Cover Image: MIDSUMMER MYSTERIES: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime

MIDSUMMER MYSTERIES: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime

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Member Reviews

Agatha Christie books have been among my favourites since I was a child and, like many, she sparked my love of crime fiction. There were some lovely stories in this collection and though not quite as good as some other collections of her work, fans of her work will enjoy the book. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
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Summertime Shorts…
A nicely curated collection of Summertime themed mysteries from the Queen of Crime featuring shorts from across her canon. It’s relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining reading for some perfect escapism at any time the year.
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An excellent collection of Agatha Christie short stories. Christie is like an a comfort blanket , and her books hit the spot every time. This book is perfect for bite sized reading and is an ideal book to introduce a reader to Christie’s work.
Sit back and relax and enjoy the stories of the Queen of Crime writing.

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK.
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I loved reading these. 
When you need a quick Agatha fix this is a great book! Not just one but there are a few to choose from. 
Perfect for a garden sunshine read or an open fire hot chocolate and marshmallows. How ever you like to read your crime this book is for you.
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Agatha Christie is my go to comfort read and I loved these short stories. Full of intrigue and oh so neatly wrapped up. What’s not to love.
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A superb collection of Christie short stories. (One wonders if this book would even need reviews to get people interested...)

If you're a fan of Christie's, or a fan of crime/mystery fiction in general, then I'd definitely recommend this to you.
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These were great short stories from Agatha Christie! I’ve grown up reading Agatha Christie and have read most of her books. These short stories are not as good as her normal detective books, but are still good to read.

Thank you HarperCollins UK for an advanced copy of this ebook and giving me a chance to review this book!
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I received an ARC of this book thanks to NetGalley and publisher HarperCollins UK in exchange for an honest review.

Having enjoyed Midwinter Murder, I was intrigued to see how this summer collection compared. I think on the whole it is a decent collection of stories, albeit it with less strong theming than the previous collection. There are certainly stronger summer stories which could have been included to rectify this but I actually think the way the collection ended up is better this way. It is clear that sacrifices have been made in terms of theme in order to present a more unique and varied collection, and I do appreciate that. Instead of 12 Poirot stories, every detective gets an outing and there were plenty of stories I'd not read before as a seasoned Christie fan which was nice.

If you enjoyed the previous book in this collection or else you just want a chance to read more of Christie's short stories, you can't go wrong here. The cover is beautiful as always and I really enjoyed the selection of stories here. It's the perfect gift for the Christie fan in your life, or for you to take away on holiday with you.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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‘’Most details are insignificant; one or two are vital. It is the brain, the little grey cells’ - he tapped his forehead - ‘on which one must rely. The senses mislead. One must seek the truth within - not without.’’

‘’They do say, lady, that if anyone sees those bloodstains that there will be a death within twenty-four hours.’’

The Blood-Stained Pavement: An atmospheric story in which an old curse sets the background for sinister acts and strange deaths. Miss Marple and THE perfect Cornish setting, what more can we ask for?

The Double Clue: A beautiful necklace is stolen and Poiroy rushes to solve the case. Also, please meet Countess Vera Rossakoff, Poirot’s Irene Adler…

Death on the Nile: Not to be confused with its much more famous cousin, this is the story of a high-society lady who believes that her husband is poisoning her and her not so idyllic holidays in glorious Egypt are about to end…

‘’ Shiela, dark Shiela, what is it 
that you’re seeing?
  What is it that you’re seeing,
that you’re seeing in the fire?
  I see a lad that loves me -
and I see a lad that leaves me,
 And a third lad, a Shadow
Lad - and he’s the lad that 
grieves me.’’

Harlequin’s Lane: A melancholic, haunting story of summer evenings and moonlight, of lovers’ dreams and the life we lose, with Rimsky Korsakoff’s Columbine echoing in the background. My favourite moment in the collection.

The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman: Italian gusto, intrigue and a tight plot can’t stop our dear Belgian detective.

Jane in Search of a Job: In a charming story, Jane is looking for a new job. When she becomes interested in a rather peculiar notice, she finds herself in the centre of an elaborate charade. 

Or does she?

The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim: A banker has gone missing. Was he murdered? Did he commit suicide? And what about the very peculiar robbery? Monsieur Poirot is sure to have all the answers before long.

‘’As we entered the grove of trees, a curious oppression came over me. I think it was the silence. No birds seemed to nest on these trees. There was a feeling about it of desolation and horror.’’

The Idol House of Astarte: A very powerful story of strange groves, primaeval powers and forgotten deities, set in Dartmoor, the land of legends.

