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on 21 May 2017
Good listening
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on 29 August 2017
I love Agatha Christie be enjoyed the book. Not a favourite one but a good read if you like Agatha Christie.
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on 6 March 2017
Always good Agatha's stories
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on 11 February 2015
As I reach the final stretch in my trawl through the Poirot back catalogue, I reached Cat Among the Pigeons, a fantastically different type of mystery set in a girls' boarding school yet with a fascinating series of exotic twists.

Like a couple of earlier books, Poirot himself doesn't appear until some way through the narrative, yet in this instance that's not a disappointment at all. The new characters are all compelling and Christie paints a wonderful picture of the settings and lives that build towards an excellent conclusion. If anything I'd say (perhaps with some cynicism) that Poirot could have just been added to get his name on the cover, as the story could have worked just as well without him.

A great mystery from an absolutely fantastic author. Certainly one of her best.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 June 2014
'Cat Among the Pigeons' features Hercule Poirot and was published in 1959. As with other of Christie's novels, Poirot does not appear until the final third of the book.
Prestigious Meadowbank School for Girls is having a parents' day at the beginning of the summer term when Mrs Upjohn, a parent, tells the headmistress, Miss Bulstrode, that she has recognized someone that she knew during her wartime intelligence service work. Miss Bulstrode does not take much notice, but before long a killer strikes.
Then we are taken back three months to Middle-Eastern country, Ramat, where a revolution is brewing. Prince Ali Yusuf tries to protect his wealth by giving valuable jewels to Bob Rawlinson, his pilot, to take out of the country. Rawlinson hides the jewels in some luggage, but is watched by a sinister woman through a peephole. Ali Yusuf and Bob Rawlinson are murdered and British Intelligence gets onto the trail of the jewels. Their attention focuses on Meadowbank School, where Prince Ali Yusuf's niece is a pupil. Then Miss Springer is shot dead...
The book shows all Agatha Christie's usual strengths - ingenious plotting and many surprises, shrewd characterisation, a small, enclosed community of suspects, and the inimitable Poirot. I never enjoy her books about international espionage as much as the others, though this one is less ludicrous than some of the others. In my opinion, she is best at writing about her own class and the secrets and motives of small English communities. This is a good book, but not as good as some of her others because of this. The most enjoyable part is her description of life at the very English, upper class school. I like her schoolgirl sleuth, too, with Poirot and his ego seeming a bit of an intrusion, taking the focus from her and onto his little grey cells!
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on 25 October 2007
This is an enjoyable book, and it is interesting to read about murders happening at a school. It is not perhaps quite as good as most of the other reviews have implied, it is certainly an enjoyable story, but there are better ones.

It is a new school year in an all girls school and things start off fairly typically, until the unpopular games mistress is found shot in the middle of the night. For most of the students, this seems an interesting thing to happen in a school, but when two more murders occur, and one of the students is abducted, everydoy has a sudden sense of fear and it stops being an exciting thing to happen in school and changes to something terrifying.

I found this novel highly enjoyable, but some of the other reviewers are implying that it is a masterpiece and in my opinion it is far from it. Unlike in some of Christie's masterpieces, there is little clever set up of subtle clues and there are barely any clues to use to guess the identity of the murderer and the only real way of finding out was something that one of the mothers saw on the first day of school. The identity of the murderer was a surprise to me.

Despite some of the flaws I have stated, this is still a great book and I reccomend it.
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on 16 April 2012
I've never been able to solve a Poirot novel yet, and I doubt very much I ever will!

Poirot doesn't feature in the novel until the final 1/3rd and how he solves it on mainly anecdotal evidence is beyond me!

A cracking read, I'll never tire of the Poirot books.
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on 6 December 2002
This was the first Agatha Chrisie story that I ever read, and although I have now read, listened and watched my way through almost the entire back catalogue, I have yet to find any that is quite as good as this one.

'Cat Among the Pigeons' strikes the right balance between Christie's two main pre-occupations: international intrigue and simple human nature. It is the convergence of two worlds, that of the exclusive, sedate English girls' school and revolution and espionnage in the Middle East.
As well as being a superb whodunnit, this book is also a heart-warming tale of human interaction. Characters are sensitively drawn and the plot, whist not exactly realistic, is not so removed from the realms of possibility as some others. And it is remarkable fast paced. You will not rest until the solution has been revealed.
The advantage of these unabridged HarperCollins audio productions is that you can listen to them on mass. They are perfect for a family evening in. Hugh Fraser is the ideal narrator, with a plethora of different voices to draw upon which competantly bring the tale to life.
In short, you will not regret buying this. It is possibly the best thing Agatha Christie, Queen of Crime, ever wrote.
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This is one of my favorite books from Agatha Christie's later years. Her grip of story telling, plotting and planning is still strong. There is some humor in the narrative and amusement is provided by many of the characters.
Agatha Christie tries her hand at the girls' school setting here. Older reader will suspect that she was well-acquainted with similar settings chosen by A A Milne and Dorothy Sayers, and that she had been brought up on the once popular school girl annuals. Of course there needs to be a raison d'être behind the series of murders that occurs at the school and this is well narrated also.
I have mentioned the narration several times. It is an element that helps explain this writer's phenomenal popularity. She gets the timing right. Other writers in this genre produce more elegant prose but somehow fail in this regard.
At this time in her career, Agatha Christie was experimenting with narrative methods. She attempted the "quick scene change" method here, and brings it off with skill and flair. She also, at this time in her career, frequently milked the situation where something was briefly glimpsed in a mirror, or a familiar face briefly glimpsed at a great distance. Watch out for these occurrences as you turn the pages to reach Hercule Poirot's final revelation of just who is the cat among the pigeons.
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Although this is not my favourite Poirot novel, it is certainly one of the better later ones. Written in 1959, it is almost as good as her earlier works and it certainly has a fun setting and a good cast of characters. Part thriller and part mystery, it concerns a revolution in a rich Middle Eastern country called Ramat. His Highness Prince Ali Yusuf entrusts some jewels to his friend Bob Rawlinson, who hides them in the luggage of his sister and niece, without their knowledge.

The action then moves on to the exclusive Meadowbank School, where his niece is a pupil, along with a cousin of Prince Ali, the Princess Shaista. With the whereabouts of the jewels unknown, more than one interested party is looking for them. Then the PT mistress is murdered in the new sports pavillion. Apparently, Christie used her own daughter's school as her model, but the enclosed environment works very well. There are a whole host of suspects, secrets and mysterious happenings, until one of the schoolgirls involves Poirot to solve the crimes. An unusual setting and an exciting plot make this a fun read.
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