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1920s Omnibus

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A brand new Agatha Christie omnibus, bringing together all four stand-alone novels she wrote in the 1920s -- The Secret Adversary, The Man in the Brown Suit, The Secret of Chimneys and its sequel The Seven Dials Mystery.


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A brand new Agatha Christie omnibus, bringing together all four stand-alone novels she wrote in the 1920s -- The Secret Adversary, The Man in the Brown Suit, The Secret of Chimneys and its sequel The Seven Dials Mystery.

30 review for 1920s Omnibus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    The Mysterious Affair at Styles For a first book, it's already well formed in most ways including the style and weapons used by Agatha Christie in her works. There's a slight whiff of the duo - Poirot and Hastings - being a takeoff, but the characters are so different from those of Holmes and his companion, the whiff remains that. There's some device necessary, after all, so the author explains the workings of the detection. Quite a complicated mystery, as usual with Agatha Christie. November 09, 2 The Mysterious Affair at Styles For a first book, it's already well formed in most ways including the style and weapons used by Agatha Christie in her works. There's a slight whiff of the duo - Poirot and Hastings - being a takeoff, but the characters are so different from those of Holmes and his companion, the whiff remains that. There's some device necessary, after all, so the author explains the workings of the detection. Quite a complicated mystery, as usual with Agatha Christie. November 09, 2020 - March 2021. ...... The Secret Adversary This one begins with a quiet explosion in the mind of a reader well acquainted with history, in that the story begins on board Lusitania as it was sinking. There's a mysterious important package changing hands as a young girl is about to board a lifeboat. But almost immediately that mystery is rushed behind curtains, and we are introduced to Tommy and Tuppence, a most delightful young pair. Decades ago when one read a great deal of this author, one did come across this pair, but one suspects this is the first time one is introduced to them, so to speak. Inspector Japp one remembers. The mystery and chase and suspense are first rate, and one waits for explanations about the missing package, which come in small doses. But after the unsatisfactory roundabout concerning a treaty, there never is an explanation of precisely just how a wartime draft of a treaty was to be disastrous for U.K. and had Russian criminal minds pushing it's exposure for the purpose, if it was drafter in U.S. and handed over by a British agent before Lusitania went down, to a young girl for safekeeping. April 29, 2021 - May 01, 2021. ...... The Murder on the Links For a mystery book titled "The Murder on the Links", it begins well by the opening being set in a train, with an elderly gentleman - Hastings - being won over by an impish teenager girl with her antics, despite his initial shock and disapproval at her lack of primness. One may ask how this is related to the title, or simply wait until the author proceeds. It comes soon enough. This seems, from the next chapter dialogues, to be only the second Poirot mystery, one immediately after the first work of Agatha Christie, Murder At The Styles. Those two - Murder At The Styles, and The Secret Adversary - were set in England, with quintessential character traits and attitudes; the former, set in wartime, used the war background well, albeit minimally. The latter began with sinking of Lusitania and had characters of various international backgrounds, even if they were for most part small characters. Now, the author sails across the channel to northern coast of France, to explore French characters and attitudes and their view of the Brits. And the author seems fond of the name Marguerite, since she's using it for a villa this time after using it in The Secret Adversary, for a beautiful woman, and for a key to the mystery. " ... I received a telegram bidding me to proceed without delay to Buenos Aires, and from thence via the Andes to Valparaiso, and on to Santiago.”" Curious! Did the author use the names without consulting a map? What she describes is roughly equivalent of "London, and from thence via Irish sea to Galway, and on to Dublin". Unlike 'Murder At The Styles', or The Secret Adversary, here the author is beginning to set up her own style of a plot, and so one is shocked at a second murder on the same spot not too long after the first. That it only seems like a murder, perhaps supports the idea that this was an early work, and in subsequent mysteries she was indulging the readers with handful of murders per mystery. Also, unlike subsequent works, in this one as in her first work Hastings tends to get attached personally - here, perhaps, for last time. And the author's usual round robin of finger of guilt pointing at one unsuspected person after another, too, seems well established by this time. Finally, one has to wonder - was the Hindi film Gupt an Indianised version of The Murder on the Links, due to either a screenwriter or the makers being fans of this author? Far too similar in the theme, although not the plot specifics, to be coincidental. May 01, 2021 - May 03, 2021. ...... The