This was my first ever Penguin crime book in the above design and I was very pleased to find it in a second hand bookshop in Norwich a few months ago. It states on it that it was one of Agatha Christie’s own choice of ten favourites that were published by Penguin. I can see why it was one of her choices.
Parker Pyne Investigates is very different from Christie’s usual work, and very clever it is too. Here is a character unlike any of her others. A man who advertises in the newspaper “Are you happy? If not contact Mr Parker Pyne.” In a series of amusing and intriguing short stories he proceeds to justify his reputation as a man who can solve anyone’s problems. He even solves a murder mystery out on holiday! Then he manages to confound a jewel thief. The stories are great. I wouldn’t agree with the Queen of crime herself, who states her two favourite stories in a brief foreword. My favourite was definitely either The Oracle at Delphi, The Pearl of Price or The House at Shiraz. All of them were very fast paced short stories and I thought that Mr Parker Pyne himself was a great creation. Christie shows her good observations of human nature and character too.
I give Parker Pyne Investigates 8/10.