The Adventure of The Christmas Pudding : Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie can rarely go wrong with me. This time is no exception especially as the book is a Christmas special with a foreword by the Mystery Queen herself - 
 "This book of Christmas fare may be described as "The Chef's Selection." I am the Chef!
There are two main courses: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and The Mystery of the Spanish Chest; a selection of Entrées: Greenshaw's Folly, The Dream, and The Under Dog; and a Sorbet: Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds."

What a yummy foreword! I was really excited  and was surprised to find that the book has six stories rather than a single one. All of them are good though I have my own share of reservations for  a few. 

'The Christmas Pudding' has a Ruby to be found,a deceit to be uncovered with a few prestiges at stake.And all this amidst the joyous and cheerful atmosphere of Christmas .In fact it offers such a bonhomie environment filled with festive cheer that one can almost 'see' small bunches of red ribboned holly leaves adorning the mansion and 'smell' the baking and and cooking going on in the big kitchen.Well, the 'little grey cells' of Poirot worked nicely here .

'The Spanish Chest' has an alluringly attractive heroine, a murdered husband , accused lover/s and prejudiced women around her as the central figures. Who said that Ignorance/Innocence is a bliss? It can be fatal .Avarice,contempt  or jealousy ...what was it ?

'The Under Dog' has again an ill-tempered master, murdered quite conveniently for the benefit of more than one persons... It was a bit stretched out and lengthy and I never liked hypnotism as a tool in 'actual' investigation. May be to create an atmosphere to create a trap but to actually rely on it is a let down. (like in movie Bhool Bhulaiyya  where witchcraft was a facade for a reason) 

'The Four and Twenty Blackbirds' has  a chance incident working as a trigger for the investigation of an accident which later turned out to be a murder. It's possible but, the mistake the culprit did, was a little too lame for the mind he is shown to possess. So again .. I was a little dissatisfied.


'The Dream' again has a murdered master who was bad-tempered when alive and not mourned when dead.The case seemed plain enough to veteran readers like me (ahem-ahem) though for greener readers it might be interesting. The wife's character needed more detailing and a few more paragraphs to pique up one's interest in her or vice-versa. She was too easy an option to be doubted upon.

'The Greenshaw's Folly' was way too far fetched and fantastic for me and lacked that beauty of narration and description for which I am her fan. It along with 'The Dream' also lacked the layered characters and was more of an imagination gone wild on Miss Marple's part . Though of-course weeds were a great clue ! No doubt Miss marple drove Inspector Welch a bit crazy!

My POINT
So all in all the stories which I don't like much too have unused potential. It seemed as if Christie was in a hurry to finish these off and thus, she did not let these reach their natural high or low. The last two specially seemed stagey ..a word she had used so well in 'The Dream' ! 

But as always, even when she is not good , she is better than many and I loved the opening scene of all barring the last two. 

So, with a little something here and there these 6 stories manage to keep the Christmas spirit intact that is to be jolly,fun and full of surprises.

Verdict 
Buy it and find it lacking ... Better wait till someone gifts it to you ..and you  might find the pudding irresistible :)

My Rating : 3/5

PS. Despite everything I enjoyed it . It was a gifted to me by Ravish Mani  :p 

18 comments:

  1. Ha ha :D . I used to like Christie's writing a lot, esp with her - Mysterious Mr Quit. I think that was perhaps her best of all. I did like a couple others but after a while, I found the trend quite repetitive and looks like the same is maintained in this one as well..

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    1. Enjoying yourself !! haan :P
      I have not read that one yet .. but to my dismay I have to admit it that this was one of the well,... not so good ones ;) But I am still a fan as the ones which I found good were truly brilliant !
      My Current read is 'The Caribbean Mystery .. lets see what we get :)
      Bhagwan prove this inspiring guy wrong ..let it be good ... Amen :p:p :) Thanks a TON Vinay for the honest word ,a thing I can vouch for, for you :)

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  2. Well, I didn't read it and I don't think that I'm gonna read it after this review. And also the possibility of it as gift by someone to me is negligible as this post reveals that I gifted it to you :P

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    1. Ha ha ha ... The number of her books I have received from you and by the way I am expressing my gratitude , looks like you are not gonna receive 'Christie' as gift in this life..... at-least :p

      But seriously Thanks again Bro as you know I LOVE her even when I don't LIKE her ..;) :)

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  3. Not satisfied babe...gift it back to him lol ...but jokes apart I think when there are short stories it doesn't give a leeway to detail out and write more thus it seems hastened... I like the review as you give a clear picture to the reader what to expect. Cool stuff!

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    1. He he ... got the point girl;)
      Yup these being short stories definitely dampen the style and I was dissatisfied as no characters evolved or gave a glimpse of their inner true self... but I was mainly upset because the solutions were incidental ..
      Anyway , I am still in her fan club :) And thanks for praising the review ... glad you liked it dearie :)
      cheers

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  4. Very elaborately done. I am satisfied just reading the review.

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    1. Lol .. Indrani I am glad you have commented this :) :D
      Thanks and its like the best comment for a reviewer :)
      And stay assured. You actually do not need to read it unless ...well its gifted by someone :p:)

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  5. Very well written Kokila... I was a fan too, but haven't read one in ages... maybe I should pick up one just for the kicks ;-) Cheers!

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    1. Thanks Archana ... but dear this one I guess, is not the best bet for a rekindling ... Thanks for the wishes and same to you :)

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  6. Wonderful review again Kokila....serious things said with a lighter note. I really liked the way you put it :-) I LOVE Christie though I haven't read this one. And I think I won't :-P

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    1. Hey girl ! A word from you (fellow Christie fan and a lover of nuanced writings)always as in ALWAYS makes my day :)
      Yeah its a little dampening but as I have replied to ravish- :I love her even when I don't like her " can't help it ... and hopes to lay my hands on her better works
      Will let you know friend :) and yes even I think , you are not going to pick this one up ...lol :)
      Cheers :)
      PS - waiting more Christi -ish from your pen .

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  7. Have read some stories/books by Agatha Christie. She's too good!
    Yet to read this though, Kokila!

    I love the last sentence you have written! How true! We love gifts :)

    Thanks for such lovely words on my Blog! You are so encouraging & supportive! God bless :)
    Best wishes to you!

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    1. Thanks Anita for the sweet words here :) You are right friend I am good *wink-wink* but its only because your words (post) made me react that way . Loved it how you recreated Vikram-Betal ! And its not the first time .. I reacted the same way when I read the best Bollywood daddy post .. and many others :) Am little irregular that's all . but glad to have you here Anita ..And you know it !
      Love n cheers:)

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  8. I love Agatha Chrisie too. I loved the movie made after there so Ella:)

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    1. The images and info on your blog are mostly ideal settings for her books :p
      Thanks for the comment and welcome (again ?) to the blog :)

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  9. Well-written dear! I think I am not going to pick this one up but I love A Christie :)

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    1. Yeah Deepa you may avoid this one .. but I am with you when you say I LOVE A Christie :)
      Cheers :)

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