The Listerdale Mystery, published in 1934, is the title of a collection of twelve short stories by Agatha Christie, which are for the most part lighthearted adventures, but with a few rather more sinister tales as well.
There is only one actual whodunit so this is not typical Christie fare but she does keep us guessing as to what is going to happen in the more serious stories and as for the others, we just go with the flow.
These stories are very much of their time and may well appear to modern readers to be overly simplistic, if not corny, but they have a certain charm.
These short stories also give a fascinating insight into how society has changed. Class distinctions are very apparent – and I believe if you look carefully – sometimes ridiculed.
In one story, a young unmarried couple holidaying at a seaside resort book into separate hotels to preserve the proprieties. Yes, that’s right, not merely separate rooms, separate hotels! And you could buy a cottage in the country for £2,000.
The story I liked best in this collection is called Philomel Cottage, I found it quite tense and claustrophobic.
I would not want this to be the first Agatha Christie book that anyone reads, because I don’t consider it to be a fair example of her genius, but for a true Agatha aficionado it is interesting to see how she handles a somewhat different genre to normal.
You can get hold of the short story collection via the following links.Listerdale Mystery