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The Golden Ball and Other Stories

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  3,266 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Is it a gesture of good will or a sinister trap that lures Rupert St. Vincent and his family to magnificent estate? How desperate is Joyce Lambert, a destitute young widow whose only recourse is to marry a man she despises? What unexpected circumstance stirs old loyalties in Theodora Darrell, and unfaithful wife about to run away with her lover? In this collection of short ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 18th 2002 by Minotaur Books (first published 1971)
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Laurel Young
The Golden Ball is a collection of early Agatha stories from the 1920s and '30s. It is highly atypical in that there is scarcely a mystery to be found, at least in the strict sense. Instead, we see Christie explore themes of romance, suspense, and the supernatural, sometimes with a flavor of mystery or a crime of passion involved. To be frank, some of the stories are overwrought, with characters of impossible beauty and/or wealth behaving in a melodramatic fashion. Lovers are united or reunited ...more
Abbey
1971, another of the 1970s collections of her early short stories, this has fifteen; eleven of them were first published in magazines in the 1920s, and the only information I can find for the other four is that they appear to have been first published in the short story collection THE HOUND OF DEATH, 1933, (UK only).

Includes [date= when first published]:

1925 12 The Listerdale Mystery apa The Benevolent Butler
— wonderfully sweet little gem of a Cinderella tale, Christie-style, and one of my favo
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Chris
I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, but this collection was very hit or miss for me, mostly miss. Not a real mystery in the bunch although a couple of decent old style thrillers. The rest were IMHO silly romances that relied on ridiculous coincidences or supernatural fantasy tales that didn’t work at all.

Two stories that I enjoyed: Swan Song—an excellent thriller and Magnolia Blossom which in a way reminded me of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
Jennifer
Wow. This was not what I expected from Agatha Christie! Nice mix of stories here- some "mysteries" here but instead of making them a full novel, she cut to the chase and explained them right away. I was surprised to see so much romance and even subjects touching on the occult. Some of the stories were sad but most were filled with hope.
Rebecca
1. The Listerdale Mystery: An impoverished gentlewoman and her grown children fall into good fortune when they rent a lovely London house--complete with butler--for a peppercorn rent. The son, though, is suspicious--it's the house from which Lord Listerdale disappeared.
2. The Girl in the Train: Young George Rowland hides a desperate and attractive young woman from pursuers on a train, and finds himself involved in more adventure than he's ever had in his young life.
3. The Manhood of Edward Robin
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Ravie
Not a great book. Probably i was expecting too much since it was from Agatha Christie. There are love stories, supernatural stuff etc. But no great mysteries in any one of them.
Steve
Uneven but interesting. It is probably only a 3 star book, but have to give Dame Agatha the benefit of the doubt.
Andrea
A collection of early short stories from Ms. Christie, these were not what I was expecting. Overall, the stories are mystical, sort of gothic, with strong romantic themes. Some I found charming but many I found somewhat overwrought and silly, particularly those dealing with ghosts, possession or interacting with the embodiment of death etc. Very few were the sort of traditional mysteries I am more used to from Christie, but some were more entertaining than others. Overall, didn’t care for this c ...more
An Odd1
"The Golden Ball and other stories" by Agatha Christie is 15 stories, most ordinary Britons in suddenly puzzling situations settled to happy ever after HEA engagements, 2 tragedies, 5 horror, all unavoidable destiny. I liked best Listerdale, title Golden Ball, and Rajah's Emerald, for amusing twist endings. All draw us into different settings inhabited by individual personalities. Likening a woman to a grimy tree is not my idea of effective symbolism; the horror seems wishy washy woo-woo.

1 The
...more
Huma
Sep 29, 2013 Huma is currently reading it
Shelves: christie, e-book
This book is a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie.

This review is under construction...thank you for your patience!

SPOILERS Ahead. Consider yourself warned!!


1. The Listerdale Mystery is the first story in this collection. This story is about the St. Vincent family that takes up residence at beautiful house with a miserly rent of only two shillings a week. Also the servants are paid for by the landlord himself. The widowed Mr. St. Vincent is ecstatic because it increases the prospec
...more
Socialbookshelves.com
The Golden Ball and Other Stories is one of Christie's later collections, published in 1971 (five years before her death) - as such, it isn't necessarily her best, but it still makes for a good read with a variety of tales on offer. Fifteen of them to be exact, and they're reasonably diverse in terms of subject matter and pulled from her extensive back catalogue, back from when her writing was fresh and engaging.

