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The Seven Dials Mystery

(Superintendent Battle #2)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  20,627 ratings  ·  1,216 reviews
A practical joke goes chillingly, murderously wrong in Queen of Mystery Agatha Christie’s classic detective story, The Seven Dials Mystery.

Gerry Wade had proved himself to be a champion sleeper, so the other houseguests decided to play a practical joke on him. Eight alarm clocks were set to go off, one after the other, starting at 6:30 a.m. But when morning arrived, one cl
Paperback, 375 pages
Published 2001 by Harper Collins (first published January 24th 1929)
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Megan This one has some overlapping characters so there are a few winks or nods to things you might already know about them as people, but none of these cha…moreThis one has some overlapping characters so there are a few winks or nods to things you might already know about them as people, but none of these characters or nods have anything to do with the story, just character development (it makes it feel like a cameo of someone famous in your favourite indie movie). Story wise there is no connection between any of the Battle books and they can all be read independently.(less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  20,627 ratings  ·  1,216 reviews

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Start your review of The Seven Dials Mystery (Superintendent Battle, #2)
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Christie fans
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Seven Dials is Christie's subversion of the 1920s style thriller, only with a plucky female heroine and a subtle commentary on English society. A manor murder, a secret society, a slummy club in the East End, and international espionage that make it seem artificially complicated, but it was enjoyable enough, with a few chuckles and a sweet little romantic angle to neatly round it out.

A group of young people gather at the English estate the Chimneys, rented out to steel magnate Sir Oswald and hi
Simona B
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as intriguing as I thought it would be, but the surprising ending almost makes up for how uninteresting all the rest was.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this Agatha Christie mystery very much. It had quite a different feel to it from the Miss Marple and Poirot mysteries. Dare I say, it was almost an adult Nancy Drew (ish) style mystery; mainly due to the fact that the protagonists were young people, rather than the more mature sleuths that Christie peopled her stories with. You find wealthy, carefree, Lady Eileen (aka Bundle) Brent and Jimmy Thesiger and their acquaintances trying to solve the murders of two of their friends. What it t ...more
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've decided that you cannot go wrong with Agatha Christie. Her books are character driven and sometimes I get confused about who's who, but she never fails to keep me reading on. This was a test in who-dun-it skills which I need to master. I thought that the Superintendent/police chief was the bad guy. I got it all wrong. The story is wrapped up in tons of funny, aristocratic dialogue. And then all of a sudden Christie adds a couple of sentences like this:

There is no need to describe in detail
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I love Poirot and Marple, it is refreshing to read stories without them. Somehow I feel Christie is "freer" in these. The Secret of Chimneys is one of my favourites and it was with pleasure that I followed Bundle's adventures once more. She is a brilliant character, and her conversations with her father, Lord Caterham, are hilarious! Actually, most of the dialogues are highly entertaining. A lot of "I say!" and such. There is a very Wodehouse-esque feel to many of the scenes. Even wit ...more
Secret societies, espionage, suspicious deaths, dark deeds in libraries.... This Christie has a number of fun elements, however, I never really got a good sense of what the plot was. I kept smirking at the antics of the upper-class twits and their blundering around country homes*, attempting to figure out who the Seven Dials society was.

* Lady Ellen had her moments (though I wanted to shake her for her initial insistence on a servant as criminal, because, of course, someone amongst her class cou
My parents bought this for me on Christmas, but I was too interested in Poirot's adventures to care about any other book Christie had written.
Well, this is sort of an apology.
I literally cannot believe how Agatha Christie can write so many characters you feel for and care about - and a twisty plot that literally had me gasp when it was revealed. I will say that the plot was kinda slow paced, and the story d r a g g e d a bit in the middle - but the twist made up for that! I'm gonna have to read
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: uk, mystery
A young man dies while on a visit to a country house, and very soon a secret society is suspected of murdering him. We have the dead man's sister, a young man working at the Foreign Office, our heroine, Eileen Brent aka Bundle, a Police Superintendent, and a young man working in politics, all more or less banding together to solve the mystery.

This book is written in a very light vein and there is plenty of humour in the Wodehouse style. But unlike the other Christie books, this one somehow lacks
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What starts out as a practical joke between friends tragically backfires in this mystery by the great Agatha Christie. Published in the UK and US in 1929, the book features Inspector Battle and some of the cast of characters from an earlier book, The Secret of Chimneys.

I like the female amateur sleuth, Bundle (Lady Eileen Brent), much better than Inspector Battle. She has an energetic personality and is determined to ferret out the truth by whatever means she finds necessary -- even hiding in c
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow. This was so good. I took a while to read this one since the first few pages didn't grab me at all. However, when I finally went back to it, I was totally engrossed. We have the second book in the Superintendent Battle series. I read "Cards on the Table" a few years back and realized that was considered the 3rd book in his series and decided to work back from book 1. I finished "The Secret of Chimneys" and just gave it three stars. Christie does such a great job with not showing her hand unt ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: Tori
An absolutely wonderful gift from Tori.
I had no idea Agatha Christie was so absorbing. This book was on par with Georgette Heyer, P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers, Robert Benchley...even Helene Hanff! I suppose it shouldn't surprise me but that ending completely blew me away!
Absolutely worth reading.
Some of the names are a little odd and dated...Socks and Codders and Bundle...but I like the characters and the writing. I like how it feels old fashion and intelligent yet entirely readable. And that
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Seven Dials Mystery is a fast paced and a very enjoyable book. Some of the characters are from another Christie novel, The Secret of Chimneys. As a huge fan of the queen of crime and whodunits, I had a very nice time reading this book and I was satisfied with the ending which was surprising and full of twists. Agatha Christie always gives the best mystery and it’s never disappointing!
Mary ♥
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 stars

Fiction is founded on truth... unless things did happen, people couldn't think of them.

