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Cat Among the Pigeons (Hercule Poirot #32)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  13,914 ratings  ·  469 reviews
A revolution in the Middle East has a direct and deadly impact upon the summer term at Meadowbank, a picture-perfect girls' school in the English countryside. Prince Ali Yusuf, Hereditary Sheikh of Ramat, whose great liberalizing experiment -- 'hospitals, schools, a Health Service' -- is coming to chaos, knows that he must prepare for the day of his exile. He asks his pilo ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1959)
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Mark
Sep 03, 2007 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: practically everyone !
the very first - from such a long list of - agatha christie's detective novels i've read.
quite a 'right' choice because the story reminds me of the more familiar enid blyton's boarding schools' series (i.e. mallory towers), but with such expanded plots that includes romance, theft and murder. very juicy indeed.
i could even remember that i skipped sleeping that night just to finish this novel, and succeeded doing so in less than 48 hours.
this novel was probably the one that triggered my crave
...more
Bibliophile
Experienta mea cu Agatha Christie a inceput cand eram in clasa a 5-a si, intelegandu-ma foarte bine cu bibliotecara de la scoala, ma lasa sa ma plimb printre rafturi. In consecinta, cu fiecare imprumut incercam cate ceva nou, pana am descoperit-o pe ea, marea doamna a romanului policier, de care m-am indragostit ireversibil si care o sa ma farmece intotdeauna. I-am citit toate titlurile publicate pana la acel moment - desigur, majoritatea erau foarte cunoscute: Crima in Orient Express [beloved o ...more
Laurel Young
Cat Among the Pigeons is an atypical Agatha with a number of strengths but a couple of odd weaknesses. I really enjoyed the fact that the first 100 pages are more of a novel of manners than a mystery, focusing on the development of interesting characters at a girls' boarding school. I admit, I picture Waverly Academy from Nancy Drew! When murder finally occurs, the motivation thus has more depth. This would be one of her best but for two detractions: first, it is very odd to bring in Poirot 200 ...more
Rachel
I didn't like this one quite as much as the other two I've read so far, and I'm not sure why. If Mrs. Upjohn recognized someone at the school who she knew from her previous life in intelligence work and knew this person was a trained killer, why would she leave her daughter in the same school and then travel the world? I hate to say that it's a plot hole, but it bothered me slightly.
Stela
This is my last Agatha Christie - for now. It was a nice trip down the memory lane, for three of the four novels I read were actually re-readings.

Not this one, and a pleasant surprise it was. With a subject so flashy (coup d'état in an Arab state and a legacy of jewels) it would have been easy for the author to slip into kitsch. not Agatha Christie, though, who reveals herself not only a master of mystery but also a skilful observer of the young girls psychology. A very interesting touch was the
...more
Chris Thompson
This is my first experience with Agatha Christie. Mystery is not a genre I read a lot of, but Christie is so well-known I thought I'd give it a shot. Many novels do have elements of mystery in them, of course, particularly in hiding certain plot points or motivations until the end, so I am familiar with the conventions. I find that mystery, like many other things in life, is at its best before everything is revealed. Monster movies are always scarier when you don't see the monster than when you ...more
Jessica
Well, you know how Agatha Christie novels had international intrigue subplots you didn't pay attention to? Turns out they involve a pretty interesting view of world affairs. Like when the people of the city of "Ramat" reject their British-educated young prince who builds hospitals and roads -- they miss his grandfather, a bloodthirsty tyrant -- and this explanation is given: "While in England people who are picturesque and violent cause embarrassment and are not much liked, in the Middle East, B ...more
Diane
This is billed as an Hercule Poirot book, but be aware - his fine moustaches don't appear until 3/4 of the way through. Having said that, it's a pretty good read, with a not-too-farfetched solution (which can't always be said of Christie's work.) She has also been accused of hiding pertinent info from readers until the end, to keep them from solving the mystery. While there is an exciting 'reveal' at the end of the book, this time she actually makes the reader aware of something it takes everyon ...more
Andy
An odd one - this is a really strong Poirot book if you ignore the fact that Poirot is barely in it (he turns up on page 182, approximately 3/4 of the way through, proceeds to listen to everything that has happened before explaining the solution). He feels like an afterthought, brought in to wrap it all up and bring in some readers.

