Title: Cat Among the Pigeons
Author: Agatha Christie
Page Count/Review Word Count: 352
I’m glad I got round to reading this – Cat Among the Pigeons is a genuine Christie classic, one of the finest examples of her work that I’ve come across so far. Here, her writing is so engrossing that when Hercule Poirot appears around two thirds in to the story, you’d forgotten that you were expecting him – it’s a nice surprise, but you almost feel as though his presence is unnecessary.
The novel is set at the prestigious Meadowbank girls school, though its roots are in Ramat and in the death of a Prince as he tried to escape from his country. Now, I went to a working class secondary school which mixed sexes and didn’t cost a fortune per term – the setting of the story is as far away from that as my flat is from a palace. Still, Christie’s depiction of the school is so vivid and complete that I felt like a teenage girl who was really there. A scary thought, I know.
Adam is an interesting character, too – the young gardener with a secret second personality. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take you long to discover it, and indeed he’s one of the leading males in the novel, a novel that’s notable for its strong leading female characters and forgettable, minor males. Don’t let that put you off though, because that would be sexist. It would also be unnecessary – all of the characters are intriguing, and you’ll be tangled in the usual web of suspicion and dark unrest.
Here, then, Christie is at her best – you can see why they call her the Queen of Crime, and this novel can stand up against the best of them. The A.B.C. Murders, And Then There Were None, you name it – this deserves the highest praise that I can give to it. I urge you to go out there and buy a copy at the earliest opportunity, it’s a great little teaser of what was to come from the Queen.