Man in the Brown Suit This work has a protagonist, Anne Beddingfield, relatively unknown to someone who hasn't read every work of the author. It might have been the author's way of trying out a different genre, humour, while not straying from mystery. "It is really a very hard life. Men will not be nice to you if you are not good-looking, and women will not be nice to you if you are." Until this Pont, it's fun enough, what with the witty humour and more. But now, "“Take away the overcoat, the beard and the eyeglasses, and there wouldn’t be much to know him by,” grumbled the inspector. “He could alter his appearance easy enough in five minutes if he wanted to—which he would do if he’s the swell pickpocket you suggest.” "I had not intended to suggest anything of the kind. But from this moment I gave the inspector up as hopeless. "“Nothing more you can tell us about him?” he demanded, as I rose to depart. "“Yes,” I said. I seized my opportunity to fire a parting shot. “His head was markedly brachycephalic. He will not find it so easy to alter that.” "I observed with pleasure that Inspector Meadow’s pen wavered. It was clear that he did not know how to spell brachycephalic." That last dialogue is the unforgettable bit that clued one In! One knowsdefinitely now that one read this decades ago, loved it, and is rereading a really good, intelligent mystery, although until that clue one had no such clue. But the second time the word crops up, as expected, is far too soon; is there a third time, close to the end, or is there another work by the author with this terminology and ploy? Trust Agatha Christie to put in what would seem like a typical romance introduction scene written especially for teenage school girl readers, and make completely hilarious with her subtle touch! "“You haven’t thanked me yet for saving your life?” I said with false sweetness. I hit him there. I saw him flinch distinctly. Intuitively I knew that he hated above all to be reminded that he owed his life to me. I didn’t care. I wanted to hurt him. I had never wanted to hurt any one so much. "“I wish to God you hadn’t!” he said explosively. "“I’d be better dead and out of it.” "“I’m glad you acknowledge the debt. You can’t get out of it. I saved your life and I’m waiting for you to say ‘Thank you.’” "If looks could have killed, I think he would have liked to kill me then. He pushed roughly past me. At the door he turned back, and spoke over his shoulder. "“I shall not thank you—now or at any other time. But I acknowledge the debt. Some day I will pay it.” "He was gone, leaving me with clenched hands, and my heart beating like a mill race." And the author lets you know, tongue-in-cheek, her opinion:- " ... I cannot think that this Colonel Race really amuses her. He’s good-looking in his way, but dull as ditch water. One of these strong silent men that lady novelists and young girls always rave over." Another one, remembered when one reads it now:- "Sir Eustace looked at me for some time. His reply was characteristic: "“I always did hate that blinking giraffe,” he said. “It must have been instinct.”" And, at that, she manages to write a perfect prototype for every penny romance written since for teenage school girls, too. That, too, must have been by design, the author wondering if she'd like to do this, and whether she could. May 03, 2021 - May 05, 2021. ...... The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan An ingeniously planned jewel robbery is exposed by Poirot, because thieves, posing as chambermaid and valet at a hotel, neglect their work in leaving an unoccupied room undusted. May 06, 2021. ...... The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim Davenheim plans to disappear with all his wealth, and hide in plain sight. Poirot outthinks him. May 06, 2021. ...... The Adventure of the “Western Star” About a great flawless diamond in west that originated from India. May 06, 2021. ...... The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor "She stoops down, and puts her finger on the trigger, laughing up at him. ‘And now, sir,’ she says saucily, ‘supposing I pull the trigger?’" May 06, 2021. ...... The Million Dollar Bond Robbery The method reportedly used to send diamonds from Africa to Europe. May 06, 2021. ...... The Adventure of the Cheap Flat Very unexpected and delightful. May 07, 2021. ...... The Mystery of the Hunter’s Lodge Poirot solves the perfectly executed crime, but there isn't enough evidence to convict the criminals. May 07, 2021. ...... The Kidnapped Prime Minister This seems the second work of the author set in time period circa WWI. "One evening after dinner — I will not particularize the date: it suffices to say that it was at the time when “Peace by negotiation” was the parrot-cry of England’s enemies — my friend and I were sitting in his rooms. After being invalided out of the Army I had been given a recruiting job, and it had become my custom to drop in on Poirot in the evenings after dinner and talk with him of any cases of interest that he might have on hand. "I was attempting to discuss with him the sensational news of that day — no less than on attempted assassination of Mr. David MacAdam. England’s Prime Minister. The account in the papers had evidently been carefully censored. No details were given, save that the Prime Minister had had a marvellous escape, the bullet just grazing his cheek. I considered that