The Agatha Christie Challenge — Parker Pyne Investigates Posted on by therealchrisparkle In which we meet a new Christie creation, Parker Pyne, placer of advertisements in newspapers seeking clients who are unhappy, in the promise of making them happy again. As always, you can read this blog without discovering any of the whodunits in all the stories! The publication of this collection is a little unusual in that the original magazine editions — or at least those that can be traced — were published in the US before they appeared in the UK. No magazine printing of The Case of the Middle-aged Wife has yet been traced in either country. Parker Pyne, Detective. In this first story, Mr Packington has been spending his time and his money on treating and looking after a sweet young thing from the office and has been ignoring Mrs Packington as a result.
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The Agatha Christie Challenge — Parker Pyne Investigates Posted on by therealchrisparkle In which we meet a new Christie creation, Parker Pyne, placer of advertisements in newspapers seeking clients who are unhappy, in the promise of making them happy again. As always, you can read this blog without discovering any of the whodunits in all the stories! The publication of this collection is a little unusual in that the original magazine editions — or at least those that can be traced — were published in the US before they appeared in the UK.
No magazine printing of The Case of the Middle-aged Wife has yet been traced in either country. Parker Pyne, Detective.
In this first story, Mr Packington has been spending his time and his money on treating and looking after a sweet young thing from the office and has been ignoring Mrs Packington as a result. Mrs Packington, unsurprisingly miffed, consults Mr PP, who arranges her to be pampered and pandered to by a handsome gigolo so that she regains her youth and self-esteem, and Mr Packington begins to get jealous.
You can guess how this ends. As we will see during the stories, Parker Pyne asks different fees from different people according to the job and their circumstance. In this case he asks for guineas up front.
I was surprised to read that Mr Packington takes the train into London. That strikes me as being very late. I wonder if offices generally opened later in the morning than they do today? I remember getting there five minutes early one day — and it was like the Marie Celeste. The very same secretary who would go on to work for Hercule Poirot. He consults Parker Pyne and adventure comes his way, although he never associates PP with what actually happens to him.
However, the lady informs PP of the kind of girl the Major really goes for, and so can successfully introduce her to him by means of this extravagant adventure. Mrs Oliver is another character who reappears in the Poirot books, sporadically over many years; readers would next encounter her in Cards on the Table a couple of years later.
The only Delfridges I can find is a watch and clock manufacturer in Birmingham. However, this is the first of the stories known to have been originally published in a magazine; and without revision, these descriptions were simply repeated. Some hunter got away with breaking that law on a grand scale. They were on his trail and he cached the stuff. Yes, even then, they were putting a positive spin on discrimination by having the black characters earn less than the white ones.
PP, of course, has a solution, involving presenting two members of his entourage as a pair of exhibition dancers at a party, where they would replace the diamond. But can you imagine an Agatha Christie story being as straightforward as that? Not too much to examine in this story.
You live and learn! The last line of the book refers to a gentleman selling Dismal Desmonds. Never heard of those — but that was the name of a cartoon film series that first started in , and so presumably the gentleman was selling Dismal Desmond toys — a lugubrious looking dog rather like the more famous Droopy but not so distinguished.
A pretty penny indeed. I must say I am very much enjoying this book! A similar set up has Mr Wade, the discontented husband, coming to Parker Pyne for advice, and he suggests a dalliance with his very own Miss de Sara will make Mrs Wade jealous and come to her senses.
The story also fills out further understanding of the character of Parker Pyne, who has become just a little one-dimensional over the course of the first three stories, enjoyable though they are. He can fail, after all. An unexpected end, and a funny turn of phrase make this a very enjoyable story.
This story reminded me in part of the shenanigans involved in The Secret Adversary , and in part of the glamour of Murder on the Orient Express. The scene setting of this story is very entertaining, if a little hard for the reader to appreciate fully at first. You ask yourself, what on earth is going on here, and then it all falls into place.
And yes, there really is a St Stanislaus. Not a bad piece of work. The Case of the Rich Woman The rich Mrs Rymer seeks advice from Parker Pyne as to how to spend her money so that she can get the most entertainment out of it. A very strange request, but PP is always up for a challenge… A strange request, and a strange story.
It has too much of a surreal air, and is just too weird to believe. I also found the character of Mrs Rymer distinctly unappealing. No doubt that is indeed how Agatha Christie saw herself. At the Gare de Lyon Elsie Jeffries board a train to Stamboul, and encounters fellow traveller Parker Pyne, no doubt enjoying the financial fruit of his labours. The story itself is quite a good one of the jewel thief genre, but with a nice twist.
