As an author, Agatha Christie was more massively successful than she could ever have anticipated. One of her skills that played a huge part in her success as a crime writer was her plotting. Pick up one of her books and see yourself. Even the worst of her books has its own unique plot. And, this is one of the reasons, she is also known as the ‘mistress of plotting’. If you haven’t read any of her books so far, go out and buy or borrow either And Then There Were None or The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and you will see what I am trying to say. Believe me; these books will definitely make you read more of her works.
Let us turn out attention to the book under review titled Cat Among the Pigeons. The book was published in 1959. Some critics have compared this book to Josephine Tey’s Miss Pym Disposes which was published in 1946. However, the plots in these books are quite dissimilar. The story in Cat Among the Pigeons is set in a school called Meadowbank, a posh and well respected girl-only school in England. The school is thrown into chaos when the unpopular games mistress is shot and murdered in the sports pavilion by an unknown assassin. The condition becomes worse when a second murder is committed. And, Hercule Poirot makes an appearance and solves the mystery.
While this is a Hercule Poirot book, he appears very late in the book. So, in a way, you miss his quirk. In other words, this is not a Poirot book at all. The real protagonist in this book, for me, was a young student of the school who plays a very important role in solving the case. However, I will be quite frank to say that this is not the mystery that you will love to re-read. Very often you feel that you are reading a Nancy Drew type of mystery. Nevertheless, on the other side, you get a charming glimpse of some of the corners of British life of that period. Christie beautifully takes us into this world through her characters, all of which are well-developed. These characters exhibit real personalities, believable and the interplay between them is a joy to read.
In any case, this book was not a bad read at all. While people think that there is nothing deep in Christie’s books, one has to accept that she was a social historian of some note. I end this review with this reflection.
This Book Review is a part of ‘Agatha Christie Reading Challenge‘.