Sunday, December 8, 2013

AC and the Short Form — Part 2

Detective fiction as we know and love it began in short stories, and Agatha Christie continued the tradition.

THE REGATTA MYSTERY (1939):
Brief cases presented to Hercule Poirot and Parker Pyne range from murder mysteries and jewel thefts to smoothing course of young love. - Alternation of detectives gives variety to pleasant but not too ingenious or carefully written Christie by-products. - Verdict: Pretty good. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (June 24, 1939)
TRIPLE THREAT (1943):
Short story collection featuring Poirot, Harley Quin and "Tuppence." - Excellent omnibus, recommended to those who like their detective fiction short and eventful. The Quin stories are especially worth re-reading. - Verdict: Bedside book de luxe. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (July 17, 1943)
THE LABO[U]RS OF HERCULES (1947):
H. Poirot solves dozen distinctive cases named for exploits of mythological homonym. Crimes are set against English and Continental backgrounds. - Characteristic Poirot puzzlers. Classical tie-ins sometimes far-fetched—and collection notable for dullest single Poirot tale ever published anywhere, anytime. - Verdict: Satisfactory shorts. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (July 19, 1947) [See also the GAD Wiki here.]
THE WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1948):
Eleven short stories, some recent, some rather elderly, most of them dealing with psychic side of murder and other crimes. - Needful addition to library shelf of "Agatha Christie's published volumes." Magazine and anthology readers may find several familiar faces. - Verdict: Standard collection. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (September 18, 1948) [The full text of the play WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1954) is online here.]
THREE BLIND MICE (1950):
Eight short stories and one long one about Christiean fixed stars Poirot and Marple and too infrequently recurring comet Harley Quin. - Long story (only one introducing "new" sleuth) least effective of well-up-to-standard lot, all clever and lustrously polished. - Verdict: Standard brand. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (April 8, 1950)

Part 1 is here.

Category: Detective fiction

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