What is most interesting about it is what it says of the morals of the time. A male character is blackmailed because he spent an innocent night in the same hotel room as a woman as he was giving her shelter as she was trying to escape her abusive husband. In it was scandal and would have to be suppressed. It turns out that Long is masquerading as one of the travelling party, but which one?
Fortunately Mr PP is there to solve the case. Christie the Poison expert is on hand, with one of the deaths in the story being caused by Prussic Acid — hydrogen cyanide to give it its modern name. There are a few interesting references here; the story starts with a quotation from Gates of Damascus by James Elroy Flecker, including the Postern of Fate, which of course is the name Christie gave to the last book she was to write in When the coach gets going across the desert they head for Rutbah — a town in present day Iraq — which has had a colourful past and is currently being fought over by Isis and the Iraqi Army.
A very enjoyable little whodunit — but to my disappointment, I guessed who the perpetrator was! Muriel King died and Lady Carr started living as a recluse. PP decides to pay a visit to Lady Carr, and discovers all is not as it seems to be. Just answer something; that is all they need. Her archaeological expedition to Ashkelon in is considered the first modern excavation in the history of Holy Land archaeology.
An enjoyable little story, with a nice twist; Christie really does use the last-minute twist to its best advantage in this book! The Pearl of Price Parker Pyne has now moved on to Petra, in Jordan, along with a motley crew of fellow tourists including a rich American father and daughter, an archaeologist and a British MP, amongst others. PP though applies his little grey cells and comes up with a solution.
I make the comparison with Poirot deliberately, because Parker Pyne is beginning to out-Poirot him! This is one of those short stories where Christie devotes a few minutes to considering the psychology of crime. In this case, whether people are fundamentally honest or not, and whether sudden temptation could make anyone commit a crime — or only people with a generally dishonest behavioural pattern. The thing that precipitates the crisis — that turns an honest man into a dishonest one — may be a mere trifle.
That is why most crimes are absurd. And he applies that thought when solving this crime. There are a few geographical references to consider. Most people know Petra, the incredible home of stunning red rock formations in southern Jordan. There are references to the Nabatean people, a cultured people who inhabited Petra, and to Hammurabi, the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, who lived approximately from BC — BC.
Doctor Carver mentions that he wants to work on a dig in Baluchistan, an ancient region whose land now falls within the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. And now for that unfortunate, Christie-esque, mid 30s, moment. Death on the Nile Not the famous novel — that would come three years later, but Christie obviously fancied it as a good title. The only other passengers on the vessel are Sir George and Lady Grayle, her niece, his secretary, and her nurse.
But is her husband really to blame? A fairly standard story — not at all bad, but nothing exceptional. True enough, her husband is found to have quantities of strychnine on or about his person, so he must be guilty, right? In plain language, there was nothing the matter with her. Too much leisure and too much money do produce a definite pathological condition. Having a few floors to scrub every day and five or six children to look after would have made Lady Grayle a perfectly healthy and a much happier woman.
The Oracle at Delphi Rich widow Mrs Peters and her intellectual son Willard are travelling through Greece — him lapping up the history, her enjoying his enjoyment but secretly hating every minute of it.
Fortunately, Parker Pyne is also in the environs, as is a reserved British gentleman by name of Mr Thompson. In a really surprising and very cleverly written twist, Willard is returned without any ransom being paid; but you may have to re-read it, to appreciate entirely how this was done!
No wonder Mrs Peters was worried. And those are the twelve stories that make up Parker Pyne Investigates! In the meanwhile, happy sleuthing and keep on Christie-ing! Share this:.
Parker Pyne Investigates
I am, if you like to put it that way, a heart specialist. A large, balding man, thought to be in his sixties, he always insists that he is quite simply not a detective. Retired from being a civil servant, he decided to embark on a new career: curing unhappiness. Chiefly, he assists the discontented and the guilt-ridden, often taking a constructive back seat to the drama. Many of his cases are resolved without the participants even realising it was he who helped them. Also making the odd appearance in his work are Ariadne Oliver, crime novelist, and the ever-precise secretary Miss Lemon, both of whom would later work with Poirot.
Parker Pyne ermittelt
Plot introduction[ edit ] James Parker Pyne is a retired government employee who considers himself to be a "detective of the heart". Advertising his services in the "Personal" column of The Times , he works alongside his secretary Miss Lemon, novelist Ariadne Oliver, handsome " lounge lizard " Claude Luttrell and disguise artist Madeleine de Sara. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. November Learn how and when to remove this template message The Case of the Middle-aged Wife[ edit ] The marriage of George and Maria Packington is in difficulties.