The Man in the Brown Suit (Agatha Christie)

  • First published: UK: Bodley Head, 1924; USA: Dodd Mead, 1924

My review

One of Christie’s earliest books: a tongue-in-cheek treatment of The Perils of Pamela, or, rather of Anne Beddingfeld (alias Anna the adventuress), the attractive (but impoverished) heroine who tells of her involvement in international crime (i.e., diamond-robbery, gun-running and political agitation, all impossible to take seriously for an instant), as she travels to South Africa to unmask ‘the Colonel,’ one of those preposterous master criminals, and ends up falling in love with one of those “strong men who always ‘felled their opponent with a single blow'”. This one is suspected of strangling the Russian dancer in the country house of Sir Eustace Pedler, whose account of the voyage is very funny.

Contemporary reviews

Boston Transcript (8th November 1924, 200w): It is a real pity that The Man in the Brown Suit should come to such an end, for this tale of a diamond robbery is in the main ingenious, well written and exciting.

NY World (16th November 1924, 60w): As entertainment of the liveliest sort the book is signally successful.

Sat R of Lit (13th December 1924, 200w): Although the structure of this novel follows the beaten track of the average machine made mystery story, its action, after the first fifty pages, maintains a swiftness of pace we have never seen surpassed.

Referee: A capital tale—mystery piled on mystery, incident on incident.

Morning Post: Agatha Christie has written a most entertaining story, excellently conceived and executed.

Star: I give The Man in the Brown Suit my most ringing applause.