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The Sittaford Mystery

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Agatha Christie is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you're invited to read....THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY M-U Agatha Christie is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you're invited to read....THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY M-U-R-D-E-R. It began as an innocent parlor game intended to while away the hours on a bitter winter night. But the message that appeared before the amateur occultists at the snowbound Sittaford House was spelled out as loud and clear as a scream. Of course, the notion that they had foretold doom was pure bunk. Wasn't it? And the discovery of a corpse was pure coincidence. Wasn't it? If they're to discover the answer to this baffling murder, perhaps they should play again. But a journey into the spirit world could prove terribly dangerous-especially when the killer is lurking in this one.


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Agatha Christie is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you're invited to read....THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY M-U Agatha Christie is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you're invited to read....THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY M-U-R-D-E-R. It began as an innocent parlor game intended to while away the hours on a bitter winter night. But the message that appeared before the amateur occultists at the snowbound Sittaford House was spelled out as loud and clear as a scream. Of course, the notion that they had foretold doom was pure bunk. Wasn't it? And the discovery of a corpse was pure coincidence. Wasn't it? If they're to discover the answer to this baffling murder, perhaps they should play again. But a journey into the spirit world could prove terribly dangerous-especially when the killer is lurking in this one.

30 review for The Sittaford Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    A pretty entertaining mystery, although a little excessive as to coincidences and red herrings. The human element would have been stronger if we had ever met Jim -- or would it? Maybe he would have proven to be just as wimpy and dull as he sounded second-hand.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Young

    Just for maximum confusion, many of Christie's novels have different titles in the British vs. American editions. What I actually read was entitled Murder at Hazelmoor, but it is aka The Sittaford Mystery. Whatever one calls it, this novel typifies why Dame Agatha is the Mystery Goddess to me. I love many of her contemporaries--Sayers, Marsh, Tay, Wentworth, and esp. Rinehart--but it is rare for them to stump me. I've just been at this game too long; I usually have the solution figured out by th Just for maximum confusion, many of Christie's novels have different titles in the British vs. American editions. What I actually read was entitled Murder at Hazelmoor, but it is aka The Sittaford Mystery. Whatever one calls it, this novel typifies why Dame Agatha is the Mystery Goddess to me. I love many of her contemporaries--Sayers, Marsh, Tay, Wentworth, and esp. Rinehart--but it is rare for them to stump me. I've just been at this game too long; I usually have the solution figured out by the half-way point IF the author plays fair. Dame Agatha, however, puts me firmly in my place, and I revere her for it. She often provides hints to anything up to half a dozen solutions of fiendish ingenuity, and I figure them out...only to have her hit me upside the head with the ONE solution that somehow I didn't see coming! Such is Murder at Hazelmoor. I really thought I had it, and I was really wrong. However, I don't feel at all "cheated"; I bow to the superior detective, in this case one of Agatha's charming "flapper"-type young women amateurs. Emily could be Tuppence's sister, and she's delightful. The only criticism I have is that I'm not so sure of the motive--all the suspects are in need of money, and the wealthy victim is a skinflint who won't help them, even his relatives. But...I can't help feeling he would have come through with a loan, even if not a gift, for the *one* person of them all for whom he really cared? I just can't imagine murdering someone really dear to me for money. But then, Dame Agatha always believed the worst about human nature! This isn't one of her best-known novels, but I highly recommend it. Classic Christie, with the clues there but somehow so hard to spot, and an above-average number of red herrings to throw you off! I also love it when she does the "hat trick" of having an apparently supernatural occurence--in this case a seance that appears to predict a murder--and then provides a solidly real explanation. So, so clever.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I am really enjoying Agatha Christie novels! I like the way she has a sly laugh at crime detection. I like the way she includes red herrings. I like the way I can’t work out the culprit, dammit! I even like the 1920s language, and laughing at the cultural norms of the time and wondering what on earth Christie would make of life in 2017.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Agatha Christie does it again. No Marple or Poirot in this one. Instead, Emily Trefusis is our plucky heroine. Christie adores creating a smart, attractive, sharp female character. Emily is determined to get her fiancée, James Pearson, out of jail. He's accused of murder - but Emily knows there's no way he could have done it. "Jim is a frightful idiot. But he doesn't murder people.” Once again, Christie's wit and humor blow me away. She is such a funny writer! I would almost classify her books as Agatha Christie does it again. No Marple or Poirot in this one. Instead, Emily Trefusis is our plucky heroine. Christie adores creating a smart, attractive, sharp female character. Emily is determined to get her fiancée, James Pearson, out of jail. He's accused of murder - but Emily knows there's no way he could have done it. "Jim is a frightful idiot. But he doesn't murder people.” Once again, Christie's wit and humor blow me away. She is such a funny writer! I would almost classify her books as comedies. Of course, Sittaford is populated with a number of colorful characters. A curmudgeon of an old military man who is perpetually grumpy. Another military man who's an invalid. He's always complaining about 'civilized people' and their tendency to hurry. He's got the hots for young Emily and claims she needs a “real man”, meaning himself – even though he's thirty years her senior. There's the old woman invalid, a sharp-witted nosy busybody in the vein of Miss Marple who knows all the goings-on. There's the young man, Charles Enderby, a journalist who is helping Emily to solve the case – while falling hard for her. Inspector Narracott, the clever and resourceful policeman assigned to the case. Mrs. Willett and her daughter Violet – who very suspiciously moved to Sittaford's cold winter climate from sunny South Africa – if what they say is true. Etc. etc. Another gem in this novel is Christie's choice to start out the mystery with a 'table turning'. This 'old-style' form of playing Ouija board involves six or so people sitting at a table and asking spirits to 'knock' on the table to indicate 'yes', 'no', and letters of the alphabet. The ghost tells the players of the murder. Of course, there's no real supernatural element and everything is explained to satisfaction by the end. The vocabulary was wonderful. Also worth noting was the mountain of 1931 slang that was colorful and highly amusing. Emily Trefusis is a gem – plucky, smart, funny – and able to get any man, woman or child to do what she wants through subtle manipulation, praise and occasional tears. Her tactics work wonders on all – especially the hapless males who cross her path. She has no less than 4 men chasing after her in this novel. Actually, Christie creates a brilliant and gradual love triangle with Emily, the jailed Pearson, and the intrepid reporter Enderby. Who will Emily choose? I was on tenterhooks wondering how this triangle was going to resolve itself. Last but not least, Christie fooled me again. I never suspected the true murderer in the least. I was shocked. My two or three running theories and suspicions were all for naught. It's very rare that I'm able to solve a Christie novel correctly and this one is no exception. YA novels with Mary Sues and love triangles have NOTHING on Christie's Mary Sue of Emily and her intense yet chaste love triangle in this novel. These Agatha Christie novels were probably the very thing teenagers were consuming by the dozen in 1931. Pretending to be Emily Trefusis instead of Katniss Everdeen. Published as Murder at Hazelmoor OR The Sittaford Mystery.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Delee