our police must have been shamefully careless for such on outrage to be possible. I could well understand that the German agents in England would be willing to risk much for such on achievement. “Fighting Mac,” as his own party had nicknamed him, had strenuously and unequivocally combated the Pacifist influence which was becoming so prevalent. "He was more than England’s Prime Minister — he was England; and to have removed him from his sphere of influence would have been a crushing and paralysing blow to Britain." Churchill? The description fits, but not the timing, an allied conference towards the end of WWI. As to the mystery, " ... Now for Daniels. There is not much against him, except the fact that nothing is known of his antecedents, and that he speaks too many languages for a good Englishman! (Pardon me, mon ami, but, as linguists, you are deplorable!)" May 07, 2021. ...... The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb Force of superstition used in a criminal endeavour for profit. May 07, 2021. ...... The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman A murder, evidently after a dinner for three, with curtains not drawn, and dessert unfinished. May 07, 2021 - May 08, 2021. ...... The Case of the Missing Will A hidden will left by a man who was against education, especially for women. May 08, 2021. ...... The Chocolate Box Trinitrine tablets came in handy when a Catholic priest, seemingly, wished to avoid a virulent anti-catholic succeeding to position of a minister. But it was quite different in reality, and Poirot had failed for once. "“It is well that I sent for you. It is the providence of the good God that Virginie told me before she departed for the convent, what she had done. Listen, M. Poirot! My son was an evil man. He persecuted the church. He led a life of mortal sin. He dragged down other souls beside his own. But there was worse than that. As I came out of my room in this house one morning, I saw my daughter-in-law standing at the head of the stairs. She was reading a letter. I saw my son steal up behind her. One swift push, and she fell, striking her head on the marble steps. When they picked her up she was dead. My son was a murderer, and only I, his mother, knew it.”" " ... My son inherited his wife’s money. He flourished as the green bay tree. And now he was to have a Minister’s portfolio. His persecution of the church would be redoubled. And there was Virginie. She, poor child, beautiful, naturally pious, was fascinated by him. He had a strange and terrible power over women. I saw it coming. I was powerless to prevent it. He had no intention of marrying her. The time came when she was ready to yield everything to him." " ... I went into the study and opened the big box of chocolates that always stood on the table. I opened a new box by mistake. The other was on the table also. There was just one chocolate left in it. That simplified things, no one ate chocolates except my son and Virginie. I would keep her with me that night. All went as I had planned — ”" May 08, 2021. ...... The Veiled Lady Seemingly about blackmail of a future Duchess, over an old letter to a soldier who died in war, in reality about jewels stolen and hidden. May 08, 2021. ...... The Lost Mine The Chinese gentleman murdered due to greed of English businessman attempting to rob him. May 08, 2021. ...... The Affair at the Victory Ball " ... Lord Cronshaw, who was almost fanatically opposed to drug-taking, discovered that she was addicted to cocaine, and suspected that Davidson supplied her with it. Davidson doubtless denied this, but Lord Cronshaw determined to get the truth from Miss Courtenay at the ball. He could forgive the wretched girl, but he would certainly have no mercy on the man who made a living by trafficking in drugs. Exposure and ruin confronted Davidson. He went to the ball determined that Cronshaw’s silence must be obtained at any cost.”" May 08, 2021. ...... The Adventure of the Clapham Cook It begins in ennui, races with unexpectedly hilarious bits, and ends quite grisly. " ... A disappearing domestic at one end — a cold-blooded murder at the other. To me, one of the most interesting of my cases.”" May 08, 2021. ...... The Cornish Mystery " ... “Do you not see, my friend, that we have no shadow of proof against him? Shall I get up and say to twelve stolid Cornishmen that I, Hercule Poirot, know? They would laugh at me. The only chance was to frighten him and get a confession that way. ... " May 08, 2021. ...... The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly "“The scandal —” "“Exactly. Your name is an old and honoured one. Do not jeopardize it again. Good evening, Mr. Waverly. Ah, by the way, one word of advice. Always sweep in the corners!”" May 09, 2021. ...... The Double Clue Cyrillic alphabet. May 09, 2021. ...... The King of Clubs "Family strength is a marvellous thing." May 09, 2021. ...... The Lemesurier Inheritance Family curse, mania, .... May 09, 2021. ...... The Plymouth Express Maid, theft ... May 09, 2021. ...... The Submarine Plans Stolen, or ... May 09, 2021. ..... The Market Basing Mystery Window, door, handkerchief, ... May 10, 2021. ..... The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding This one remains in memory after decades, up to the ruby in pudding. The rest is delightful, too. May 10, 2021.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharang Limaye

