Searching for a bit of adventure to spice up her everyday life, Anne Beddingfield becomes an unlikely sleuth after a diamond heist, a murder, and attempts on her own life that make her the only person capable of solving the crimes. Reissue.
Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her—and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.
The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: "17-122 Kilmorden Castle"?--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
I was introduced to Agatha Christie via And Then There Were None, possibly her most popular novel. I loved it; I didn't see how it could get any better, and I was afraid I'd be dissappointed with any other Christie mysteries. But, not so! This book is definetly as thrilling and suspenceful as And Then There Were None; stop what you're doing right now, and go get this book!
Anne Beddingfeld is the archetypal "intrepid heroine." She stars in a wonderfully warm, "cosy" detective novel, but one that is exciting too - and there are even darker moments to the romance side. Which interestingly doesn't get in the way, but is an integral part of the plot, and not just as character motivation.
The characters are pure Christie types, but perhaps with a little more depth than usual. The setting is panoramic - so you get all the different Christie backgrounds.
I haven't read Christie's biog or much literary criticism on her. But I can't help feeling there's a lot of her in the heroine, or at least how she would have liked to be. I don't know what Max Mallowan looked like, but I'm sure the Man In the Brown Suit must have resembled someone she'd met. Maybe she once caught the eye of a handsome stranger and based the whole thing on that? Who knows.
It's just a great book. I have read it a dozen times, I am reading it again now. It's the only book I really want to "be" inside, I never want it to end.
When Anne, an orphaned English young lady, witnessed a death in the London tube, she found herself drawn into a real adventure without any clues to what she was really going after. All she had were vague clues that she had seen the "man in the brown suit", who was known to be present at two apparently unrelated deaths, one being the supposed accident at the tube, another was a strangled woman in the house belonging to an English MP Sir Eustace Pedler.
Finding herself on board a cruise to South Africa, Anne found the web of intrigue expanded to include several more persona dramatis; the events seemed to surround these people whom all appear to be totally legitimate.
Slowly, she learned that the affair was somehow related to one of the most daring diamond theft that occurred years ago, to a mysterious criminal organisation led by a shadowy mastermind known only as the Colonel, and with the luck of the British, she only got a couple of attempts on her life. Of course, just to make things a little bit more interesting, she found herself drawn to a man who personally declared he would strangle women with his bare hands.
Although the background of South Africa had certain significance to the plot, like the attitudes of most colonials of the time, the native colour and people were relegated far to the background.