    3.5

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    Major Burnaby who has gone to visit with his neighbours the Willets finds himself participating in “tableturning” but after a harmless bit of fun, the “spirits” inform them that Captain Tevelyan has been murdered. Navy Captain Joe Trevelyan had retired to the small village of Sittaford in Dartmoor where he built six houses, one of which he occupied himself, and the rest sold to others, among them Major Burnaby his closest friend. The Captain’s only flaws seem reclusiveness and a fondness for mon Major Burnaby who has gone to visit with his neighbours the Willets finds himself participating in “tableturning” but after a harmless bit of fun, the “spirits” inform them that Captain Tevelyan has been murdered. Navy Captain Joe Trevelyan had retired to the small village of Sittaford in Dartmoor where he built six houses, one of which he occupied himself, and the rest sold to others, among them Major Burnaby his closest friend. The Captain’s only flaws seem reclusiveness and a fondness for money, the latter having led him to let his own house to the Willets for the winter and take up residence elsewhere. When Major Burnaby trudges through the thick snow to put himself at ease and ensure Trevelyan is safe, he finds that the séance was in fact right, and the Captain has been murdered. Captain Trevelyan had no enemies but was a very rich man, so of course those who stand to inherit are in the net of suspicion. When the police find his nephew James Pearson visited him just around the time the incident happened and was desperate for money, they are not long in arresting him. But Jim’s fiancé, Emily Trefusis knows even if he isn’t straightforward in all his dealings, he is not capable of murder and sets out to clear his name, along the way enlisting the help of journalist Charles Enderby who was in Sittaford for another purpose but jumps at the chance of the scoop of a lifetime. Emily is a very likeable heroine full of spunk and gumption, she knows what she needs to do and gets it done, not being above a bit of manipulation. Charles Enderby is eager to be of assistance (even when it means being outdoors in the middle of the night in frozen weather) and even the Inspector is happy to oblige with information which he wouldn’t probably reveal to any other. It was great fun “watching” Emily as she approaches the Captain’s relations and Sittaford residents finding out all she needs to know, and some that she probably doesn’t. Miss Percehouse was another character I thought good fun, shrewd and also in some ways like Emily, despite being an invalid. As is usual with Christie, there are various plotlines side by side. Everyone has something to hide but which of these has something to do with Captain Trevelyan’s murder? One pretty much needs to read to the end to find out. This was another one where I didn’t guess the murderer or the motive, for that matter. (I tried thinking up the most fantastic solution I could come up with, but it turned out to be just that, and completely wrong, though there was a “secret” in that quarter as well). The atmosphere is icy, there are secrets galore, even an escaped convict loose on the moors, all together making for very entertaining reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    People don't generally move from somewhere warm in winter to somewhere wintry. But two of the characters in this story do, to everyone's puzzlement. But they're not even the most interesting characters in this mystery. That honour goes to Emily Trefusis who, after Captain Trevelyan is murdered and her fiancé is charged, embarks on her own investigation of all the potential suspects, roping in a reporter and using her wits, intelligence and lots of logic. This isn't a Marple or Poirot story, and People don't generally move from somewhere warm in winter to somewhere wintry. But two of the characters in this story do, to everyone's puzzlement. But they're not even the most interesting characters in this mystery. That honour goes to Emily Trefusis who, after Captain Trevelyan is murdered and her fiancé is charged, embarks on her own investigation of all the potential suspects, roping in a reporter and using her wits, intelligence and lots of logic. This isn't a Marple or Poirot story, and this time the Police Inspector is a pretty smart guy. Emily and Inspector Naracott conduct their respective investigations, eventually pooling their knowledge together, and I was surprised by who the murderer was.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    “People don't do things without a reason.” Another entertaining read. No Poirot or Marple in sight, which always means that you have no idea where the narration is going to go. I rather enjoyed following smart and manipulative Miss Emily, sleuthing to prove the innocence of her Fiancé, who yes, looked rather insipid. One ‘thing’ at the beginning gave me a clue that reduced the pool of suspects. Still, it is always fascinating to see what all that colourful cast had to say and more importantly, t “People don't do things without a reason.” Another entertaining read. No Poirot or Marple in sight, which always means that you have no idea where the narration is going to go. I rather enjoyed following smart and manipulative Miss Emily, sleuthing to prove the innocence of her Fiancé, who yes, looked rather insipid. One ‘thing’ at the beginning gave me a clue that reduced the pool of suspects. Still, it is always fascinating to see what all that colourful cast had to say and more importantly, to hide ;0)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    It's weird for me to dislike Christie books, but this one did nothing for me. It was a struggle to finish. I think the main issue was that I just found the why behind who murdered an eccentric and misogynistic man (Captain Trevelyan) to be boring due to one of the main character we follow through most of the book. Captain Trevelyan is found murdered after a weird seance tells the group who is holding it that he is dead. Trevelyan's long time friend and neighbor Major Burnaby goes to his home duri It's weird for me to dislike Christie books, but this one did nothing for me. It was a struggle to finish. I think the main issue was that I just found the why behind who murdered an eccentric and misogynistic man (Captain Trevelyan) to be boring due to one of the main character we follow through most of the book. Captain Trevelyan is found murdered after a weird seance tells the group who is holding it that he is dead. Trevelyan's long time friend and neighbor Major Burnaby goes to his home during a heavy snow and finds Trevelyan dead. Trevelyan's will leaves things to his sister and to his niece and two nephews. Questions quickly emerge about was it one of Trevelyan's family members that finally did him in for their inheritance. I was more interested when we had Inspector Narricot investigating things. He reminded me a lot of Poirot in his thinking, but the way he acted with people reminded me of Superintendent Battle. When Christie switched over to the fiancee of a man suspected of the murder (Emily) I just didn't care anymore. Christie tried to throw some romance via Emily and two men during the course of the book, but in the end Emily chooses the one who I considered to be a waste. This is a common theme in Christie books though. She always has the bright young thing seemingly throwing her life away on some man that is not perfect since she will bring him up to scratch. I also didn't like how we get the perspective of the person who murdered Trevelyan but with a cheat (you don't know that you are not getting the full picture until the end). Usually it seems so obvious when Christie reveals the who and the why since she props up clues along the way. This book felt very muddled to me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katie Lumsden

    A very enjoyable read, like all Agatha Christie, and with some wonderful characters, although I think my reading was slightly marred by having seen a (very different) television adaptation of the story first.