However, despite that, the actual story and intrigue is excellent. Wartime espionage, secret identities, a middle eastern revolution, a quaint English girls boarding
...more
Lindley Walter-smith
This book really makes me wish Christie wrote school stories as well as mysteries and thrillers. Really enjoyable thriller/murder mystery set in a boarding school, with intrepid young ladies and an awe-inspiring headmistress mixed up with international intrigue. Poirot comes in right at the end, grandfatherly and kind, to save the day. The best part, though, is the boarding school setting, the students and the teachers.
Sarah ( Paris )
حِينَ تَقرأُ لأغاثا كريستي
للمرَةِ الأولى ..
تنْبَهِر ...

وإذا كانت هذه هي الروايَة الأولى التي تقرؤها لها ..تنبهر أكثر ..


Marleen
The story starts in the Middle Eastern Sheikhdom of Ramat which finds itself on the cups of a revolution. The young Sheikh knows his life is in danger and asks his friend, a British pilot, to find a way of smuggling a small fortune in jewels out of the country. The pilot’s sister happens to be in Ramat with her young daughter, Jennifer, and he hides the jewels in their luggage without having a chance of telling them and while being secretly watched.
Next the story switches to Meadowbank, a posh a
...more
PSmith
the story is set in an exclusive residential school catering to the creme de la creme. There is a hidden cache of precious jewels, coup in a middle eastern country, mixing up of teachers and students of varying nationalities and personalities in a residential school in a remote English island. Three murders serially and sequentially - all involving the female teachers of the school, espionage, assumed identities - you name it, the book has it. I love boarding school stories and I enjoyed this on ...more
Lara
This one was a bit odd, as I forgot I was reading a Poirot mystery until he was introduced nearly 3/4 of the way into it!

I enjoyed the setting at the girls' school, it was very well written and was the cause of my forgetting all about good old Hercule. I felt it provided an interesting backdrop for the murders and intrigue. I enjoyed the way she set it up this time, although it was a bit confusing to me at first.

This time Christie gives some pretty obvious clues, at least as to where the jewels
...more
Silvia
Ho un debole per i romanzi ambientati nei collegi, e se poi sono anche gialli meglio ancora! La cosa che ho più apprezzato, però, è che Poirot entra in scena solo nella seconda metà del libro - anche se ammiro il lavoro delle sue "celluline grigie", non mi è particolarmente simpatico.
Shouvik
It's more of a thriller than a classic detective mystery although a mystery shrouding is amply present. Poirot is introduced much later in this book but honestly while reading it,I seemed to have forgotten it to be a Poirot novel,probably one of the few Poirot novels which appeal even Poirot plays a little role and much of his crime solving psychology isn't revealed explicitly. And that seems to be the greater success,to write a Poirot novel but to create that sense of attraction and thrill that ...more
Library-KAT

A Crown Prince who has brought Democracy to his country & his pilot (a chum from school days) are forced to flee the country.... Their plane is found downed in the mountains and a thorough search is made for the sparkling "insurance"..... but the pilot was seen hiding them in order to get them out of the country lest they fall into the wrong hands.......

At an elite girls school in England the term has just begun and there is a new sports mistress, French mistress, school secretary, & gar
...more
Shelby Lee
I've spent the last couple of weeks singing Agatha Christie's praises, and I don't want you to think I'm a hypocrite or anything, because even though I'm going to be a little more critical this time around, this is still a good book. That's one of the many things I like about reading Christie, even when one of her books isn't my favorite, it's still good.

My cover is the absolute worst. I mean, really? I see this and am mentally prepared for some haunted house shenanigans, not the spy thriller st
...more
Diego
This is a very generic murder-case story, with a great setting (a private girl-only school), some interesting characters, but in the end a decent but disappointing story.

(view spoiler)
...more
Kathy
Our book club is checking up on Hercule Poirot. Each member is reading a different Poirot story and we'll discuss all next week.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. How could you not?? But Hercule does not appear until two thirds through the book which is different.
Meadowbank is an exclusive girls' school in England and the school year is just starting. On the surface all seems well but murder and intrigue are not far away. It's all ties up with a bag of jewels smuggled out of a Mid Eastern country
...more
Sapna Sricharan
I finished reading this book two days ago. I read it in a little more than a day, ignoring any and all chores that I could, just so I could keep reading...I love it when a book grips me that much.