This had the potential to become my favourite Agatha Christie movie, if not for the romance subplots that ran underneath like veins working under the skin and connected throughout the story. It followed a set of various characters, one of which was Bundle, a character I really liked, as she was clever and adventurous and dedicated. The mystery started off as something simple but turned into a spide
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: Dana
Expect no Hercule Poirot, no Miss Jane Marple, no Tommy nor Tuppence Beresford; however, Superintendent Battle does just fine in The Seven Dials. The mountainous but subtly clever policeman manages to solve two murders and break an international ring of crooks in a cozy that will engage you to the very last page.

The caper begins with the death of a guest at — this is Dame Agatha Christie, after all — a house party. The deceased’s half-sister, the deceased’s friend, and another young woman, Lady
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agatha-christie
This novel is a thriller with a bit of P.G Wodehouse thrown in. Bundles a character from the Secret of Chimneys returns with her scatty father Lord Caterham who is in the mould of Clarence in the Blanding Castle series.

Gerry Wade is staying as a guest of Sir Oswald Coote and every morning sleeps in till almost noon. The other guests including Lady Eileen Brent or better known as Bundles decide to play a practical joke on him. They purchase eight alarm clocks and set them to go off in his room b
Vikas Singh
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-book
This is the second novel set in Chimney, the first being The secret of chimneys. Both feature Superintendent Battle and energetic amateurish detective Bundle. Both the novels are average read. In The Seven Dials Mystery, the plot is weak and it fails to hold attention. The only saving grace is the bundle of energy Bundle whose child like enthusiasm and antics give fresh burst of energy to the story every now and then. Average read.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christie
A young man is a champion sleeper,he oversleeps regularly each day.The other guests decide to play a prank on him.

Eight alarm clocks are supposed to go off one after another,to wake him up in the morning.

But still,he doesn't wake up.Something has gone tragically wrong,and one of the alarm clocks is missing.

A entertaining mystery that has its clues in a world of secret societies and international espionage.No Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple in this one,though.
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rereads
Really a 3.5. No memory of the first time I read this. Good mystery and entertaining characters and dialogue.
Dr. Laurel Young
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Seven Dials Mystery marked a return to form for Agatha Christie. Following the remarkable achievement of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in 1926, she hit a terrible slump following the death of her mother. With a book due every year, she cobbled together some of her short stories into the Big Four, then hurried through Mystery of the Blue Train--which I enjoyed, but which she was not proud of according to her autobiography. Seven Dials takes us back to Chimneys, the country manor house of The Se ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"The clocks were wrapped up and paid for. Mr Murgatroyd watched the cars drive away with a puzzled air. Very spirited the young people of the upper classes nowadays, very spirited indeed, but not at all easy to understand. He turned with relief to attend to the vicar’s wife, who wanted a new kind of dripless teapot."

There is a lot to like about The Seven Dials Mystery. The spirited young people, the charming older generation, the country house setting - complete with a despotic gardener, London
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun to read Christie murder mystery. I never read several, but this is the first time I’ve met Inspector Battle from Scotland Yard. A thrilling who-dun-it. Once again she fooled me and I didn’t figure out the killer...Christie all, me zero. One day I will catch the killer before she reveals him.
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The conspiracy stuff is ridiculous, and the mystery pretty thin, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed this much at a Christie novel.
“... The Countess is an extraordinarily beautiful woman—not my type, of course,” put in Mr. Thesiger hastily—“and old Bill has always had a heart like an hotel.”
A HEART LIKE A HOTEL. This book is full of lines like that.
Hitessh Panchal
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Frankly, being a big admirer of Agatha Christie, this book turned to be an uninteresting read.
Only after I crossed 50% , I felt the presence of Christie's way of narrating a story.

For some reasons, that i cannot place the finger on, this book didn't turn to be as alluring like any other works of Christie.

Superintendent Battle series, is what the book is shelved as, but there is very little contribution of his and is used as an extra in the book.

The Plot is not strong. Too many characters and al
I remembered the beginning of this story quite vivdly; the alarum clocks, 'Subtle' Socks and the 'bright young things' indulging in jolly japes at a country house.
But I had managed to utterly forget any hint as to how the mystery was resolved and it came as a complete surprise.
I thoughly enjoyed this Christie - my favourite so far.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anglophiles
Shelves: mystery, fiction
A minor Christie work. Gets more interesting toward the end.

Life among the upper classes gets a bit tiresome. Some of the main characters are named Bundle, Pongo, and Socks. It's as if the murder has been perpetrated and is being investigated by puppies.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Another of Christie's thriller's from the 1920's, this also serves as a sequel to The Secret of Chimneys.

A house party is taking place at Chimneys, a manor house, which has been rented out by the Marquess of Caterham to Sir Oswald Coote, a self-made millionaire. In addition to Sir Oswald and Lady Coote, there is a party of young people staying, three girls and five young men, namely Gerry Wade, Jimmy Thesiger, Ronny Devereux, Bill Eversleigh and Rupert "Pongo" Bateman, Sir Oswald's secretary. G
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agatha-christie
After a long drying spell I finally picked up a book and It had to be a Christie. So as it all started due to some unavoidable engagements I have had been away from reading since long and this abstinence from the perusal of my favorite literary works was taking a toll on me. So one fine morning or rather evening I picked up this book which had been in my to-read since long , and as the night unfolded I kept turning the pages till I devoured it whole-heartedly .

Coming to the book , the beginning
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-misc
Nearly gave up on this one several times. It turns out I should have.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audio
3.5 stars
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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

Superintendent Battle (5 books)
  • The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle, #1)
  • Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot, #15)
  • Murder Is Easy  (Superintendent Battle, #4)
  • Towards Zero (Superintendent Battle, #5)

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