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The Body Under the Piano

(Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn't got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects gr ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Tundra Books
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  461 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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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
3.5 stars. I've read Agatha Christie's autobiography, which was great, and when I heard of this book, I knew I had to read it. I liked how Marthe Jocelyn wove in actual people and locations from Dame Christie's childhood into this story, and could appreciate the changes the author made to history to accommodate and explain Christie's later classic detective, the mustachioed Hercule Poirot.
The mystery in this story involves the death of a not very well-liked woman, and unearths old, illicit secr
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 t ...more
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
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 a
Varsha Ravi (between.bookends)
I rarely read middle grade novels but this was such a fun excursion from all the serious literary fiction I’ve been reading. Marthe Jocelyn takes a lot of inspiration from the life and works of the mystery queen, Agatha Christie in the characterization and plot of the novel. With middle grade, there’s always the concern the story might be overly simplistic and the writing too dialled down for adult / older readers to enjoy. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case with this. The mystery is genuinely intri ...more
I think this pairs well with V.E. Schwab's City of Ghosts if you read them together over a rainy weekend. I could guess who the killer was pretty much right away, but it wasn't obvious and the twist was still throughly enjoyable. ...more
Ethan M
its a very compelling mystery novel with original charecters, and a really great narrative structure.
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 hers
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

This review and others posted over at my blog.

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

This is a perfectly adequate MG mystery, but the long and short of it for me is that it simply didn’t meet my expectations. In general, it’s pretty easy for me to love any genre of MG. But when it comes to mysteries and the children solving them, my current gold-standard is the Wells and Wong series by Robin Stevens, and almost tied with it, Nancy Springer’s Eno
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
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Twelve-year old Aggie Morton is an aspiring writer in a small coastal England town in 1902. Along with her new friend from Belgium, Hector Perot, she investigates a body found under the piano at her dance studio. This is a good, old-fashioned whodunit in the style of Agatha Christie and the perfect novel to introduce the Mystery Queen to young readers. The story is based on the childhood of the real-life Agatha Christie, and I thought this was a brilliant idea. The author did an excellent job of ...more
Lovely Day
Jan 16, 2021 rated it liked it

A great introduction to an Agatha Christie-esque storyline for middle grade readers. The drawback is that, as with Agatha Christie, we are introduced to a wide cast of characters right off the bat, so it is difficult to get a handle on who’s who until we’ll into the book.

Aggie Morton (about 10ish) discovers her classmate’s mother dead under the piano on the theatre stage. Aggie and her Belgian friend, Hector Poirot team up to discover who the murderer is. And, true to Agatha Christie’ styl
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fun middle school mystery read! Incorporating some of the angst still experienced by middle schoolers today but in another century. Very much enjoyed the background on Agatha Christie at the end, good start to a paper on a an author or historical figure.
3.75 stars rounded up

Twelve-year-old Aggie Morton is a shy, lonely, imaginative child in Torquay, England in 1902. She really misses her Papa who died. He used to give her puzzles and math problems to do for fun. Aggie's mother is still depressed and her older sister is married and on her honeymoon. While Aggie socializes with the other young ladies in town, she isn't really friends with any of them. It's not easy being a young lady of vivid imagination but crippling shyness. Soon she meets Hect
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 Poro
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!
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun read! I loved the way Jocelyn blended elements from Christie’s childhood with allusions to her books. The result is exciting and funny!
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
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 ⭐️

A really cute book about Aggie Morton, a morbid young girl who hopes to grow up to be a writer. When she stumbles across a dead body, she’s determined to investigate the circumstances with her new friend, Hector Perot (a Belgian immigrant).

This book was a lot of fun and I enjoyed how Aggie would try to find dramatic phrasing in her head while encountering various people and circumstances. There were a few circumstances where that felt unlikely (particularly the perilous one toward the en
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a new series by Marthe Jocelyn inspired by prolific crime writer, Agatha Christie. While the story is entirely fictional, details from Christie's childhood are woven into the tale, and fans of the author will recognize homages to her own characters. This may not be the book for everyone, but it's perfect for readers who like the details of historical fiction and the thrills of suspense. Jocelyn approaches her heroine with affection and humor, and readers will keep comin ...more
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, i
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This series is loosely based on Agatha Christie's youth in Torquay. Aggie Morton is a 12 year old with what her mother calls a "Morbid Preoccupation." When she stumbles on a body on her way to dance class, she becomes curious about happened. With the help of her new Belgian friend, she sets out to find the truth.

Aggie was sweet, and I didn't realize it was Agatha Christie until later. She is not as Deliciously Devious as Flavia de Luce, but that gives the series a chance to be in the upper Juven
Roxanne M
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you have kids in your life who enjoy a good mystery story, allow me to introduce you to Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen!!! This was a fantastic book!
I read this outloud to my eldest child. The last few chapters I was encouraged by my kid to "Keep reading! Don't stop! One more chapter" and the like. An excellent read-aloud book! It's a fictional book/series based on Agatha Christie, and it kept us enthralled and guessing who was the culprit!
A must-read!
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a fun read! Admittedly I was first drawn in by the cover then I read the synopsis I was sold. A middle grade homage to the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, this book is full of nods to her books and characters. The plot was well done, and dealt with topics such as grief, immigration, and the actual dynamic between children trying to solve a crime and adults. I can’t wait for the next book in the series, I’m very interested to see where the author takes Aggie.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great middle grade mystery that imagines Agatha Christie as a child, making friends with the new boy in town, Hector Perot and solving mysteries faster than the adults around her can. Totally charming with clever characterizations that will remind Christie-lovers of Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot.
Claire Tomonaga
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a delightful story. I love the stories of Agatha Christie and this was a near perfect adaptation of the characters and genre for a younger audience.
I love the concept of exploring the inspirations for Agatha Christie's mysteries in her (fictional) childhood, and the book was a fun read. ...more
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Pretty disappointed surprisingly. The whole thing was quite boring. I love MG mysteries but this was so flat
Colleen Earle
Reminded me a lot of Alan Bradley, only written for children
Good story. Good twists.
Will continue on I the series when the library gets the second ebook
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Canadian born
22 books published for young readers"

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Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen (2 books)
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