  11. 4 out of 5

    BrokenTune

    "Major Burnaby drew on his gum boots, buttoned his overcoat collar round his neck, took from a shelf near the door a hurricane lantern, and cautiously opened the front door of his little bungalow and peered out." I love this opening paragraph. It sets the scene for one of my favourite cozy mysteries: A small village near Dartmoor - you know, the misty remote parts of Baskerville fame. Some of the villagers have are gathering for tea and enjoy a game of table-turning, adding a supernatural edge to "Major Burnaby drew on his gum boots, buttoned his overcoat collar round his neck, took from a shelf near the door a hurricane lantern, and cautiously opened the front door of his little bungalow and peered out." I love this opening paragraph. It sets the scene for one of my favourite cozy mysteries: A small village near Dartmoor - you know, the misty remote parts of Baskerville fame. Some of the villagers have are gathering for tea and enjoy a game of table-turning, adding a supernatural edge to the already eerie setting. As the party enjoys the movements of the ouija board, it spells out a name and the party is stunned: "Supposing something had happened to Captain Trevelyan… Supposing…" Anyway, not to take too much away from the ensuing story, there is a murder and a subsequent investigation, and a number of potential culprits. After all, this is Christie mystery. What makes The Sittaford Mystery stand out for me is that there is lightheartedness and humor in this story which is lacking in some of her other books, and there is a female lead who cracks the confines of her role: So, one hand she proclaims that: "One can’t do anything without a man. Men know so much, and are able to get information in so many ways that are simply impossible to women." And on the other, only a few pages later she takes charge of the investigation: "‘Well,’ said Emily rising to her feet. ‘It’s about time we went back to the Three Crowns, and I will pack my suitcase and do a short weeping act on Mrs Belling’s shoulder.’ ‘Don’t you worry,’ said Mr Enderby rather fatuously. ‘You leave everything to me.’ ‘That’s just what I mean to do,’ said Emily with a complete lack of truth. ‘It’s so wonderful to have someone you can really rely on.’ Emily Trefusis was really a very accomplished young woman." A brilliant read for admirers of the cozy mystery and the classic Christie who-dunnit. I still have to re-read some of the stories that pre-date The Sittaford Mystery (1931) but at the time of writing this one, Christie had already found her forte of setting the story in a confined space and letting psychology drive the story. Review first posted on BookLikes: http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    THE SITTAFORD MYSTERY made it onto my list, 5 Snowy Literary Escapes from this Summer of Climate Change Horror http://tinyurl.com/h6ca8ca You'll get mental frostbite reading this one, but it's better than the heat! #BeachReads

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    I actually guessed the killer right! Ah, how wonderful it is to follow your gut right from the start and not let go even as she started throwing in little hints to who else it could be. Overall, this wasn't too thrilling of a mystery since I followed my gut the whole time and didn't sway with it. Usually, I just go along with mysteries and don't bother trying to formulate too many ideas. Most of my ideas are flexible in mysteries. This is one of the few I've actually gotten right, another notabl I actually guessed the killer right! Ah, how wonderful it is to follow your gut right from the start and not let go even as she started throwing in little hints to who else it could be. Overall, this wasn't too thrilling of a mystery since I followed my gut the whole time and didn't sway with it. Usually, I just go along with mysteries and don't bother trying to formulate too many ideas. Most of my ideas are flexible in mysteries. This is one of the few I've actually gotten right, another notable one being The Cuckoo's Calling. Classic Christie through and through is all I can say on this one. The only complaint I really have is that I wish Christie would stop with the romance. I'm here to read a mystery, not listen to some girl choose between two men.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arybo ✨

    3.5 Un buon giallo, con le atmosfere invernali che avvolgono un paesino sperduto nella brughiera inglese. Sedute spiritiche e gente sospetta, una ragazza investigatrice e un mucchio di pettegolezzi. Un romanzo che non ha risposto appieno alle mie aspettative. Soprattutto per quanto riguarda il finale.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Uncle

    During a freak snowstorm, guests at a country house amuse themselves by conducting an impromptu seance. What starts as an innocent game of table-turning, turns genuinely sinister when the spirits spell out that the house's absent owner, Captain Trevelyan, is not only dead, but that he has just been murdered. Hours later the Captain's body is discovered in a neighboring village, slain just as the "spirits" predicted. So begins Agatha Christie's novel The Sittaford Mystery (published 1931), but pe During a freak snowstorm, guests at a country house amuse themselves by conducting an impromptu seance. What starts as an innocent game of table-turning, turns genuinely sinister when the spirits spell out that the house's absent owner, Captain Trevelyan, is not only dead, but that he has just been murdered. Hours later the Captain's body is discovered in a neighboring village, slain just as the "spirits" predicted. So begins Agatha Christie's novel The Sittaford Mystery (published 1931), but perhaps better known by its American title The Murder at Hazelmoor. The most obvious suspect is the murdered man's nephew James Pearson, yet virtually no one believes the weak, seemingly harmless young man is capable of such a violent act. Enter Pearson's betrothed, Emily Trefusis, who sets about to prove his innocence. Christie has a special fondness for characters like Emily, and used them in several of her best books from the 1920s. A penniless orphan, these young ladies must make their way in the world aided only by their wits, sense of adventure, and sheer pluck. Vivacious, adventurous, yet unsentimental and cheerfully cynical, Emily adds considerable energy to the book. The Sittaford Mystery is the 16th title in my personal "Agatha Christie Project", the object of which is to attempt to read all of her books more or less in chronological order. After the publication of several collections of mostly forgettable short stories (in my opinion), this particular book sees Christie's welcome return to the full length novel. In The Sittaford Mystery, the reader will enjoy her ability to develop her characters, spin an intriguing tale, and create an energetic and fun whodunit of the school of the classic "Golden Age" British mystery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Vintage Christie. However, I found it hard to keep all the characters straight in my head and I'm not sure I completely understood who a few of them were, and next I found the reason for the murder pretty lame. Also, the whole murder episode had a pretty unbelievable element in there, too. This novel didn't not have Miss Marple or Poirot but a different, and never again used, Inspector. While he was present in the story, he seemed to do very little in solving the case. On an aside note, I read thi Vintage Christie. However, I found it hard to keep all the characters straight in my head and I'm not sure I completely understood who a few of them were, and next I found the reason for the murder pretty lame. Also, the whole murder episode had a pretty unbelievable element in there, too. This novel didn't not have Miss Marple or Poirot but a different, and never again used, Inspector. While he was present in the story, he seemed to do very little in solving the case. On an aside note, I read this one years ago - the title 'Murder at Hazelmoor' - from the Agatha Christie book club, which still sits on my shelf. These were the black 'faux' leather books with gold lettering. Well, in the first paragraph this version omitted a sentence describing the moors as a Xmas card snow covered setting. The paperback I read had it. Two thoughts - just how much other stuff did those book club editions leave out of their stories, and next, why didn't the paperback version say 'Christmas' instead of 'Xmas'? Weird.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Antonella

