Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot #36
Published by Harper Audio on July 3, 2012 (first published Nov 2, 1959)
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 6 hrs 45 mins
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A revolution in the Middle East has a direct and deadly impact upon the summer term at Meadowbank, a picture-perfect girls' school in the English countryside. Prince Ali Yusuf, Hereditary Sheikh of Ramat, whose great liberalizing experiment—'hospitals, schools, a Health Service'—is coming to chaos, knows that he must prepare for the day of his exile. He asks his pilot and school friend, Bob Rawlinson, to care for a packet of jewels. Rawlinson does so, hiding them among the possessions of his niece, Jennifer Sutcliffe, who is bound for Meadowbank. Rawlinson is killed before he can reveal the hiding place—or even the fact that he has employed his niece as a smuggler. But someone knows, or suspects, that Jennifer has the jewels. As murder strikes Meadowbank, only Hercule Poirot can restore the peace.
I know to trust Agatha Christie, but her international thriller-type books are not my favorite. So, when Cat Among the Pigeons started out with a revolution in Ramat, I was a bit worried. Prince Ali Yusef is preparing to leave the country, but before he does, he entrusts his good friend with a fortune in jewels, asking that they be gotten to England and to the man who will know what to do with them.
The jewels end up at a Meadowbank, a prestigious girls school, along with several people on their trail, and this is the kind of setting I like. It’s a closed group of people, the students and the staff. Soon, the phys ed teacher is killed. The killer has to be at the school, but the investigation doesn’t progress well, and two more people end up dead. Eventually (over 2/3 into the book), Poirot takes on the case.
Poirot doesn’t do much investigating here. A bit of talking to folks and of course he provides the solution, but I wish he was in more of the book. The characters are well done, especially the school staff. The mystery was good- there were enough clues to figure it out, but I didn’t guess the killer.
Not the best Poirot book, but a fun read.