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2.7 out of 5 stars32
2.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 July 2008
This was one of Agatha Christie's final books. It is also one of her poorest. A poor story, characters that don't come to life and an ending that lacks any closure. It is one to avoid if you don't want to think of Christie as anything but an author that gave the word such enjoyment with Miss Marple and Hercule Poiret, rather than with this disappointing spy thriller...without thrills.
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on 20 April 2016
I love reading Agatha Christie novels but am afraid this isn't one of her best. Much prefer a whodunit. I finished reading the book wondering what the point of the main character was. The problem seemed to be sorted without any intervention from him.
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on 17 January 2015
Not really Aatha Christie's best.
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on 6 November 2015
A very different Christie novel with spies abounding and the usual twists and turns in the plot that one has come to expect. A very enjoyable, light hearted read.
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on 12 July 2015
Love Agatha Read this years ago and tried it again but gave up before the end not sure where she was going with this one !
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on 13 September 2015
I was disappointed that it was not a murder mystery as I am not too keen on espionage/spy stories
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on 20 January 2016
Did not enjoy this book. Found it quite boring and ended abruptly and not satisfactorily.
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on 11 May 1999
First, I really would like to have a good laugh. Before writing this review, I had already guessed the previous reviews might very likely, rated this book the worst. I think I had guessed right: seeing that none of the past reviews gave this book more than 2 stars. Then, why am I giving this book 4 stars? I think I admire Agatha Christie because she had tried something unusual (instead of the normal murder cases, she actually tries spy stories). I think most of the readers are not able to accept this sudden change in style of writing. I usually keep an open mind (well, that helps digestion) but have to admit that this is not an easy book to understand since one needs a certain history backgroud to enjoy the story. Yet I am thrilled by Christie's way of narration. The whole thing may sound boring but I somehow enjoy it (but in what angle I just cannot say exactly). So, readers! don't be discouraged by this book: nevertheless as Christie's royal fans, you must read it and see for yourself. Agatha Christie had said before she won't public any book that was not worth publication. This book must have a certain value which she herself approved but which, most probably had escaped the readers'eyes.
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on 1 June 1998
I have reached the point with Agatha Christie where I don't even need to read the summaries of her books...I just buy them on sight ! Sadly this book made my faith in her slip a notch. This is absolutely the worst Agatha Christie novel I've ever read. As a matter of fact...I still haven't finished reading it ! Every few months I'll pick it up and start reading, reaching a bit farther than the last time, hoping it'll get better with age such luck. I'm hoping desperately that this will be the first and last time I'm so disappointed with one of her books. She's still my favourite author nevertheless and that's the only reason why this book gets as much as a 2 !
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on 9 July 2006
I've said it before and I'll probably say it again but I think you can generally separate out Agatha Christie's novels into two very broad categories. There's the more well-known comfy English murder whodunit with a cast of the retired major, the beautiful heiress and of course the butler. Then on the other hand she has also written several books that try to deal with the more challenging subject of international spy rings, global empires and evil masterminds trying to take over the world.

Probably like a lot of her fans, I tend to favour the first type of book feeling that this is what she does the best, whereas her more complex thrillers seem half baked, under-researched and sometimes terribly ridiculous. Alas "Passenger from Frankfurt" falls into the second category all too well and comes over as a real mixture of unplanned ideas and ludicrous possibilities.

Sir Stafford Nye is the foreign office diplomat who returning from duty abroad is approached by a mysterious woman at Frankfurt airport. As a matter of life and death she asks Sir Stafford if by using his passport and cloak she can try to disguise herself and board the plane instead of him. Sir Stafford, ever one for adventure, agrees and remarkably the lady manages to pass herself off as him.

Back in England Sir Stafford is intrigued by the strange happening and makes a plea in the personal column of the newspaper to have the stranger contact him. She does of course and through a series of cryptic clues and mysterious meetings Sir Stafford finds himself accompanying Mary Ann or the Countess Zerkowski as she is sometimes known, on a mission to discover the real goings on in a remote German castle.

Although what I've written hear makes the book sound quite exciting and fascinating I'm afraid it basically just isn't! As I say there's far too many unexplored ideas going on here that just aren't fleshed out or researched enough. It's the sort of plot that would more suit a complex thriller writer like Gerald Seymour and you just can't get away with this when you use the sort of 2-D cardboard cutout characters that Christie usually does. The book flits from continent to continent with no continuity at all, there are some quite pointless and absurd scenes to try to explain away the happenings (the one concerning the French Marshal is awful) and the isn't even enough of a personal story line between Stafford and Mary Ann to keep the readers' interest here.

This was one of Christie's final books and I don't know if this book is a symptom of this or not. She tries to explain it all away in the introduction where she says "It is not an impossible story - it is only a fantastic one" - Sorry Agatha fantastic, in any sense of the word, can't be used for this book.

The one glimmer of hope for the book is the character of Sir Stafford's great Aunt Matilda, who is a classic Christie creation, it's just a shame she wasn't given the right stage to perform her role!
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