I have read this book before, but the last time I read it, I was 16...that was 21 years ago. I remember it as a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I did wonder if I would like it as much this time around.

I did. I thought the resolution was a bit implausible...not the solution to the mystery, but the ma
...more
Michael A
Unlike the last couple of Poirot novels I've read, this one is fine -- it deserves a solid 3-stars.

The last few books have been touch and go at best. That is, she often starts with some half-developed ideas and doesn't flesh them out like she used to do in her better books. Instead, those books use unfair tricks to get her out of a jam (Dead Man's Folly), aren't coherent in most details (Hickory Dickory), or have too much self-pity through the self-reference (Mrs. McGinty's Dead).

So I'm happy t
...more
Val
Some of Christie's later books seem a bit mechanical, but I thought she was having some fun with this one and I enjoyed it.
It starts with a bit of 'ripping yarn', veers off into a school story, then Poirot turns up towards the end and immediately solves the case.
The school story is good and fairly typical of those around at the time, with the resourceful girl, her nice but slightly dim friend, the mysterious foreign girl, a staff room of briefly but perfectly drawn teachers and don't let us fo
...more
Aries

"Macabro quiz è la ventottesima avventura di Hercule Poirot e si colloca a metà strada tra la detective story e il romanzo di spionaggio internazionale. Il celebre investigatore belga compare nel romanzo piuttosto tardi quando sarà interpellato da una cliente in erba, una giovane studentessa del Collegio di Meadowbank, perchè risolva il problema dell'inafferrabile assassinio che ha messo in subbuglio la tranquillità della scuola con una serie di misteriosi delitti. Romanzo che risente del tardo

...more
Shannon
Classic Agatha Christie. Loved it. Less about the mystery then the charming glimpse she gives us into a corner of British life, and the insightful way in which she draws us into the lives and thoughts of her characters. Miss Bulstrode, Meadowbank School for Girls' headmistress, has made it to my list of favorite female characters, for her level-head, strength, and determination which invoke the respect of those surrounding her in the story and similarly in the reader.
Great read.
Annchen
Dieser als ausgewiesene Hercule-Poirot-Roman sollte nur bedingt als solcher bezeichnet werden, da der belgische Meisterdetektiv erst auf der 150. Seite erstmals in Erscheinung tritt. Es scheint mir außergewöhnlich, dass die kriminalistische Handlung bereits in vollen Zügen geschieht und es eine Jugendliche ist, die sich schließlich an Poirot wendet. Doch darin lag für mich der besondere Reiz dieses Christie-Krimis. Der späte Zeitpunkt und die Umstände seines Eingreifens sind perfekt gewählt. Der ...more
Ryan
This is likely one of my favorite Agatha Christie Poirot stories. Poirot appears late in the tale and is all the good things about Poirot (which is probably to really say, not the irritating things). I love that the hero is really a young girl who pays to random bits of information. I also like the higher level theory of education presented by Miss Bultstrode - that a school should have some traditions, should have a vision, but should be about the present, the students now. That isn't an easy b ...more
Matteo Pellegrini

Il romanzo comincia con un flashback ambientato tre mesi prima della storia a Ramat, un paese molto ricco del Medio-oriente, in cui sta per scoppiare una rivoluzione. Il principe Ali Yusuf dà al suo pilota e intimo amico Bob Rawlinson una piccola fortuna composta da molti gioielli, che devono uscire dal paese, perché si fida solo di lui per effettuare questo compito. Rawlinson apparentemente nasconde i gioielli nella valigia di sua sorella, Joan Sutcliffe, che è andata a trovarlo con sua figlia

...more
Dolly
Jun 28, 2008 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie fans
Shelves: mystery, 2008, english, death
A wonderfully enticing mystery from Agatha Christie - I adore her stories and have read them since I was a teen. The charming settings, the duplicitous characters, the plot twists, the clever solutions...I love it all. They are quick reads and a welcome diversion.
Lou
Agatha Christie surprised me with his story so enjoyable. The story was very entertaining but at times I felt a little lost with so many names, but I liked that it was Julia who reveals the mystery.
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Agatha Christie L...: December 2015 - Cat Among the Pigeons 1 5 Aug 15, 2014 08:29PM  
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
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More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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“Everybody always knows something," said Adam, "even if it's something they don't know they know.” 99 likes
“No sign, so far, of anything sinister—but I live in hope.” 18 likes
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