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The Body Under the Piano

(Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen #1)

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A smart and charming middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, inspired by the imagined life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot. For fans of Lemony Snicket and The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency.

Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Tundra Books (NY) (first published 2020)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Alisa
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was obsessed with Agatha Christie when I was a kid. I have read everything she's ever written, but my favorite books of hers will always be the ones that have Hercule Poirot in them. So when I read the synopsis of The Body Under the Piano I was so excited to read it! A 12 year old girl called Agatha Morton befriends a Belgian refugee boy Hector Perot,and then they find themselves investigating a murder together. I mean,what's not to like? And thankfully I was not disappointed.
It turned out to
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Milou
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this story we follow Aggie (Agatha) Morton, who one morning finds a dead body under the piano of her dance class. Together with her new friend from Belgium, Hector Perot, she tries to solve the case.

First off this is obviously a potential and fictionalized version of Agatha Christie's childhood. And I feel she has been portrayed very well. The writing style may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it. The narrative is interspersed with Aggie's thoughts on how she would describe certain things
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Darla
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Agatha Christie-lite for the younger sleuthing crowd. This first in the series is well done and introduces us to Agatha Morton and her new Belgian friend Hector Perot. The portraits at the beginning of the book set the tone as well a giving us a home base for Who's Who during the course of the novel. The historical period was well-researched and we can envision the many situations Aggie describes as she refuses to leave the investigation to the police alone. We see marked character development ...more
Beth Cato
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley.

I need a time machine so I can go back to 1990 to hand my 10-year-old self this book. Almost-40-year-old me ADORED this novel, and I know my 10-year-old self would love it even more. Why? Because the book is smart, savvy historical fiction with an honest depiction of the era, and a heroine with a morbid bent that reminds me lot of myself--though Aggie is actually inspired by the childhood of the Queen of Mystery Writers
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Isabella
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
- Thanks NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review -

This was my first middle grade mystery. I'm a fan of Agatha Christie so when I read the summary I immediately requested it and I really enjoyed this. It was a well thought out mystery to solve. What I loved the most was that it covered topics such as women's rights, sexism as well as some discrimination against immigrants (mainly from the policeman), Hector Perot who arrived from Belgium. It was great seeing it from Aggie's POV, a
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amanda
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5

I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and was delighted to see this available on Netgalley and geared towards middle grade for those not yet ready to read OG Agatha yet.

Although I had my issues with this book I do think it’s a great stepping stone and has a well thought out mystery for a younger audience to enjoy.

The characters are well developed and the murder is shockingly gruesome which in my book isn’t a bad thing at all lmao. This is a series that I would love to see flourish and become
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Javier
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
People who know me well will know that I will read anything Agatha Christie, either her novels, biographies, stories inspired by her books or fiction stories where she’s the main character, so when I found out about the Aggie Morton Series, and how the main characters were both fictional versions of Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot when they were kids, I jumped at the chance to request an early copy, and I’m so glad I did.

When I saw this was categorized as children’s fiction and middle grade I
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Roben
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical mystery. Set in the seaside town of Torqay, England in 1902, the author introduces us to young Aggie Morton who has a penchant for writing and exploring all things morbid. Imagine her delight when she stumbles upon a dead body sprawled under the piano of Miss Marianne's Dance Studio! She sets out to uncover whodunit with her new friend, a young Belgian refugee by the name of Hector Perot.
If the names sound a bit familiar,
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Mary
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC from Netgalley

This would totally have appealed to my mystery-loving elementary-aged self and 100% appealed to my cozy-British-mystery-loving adult self. Agatha Christie as a child, and a character in a mystery much like those she wrote? With a young Hector Perot (Hercule Poirot) as a friend? Yes, please!
Faith Hough
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body under the Pianohas everything I love in a good mystery: excellent writing, good character development, a satisfying problem to solve, and even a touch of British humor. For me, the fact that it's written for middle grade readers is a plus, as we all know I'm about 12 years old deep inside. What made it extra special is that it's loosely framed around Agatha Christie's own childhood.

