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The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle #1)
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The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  6,790 ratings  ·  337 reviews
A bit of adventure and quick cash is all that good-natured drifter Anthony Cade is looking for when he accepts a messenger job from an old friend. It sounds so simple: deliver the provocative memoirs of a recently deceased European count to a London publisher. But the parcel holds more than scandalous royal secrets. It contains a stash of letters that suggest blackmail --
Paperback, 400 pages
Published 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. (first published June 1925)
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And Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha ChristieDeath on the Nile by Agatha ChristieThe A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie
Best Agatha Christie Book
32nd out of 93 books — 692 voters
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The Best British Crime/Mystery Fiction
73rd out of 791 books — 829 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was really surprised to see that this review has an average rating of almost 4 stars.

I like most Agatha Christie books but when Christie deviates from her standard mysteries into political and international intrigue-type stories she doesn't do it well (see also "They Came to Baghdad" which I actually thought was better than this). The characters are fake and the conspiracies and coincidences are way too fantastic to be believed. At multiple points I considered putting the book down and not fi
Ana T.
The Secret of Chimneys is my final entry for the Cozy Mystery Challenge and I’m glad I ended with it because the whole story is just so cosy and a perfect example of the genre. It has a grand ancestral house with secret passages, mysterious deaths, famous thieves, compromising documents, disguised identities and fun characters. I really enjoyed it!

Somewhere in Africa, in the 1920s (the book was published in 1925) two friends meet and have a strange conversation about stolen love letters and the
One of my favorite Christies ever. Anthony and Virginia alike are the type of people I wish I were friends with in real life; Bundle and Lord Catterham are adorable (so adorable that I'm glad we got to see more of them in the Seven Dials Mystery, along with Bill and Codders); Superintendent Battle is, as always, superb. The mystery itself gets a shade confusing in spots, and Anthony himself admits that much of his involvement in the matter comes about by amazing coincidence, but what does that m ...more
Sarah ( Paris )
رواية غريبة..
لم تعجبني كثيرا..
لم يكن أنطوني كيد يعلم أنه سيتورط بسبب مهمة تصورها تافهة وقام بها من أجل صديق ستجعله محور مؤامرة دولية خطيرة..
في هذه الرواية ملوك وملكات ووزاراء وقناصل..
وأصحاب ألقاب ..ابتزاز وكثير من الأسرار وبالطبع جرائم قتل ..
جو غريب بالنسبة لرواية من تأليف أغاثا ..
لم يعجبني هذا الخليط .
ما أحبه في روايات أغاثا دائما ..
كم هي حقيقية ..
كم هي ممكنة ..
كم هي بسيطة ومعقدة في ذات الوقت ..
تدخل للنفوس وتظهر أسوأ مافيها ..

الحبكة جيدة رغم بعض الغموض في الصفحات الأخيرة ..
From IMDb:
An attempt to bring a famed stately home back to its former glory is marred when a visiting Austrian diplomat is shot to death decades after the disappearance of a priceless diamond.

A movie was made based on this book and it's available at YouTube, with Julia McKenzie, Ian Weichardt, Laura O'Toole.

When good-natured adventurer Anthony Cade accepts two commissions from his friend Jimmy McGrath, he little realizes that the simple delivery jobs will throw him into a web of international intrigue and danger. His first task is to deliver the recently deceased Herzoslovakian Count Stylpitch's memoirs to his London publisher - a manuscript whose secrets warring political factions will do anything to prevent being published. Anthony's second task is to return a package of indiscreet love letters t ...more
Agatha Christie, one of the greatest mystery writers of all time - some would say the greatest - was one author whose works I found too creepy to read when I was a kid. (I have to blame this on my sis; she used to feed me Christie's stories when we were alone in our room at night with the lights turned off etc - and when images of dead bodies and children being murdered while bobbing for apples can be quite traumatising and scar one for life:D)

Anyway, when my interest in Agatha Christie was reki
Nancy Oakes
The Secret of Chimneys is the first Christie novel to feature Superintendent Battle, who will, over the course of his career, be the featured detective in two more mysteries, The Seven Dials Mystery and Toward Zero. Battle, however, takes second place to one Anthony Cade, who, when we first meet him, works as a tour guide in Africa. At a bar one day Cade meets an old buddy, James McGrath, who has been tasked with the delivery of the memoirs of the now-dead Count Stylptitch of Herzoslovakia to a ...more
Sarah Sammis
The Secret of Chimneys: 05/06/05
The political upheavals of WWI seemed to have inspired a great many popular fiction books in the years before WWII started to gear up. Many of these books take a rather humorous and satirical approach to the machinations of one country to control the flow of events of another country. The Secret of Chimneys is Agatha Christie's contribution to this "genre."