    Un giallo discreto, tipico della Christie. Bella l'ambientazione del paesino sperduto nella brughiera innevata, abitato da personcine niente male, che hanno fatto, e fanno, del pettegolezzo la loro ragion d'essere. Non mancano però gli "estranei": una ragazza investigatrice (un po' supponente a dire il vero) caparbia e decisa a trovare la verità, e un giornalista che per puro caso è sul posto. Tutto ha origine da una seduta spiritica, fatta tanto per ingannare il tempo, in casa di due donne attorn Un giallo discreto, tipico della Christie. Bella l'ambientazione del paesino sperduto nella brughiera innevata, abitato da personcine niente male, che hanno fatto, e fanno, del pettegolezzo la loro ragion d'essere. Non mancano però gli "estranei": una ragazza investigatrice (un po' supponente a dire il vero) caparbia e decisa a trovare la verità, e un giornalista che per puro caso è sul posto. Tutto ha origine da una seduta spiritica, fatta tanto per ingannare il tempo, in casa di due donne attorno alle quali aleggia il mistero, durante la quale viene annunciato il delitto della persona più in vista del paese. Tra molte chiacchiere (e ce ne sono veramente tante!, fino all'ultima pagina) e un ispettore che si mantiene quasi defilato, si giunge ad un finale che boh! mi è sembrato un po' raffazzonato, quindi deludente. Peccato. Poco più di tre stelle.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    It was by chance that I picked this Christie mystery out of the pile to read next, the story is set in a snowy wintry Dartmouth and whilst reading this during the middle of December really added to my enjoyment of this story. I really liked the seance sequences, this is the main focus of the story as it appears that the spirits inform the group of the murder of Captain Trevelyan. When they discover that he has in fact been killed, surely it must be someone playing a practical joke on the rest of t It was by chance that I picked this Christie mystery out of the pile to read next, the story is set in a snowy wintry Dartmouth and whilst reading this during the middle of December really added to my enjoyment of this story. I really liked the seance sequences, this is the main focus of the story as it appears that the spirits inform the group of the murder of Captain Trevelyan. When they discover that he has in fact been killed, surely it must be someone playing a practical joke on the rest of the party? That idea instantly hooks you into the novel and makes for a great mystery.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Viir

    In a small village called Sittaford, most of the residents meet at a house to have a nice evening together. It's winter and heavy snow is falling. The people decide to play a game: table turning. In this game a murder is being announced. And in fact someone dies, outside of the village, but a resident of Sittaford. At first it appears the culprit is quickly found but a fierce young lady, Emily, starts investigating with a little help from everyone. Short paragraph about the plot. I do love Agath In a small village called Sittaford, most of the residents meet at a house to have a nice evening together. It's winter and heavy snow is falling. The people decide to play a game: table turning. In this game a murder is being announced. And in fact someone dies, outside of the village, but a resident of Sittaford. At first it appears the culprit is quickly found but a fierce young lady, Emily, starts investigating with a little help from everyone. Short paragraph about the plot. I do love Agatha Christie, especially when it's stories containing her own Characters, e.g. Miss Marple. But from time to time it's also nice to read her different crime stories (although I remember one book that was so boring and annoying to read ugh I almost gave up on it). I always try to read between the lines and see if I can make out who the murderer is before it's being revealed. Well, here I didn't see the obvious solution because all characters were described in such a manner that everyone and no one could be the culprit. Moreover I really like to imagine how people back then were so hospitable to just let strangers sleep in their home when the weather didn't allow them to continue traveling or that you could just show up at your friends door and they invite you to drink tea or coffee and really had time for you and weren't too busy with whatever they were doing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Evi Routoula