As a writer and Agatha Christie fan, I loved the little inside jokes and
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Dawn Michelle
One thing I have learned in my NetGalley experience is, when you get behind and miss the deadline, you can then find an audiobook [typically] that will then help speed up the process and you can review it faster and not be a complete review slacker. With this book, THIS was a very good thing.

I requested this book in hopes that it would be something my 5th grader would like/read. Because I didn't read the blurb all the way through and didn't realize it was set in England, I am not sure this will
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Keri (BooksWithKeri)
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in return for an honest review via Netgalley.

I. ADORED. THIS. BOOK. I love Agatha Christie books, hands down one of my favourite mystery authors, and this story is an amazing emulation.

It follows a twelve-year-old Agatha Morton, entirely inspired by Christie herself. She lives with her mother, grandmother and governess in Torquey; she is dealing with the grief behind her father's death by natural causes, and is wonderfully obsessed with the morbid. The day after a
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Kavanand (Reading for Two)
Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano is a great start to a middle-grade mystery series. It's based on the early life of the real-life mystery queen Agatha Christie.

Agatha (Aggie) Morton is a 12-year-old girl who chafes at the restrictions placed on a young girl in Edwardian England. At her nervous mother's insistence, she still has a nursemaid who accompanies her everywhere. She's still grieving her father's recent death. Her only distraction is a new friendship with a young
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Ms. Yingling
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Netgalley



Aggie lives in the small seaside town of Torquay in 1902. Since her father's recent passing has left the family with fewer funds, she and her mother live with her grandmother. Aggie takes dance at the Mermaid Dance Room, and the girls are preparing for a recital that will gather clothing and supplies for recent immigrants. When the difficult mother of one of the students is found under the piano the next day by Aggie, she starts an investigation with a boy< Hector
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Karen Parisot
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of Agatha Christie, this new novel for middle-grade readers and up is a real treat for mystery lovers. Agatha “Aggie” Morton, aged 12, is a shy young lady, with few friends and an active imagination. One Saturday after dance class she accidentally meets Hector Perot, also 12, newly arrived from Belgium. When Aggie discovers a corpse lying beneath a piano at Miss Marianne’s dance studio, she and Hector join forces to find the killer and save her beloved dance instructor.
From highly
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Annie
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

The Body Under the Piano is the first book in a new series for middle grade readers by Marthe Jocelyn. Due out 4th Feb 2020 from Penguin Random House on their Tundra imprint, it's 334 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

This is such an appealing and well written Agatha Christie homage. Agatha "Aggie" Morton is a precocious 12 year old helping to right the wrongs of her Edwardian world along with her friend, young
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Laura
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Shy Aggie Morton has what her mother calls a "Morbid Predisposition", meaning she hosts full funerals for deceased pets and thinks of horrific scenarios out of the mundane. She is mourning her father's death, her sister leaving home to be with her husband, and sorely needs a friend. Or to be thought of as anything but a small child. It seems the stars align when she meets Belgian immigrant, Hector Perot, in the sweet
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Emilie
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book.
This was a fun, entertaining, well-written middle-grade book about the fictionalized origins of beloved mystery author Agatha Christie, as well as one of her most popular detectives, Hercule Poirot. It follows young Aggie Morton as she discovers a body in the Mermaid Dance Room and sets out to prove her beloved dance teacher innocent of the shocking crime. Along the way she meets young Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and they work together to find the murderer and
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Angela (Kentuckybooklover) Brocato-Skaggs
A delightful read for Agatha Christie fans of all ages. Murder, mayhem, and intrigue lurk around corner of the debut novel in a new series.

Being a huge fan of cozy mysteries I jumped at the chance to read this new novel. I am so glad I did. Although it is a fictionalized version of a young Ms. Christie I was able to imagine this was how she started her career as the Queen of Mystery.

In this novel, Aggie is twelve years old and homeschooled and has plenty of time to use her imagination (a gift
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Cori DeVerse
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

“I am not untidy,” I objected, “I merely surround myself with the plethora of possibilities.”

I loved little Aggie Morton! This was a sweet (and serious in some parts) mystery reminiscent of and Agatha Christie or, in my opinion, Nancy Drew.

