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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 1999
I enjoyed this book both as a great depiction of England between the wars as well as a mystery. Unlike some of Dame Agatha's other works, here I genuinely was kept in suspense till the end as to the identity of the criminal. But even more interesting was the characters who make their second appearance after "The Secret of Chimneys" which was also entertaining, but less suspenseful. I loved reading about the adventures of Lord Caterham and Bundle again, both of whom are as funny and sharp as ever. I would definitely recommend the book to even those Christie fans who only prefer Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries - it's good enough to stand on its own.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2006
There are some Agatha Christie books when the plot idea is so farcical and unbelievable that you can't quite believe that you're reading it.
The Seven Dials Mystery is such a book but somehow it comes over as one of the most entertaining and readable of all her books.
As I say the plot here is slightly ludicrous, a mixture of upper class English life and international crime rings should make for uncomfortable partners and yet Christie manages to mix them in perfect amounts. During a visit to the ancestral home of Lady Eileen Brent, tragedy strikes Jimmy Thesiger and his group of friends when one of them is killed in the night after being poisoned. The only clue to the mystery is the 7 alarm clocks left on the victims bedstead and when days later another one of the group of friends is shot dead his final words whispered to Lady Eileen of "Seven Dials" seems to take on new significance.
Lady Eileen, or Bundle as she's more commonly known and Jimmy take on the task to track down the secret society the meets in the run down east end of London and guided by Superintendant Battle of Scotland Yard they're soon running into various close shaves and scrapes.
As silly as the plot sometimes seems the characters are so entertaining that you easily forgive the jumps of logic. Bundle is a joy to read about and the verbal fencing between her and her father Lord Caterham is fabulous. All in all a great Agatha Christie novel that should delight fans of hers and readers in general.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the sequel to The Secret of Chimneys although the main characters from that story don't feature you do have Bundle, Billy and George as well as Superintendent Battle.
This story starts with a practical joke that turns tragic when the intended victim is found dead, things don't add and then another member from the weekend ends up dead in another accident. Bundle takes action and starts looking into things, this leads to another weekend party and more intriguing incidents that lead up to another weekend party where then is a twist in the tale!
No Poirot or Marple but still a good story. Well read by Emilia Fox
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2012
Although preposterous in places, this story moves at a good pace and is a real page turner. Christie revisits the setting and characters she introduced in 'The Secret of Chimneys'. It has the slight larkiness of her early novels, before she seemed to be able to take herself seriously as a mystery writer in her great classics like 'And then There Were None'. This edition is attractively produced with a clear typeface which makes reading a pleasure.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 1999
This is a great book. Sometimes some of Agatha Christie's novels get a bit boring, but this one is Agatha Christie at her best! I found this book really good. The suspense is unbearable at times, but thats what makes this book really good. I really like Agatha Christie's books, but this has got to be one of the best!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2011
A good story for those who enjoy flappers, old country houses and murder.
Regrettably the narration was awful, while Emilia Fox is a delightful actress
her ability to convey the male characters on this CD was quite dreadful.
I listen to many Audio books read by a huge range of actors and actresses
The ability of some readers ie Martin Jarvis, Joan Hickson and Hugh Fraser
make one forget completely their own gender as they have a wonderful
way of taking on the sex of the character they are portraying making it
seem that you have a full cast acting out the story.
Perhaps as she ages Emilia Fox will take on this wonderful ability
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on 27 February 2013
A classic Christie. If you are a fan (as I am) all of her stories are fabulous. Many people say her storylines are predictable but maybe that is part of the charm although I do only narrow it down to two or three people and there is often a nice little twist at the end.
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on 9 April 2014
What can you say apart from genius, this is one great mystery writer, the best at keeping you turning the page, well worth a try if you have never read any of her other books.
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on 15 June 2013
Too far back in my humble opinion. Found it very difficult to relate to the characters who are stereotyped. The plot is confusing to say the least and not very probable.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2011
Not the title of an unpublished short story, but a cry of despair from a Christie fan at hearing another fine book ruined by this most regrettable of readers.

I'd suffered Emilia Fox's reading of 'Why Didn't They Ask Evans?' some years ago but allowed myself to be hoodwinked into buying this on the strength of reader reviews which praised Ms Fox's efforts in contrast to her other contributions. I should have trusted my instincts.

Compared to Stephanie Cole, the splendid Joan Hickson and the masterly Hugh Fraser (whose reading of the bulk of the Christie canon is a joy) this is a travesty, pure and simple. All of the aforementioned have a lightness of touch which whisks you through the narrative and handles the complexities of multiple character voices without your once being aware of them navigating a text. Indeed, you could almost believe the tales were being spun by the reader out of thin air.

In contrast Emilia Fox is clumsy and hesitant, and often seems unsure of the text. Add to this her apparent inability to distinguish between character and caricature (her regional accents are especially offensive) and you are left with a listening experience not unlike fingernails on a blackboard.

In short and with apologies for being unable to resist the joke; Why didn't they ask Fraser??
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