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The Golden Ball and Other Stories

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,133 Ratings  ·  100 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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Jennifer Girardin
Nov 09, 2015 Jennifer Girardin rated it really liked it
The Golden Ball and Other Short Stories by Agatha Christie is fun and light reading for the Christie fan.
Great if you're short on time, or want something quick to read, these stories are lighter than her longer works, and have less character development, but are good, traditional mysteries.
I particularly enjoyed A Fruitful Sunday, and The Listerdale Mystery.
Laurel Young
Feb 04, 2011 Laurel Young rated it liked it
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
Janet Anderson
May 28, 2015 Janet Anderson rated it liked it
I haven't read short stories since I don't remember when. All these stories were by the same author. Some I really liked, some I could take or leave but they were well written. Different, found myself just getting into the story and characters and it was done. Overall, good.
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
Oct 23, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
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.
Oct 26, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: slmta
Very different than other stories by Agatha Christie.
I enjoyed the lighter side and the unexpected endings.
Fifteen stories deal with a mysterious benefactor, a young woman in hiding, switched cars, an unusual job listing, a secret test for suitors, and a stolen emerald.
Apr 09, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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.
Sarah Eagle
Jan 26, 2016 Sarah Eagle rated it really liked it
I've read a lot of Agatha Christie novels, and I've even read another one of her short story collections, and I have to say I liked this one much better. I'm not sure what it is exactly, since these stories have absolutely nothing to do with Mrs. Marple or Hercule Poirot. In fact, only half of the stories have anything to do with crime at all, and the other half has entirely to do with the supernatural...strangely enough. By the juxtaposition of the two styles, you'd hardly believe it was writte ...more
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
Astrid Lim
I like the first half part of the book (in Indonesian translation, most of them are taken from the Listerdale Mystery) - they're hilarious, full of great sense of humor, witty and surprising, they remind me of delightful stories by Roald Dahl. But the second half of the book is too full of supernatural stories (taken from The Hound of Death), and I don't enjoy them as much as the first half part of the book. I wish Christie wrote more hilarious stories. She really had great sense of humor!
Most single-author short story mystery collections are full of similar stories. This one isn't.

The first set of stories have some similar themes - young celebrity women in disguise, stolen jewels, plenty of misdirection. Still the stories have a nice variety to them. They're also about human nature, temptation and self-concept as much as crime and detection. Plus they are non-violent, romantic, and fun. I would give them 4 stars.

The second group are all ghost stories in one form or another, whi
Jan 13, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-england
Uneven but interesting. It is probably only a 3 star book, but have to give Dame Agatha the benefit of the doubt.
Elvis Rodrigues
Jan 14, 2016 Elvis Rodrigues rated it liked it
Esta é mais uma das coletâneas de contos da Dama do Crime, reunindo 15 histórias sem seus principais detetives. O foco da seleção é em tramas com pitadas sobrenaturais ou de terror, ou ainda em tramas misteriosas, mas sem envolver especificamente um assassinato. Eu já havia lido 13 das 15, de forma que relembrei seu conteúdo e li os dois contos restantes.

Gostei particularmente de Next to a Dog, conto sobre a relação de uma jovem mulher com seu cachorro idoso e a luta dela para se sustentar sem p
Oct 01, 2014 Andrea rated it it was ok
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
Mar 26, 2012 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"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
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 prospe
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
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
May 20, 2013 Rhiannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michelle Zapf-bélanger
Jan 03, 2016 Michelle Zapf-bélanger rated it did not like it
All these short stories are terrible. I have read some Agatha Christie mysteries and they are pretty good. But these are her non-mystery stories, and they are boring as hell.

The dialogue is stilted, the characters are silly, and each story leaves you wondering what the point of it all is. I do not recommend this collection of stories.
Gail Morris
Mar 12, 2015 Gail Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several of these short stories were more mystic than mystery, and I realised where Steven King had gotten a few of his ideas from. The hound of death being one of them. Also here is where we find our first James Bond, only he is not a spy. All in all very good reading.
Jan 26, 2016 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always interesting to me when writers flirt with another genre. In these short stories, Agatha Christie tries her hand at romance and the paranormal (still with a feel of mystery) with that deft touch that makes her stories so eminently readable.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 14, 2014 Louise rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, romance
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.
Jun 03, 2015 Sally rated it it was amazing
So good! Definitely worth a read. Not really mysteries a la classic Christie, but some excellent musings on love and life as well as a few good ghost stories .
Shawn Granger
Oct 23, 2014 Shawn Granger rated it it was amazing
Great collection of Christie short stories. A couple that I read in earlier books, but still enjoyable. Some gems in here.
Kristen Jones
Jan 26, 2016 Kristen Jones rated it liked it
I had no idea Agatha Christie wrote romance stories. Not her very best work, but entertaining nonetheless.
Penny Landon
Aug 19, 2013 Penny Landon rated it really liked it
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
Rebecca Clyburn
…didn't quite finish it, as my audiobook expired. It was my introduction to Agatha Christie.
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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 Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
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