Agatha Morton is a smart girl with a head for mysteries and she stumbles upon one early on in the story. We get to meet her friend Hector Perot, a young Belgian boy staying with
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Miranda
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aggie Morton is not your typical girl. She doesn't focus on the vain trifles that many of the other girls her age do. She finds herself in the middle of a murder mastery when she discovers the body of a friend's mother beneath the piano in the local dance studio. With the help of her grandmother Jane and her new friend Hector, she follows the clues and solves the mystery.

As an Agatha Christie lover, I was excited to receive access to this ARC from Netgalley. I loved how Christie's two biggest
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Nessa
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book I couldn't put it down! I didn't know this until I finished it but the character of Aggie Morton was based off of Agatha Christie. Jocelyn did so much research in order to make this story as authentic as possible. I loved the Victorian era setting, it's one of my favourites because I love historical fiction. This book was so full of intrigue and plot twists especially near the end. I figured out who the killer was before Aggie and I was practically screaming at the ...more
Jill Jemmett
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story imagines what Agatha Christie would have been like as a child solving mysteries. Along with her new friend from Belgium, Hector Perot, she investigates a body found under the piano at her dance studio.

This mystery was suspenseful and unpredictable. I couldn’t figure out who was the murderer, so I was surprised at the end. One of the most important clues was saved until right before the end, so there wasn’t any way to figure it out until then, but I was still surprised.

I wish this book
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Kimmy
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks #netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. Now I want to read some Agatha Christie thanks to you #Marthejocelyn

Story located in old England, a murder happened in a small town where our heroine lives. Aggie is a young lady stuck in the middle of the story since she witnessed some mysterious things:
With a new friend she will play detective and try to find the murderer thru the list of suspects! With her while imagination, her taste of the adventure and talent to write and find out
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Jaymie
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
[I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

Fun, twisty mystery for older middle grade readers (10+). I loved the author's note at the end that showed how she tied the character of Aggie to Agatha Christie. Kid's mysteries tend to focus on crimes - theft, kidnapping, etc. - but don't often go as far as murder. This one does, although I didn't find it to be graphic in any way other than the fact that a character is
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Amy Navarre
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you PRHPS Kid's Corner and Tundra Books for this free Advanced Rearder's Copy. The following review contains my honest opinion.
I have been an Agatha Christie fan for years and I feel the author did a great job in making this genre accessible and age appropriate for middle grade children. I have only one lingering question: who exactly is Augustus Fibbley? Similarly to Agatha Christie's novels the mystery is solved within this novel, but a continuity of characters allows for a series and
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Patti Sabik
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
3.5 While I truly enjoyed reading this book, I’m not sure of the intended audience. As a middle school librarian, many of my students are reading Agatha Christie books so I jumped on this book thinking they’d love a peek into an imagined tween sleuth based loosely on Agatha’s own childhood. I’m just not sure they would. I’m afraid those who’d “get it” would rather read an original Christie one those not ready for the classic wouldn’t understand the clever references. This story seems to fall ...more
Megan
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars. A great mystery novel for middle grade readers - sometimes when reading mysteries intended for children as an adult, the storyline can seem a little lame; this story, however, keeps the murder mystery tame without being boring. I especially love that our heroine, Aggie Morton, is a fictionalized version of young Agatha Christie! I will definitely recommend this to a few of my voracious sixth grade readers.
Teresa Grabs
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aggie Morton is a fantastic mystery that pays homage to the great Agatha Christie by imagining what her childhood may have been like if she had been the star of one of her books. Together with her friend, Hector, Aggie must search out the clues and solve the murder. Young mystery lovers will enjoy this book.

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.
Sarah
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aggie Morton is a young sleuth who, partnering with her new friend Hector Perot, attempts to solve the mystery of who murdered her dance teacher's sister-in-law. The mystery is well put together and the clues lead the reader to solve the mystery along with Aggie and Hector. The writing and subject matter feel more suited for older middle grade readers.

I received an advanced reader copy via Net Galley.
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Other books in the series

Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen (2 books)
  • Untitled (Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen, #2)