The Rajah’s Emerald: Christie’s James Bond bears no resemblance to his famous Daniel Craig-esque namesake. His girlfriend (aka. epic gold digger) doesn’t pay him any attention, having set off to find a wealthy fish, and these holidays have become too loud. But the case of a stolen emerald might just be his chance to show the spoiled company that money doesn’t equal brains.

The Oracle at Delphi: I have nothing to say except that Mrs Peters can go and +*%&$# herself, really, in her ‘’spiritual homes of Paris, London, and the Riviera’’ since Greece is too ‘’low’’ for her tastes.

And bye.

The Adventures of the Sinister Stranger: A letter and an odd theft bring trouble to dear Tommy and Tuppence.

The Incredible Theft: Poirot investigates the seemingly impossible theft of the plans for a new bomber as the shadow of war looms over Britain.

‘’There are certain places imbued and saturated with good or evil influences which can make their power felt.’’

Many thanks to HarperCollins Publishers and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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As a lifelong fan of the great Agatha Christie, I was delighted to be invited to read this book of her short stories.

I did not particularly notice that there was a summer theme to the stories, but that is by no means a complaint!

I had read one of the stories before, and recognised several of the others from TV adaptations, but that did not detract from my enjoyment at all.  We get to meet our favourite Christie detectives - Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot - as well as some of her (to me at least) lesser known characters - Parker Pyne for example.

This would make great holiday reading - you can dip in, read a story, and dip out again.

Reading this has reminded me how much I enjoy Agatha Christie novels, and I plan to re-read further titles.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC.  All opinions my own.
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I loved this collection, it was the perfect summery ensemble. These twelve stories take us from typical English seaside spots as Cornwall to Greece and even Egypt. 

My favourite stories were The Idol House of Astarte, an atmospheric story with Miss Marple that combined that perfect level of creepiness with some intriguing characters and The Incredible Theft with Poirot. Poirot is always at his best when those who need him underestimate his abilities. I also enjoyed the Parker Pyne story Death on the Nile which was my introduction to this detective. I’ll definitely be reading more of his adventures. 

This was the perfect summer read for any Christie fan!
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Midsummer Mysteries by Agatha Christie is a book of short stories by the Queen of Crime, all around the theme of summer.  Some are set on holiday on the French Riviera, and some are set in England.

There are short stories that include Miss Marple, Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence, and other detectives. It's a fun book of stories that will take you on adventures, where the solution always has me guessing!

 Midsummer Mysteries: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime  was published on 22nd July 2021 and is available from  Amazon ,  Waterstones  and  Bookshop.org .

Agatha Christie has written many books, and they are all from the Golden Age of crime, so if you aren't familiar with her work, I highly recommend trying her out!

I was given this book in exchange for an unbiased review, so my thanks to NetGalley and to  HarperCollins .
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Sincere thanks for allowing me to read a review copy of this great compilation of stories from one of my favourite authors.  Despite the stories being written so many years ago they remain truly brilliant and although many are really very short they all capture the characters wonderfully.  As usual in compilations some are more intriguing and enjoyable than others but overall it was a wonderful collection that I raced through and was so disappointed to finish. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read a copy of this great collection.
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After the release of 'Midwinter Mysteries' shortly before last Christmas, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the next collection. 'Midsummer Mysteries: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime' is a collection of twelve short stories by Agatha Christie, each story linked (rather tenaciously) in some cases by the theme of summer. 

The twelve stories are as follows: 
The Blood-Stained Pavement (Miss Marple) 
The Double Clue (Hercule Poirot)
A Death on the Nile (Parker Pyne)
Harlequin’s Lane  (Parker Pyne)
The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman (Hercule Poirot)
Jane in Search of a Job
The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim
The Idol House of Astarte
The Rajah’s Emerald
The Oracle at Delphi
The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger
The Incredible Theft

The stories range from murder mysteries to kidnapping and state security issues which is a vast range and I believe ensures that there are enough stories to appeal to all users. The stories also serve as an introduction to Christie's celebrated detectives; Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin and the fun Tommy and Tuppence. There are some stand alone stories aswell and each tale offers the reader the opportunity to discover the type of intricate plots as dreamed up by Christie, along with her love of twists and red herrings. 