    These stories are not for everyone. There's not much here in terms of character building. The tales, though dealing with serious crime, don't seem to create the sort of tension or dread that your average thriller would. So then what's to recommend here? The atmospherics of early 20th century England and the unpredictable endings. For all their failings, all the four novels successfully beat this reader in guessing the villain of the piece. Now that's not something that one can say of your averag These stories are not for everyone. There's not much here in terms of character building. The tales, though dealing with serious crime, don't seem to create the sort of tension or dread that your average thriller would. So then what's to recommend here? The atmospherics of early 20th century England and the unpredictable endings. For all their failings, all the four novels successfully beat this reader in guessing the villain of the piece. Now that's not something that one can say of your average crime mystery. Also a big thumbs up for the hilarious 'Man in the Brown Suit' story. Here the lady displays an almost Wodehouse-like talent for humour. It's my personal favourite from this collection.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chinoiseries

    Trying to read all Agatha Christie's books in chronological order. 14 May: finished The Secret Adversary. I'm not a fan of Tommy & Tuppence, but maybe that's because I'm a modern girl and find it difficult to see myself in their post-war difficulties? Hm, not sure yet. 17 May: finished The Man in the Brown Suit. Anne Beddingford is an interesting character, but really, must women marry immediately after they confess their love? Yes yes, I know... it's a different era. 24 May: finished The Seven Di Trying to read all Agatha Christie's books in chronological order. 14 May: finished The Secret Adversary. I'm not a fan of Tommy & Tuppence, but maybe that's because I'm a modern girl and find it difficult to see myself in their post-war difficulties? Hm, not sure yet. 17 May: finished The Man in the Brown Suit. Anne Beddingford is an interesting character, but really, must women marry immediately after they confess their love? Yes yes, I know... it's a different era. 24 May: finished The Seven Dials Mystery. Pretty clever, this plot! Review following.

  4. 5 out of 5

    E

    The Secret Adversary, The Man in the Brown Suit, The Secret of Chimneys showed Agatha's humorous side. It certainly had me laughing at the antics of the protagonists. The Seven Dials mystery I have before and another good one. The Secret Adversary, The Man in the Brown Suit, The Secret of Chimneys showed Agatha's humorous side. It certainly had me laughing at the antics of the protagonists. The Seven Dials mystery I have before and another good one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Doody

    Four superb mysteries taking place in this most flighty of decades.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amarendra Bandla

    Absolutely amazing book, a must have. Have to buy 1930s omnibus soon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Natascha

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zoë Marriott

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debosree

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  11. 4 out of 5

    ZolaA

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dee

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Zumwalt

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jerome

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trudi Groves

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zoë

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarileena

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trace

  21. 4 out of 5

    Doug

  22. 5 out of 5

    LAURI CRUMLEY COATES

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kat

  24. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Griffin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Hookham

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Faulkner

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mari

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharon McKAY

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