    I really like Agatha Christie and i believe that she is maybe the best writer for this kind of fictional stories. This book is one of her early works most probably ( around 1920s?), it is a rather long book for its kind: too much blah blah, until the last pages you cant imagine who is the killer of course but the reasoning of the whole plot at the end isnt believable for me. It is a good story for relaxing but i was waiting for something better.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    Not Christie's most complex mystery by any means, but a good cosy read I snuggled down into with enjoyment. I've seen a couple of different filmed versions of it, and just in passing let me say that ITV's latest version has almost nothing to do with the original text! (Churchill? Really?) There is no sleuth in chief here, just a young woman determined to stand by her man. There are almost too many characters in this book, which is typical of Christie in the early days. The cast includes a woman Not Christie's most complex mystery by any means, but a good cosy read I snuggled down into with enjoyment. I've seen a couple of different filmed versions of it, and just in passing let me say that ITV's latest version has almost nothing to do with the original text! (Churchill? Really?) There is no sleuth in chief here, just a young woman determined to stand by her man. There are almost too many characters in this book, which is typical of Christie in the early days. The cast includes a woman with a rather nasty invalid husband, which reminded me of Ordeal by Innocence, published nearly 30 years later. Was Christie trying out the character? Rather than the standard house-party mystery we are given a small village cut off by snow, which comes to almost the same thing, as those of the same social class are driven to foregathering for a spot of fun--in this case table-turning (ie a seance, or ouija without a board). A murder is announced, but is it just a joke in poor taste, or was someone "shoving"? The Violet subplot rather falls apart at the end in a most unsatisfactory way, but this was relatively early days for the Queen of Crime. The day I started this book I was tired out, and had just had a Youtube soundscape created especially for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ucoK... I curled up with this book, a cup of tea, and the soundtrack--bliss!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Moira Macfarlane

    🔫A real braintwister this old standalone from1931, she left me puzzled again. I love the atmosphere in those old Agatha Christie's between the two wars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    J

    Re-reading Agatha Christie in order of publication ... This was an extremely pleasant, if not compelling, book. A classic cozy book. I wasn’t crazy about the seance idea, but it served a purpose in the plot and wasn’t overly emphasized. I fell in love with the characters of Major Burnaby and Emily Trefusis. I didn’t mind the absence of Christie’s famous characters like Poirot or Miss Maple. I also loved how small and isolated the town of Sittaford was. I wish there were additional books with this Re-reading Agatha Christie in order of publication ... This was an extremely pleasant, if not compelling, book. A classic cozy book. I wasn’t crazy about the seance idea, but it served a purpose in the plot and wasn’t overly emphasized. I fell in love with the characters of Major Burnaby and Emily Trefusis. I didn’t mind the absence of Christie’s famous characters like Poirot or Miss Maple. I also loved how small and isolated the town of Sittaford was. I wish there were additional books with this town and its inhabitants! The majority of the novel was pleasant, if a touch mundane, about life in a small English town. Then in the last few chapters, hidden connections between characters and alibi-breaking secrets reigned down. It was a bit hard to keep track of... almost everyone suddenly became a suspect and it was a bit annoying. The ending was satisfying, though not personally shocking. Emily Trefusis is a confident and wily woman, who uses her power over man to get her way. There are several gentleman who are lovably old-fashioned and play into her coy proclamations of feminine weakness, and other men who recognize & admire her astuteness. Classic Christie female empowerment, while maintaining a pleasant and charming feel. It highlighted the challenges facing women on the era, without turning bitter or ugly.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yngvild

    There is something very appealing about murder mysteries set in remote English villages under heavy snow. It is more than the Christmas card prettiness and the excuse for roaring fires. There is an expectation that something interesting will happen, like the murder of a rich old Scrooge. The Sittaford Mystery is an absolute Agatha Christie classic. It has an interesting mix of characters, young and old, plenty of red herrings, and a clever riddle at its heart. The surprising item here is the youn There is something very appealing about murder mysteries set in remote English villages under heavy snow. It is more than the Christmas card prettiness and the excuse for roaring fires. There is an expectation that something interesting will happen, like the murder of a rich old Scrooge. The Sittaford Mystery is an absolute Agatha Christie classic. It has an interesting mix of characters, young and old, plenty of red herrings, and a clever riddle at its heart. The surprising item here is the young woman who acts as amateur detective. That can be a difficult character in fiction. Make her too clever and she breaks social expectations of feminine behaviour; make her too stupid and she is unbelievable. Christie’s solution of having her a brilliant and deliberate manipulator works very well. “You don’t think they are—well—hiding?” Major Burnaby shook his head positively. “Oh! no, nothing of that kind. They’re very sociable—a bit too sociable. I mean, in a little place like Sittaford, you can’t have previous engagements, and when invitations are showered on you it’s a bit awkward. They’re exceedingly kind, hospitable people, but a bit too hospitable for English ideas.” “The Colonial touch,” said the Inspector.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Landmark

