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The Murder at Hazelmoor by Agatha Christie
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The Murder at Hazelmoor (original 1931; edition 1987)

by Agatha Christie

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1,721374,121 (3.44)75
Member:LittleTaiko
Title:The Murder at Hazelmoor
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Berkley (1987), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Mystery, 2013

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The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie (1931)

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English (33)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
"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/774243/the-sittaford-mystery ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
One of the really good non Poirot, Non-Miss Marple mysteries ( )
  nadineeg | Jul 2, 2016 |
Sittaford Mystery- Agatha Christie
audio performance by Hugh Fraser
4 stars

Emily Trefusis is a very clever young lady when it comes to solving a mystery. She’s a fool when it comes to men, or at least Agatha Christie is. But, I don’t go to Dame Agatha looking for a romance read. It’s all about the puzzle. This is one of the ‘stand alone’ mysteries, and there were plenty of red herrings, but I had the murderer pegged from the beginning. I was feeling pretty clever myself until I realized that the plot had been adapted for one of the televised Miss Marple mysteries. A Manor House, a blizzard, a colorful cast of characters and the voice of Hugh Fraser: all I needed was a cup of tea and a fire. It was good entertainment. ( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I was a bit taken in by the book summary I read. I was expecting some wintery race against time type of story. Considering I have watched almost every Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple movie adaptation of Christie's books, you think I would have realized that this would be more of the murder confirmed at the start, with a more relaxed pace while the investigation of the "who", "why" and "how" of the crime are the main plot focus. My only defense is that this is my very first Agatha Christie 'read'. Overall, I enjoyed this one. Christie's writing has a lovely "settle in with a cup a tea" lightness to it, even if the topic is murder. The private citizen sleuth in this particular story, the overly capable Emily, was a nice change of pace but not a very convincing sleuth IMO. The mystery was okay but not any sort of head scratcher.

Overall, a nice cozy crime read but a bit of a letdown for me. I was expecting something a little more robust in the plot and character development department. I think I will stick to watching movie adaptations of Agatha Christie's works and continue reading Margery Allingham when I am in the mood for a Golden Age detective fiction. ( )
  lkernagh | Feb 21, 2016 |
The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie - Good

Ah, needed some comfort reading and AC never fails me. This one is a standalone ie not Miss Marple or Poirot (although the TV turned it into a Miss Marple).

Usual stuff, someone is murdered and there are a number of people who could have done it and one that is arrested for it. His girlfriend doesn't believe he did it & sets about finding out who really did.

One or too ouch moments with the non-pc language of the time, but still one of the better Agatha Christies - mainly because the TV version was so different as to not spoil it.

( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
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To M.E.M
with whom I discussed the plot of this book,
to the alarm of those around us.
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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.
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It's so wonderful to have someone you can really rely on.
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aka Murder at Hazelmoor
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312979819, Mass Market Paperback)

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 snowbound at the 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:19 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"In a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor, six shadowy figures huddle around a table for a seance. Tension rises as the spirits spell out a chilling message: "Captain Trevelyan...dead...murder." Is this black magic or simply a macabre joke? The only way to be certain is to locate Captain Trevelyan. Unfortunately, his home is six miles away and, with snowdrifts blocking the roads, someone will have to make the journey on foot..."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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