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The Murder at Hazelmoor by Agatha Christie

The Murder at Hazelmoor (original 1931; edition 1987)

by Agatha Christie

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1,808393,867 (3.45)79
Title:The Murder at Hazelmoor
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Berkley (1987), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mystery, 2013

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The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie (1931)



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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Another solid entry in the Christie canon, but not a top one. I figured out most of the secondary plot's mysteries, but I was unable to nail down the culprit (from among those who "couldn't" have done it) before the intelligent and lovely Emily Trefusis did so for me. Of course, as was usually the case, Christie cheated the reader on at least two occasions. In one, we get something of an unreliable narrator chapter and in the other, we are not told about a critical piece of evidence that Ms Trefusis uncovers. If I have one overarching complaint about Christie, it is this penchant for stacking the deck like that. If you're not clever enough to outfox your readers without cheating, etc. I also liked what I saw of Inspector Narracott, who for some reason was later eclipsed by outing after outing after outing by a certain Poirot chap with lots of affectations. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
You just can't go wrong with Agatha Christie. This is one of her stand alone novels. Captain Trevelyan built Sittaford House after retiring from the navy. He then rents it to a woman and her daughter and moves to a small village nearby. Several people visiting Sittaford House hold a séance and during the séance, Trevelyan's murder is announced. HIs friend, Major Burnaby, decides to walk six miles through a storm to find his friend and make sure he is ok. The major finds Trevelyan dead. The captain hasn't been very understanding or helpful to his sister and her children. Turns out one of his nephews, Jim Pearson, went to see the Captain just before he died and he is suspected of the murder. He is a rather vague and helpless young man but he has a feisty and intelligent fiancé, Emily, who tries to figure out who the real guilty person is and she does with the help of the police.
  taurus27 | Mar 3, 2017 |
"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…

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 |
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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.
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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