Take The Listerdale Mystery, for example - that first appeared as the leading story
...more
Rhiannon
I picked up this book at random from the large collection of Agatha Christie stories at the library. It has been so long since I read any of her mystery stories I didn't mind reading any of them a second time. I quickly realized, however, that this collection contains mostly stories that are unusual for Christie.
The first part of the book features hardly a death and is mostly made up of kitschy love stories -- although, by no means poorly written and enjoyable enough for light reading. Then sto
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Kally Sheng
Ah! but one couldn't cheat Fate... - Pg. 153

Contents
The Listerdale Mystery
The Girl in the Train
The Manhood of Edward Robinson
Jane in Search of a Job
A Fruitful Sunday
The Golden Ball
The Rajah's Emerald
Swan Song
The Hound of Death
The Gipsy
The Lamp
The Strange Case of Sir Andrew Carmichael
The Call of Wings
Magnolia Blossom
Next to a Dog
Louise
I have this one tagged "mystery" in Goodreads, but a lot of these stories were pretty thin mysteries. It's easy to see that these are some of Christie's early works. The plots are thin, the solutions improbable, and frankly, the romances were pretty cheesy. I did like the end of the book where her stories trended more towards the supernatural, and the final story about the dog. Overall, I wouldn't consider this one of her best works but it was entertaining beach reading.
Shawn Granger
Great collection of Christie short stories. A couple that I read in earlier books, but still enjoyable. Some gems in here.
Penny
I picked up this short story book thinking it would be just a collection of mystery stories and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they weren't. Each of these stories seems to be Christie dabbling in different genres with a wonderful result. I genuinely enjoyed the stories that had a supernatural element to them and the wildly hyperbolic romances were hilarious and engaging. The only short story that I think missed the mark was The Hound of Death.

It was great to read Agatha Christie's w
...more
Scilla
I think these stories may have been some of Agatha Christie's earlier stories. They seem to have more romance and mysterious happenings than her later books. In the Lysterdale Mystery, a lady whose finances have gone hill finds an apartment with servants in a nice part of town for nominal rent. Jane in search of a job is asked to stand in for a Princess who might be in danger, and she finds a husband. In the golden ball, the nephew is fired by the uncle and ends up falling in love with a rich wo ...more
Elaine
Jul 28, 2008 Elaine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I'm going to review all Christie's books/stories with one review. She's an awesome author. The reader gets a peek into aristocratic English life of a much earlier time period. The stories are all plot-driven, with sketchy characters, and sometimes contrived clues, but the plots are INTERESTING and keep the reader involved. There's a lot of violence,blood, guts, and evil--off screen/page--but no voyeuristic sex in great detail, thank heaven!! These books are as nice to read as curling up in your ...more
Darcy
I'm having an Agatha Christie extravaganza, re-reading many old favorites: Halloween Party, Labors of Hercules, and Toward Zero. The Golden Ball particularly has some enchanting characters in some of the short stories. The last story in particular has been one that is very memorable for me, and I had forgotten that Christie wrote it. She was a spiritualist, so some of the stories get pretty far-fetched, but I love the first half of the book and the last story. I would recommend them to anybody, ...more
Mazeli Dee
Another Agatha classic.
Kate  K. F.
This is a rather odd collection of Agatha Christie's short stories. Most of the stories aren't mysteries but instead I wonder if and sometimes vaguely supernatural like The Golden Ball. I always enjoy reading these works of Christie's because she's so good at suspense and these tales along with the Mr. Quin stories are a reminder that she can do eerie as well as Poe or Hawthorne. This is a collection I would easily recommend to anyone curious about her but daunted by the various mystery collecti ...more
Melissa
This is an interesting compilation of Agatha Christie's early short stories from the 1920's. There are about 15 stories that range from the simple crime with the happy ending to some bizarre horror stories. I listened to this on my MP3 and enjoyed the narration by Hugh Fraser and Christopher Lee. Each of the stories is around 20 minutes long which was nice because I could listen to a complete story while doing laundry or fixing dinner. Not the greatest stories she's written, but fun to listen to ...more
Megan
Great short stories. NOT mysteries.
Izlinda
Considering the earliest copyright is 1924, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the class-ist and xenophobic, stereotyped attitudes of the characters in the short stories... It grated after a while on my nerves.

I recognize some plots in her other full-length novels or other short stories. Near the end of the book, the later stories were more supernatural in nature than the earlier stories. I think I would have preferred a better mix of the themes/genres in the book.
Elisha Condie
Another dose of Agatha Christie for summer reading. Although these short stories were a little off her normal formula, really. The first half were about mixed up couples working things out (it smacked of Wodehouse) and only the last few had anything you'd expect - a body turning up and somebody figuring out who dunnit.

But I liked it. Each story was about 8 pages long, which worked out perfectly when I didn't feel well enough to concentrate on anything longer.

Peter
Enjoyable short story collection. Most of the stories are sweet confections with a few dark ones, sort of like eating a Whitman's Sampler. These are older tales from the 20s and 30s and a number of the "adventurous" tales are similar, possibly collected from magazines of the past. The more atmospheric tales can be at times surprisingly emotional. (The one about the dog really got to me! ha!!) Overall, recommended, but not really classic Christie.
Janette Brown
It was an offer the St. Vincents could not refuse--a splendid mansion, complete with servants, with nothing asked in return! But where was the host? Why was the mysterious butler as tight-lipped and enigmatic as the Sphinx? Most of the family, basking in elegance, is content to ask no questions, but young Rupert St. Vincent suspects a sinister trap, and will not rest until he has unmasked the mastermind behind it all.
Dad
OK, but I like her murder mysteries much better.
Senator
Oh Agatha, I still love you! Fun, swift short stories to entertain.
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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
More about Agatha Christie...
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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