First published: UK, Collins, June 1934
- The Listerdale Mystery
- Philomel Cottage
- The Girl on the Train
- Sing a Song of Sixpence
- The Manhood of Edward Robinson
- Jane in Search of a Job
- A Fruitful Sunday
- Mr. Eastwood’s Adventure
- The Golden Ball
- The Rajah’s Emerald
- Swan Song
Agatha Christie is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest living writers of detective and mystery stories. Her magnificent craftsmanship, her tersely attractive style, her absolute genius for baffling her readers – and then solving the problem with brilliant ease – have secured for her books an enormous public. To those who know her best as the creator of Hercule Poirot, one of the most celebrated detectives in fiction, the present volume will present her in an entirely new guise. Here are stories mainly short and very much to the point, but all effectively told; mysteries that will thrill the reader, however case-hardened he may be; problems that will baffle him and that only the resourceful imagination of Agatha Christie could have devised.
New Statesman & Nation (Ralph Partridge, 23rd June 1934):
The Listerdale Mystery is not a new full-length Agatha Christie, but only a collection of magazine stories, knocked off with all her talent, but rather meagre, nevertheless, without a single morsel of Poirot to help them out.
Times Literary Supplement (5th July 1934):
When the door opened almost noiselessly and a well-trained manservant approached over the thick pile carpet, and murmured discreetly, “A young lady wishes to see you, sir,” Sir Edward Palliser, K.C., “felt pleasurably intrigued”. And so for that matter does the reader, not only about the young lady in this particular story, but about all the young ladies in all the stories in Mrs. Christie’s latest volume. After a heavy meal of full-course detective stories these friandises melt sweetly—perhaps a shade too sweetly—on the tongue; but they are, without exception, the work of an experienced and artful cook, whose interest it is to please. And just as one accepts and swallows without misgiving a green rose, knowing it to be sugar, so one can accept the improbabilities and the fantasy with which Mrs. Christie’s stories are liberally sprinkled. The little kernel of mystery in each tale is just sufficient to intrigue the reader without bewildering him. Here is no Hercule’s vein; indeed Poirot would find little worthy of his great gift for detection in these situations, where one knows from the start that everything will come delightfully right in the end.
Glasgow Evening News:
Once more the thrill of The Big Four and Murder at the Vicarage. There is a surprise in every one and yet there is never a shabby trick played on either reader’s feelings or intelligence.