Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Published by HarperAudio on July 3, 2012 (first published 1932)
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 5 hrs 45 mins
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Agatha Christie once again demonstrates her mastery of the short form mystery with Parker Pyne Investigates—short stories of crime and detection featuring Parker Pyne, certainly one of the most unconventional private investigators ever to pursue a hot lead.
Mrs. Packington felt alone, helpless and utterly forlorn. But her life changed when she stumbled upon an advertisement in the Times that read: "Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne."
Equally adept at putting together the fragments of a murder mystery or the pieces of a broken marriage, Mr. Parker Pyne is possibly the world's most unconventional private investigator. Armed with just his intuitive knowledge of human nature, he is an Englishman abroad, traveling the globe to solve and undo crime and misdemeanor.
Parker Pyne is a bit unusual for a Christie detective. He is not a conventional detective, but a person who provides “happiness”; his ad in the paper says: “Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne.” He’s understands human behaviour, a bit like Miss Marple but with more statistics. With his acquired knowledge, he sets out to sell ‘happiness’ to people, in rather smart and surprising ways. He uses a mixture of fantasy, crime-solving, and psychology to resolve his clients’ unhappiness. The stories are initially set in England. The later ones are set in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran where Parker Pyne while on holiday keeps finding new clients.
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy Parker Pyne. Some of the stories are quite clever. I didn’t love it however.