Ignoring the romantic ending, The Secret of Chimneys is a political satire that pokes fun at the British Em
Julie Davis
I remember most of this, as it turns out, but I'm a sucker for Christie's stand-alone "adventurer" tales. Yes, I know this is called a Superintendent Battle novel and I'm also a sucker for him, as it turns out. However, this is Anthony Cade's tale and, as such, is a "young adventurer" story.

I'm listening to an Audible offering because Hugh Frasier recorded a lot of the Agatha Christie novels and they strike me as something that would be good fun to listen to. He does a very good job, aside from
"O cenário para este crime foi sendo construído aos poucos de forma bastante sólida (como já vem sendo costume), porém (e como elemento diferenciador) existiu uma forte componente política no centro da questão. Mais uma vez reitero que questões políticas são um turn-off para mim, porém o crime foi construído de forma tão sublime e a explicação foi tão credível que acabou por compensar esse aspecto que (para mim) é negativo."

Nov 17, 2013 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: fiction, mystery
A great Agatha Christie novel. Not as good as Poirot. This is also about a 'hot' man and a spunky girl and lots of excitement, spying, danger, and shady characters. No one is who they appear to be. Very cute and clever.
BOTTOM LINE: An extremely high-ranking Balkan politician writes a tell-all book to be published when he dies, which he has, recently. It comes to young Anthony to keep this manuscript safe and to deliver it to the publishers at an agreed-upon date, not before, not later. Of course there are many folks out to stop the printing of this outrageously true history of a dark time in an old country. With that as McGuffin, rich'n'exotic characters using false names and with many motives, a huge old hous ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luffy Monkey D.
Unlike other books, I reacted more strangely than usual in two ways. First, I checked previous reviews here. I had to because there was no guessing how received and how viewed this book was. Secondly, I had personal feelings in the matter of the hero. I almost never feel annoyance or jealousy at a Mary Sue, but here I thought of poor Bill and how he never had a chance. The fact that Agatha Christie tried to give even him a happy ending - that came out wrong - is slightly annoying. The story tri ...more
Timo Ivanov
Allegedly one of Agatha Christie's favorite books, it's not one of mine. I'm a big Christie fan, but this book starts out with a completely senseless and impossible beginning (one friend asking another to take a packet of letters and a manuscript from South Africa to England). After some relatively meaningless "action" in London (in which the main character acts impossibly stupid), the silliest murder in the Christie oeuvre occurs.

It's meant to get someone delayed, so they don't visit the great
I definitely enjoyed The Secret of Chimneys. I picked this one up because I accidentally read The Seven Dials Mystery first. When I learned that Seven Dials Mystery starred so many characters first introduced in The Secret of Chimneys, I knew I would have to read this one right away!!! If I loved Seven Dials so, so, much, I knew I would probably love this one too. And I did enjoy it. And I definitely loved the characters, I probably would have loved them anyway even if I hadn't already known the ...more
May 14, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie fans
The next book in my effort to read through Dame Agatha's collected works, I found this book to be a bit contrived, with too many coincidences and a bit too predictable. Perhaps I need to take a break from her books? In any case, it was still a decent quick read and an interesting tale. I liked the story and loved the characters, but the book was not my favorite. I should have read this one before reading The Seven Dials Mystery, but I read them close enough together to get some continuity from t ...more
Reading in chronological order, this is the first of Christie's novels that I really enjoyed, even though it's another of the thriller/spy type. I think I liked it more both because Christie is clearly having fun, and because the Ruritanian-inspired style adventure doesn't annoy me the way her anti-working class stuff does. I particularly liked the way that Christie contrasts gentleman adventurer Anthony Cade & reliable, methodical Superintendent Battle; it's nice seeing both the action appr ...more
Bunga Mawar
Sudah lama cari buku ini, akhirnya baru dapat kemarin. Harusnya buku ini dibaca duluan daripada Misteri Tujuh Lonceng, ya karena kejadian di buku ini lebih dulu empat tahun berlangsungnya.