    Another fine example of Agatha Christie's clever, imaginative mind. Her portrayal of the insular life and intriguing characters of a small, remote English village was, as usual, very well done. There were plenty of red herrings, suspects, motives and clues. Emily Trefusis was a great character--high-spirited, determined, intelligent and charming. That she used all of her feminine wiles to coerce men into doing whatever she wanted is not a trait I admire in women, but Emily's tactics certainly net Another fine example of Agatha Christie's clever, imaginative mind. Her portrayal of the insular life and intriguing characters of a small, remote English village was, as usual, very well done. There were plenty of red herrings, suspects, motives and clues. Emily Trefusis was a great character--high-spirited, determined, intelligent and charming. That she used all of her feminine wiles to coerce men into doing whatever she wanted is not a trait I admire in women, but Emily's tactics certainly netted her many valuable clues. Because this book was written in 1931, it was amusing to read about the methods of communication and travel back in those days, especially when one thinks of today's fast-paced technology and instant communication. I did think the motive of the murderer was a little on the weak side. After all, several of the other suspects had equally plausible, if not, stronger motives. But, the beauty of Ms. Christie's writing is that I did not guess who the real killer was. This was definitely another good read in a long line of classic Christie novels.

  26. 4 out of 5

    RebeccaS

    I finished this Agatha book this morning and I really enjoyed it. As per usual, I had NO idea who the murderer was and was totally surprised by the twist at the end. ... This was definitely more of a character drive story than one of action. All the characters seemed to be sizing up the others and spent lots of time gossiping about each other. ... However, without my favs Miss Marple or Poirot this wasn't one of my favorite ACs. I give it 3.5 stars, but round up because this is the queen and she de I finished this Agatha book this morning and I really enjoyed it. As per usual, I had NO idea who the murderer was and was totally surprised by the twist at the end. ... This was definitely more of a character drive story than one of action. All the characters seemed to be sizing up the others and spent lots of time gossiping about each other. ... However, without my favs Miss Marple or Poirot this wasn't one of my favorite ACs. I give it 3.5 stars, but round up because this is the queen and she deserves it! ... High Fraser was the narrator and he does many of ACs books and he is FANTASTIC. I definitely recommend any of his audiobook narrations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kavita

    When the remote village of Sittaford gets snowed in, the residents set up an ouija board. It is then that they get a message claiming Captain Trevalyan is dead. Major Burnaby, who has never missed a Thursday chess session with his friend in several years before this evening, gets creeped out, and decides to go check on the Captain. When he arrives there, the man is dead. Who murdered him? Why was he killed? Inspector Narracott investigates the case as does the fiancee of the man who ends up in pr When the remote village of Sittaford gets snowed in, the residents set up an ouija board. It is then that they get a message claiming Captain Trevalyan is dead. Major Burnaby, who has never missed a Thursday chess session with his friend in several years before this evening, gets creeped out, and decides to go check on the Captain. When he arrives there, the man is dead. Who murdered him? Why was he killed? Inspector Narracott investigates the case as does the fiancee of the man who ends up in prison. There is definitely a feel of the supernatural in the book, but all that is resolved properly in the end, AC style. I wasn't too convinced by the murderer or the motive for it either. But the journey was pleasant and I spent a fun day trying to unravel the mystery. That ought to count for something!