The first tale 'The Blood-Stained Pavement' and features Miss Marple. This story acts as a basis for a longer tale and there is a second version which an alternative twist and ending. There is a wonderful ghostly element to this story and sets us up nicely as an explanation of how Miss Marple works. 
Next up is Hercule Poirot in 'The Double Clue' where the Belgian sleuth is requested to find some priceless jewels that have been stolen and then we move onto Parker Pyne's attempt to solve the murder of a fellow traveler in 'Death on the Nile'. 
Pyne reappears in the following story, ‘Harlequin’s Lane’. where we also met the mysterious Satterthwaite. Once again, Christie returns to a to her love of the supernatural and there is a strange feeling of the otherworldly to this story. 
And then, we are back to Hercule Poirot, my favourite of Christie's creations. Poirot is now investigating a particular odd sounding murder - a  highly enjoyable story with a locked room at its core. 
Jane Cleveland is our protagonist in 'Jane in Search of a Job' and we have a mix of identity, royalty and international intrigue!
Poirot is back for the third time in ‘The Disappearnce of Mr Davenheim’ and - as the title suggests - he is looking into a disappearance. I found that this tale and the previous story reminded me of the tales from Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring Sherlock Holmes. 
Miss Marple appears for the final time in ‘The Idol House of Astarte', and once again, the concept of the supernatural plays a significant role. 
In ‘The Rajah’s Emerald’ , we meet a character called James Bond - no relation to the infamous agent - who finds love and adventure while on his holidays. 
And Parker Pyne appears to solve a missing person case in ‘The Oracle at Delphi’. Finally we met,  Tommy & Tuppence in the ‘The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger’. And lastly, we finish of with Poirot in ‘The Incredible Theft’,
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On holiday this year I reread some old Agatha Christie 'summer' favorites as I often do, for example A Caribbean Mystery, and so I was delighted to then find that a summer compilation had been published. I'm not as big a fan of Christie's short stories as I am of her wonderful novels, but bringing them together in this way is a really good idea for those looking for seasonal reading.
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Classic Agatha Christie in bite-sized form - some Poirot, some Marple and other mysteries with amateur sleuths. The stories take the reader on a tour through Cornwall, Greece and Egypt, and although there is the usual Christie suspense and many twists, the stories are all quite different but all with a summery feel.

There is of course less detail and investigation than in her longer novels, but the stories do have enough clues for the reader to guess whodunnit. Very enjoyable summer read!

With thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Always a pleasure to read Agatha Christie.  Even though this collection of short stories was written in the 20’s and 30’s (almost 100 years ago!), they retain a freshness and a relevance. Fashion and technology may change with the times, but human nature remains the same. Agatha Christie was a great observer of people and she portrayed that knowledge in her characters and plots. One of my all-time favorite authors, I enjoyed reading this collection very much.
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy, highly recommend.
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Whatever book Agatha Christie wrote, can't be bad, right? I loved these stories as usual. This book's cover is something special if you see it in person. Definitely recommended!
Thanks for this copy!
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It's always a pleasure to read stories by the Queen of Mystery and the one in this book are excellent.
Some of them were new to me and I was happy to read again the others.
Ms Christie excels at developing complex plots even in the short stories format. The stories involve all her great detectives and are engrossing and entertaining.
The foreword by Ms Christie was interesting and gave an insight in how her mind worked.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

Agatha Christie being one of my favourite authors, when I got this one from NetGalley, I couldn’t help but bump it up on my TBR pile!

Midsummer Mysteries: Secrets and Suspense from the Queen of Crime is a collection of twelves short stories by Christie with a summer theme. The book covers a range of crime and suspense—from murder to theft, kidnapping to mysterious disappearances, matters of the heart to matters of state. Across the stories, we ‘meet’ all of Christie’s detectives Miss Marple (2 stories), Poirot (4 stories), Parker Pyne (2 stories), Harley Quin (1 story), Tommy and Tuppence (1 story) and we also have a couple of standalones, in which none of the detectives appear. The stories take us to England (of course)—but also to more exotic locales—Greece and Egypt. (For me, about half the stories were new, others I had read before.)

Almost all the stories give us a summer ‘feel’—with beaches and bathing, cruises and holiday trips, visits down to the country, and also a distinct midsummer madness that afflicts some of the characters or at least stands out in the atmosphere in some of our stories. In one or two of the stories, though, I felt the summeriness didn’t come through as strongly but that is a minor complaint.

Now for the stories themselves; we start off with a Marple story (from The Thirteen Problems), ‘The Blood Stained Pavement’ in which Joyce Lempriere, an artist, is recounting an interesting incident (involving a mysterious death of course) she witnessed when out on a sketching expedition in Cornwall—involving a young couple and another woman, the husband’s old friend. None of the party hearing Joyce’s tale, including former police commissioner Sir Henry Clithering can point to the solution but Miss Marple does, of course—relying once again on her observations of village life and human nature. This story is a prototype for one full-length Christie book, and also another short story but both with their own twists. All three renditions are very enjoyable.

