Unfortunately, the cover of this book, as well as its title, predisposed me negatively towards it, even though I was pretty sure it would be perfectly fine. I suppose you will agree that the title is stupid for a book full of murders, and that the cover (the illustration above is the edition I read) is hideous.
Nevertheless, the stories are good. There’s a reason Agatha Christie is so beloved that her books never, ever seem to go out of print. The best of this particular lot is “The Mystery of the Spanish Chest”, which had an excellent surprise ending – though perfectly fair to the reader.
Though I enjoyed this book, I had an experience that almost never happens to me in Christie: I was able to guess a couple of the resolutions before they were revealed. This is pretty unusual in Christie, and though it didn’t diminish my pleasure in reading the book, I know some people won’t be happy with evident resolutions.
Overall, I’d call this one a middling Christie, not on either extreme of the quality spectrum. If you pick it up, you’ll likely enjoy it.
Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose own foray into the arena of crime fiction is a fast-paced and sensual thriller entitled Timeless. You can check it out here.