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    1931, apa MURDER AT HAZELMOOR; Miss Emily Trefussis, Charles Enderby, reporter, and Inspector Narracott, the little town of Sittaford, near Dartmoor Prison. Cranky (but wealthy) Captain Trevelyan is murdered during a snowstorm and while many suspects have motive, they didn't have the opportunity... Four stars. During a snowstorm Major Barnaby becomes worried about his best friend, Captain Trevelyan, who has just recently relocated to a small cottage about six miles away. They're both quite elderl 1931, apa MURDER AT HAZELMOOR; Miss Emily Trefussis, Charles Enderby, reporter, and Inspector Narracott, the little town of Sittaford, near Dartmoor Prison. Cranky (but wealthy) Captain Trevelyan is murdered during a snowstorm and while many suspects have motive, they didn't have the opportunity... Four stars. During a snowstorm Major Barnaby becomes worried about his best friend, Captain Trevelyan, who has just recently relocated to a small cottage about six miles away. They're both quite elderly now, but were, and are, still very physically active, and Barnaby feels able to manage the walk to Trevelyan's. It's a walk he usually does easily, twice weekly, and he sets off even though there's a big storm starting. When he finally arrives he finds a terrible situation, Trevelyan is dead and the room ransacked. He immediately goes to the police station to report it (no phones working during the storm). The center of the novel is Miss Emily Trefussis, the take-charge fiancee of Trevelyan's nephew - and heir - James. He has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and has done so again, but this time with huge repercussions - he's been arrested for the murder! Determined to prove him innocent, she teams up with a nice, malleable young reporter and together they suss out the real story, or, rather, she (mostly) does. Very similar in tempo, technique, and tone to MURDER AT THE VICARAGE, 1930, SITTAFORD is one of those incredibly complex time-table mysteries so favored by readers in the 1920s and early 1930s. There are not very deeply explored characterizations, plot twist upon plot twist hanging upon teeny, tiny clues (very fair play, though, I must admit), and a fairly slow pace mixed with an extremely old-fashioned sensibility. This was a fairly basic sort of story for Christie, and not quite as much fun as her next (PERIL AT END HOUSE, 1932) which is, except for a couple of terribly melodramatic touches, far darker and richer. But this is an extremely good novel for its type - smoothly written, with all the bits and pieces carefully laid in, and with its very short chapters it's very easy to read even though the pacing is rather slow and the plot does take quite a while to develop. Christie was coming into the top of her form here, about to move away from the sweetly frantic thrillers of her 1920s books and starting to break more and more of the then-popular stereotypes of the period. Yes, her MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD, 1926, was a flash of brilliance, but was, essentially, almost identical to VICARAGE in tone, setting, characters, and plot although ACKROYD does have that one sensational revelation that ends the novel and which made the Christie name something to be reckoned with. It was extremely shocking for the mid-1920s, something that SITTAFORD, even with its similarities to both the better-known ACKROYD and VICARAGE, isn't, alas, by 1931. With convoluted plotting, fair cluing, slow pacing, light characterizations, gentle/genteel setting and a nice touch of humour, SITTAFORD MYSTERY has pretty much everything that "a Christie novel" came to be known for, but doesn't show the true complexity of her talent as is displayed in her middle-period books. IMO she was about to enter into her best writing period, (roughly mid-1930s through the early 1950s) and Sittaford, while entertaining, pales in comparison with many of the novels and stories written then. Of course, I may be biased (grin) as her next novel (PERIL AT END HOUSE, 1932) - and thus the next in my sequential rereading of her work - is simply brilliant on all fronts and is, not surprisingly, one of my very favorite Christie Mysteries. I can't wait to get to my reread of it! Don't be turned off by my preferences as expressed here, though - BOTTOM LINE: SITTAFORD is a comfortable, enjoyable story even if it *is* still "that sort of thing" that was so popular in the late 1920s. It's head and shoulders above tons of similar books written at the time by other authors and, indeed, is far better than many written today, if truth be told. Well-crafted, not spectacular, it's good reading for a comfortable afternoon.