Next in ‘The Double Clue’, Poirot is called in to make discreet inquiries into the theft of some priceless jewels at the home of Mr Hardman who had invited a few guests over to show them off; the clues seem to point to one person in particular, but did that person really do it?

‘Death on the Nile’, a story that shares its name with a full length Poirot novel, takes us on a Nile cruise where a domineering and dictatorial rich lady is travelling with her titled husband, her companion, niece, and husband’s secretary. Also on the boat is Parker Pyne, whom she is determined to get rid of for she wants the boat entirely to herself. So we are a little surprised when she consults Mr Pyne as to a possible attempt on her life. Everyone around her resents her, but who does so that much?

On completely different lines, and involving matters of the heart and some of that midsummer madness (also a Harlequin performance) is ‘Harlequin’s Lane’. Here we find Mr Satterthwaite (who regularly appears in the Harley Quin stories and also in one Poirot book, Three Act Tragedy) paying a visit down in the country to the Denmans with whom he has almost nothing in common. But what fascinates him is Mrs Denman’s sitting room, a plain and almost impersonal space but for a Chinese lacquer screen. At their home he runs into the mysterious Mr Quin, also a guest. This story, as is the case with many of the Harley Quin stories, has a very dreamy and otherworldly feeling about it, and its ending is somewhat unsettling as well.

Poirot is asked by Dr Hawker, a neighbour, to accompany him, when one of his patients, an Italian count leaves a message calling for help. The count is found dead, and the guests who had been dining with him (and with whom he was overheard speaking in a raised voice) are missing; but is the mystery as clear-cut as it seems?

‘Jane in Search of a Job’ sees Jane Cleveland, a young woman in search of a job, respond to and take up a position pursuant to a rather strange advertisement. This throws her in the midst of an adventure but not quite the kind she was expecting. This one had definite shades of Sherlock Holmes (the red-headed league/copper beeches stories), but of course Christie gives it her own touch.

In ‘The Disappearnce of Mr Davenheim’ a wealthy banker disappears from his country home, and no trace is found. Just at the time, he had an appointment with someone who had borne him a grudge. Poirot of course finds once again that the matter is not as simple as it may seem. Another story with a Holmesian touch.

We meet Miss Marple again in ‘The Idol House of Astarte’, another of the stories that involves an element of otherworldliness and midsummer madness, but one which turns out very much to be of this world in its solution. Another of the thirteen problems, this one is narrated by the clergyman Dr Pender, and involves a mysterious death that takes place near a statute of Astarte, the old Phoenician deity, a place which to Dr Pender had a distinct feeling of evil. But whether it was evil in the place or in the heart of the culprit, we can’t really say, for Miss Marple once again finds the answer, which as I said lies very much in the human realm.

In ‘The Rajah’s Emerald’ we meet James Bond, no, not 007 (the publication date (1934) is earlier than the first Bond story by Fleming (1953), so probably just a coincidence). James is down on a beach holiday as is also the girl he is in love with. But Grace is staying with wealthier friends in a posh hotel while James is in a boarding house having to deal with crowds and long queues for everything. When James decides to take a step not quite in his usual character (nothing horrifying, just a way to not have to deal with the queues), he finds himself in an adventure! (I loved the ending of this one!)

‘The Oracle at Delphi’ finds a comfort-loving American lady, Mrs Willard Peters on holiday in Greece with her culture loving son. But when Willard junior is kidnapped on one of his expeditions, she turns to Parker Pyne for help.

Tommy and Tuppence appear in their ‘spy’ avatar in ‘The Adventure of the Sinister Stranger’ when a stranger comes into their inquiry agency with a rather obviously cooked up mystery for them to solve. But do they manage to trap him?

Finally, we are back with Poirot in ‘The Incredible Theft’, a story which is a version of ‘The Naval Treaty’ but with its own spin. A house party is to be a cover for discussions on matters of national security between Lord Mayfield and Sir George Carrington. Mrs Vanderlyn, a wealthy lady, known to have dubious connections, is also present. Stolen of course, are important military plans, disappearing from the table they had been placed on when Lord Mayfield’s secretary is forced to leave the study for just a few moments. Did Mrs Vanderlyn get the papers? How?

This was an enjoyable collection of Christie stories, which I think would appeal to both regular readers and fans as well as people new to Christie. We get a flavour of the range of plots she comes up with, meet all of her detectives, and also get a taste of the unexpected twists in the puzzles she creates. While being short stories, these don’t have the level of complexity that her full length books have, each story has a twist and solution that one certainly doesn’t see coming. A very entertaining and engaging collection, with many surprises woven in. 4.5 stars
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