Di buku ini kita sudah diperkenalkan dengan Bundle Brent dan Bill Eversleigh, walau mereka belum jadi jagoan. Meski cerita cukup seru dgn intrik kekisruhan mencari penerus tahta monarki (di negara fiktif Herzoslovakia), adanya Anthony Cade yg keren, plus pencarian permata kerajaan yang hilang, bagi , saya buku
Sharmila Ravishanker
I don't know why but it took me a looong time to finish reading this book. I guess it was quite confusing at times for me. Overall it was a really good book. I love Agatha Christie's mysteries and this was seriously full of twist and turns. Would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about crime mysteries.
Ritwik Pande
My first Agatha Christie book.Maybe I am exhilarated at the moment after finishing the book and gave it a four but personally there are a lot of things that bothered me a trifle such as the repeated references to Sherlock Holmes and some racial slurs. The reason might be the mindset of the people during her(Agatha Christie's)days.
As expected from her,the twists and the turns in the last 50 pages or so kept me gripping. Her writing style is concise with a plot consisting of interesting characte
Jon Frum
Another 'couldn't finish it' book for me. As I see that other reviewers have said, I'm a big Christie fan, but this one is a stinker. A. C. was a great writer, when she stayed within her own domain. When she tried to write these more adventure-tinged books, her weaknesses come out in spades. As I read the first few pages of this book, something started buzzing in my ear. Then I figured it out. The protagonist in this book is the same as in some of Christie's short stories - a young man, somewhat ...more
Agatha Christie nous offre dans ce roman une galerie de personnages hétéroclites et réjouissants. Tout débute par des mémoires à livrer chez un éditeur londonien. Mr Anthony Cade se fait embaucher par un ami pour les livrer. Tout se complique quand Anthony reçoit plusieurs visites plus ou moins violentes pour récupérer ces mémoires. Il va rencontrer pendant ce périple bon nombre de personnes, du comte qui aimerait un peu plus de respect pour sa tranquilité, à une jeune veuve très séduisante en p ...more
I liked the story, I liked the characters.... Really liked Lord Caterham, his daughter Bundle, & Inspector Battle. In fact I like Inspector Battell much better than M. Poirot & Miss Marple combines. He's intelligent, quiet (not boastful or misleading), and he has a sense of humor.

There are three stories here: a jewel thief just out of French prison looking for the original Koh I-noor diamond that is said to be hidden 2 the Chimneys; the infamous manuscript of a well known count that is o
Agatha Christie's "The Secret of Chimneys" is one of her earlier works (published in 1925) and is the first in her "Superintendent Battle" series. It's a fun romp of a book, but I hesitate to actually call it a mystery. There are mysterious things happening, but the sleuthing aspect of the book is really underdone. I'd really call it an Adventure book. Also, the characters are not exactly deep. Probably my biggest quibble with the book is that Superintendent Battle (the namesake of the series) i ...more
Really 2.5, but I'll round up for the Dame. This fits somewhere between Christie's thrillers (reputed not to be very good, though I have no personal experience yet) and her typical whodunnits. There's a murder or two, but the typical chasing down of clues and careful interrogations never really happens. Instead, there's a larger focus on characters, drama, romance, and twists. To the book's credit, by 60 pages in, I was pretty hooked, though I found myself expecting the more conventional Christi ...more
I really enjoyed this Christie mystery. It has everything in it: mysterious characters, anarchist groups, struggles over who will rule a small Balkan country, British national interests, murder, stolen gem that has been missing for several years, a variety of interesting characters, romance, humor and all kinds of plot twists and turns.
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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
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Superintendent Battle (5 books)
  • The Seven Dials Mystery (Superintendent Battle #2)
  • Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15)
  • Murder Is Easy  (Superintendent Battle #4)
  • Towards Zero (Superintendent Battle #5)
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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