  29. 5 out of 5

    D.G.

    **3.5 stars** The murderer was obvious if you're a Christie fan but I liked how she turned the "country house mystery" trope on its head. Instead of the victim being killed in the house by one of the inhabitants, he was killed a town way while everybody in Sittaford was trapped there because of the snow. It was also obvious who Emily would pick at the end. A somewhat manipulative young woman, but you sort of knew where she was coming from.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nour El Houda Ziani

    This is the third Agatha Christie novel I read. What I love about it and what makes it special to me is that when I started reading it I wasn’t in a good place as a reader, and it just made love reading again so I guess it came in the right place at the right time. It actually caught my attention very early on; I was hooked in the first chapter, which is too early for me because I usually start appreciating a book after at least 2 chapters. It really flew by quickly. I guess this is the Agatha C This is the third Agatha Christie novel I read. What I love about it and what makes it special to me is that when I started reading it I wasn’t in a good place as a reader, and it just made love reading again so I guess it came in the right place at the right time. It actually caught my attention very early on; I was hooked in the first chapter, which is too early for me because I usually start appreciating a book after at least 2 chapters. It really flew by quickly. I guess this is the Agatha Christie effect. This book isn’t essential or great or a must read, but it’s undoubtedly enjoyable and good for passing a few hours. It’s a solid mystery, but I didn’t like some parts; I hated the fact that it had a lot of side plots, it just was a little too much for me. The plot had many twists; I felt a bit lost and confused but not so much. The last chapters felt very disjointed. Other than that I really appreciated it, I read it quickly and had so much fun. Spoiler alert: What really bothered me was the lack of involvement of Inspector Narracott the main detective, he actually did very little to solve the mystery, he attempted to investigate but Emily delivered him the murderer on a tray. It just felt odd. I hated Emily to be frank; she seemed manipulative to me and I couldn’t stand her, oh and the love triangle? I didn’t even realize there was one lol. I was a little bit annoyed when I found out who the killer is even though I suspected him, I really didn’t want him to be the one. It was a bit stretched to be believable. When I finished it I had some unanswered questions, but it was my fault really, I guess I didn’t concentrate at some point, because when I rechecked I found the answers pretty obvious. PS. Can we just take a second to appreciate the fact that Agatha Christie mentioned Pride and Prejudice (My all time favorite book)? - My favorite character: None, they all felt the same to me. - My favorite moment: I enjoyed the whole novel. - My favorite quote: “I suppose that one can, if one has the determination, always get something out of life.”

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