons Earns Whom You Know's Highest Recommendation.

Previously on Whom You Know, we have raved about Agatha:

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Murder on the Links

Poirot Investigates

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Big Four

The Mystery of the Blue Train

Peril at End House

Lord Edgware Dies

Murder on the Orient Express

Three Act Tragedy

and we took a break from only him and did him with others in Midwinter Murder

and returned to only him with Death in the Clouds

The ABC Murders

Murder in Mesopotamia

Cards on the Table

Murder in the Mews

Dumb Witness

Death on the Nile

Appointment with Death

Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Sad Cypress

One Two Buckle My Shoe

Evil Under the Sun

Five Little Pigs

The Hollow

The Labors of Hercules

Taken at the Flood

The Under Dog and Other Stories

Mrs. McGinty's Dead

After the Funeral

Hickory Dickory Dock

Dead Man's Folly

About the Author
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time and in any language, outsold only in the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She is the author of eighty crime novels and short-story collections, around thirty plays, two memoirs, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott.

She first tried her hand at detective fiction while working in a hospital dispensary during World War I, creating the now-legendary Hercule Prior with her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. In 1930, Miss Jane Marple made her first full-length novel appearance in The Murder at the Vicarage, quickly becoming another beloved and enduring character to rival Poirot's popularity. Additional series characters include the husband-and wife crime-fighting team of Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, private investigator Parker Pyne, and Scotland Yard detectives Superintendent Battle and Inspector Japp.

Many of Christie's novels and short stories were adapted into plays, films, and television series. The Mousetrap opened in 1952 and is the longest running play in history. Academy Award-nominated actor and director Kenneth Branagh helmed the acclaimed major motion picture Murder on the Orient Express in 2017 and its sequel, Death on the Nile, starring in both films as the Belgian detective. On the small screen Poirot has been most memorably portrayed by David Suchet, and Miss Marple by Joan Hickson and subsequently Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie.

Christie was first married to Archibald Christie and then to archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan, whom she accompanied on expeditions to countries that would also serve as the settings for many of her novels. In 1971 she achieved one of Britain's highest honors when she was made a Dame of the British Empire. She died in 1976 at the age of eighty-five. The one-hundred-year anniversary of Agatha Christie stories and the debut of Hercule Poirot was celebrated around the world in 2020. Whom You Know will never stop celebrating it!

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