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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 29 January 2006
In many ways “The Thirteen Problems” could be described as the archetypal Agatha Christie novel, featuring as it does 13 separate mysteries which are jam packed full off typical Christie characters.
In fact it’s sort of like a Christie novel within a Christie novel as the settings for the stories are in classic Christie style. For the first 6 mysteries we are a guest at the legendary Miss Marple’s house as she hosts 5 distinguished guests. There’s her nephew, the writer Raymond West and his fiancée the artist Joyce Lempriere. Then we have the staples of any Christie situation, Dr Pender the elderly clergyman and Mr Petherick, a solicitor. The party is rounded off by the ex-police commissioner Sir Henry Clithering.
For after dinner entertainment the guests decide to each tell a tale from personal experience where the outcome is either unknown or a puzzle to be solved. And so begins the first meeting of the Tuesday Night club as each guest retells his or her mysterious story. At first all the guests suppose that little Miss Marple, knitting quietly in the background, will either not play along or will be quite bemused by the goings-on. Little by little they must adjust their opinions of the white haired spinster as she correctly surmises what has happened each time.
The second set of 6 problems are again retold in an after dinner setting, but this time at a neighbour of Miss Marple’s, Col and Mrs Bantry. Whilst organising the dinner party Mrs Bantry asks Sir Henry who he’d like to invite and sensing another round of mystery fun Sit Henry asks for Miss Marple to be invited along. The other two members of the gathering are the famous and beautiful young actress Miss Jane Hillier and elderly Dr Lloyd. Again each member of the party regales their companions with a tale of suspense, murder and mystery.
The final problem is set in real time as once again Miss Marple tells Sir Henry that in the case of a recent murder the wrong man is about to be arrested and she implores him to step in and prevent a miscarriage of justice.
The problems themselves are interesting and intriguing and presented in a easy reading short story format, just right for reading one and then putting the book down for a while. The mysteries are by and large distinctive Christie-esque ranging from the fascinating to the border-ridiculous. The language is also typical Christie with many an insulting class reference but the talk of this bygone age is a delight to read. Fans of Christie will of course spot some plot constructions of some of the problems were expanded on into full novels, although certain elements were changed.
A highly recommended read for all.
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on 4 February 2012
At Miss Marple's house on Tusday, 6 people tell a murder mystery that happend to them in their past, then eveyone has to guess who did it and how, then the person telling it, reveals the murderer and how he/she did it.
Then at a later date at a dinner party another 6 people do the same thing. Then at the end Miss Marple has to prevent the wrong person being hanged in another murder mystery.
There are 13 stories in this book, a chapter per story. Here's my rating for them.

The Tuesday Night Club - 8.5/10
The Idol House of Astarte - 4.2/10.
Ingots of Gold - 6.9/10
The Bloodstained Pavement - 9/10
Motive v Opportunity - 8.5/10
The Thumb Mark of St Peter - 9/10
The Blue Geranium 7.5/10
The Companion 8/10
The Four Suspects 7.5/10
A Christmas Tragedy 9/10
The Herb of Death 7.5/10
The Affair at the Bungalow 9.5/10(a good twist at the end)
Death by Drowning 9.5/10
(this is only my opinon)
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on 11 February 2013
Quiet, unassuming Miss Marple listens, knits and interrupts with her opinions so apologetically but with the deadly accuracy we have all come to know and love.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories so far (I haven't quite finished the book yet). The cast of supporting characters are accutely drawn without distracting us too much from Miss Marple's pronouncements. And at last I know how Sir Henry came to know Miss Marple.

A must read for anyone who loves an Agatha Christie story!
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Miss Marple and friends gather to talk about mysteries. Each tells of a mystery personally known to them - leaving out the answer as to who was responsible for the crime. The friends each then have to try and work out who did it. Naturally Miss Marple excels at this sort of thing though ex-commissioner of Scotland Yard, Sir Henry runs her a pretty close second.

These are intriguing stories which include all sorts of crimes not just murder. All are well plotted and well written with believable characters. The clues are there for the observant reader but most will fail to arrive at the correct conclusion. I only managed to solve one of them before the answer was revealed. Marvellous comfort reading which will transport you to a different era.
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on 18 June 2001
Every Tuesday evening a group of intellectual elites meet to discusss unsolved crimes. Charitably they allow an old, frail and very innocent looking Miss Marple to join them as an after thought. I mean really what could she possibly know about crime from livingthe small 'uneventfull' village of St. Mary Mead. Crime after crime Miss Marple manages to outwit her superiors by use of her insightfull in-depth knowledge of human nature, which she claims, is universal. The plots of these thirteen crimes are so intricate that it is shame that they each make up just a short story. Nevertheless first class Christie led by a first class Miss Marple.
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on 8 March 2014
This book is a great introduction to Christie's books if you are new, but still thoroughly enjoyable if you are returning too. The stories are short however none of Christie,s crime writing prowess is lost. I found the combination of quick fire facts followed by swift deductions refreshing. The problems were still complex and mind boggling, but were closed so effectively you were left satisfied and wanting more.
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on 8 January 2012
I bought this as I wanted an old fashioned style Agatha Christie, i got this and more in the compact size of book, so great for travelling with. The book is 13 individual stories which I had not realised, but all tied together with Miss Marple. A very interesting book and I liked the 13 stories even though I would have been put off by this. You feel like you have gone back in time.
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on 30 January 2012
I was really surprised to find this book as I thought I knew of all the Miss Marple book's. But I must say that this has been one of the best and most interesting of them all. I feel I have a greater respect for Christie as a writer, as Miss Marple is one of a kind, there is the normal twist and turns that you expect and of course a surprise at the end! While worth a read!
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VINE VOICEon 24 January 2013
These stories are just the right length to read on the way to/from work. They are my first foray into Agatha Christie in book form despite having watched TV and film versions for years. A couple of these stories have appeared on telly, but most are too short for that so were new to me. If you, like me, want to sample the original Marple this is a great introduction.
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on 17 April 2013
13 short stories, most with little imput from Miss Marple who mostly just sits and listenes and then points out te obvious to the other carachters and the readers and comes u with the right answer. some of these short stories would even make good films or even a TV series - producers take notice.
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