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Cat Among the Pigeons

(Hercule Poirot #34)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  31,544 ratings  ·  1,496 reviews
Unpleasant things are going on in an exclusive school for girls – things like murder… Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress – shot through the heart from point blank range. The school is thr ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by Berkley (first published November 2nd 1959)
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Greg Shalini, that's a great question! It's sort of an unwritten 'rule' of fiction novels, as well as in films, that one is allowed ONE coincidence. Maybe …moreShalini, that's a great question! It's sort of an unwritten 'rule' of fiction novels, as well as in films, that one is allowed ONE coincidence. Maybe because in life we have those deja-vu (SP?) experiences on occasion when traveling, etc.? So, the coincidence of characters in Ramat is sort of okay. IF ALL characters also appeared at the school, then that'd be beyond belief. And, if I may add, this isn't one of Christie's classics.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Cat Among the Pigeons (Hercule Poirot #34), Agatha Christie

Cat Among the Pigeons is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published on 2 November 1959. It features Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who makes a very late appearance in the final third of the novel.

A revolution takes place within Ramat, a fictional kingdom in the Middle East. Before their deaths, Prince Ali Yusuf entrusts his pilot, Bob Rawlinson, to smuggle a fortune in jewels out of the country. Thes
I am now into the last few months of my third year of monthly reads of all the Hercule Poirot novels and short stories, organised by Jessica from the Reading the Detectives Group. This has been an enjoyable romp through the counties of England and also Europe and the Middle East.

I have to admit there is a slight coincidence as I write my review of this novel. My wife and I have for the last 4 weeks been watching all of the David Suchet Poirot DVDs, in fact we still have around 8 episodes to go.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
"The thing people don't seem to want anywhere anyone who's got a bit of ordinary common sense...but I often think that that's the only thing the world really needs-just a bit of common sense."

A revolution in one of the Middle East countries let to the death of its ruler which lead to his jewels missing which led to everybody and their sister hunting for them which led to some dead bodies appearing in the premier school for girls in Great Britain
Girl School
which led to Poirot taking matters i
Murder at Meadowbank

Meadowbank is a posh, elite girl's school in England, known for its outstanding students, its lovely grounds, and fine teachers, but not for violent death. This is exactly what brings Poirot onto the grounds. It begins with a bit of international intrigue and mayhem in a fictional middle eastern country. Its young, progressive ruler is assassinated, but he got a fortune in precious gems out of the country before his demise. Now, everyone is looking for the jewels.

Simona B

“Everybody always knows something," said Adam, "even if it's something they don't know they know.”

Of course, there is a crime (actually, more than one -yay) but there is also espionage and international conspiracies and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Cat Among Pigeons definitely is a quite peculiar adventure for Poirot, but nonetheless our Belgian detective solves it as brilliantly as ever.
Besides, I simply adored the epilogue. So cute and poignant.
3 stars for this slow moving triple homicide mystery which I didn't like as much as others. When I first began this challenge a fellow Goodreads member, paulie, predicted that I would probably solve a case by August! But I was bowled over that I actually had both of the suspects figured out early on the book. Strangely neither of the feline occupants of my couch much cared for my excitement. That's why I feel myself only giving it a 3 star review because A.C. made it too easy and took too long ...more
Dave Schaafsma
“No sign, so far, of anything sinister—but I live in hope”—Adam, in Christie

Christie’s Poirot #34, just a few more to go. After a couple of books where (the rich) Christie seems to defer to the poor and minorities in ways not typical for her, she returns for her story to a fairly typical setting, a stunning place filled with, hey, rich people! (After reading all these in the gutter noir novels by Cain and Thompson, it is quite a contrast, let me tell ya!). This time it’s Meadowbank, one of the m
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the first Agatha Christie I have tried and I highly enjoyed the dialogue between the characters. She really knows how to make people real. The murder mystery was equally complicated. She has great storytelling skills.

Now the whole shabang! While the mystery was complicated the storyline itself was just okay. The killer was obvious if you pay close attention to the clues. Hercule Poirot shows up for a brief 15 minutes and solves it! He is freaking talented. Other than his appearance here
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining Agatha Christie!

This one, although labelled a Poirot case, only features our favourite Belgian sleuth at the end of the story, taking on the mantle of the 'deus ex machina' to sort it all.

Instead we get a novel that goes from the exoticism of a tale of international conspiracies to the banality of a private girls’ school in England. The author plays with different strands, focusing on a variety of characters, all with a good dose of humour. I personally rather enjoyed seein
Kerrin P
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cat Among The Pigeons is Hercule Poirot novel #32. What was odd to me was that Poirot didn't show up until the last third of the novel. He wasn't a prominent figure except, of course, he figured out whodunnit.

The novel starts at the beginning of the summer term when the students are returning to the prestigious Meadowbank girls school. The next chapter takes the reader to two months earlier when there is a coup in the fictional kingdom of Ramat. The Amir trusted his valuable jewels to his pilot
Richard Derus
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Real Rating: 3.5* of five

I borrowed this from my local library via Overdrive. It's wonderful how easy that is...if you ask a librarian for help and don't try to follow the written instructions which aren't ever for your device or version.

