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The Secret of Chimneys (Agatha Christie Facsimile Edtn) Hardcover – Facsimile, 5 Nov 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Facsimile edition edition (5 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007265212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007265213
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.8 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘One of the best of Agatha Christie’s early thrillers.’ Charles Osborne

‘A thick fog of mystery, cross purposes, and romance, which leads up to a most unexpected and highly satisfactory ending.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Here’s another capital detective story by Miss Christie, which will keep the reader guessing until the very end, not only as to the identity of the arch villain – the murderer – but also that of the hero, Anthony Cade.’ Literary Review

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the center of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realize that the simple favor has placed him in serious danger.

As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Surete gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret. . . . " --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I hadn't read an Agatha Christie for about 30 years until I picked this up on spec at a station bookstall and I was delighted at how much I enjoyed it.

The Secret of Chimneys is an early (1925) Christie and is much more of a light-hearted romp than her more famous books. The plot is too complex to precis here (besides, I don't want to spoil your fun) although it involves, inter alia, Balkan revolutionaries, daring adventurers, stolen letters, missing diamonds, and, of course, a brace of mysterious murders.

The characters are very Wodehousian - amiable young men about town, flirtatious flappers, vague and woolly-minded peers - although, as usual, not everybody is what they seem and I doubt if even the most astute spotter of red herrings will work out who is really who, let alone whodunnit, before the loose ends are all adroitly tied up in the last couple of chapters.

There is not as much detection as in, say, a Poirot (indeed, her characters make a number of mock disparaging references to detective fiction throughout) and some of the 1920s attitudes may set a few teeth on edge today - foreigners are blithely referred to as dagoes, the Jewish characters have big noses, etc - but that shouldn't detract from an immensely enjoyable caper that brims with period charm.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First published in 1925, this is the first Christie novel to feature Superintendent Battle (he appeared in a further four novels: The Seven Dials Mystery (Masterpiece Edition), Cards on the Table (Poirot), Murder Is Easy (Agatha Christie Collection) and Towards Zero (Agatha Christie Collection). The novel is in many ways a typical country house farce, involving many aliases, royalty, blackmail, secret assignations, jewel thieves, murder and general confusion. The story begins when Anthony Cade is given a manuscript to deliver to London by his old friend Jimmy McGrath, along with some letters to be returned to a blackmail victim. Along the way Cade is attacked, robbed and becomes involved with some high level meetings at the country house Chimneys involving the royal family of Herzoslovakia. Virtually nobody is who they are supposed to be and the plot is almost too involved to explain. However, the whole thing is great fun and people take the most astounding events with great calm and English reserve, making this a very enjoyable read indeed.
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Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
I love this story! Admittedly it is more light-hearted than the more familiar classic Christie mysteries, but it's so well done. It has a complicated plot, in a good way, with lots of good characters. The pompous patriotic Lomax, thorn in the flesh of the bumbling lacksadaisical Lord Caterham, who in turn is the father of the live wire that is Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent, to name but three, all jump off the page. This unabridged audio version is wonderful, read by the excellent Hugh Fraser with just the right light touch. Only the best narrators can "do" all the voices both distinctly and convincingly, especially the opposite sex. I doubt that you will guess whodunnit, and even if you do, there are still more secrets to be revealed at chimneys.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fans of Christie's mature mysteries might be disappointed, as this is more of a comedy spy thriller than a classic who-dunnit. However, as a period piece it is fascinating, and while the writer has clearly been influenced by PG Wodehouse, we can see the seeds of Christie's later skilful characterisation developing in such memorable creations as Virginia Revel. If you can suspend disbelief and think yourself back into the non-p.c.world of the British Empire of the 1920s, you are in for an escapist treat.
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Format: Paperback
The Secret of Chimneys is an excellent book for any reader, not just for Agatha Christie's fans! It draws the reader into its story from the very beginning. There are also many interesting characters and, as is Agatha Christie's usual practice, the murderer is someone who you have never suspected, or, if you have, you dropped all suspicions you had quite soon. On the whole, a very interestingly written book which is sure to have you reading it all in one go!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whilst I enjoyed this book, I did find it more of a complex read than the more well known books I've read of hers. This involves anything from politics to murder to espionage and theft. Difficult to summarise what this book is about as there is a lot going on with a few twists and turns that are rather unexpected to the reader.

Easy book to read. Would recommend.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of Christie's early thrillers written in the 20s. She wasn't sure yet what kind of writer she was going to be, or even if she'd be a professional writer at all, and threw off some light-hearted yarns that suited the tastes of the times. She knew she was cobbling together the usual cliches and didn't care, in fact she often throws her characters into the most hackneyed situations. Yes, there is some casual racism ("Don't say you've married a black woman you met in Africa!" "No, she's white - white all through.") The one Jewish character is a financier - it's a stereotype, but he's not unsympathetic. She more than once used the setting of the big country house where the real business of running the world is carried on. For a brief period in her youth she stayed in some of those country houses.
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