Meadowbank School is so very progressive and forward-thinking that its fame has reached Ramat, a sheikdom somewhere near Aden. The Princess Shaista, heiress presumptive to the throne, is deemed well-served to go there for her education to be completed. It is dee
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Sophie Hannah
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved all the detail about the school in this novel, which is why I gave it four stars. The plot is not one of Agatha's best, though it's not bad. But, as in Hickory Dickory Dock, Poirot presents much of the solution without telling us how he came to work it out, and Agatha novels work best when we are able to follow the workings of Poirot's mind more closely. However, all the school stuff makes this novel enjoyable and atmospheric. ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going to try to fit another non-fiction title into this month, but instead I read this delightfully catty Poirot novel and ate two chocolate bars.

A bit light on Poirot himself (he rolls in about 3/4 of the way through), and heavy on international intrigue. Fans of the classic suspects-in-the-parlor might not vibe with this one quite as much.
The book is labeled as a Hercule Poirot story but our favorite detective does not make an appearance until more than two thirds of the way into the story. It is not a bad story but it is far from Agatha Christie's best. A revolution in a Middle Eastern country, a fortune in jewels, and a prestigious English girls school are the ties that bind.

Revolution is about to happen in Ramat and Prince Ali Yusef prepares to flee with the help of his friend and pilot, Bob Rawlinson. Before they leave the Sh
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was entertained by this novel with touches of espionage along with lots of murder. I was amused when Poirot sails in only near the end of the story and tells everyone what’s been going on at a respected girls’ school where everyone seems to be after a bunch of jewels. Thank goodness one of the schoolgirls, Julia, is smart, observant and sensible enough to figure enough out of what’s going on to engage Poirot.
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-mystery
This is one of the weak installments of the Poirot series if one can say that it is one of the series, for Poirot appears when nearly two-thirds of the story is gone. The consultant detective makes a sort of a guest appearance to clear up the mystery behind the murders and the kidnapping. It was way too fantastic!

The story is of course based on a combination of good premises - revolution, espionage, and the mystery of the disappeared jewelry. Although they in themselves sounds interesting when c
A perfect summertime book! I'm not sure why espionage and murder are so suitable for the season, but they most certainly are.

One hardly expects international intrigue to centre on an English girl's school, which is one of the draws of this book. Christie does what she does so well—she finds a small enclosed community within the larger society and situates the murders there. A school where everyone is relatively well known, just like the small villages that she also likes to use.

Christie is also
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
The main problem with the Hercule Poirot novel, CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS – and I know this is not a criticism that Dame Agatha Christie would have welcomed at all – is that there just isn’t enough Hercule Poirot in it. It’s probably more than three quarters of the way through before the great Belgian detective shows up, but once he does it’s like the elixir of life has been injected intravenously into the page. He’s such a wonderful character that he immediately invigorates the whole book. And a st ...more
Jason Koivu
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery, fiction
Poirot fans will be disappointed that the diminutive Belgian does not come into this one until very late in this story about murders and mayhem at a prestigious all-girls school. This is not a bad A.C. as things go though. Nice set up and an interest international plot. However, I'd just read Dorothy Sayers Gaudy Night and it handles the almost exact same scenario with more finesse. ...more
Kaethe Douglas
When this was published Christie had already been a best-selling author for more than three decades. She's got it down. Certainly she has fun with the format. Hercule Poirot doesn't appear, isn't even mentioned, until the final act. The girl's school setting is fun: it gives her rein to use all the stereotypes and to demolish them.

This particular book was on Natasha's shelf, which is why I didn't get to it during my Christie run. Saturday night she comes to tell me goodnight and to ask if I know
Another well written, finely crafted classic. Agatha Christie’s books are so timeless. This could have been written 60 days ago, but it was actually written 60 years ago!

Poirot doesn’t actually appear until about 60% of the way in - which was fine by me as for some reason I thought this was a stand-alone. Not sure how, but I failed to notice / realise that this was actually a Poirot, so his appearance was a pleasant surprise.
Dr. Laurel Young
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Bruce Beckham
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I love the historical and social insight that comes ‘as standard’ with an Agatha Christie – presented, of course, through the prism of the author’s own life experience and privileged background. This novel was published in 1959 – the war and rationing had been left behind, a new world order was emerging, and the Middle East was beginning to flex its muscles.

That said – there were certain idiosyncrasies that left me a little bamboozled.

In particular, this is billed as a Poirot mystery. But the gr
Vikas Singh
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
I many ways this book is a let down. The plot is weak and there are just too many coincidences. The story to an extent is based on the schooling pattern popular amongst the elite during Christie's time. Halfway through the novel, i started losing interest and it was only the drive to finish it, that i ended up reading the last page. Quite a bore ...more
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so in the mood for this. Murder at a posh all girls boarding school. Lucky that I found a copy in the library of my hotel for a beach read.
Christine PNW
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I think I like this mostly one because Harriet Walter played Miss Bulstrode in the adaptation.
1960 - 2nd Reading - I'm reading Christie's Hercule Poirot novels in reverse order of publication: this is book six. Originally, in 2016, I rated this 2 stars and felt this was on the weak side. How does this hold up 4 years later? (See Original Review Below)
CAST - 2 stars: Miss Honoria Bulstrade is the Headmistress of Meadowbank school, a school for girls that is considered one of the best in England. Bulstrade started the school with Miss Chadwick, and everyon
Susan in NC
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this - it’s been years since I read it, but I remember seeing the David Suchet version on Masterpiece Mystery. I had forgotten the Middle Eastern revolution angle at the beginning, then the switch to an English girl’s school. It’s definitely different from Christie’s usual country house setting!

A lot going on at this very posh school - murder, intrigue, and of course, the aforementioned international intrigue angle. There are some interesting characters, especially headmistress Miss Bu
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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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t

Other books in the series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 47 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: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

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