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Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her—and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.

The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: "17-122 Kilmorden Castle"?

Topics: Africa, South Africa, London, Adventurous, Suspenseful, Female Protagonist, Journeys, Murder, Exciting, Crime, 20th Century, Female Author, British Author, 1920s, and Theft

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062006653
List price: $9.99
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This is the first non series that Christie wrote. Published in 1924 it takes place in 1920. A feisty young girl raised in a sheltered way catering to her scholarly father has the whole world before her after her father dies but she has made no plans until she is present at the death of a man who falls on the third rail in the subway. A man in a brown suit claiming to be a doctor tries to resuscitate the man but rushes off dropping a mysterious piece of paper.

Our heroine Anne Beddingfeld grabs the piece of paper and starts on an adventure of a lifetime.
Anne is an unusual girl for the era in someways because she is educated, fearless and intrepid. On the other hand she longs for romance and all the things others girls of the time want. A man, family and a home.more
A good book by Christie that doesn't fit what became her traditional formula. It alternates well between a first person account by Anne and the journal/diary of Sir Edgar. There is even a little love-interest typically absent in novels Christie wrote under her own name.more
A newly orphaned young woman, Anne Beddingfield, heads off to make her way in the world and finds herself embroiled in the midst of an unexpected adventure. Anne is spunky, if a bit too naïve and reminded me a bit of Catherine in Northanger Abbey. Anne’s read too many mystery novels (as opposed to Catherine’s penchant for gothic novels) and sees a bit of mystery in everything. I wasn’t thrilled with this one. I won’t get into the plot too much, except to say Anne witnesses a death, meets lots of people and ends up falling in love. It was nothing to keep you up at night flipping pages, which is kinda what I want from a mystery. It was less creepy goodness and more whodunit with a dollop of romance. It’s not a bad book, just a light entertaining read. It’s not quite up to par with some of Christie’s darker murder mysteries, like my favorite, And Then There Were None. I’d skip this one and pick up a different Christie instead.  more
This is Christie’s fourth published book and one can see a rabid maturation of her writing technique. After returning, in her third book, to a story built around a detective, she goes back in this book to the “romp” style of her second book. This time, however, the romp is executed with much more panache than in the first case. The Man in the Brown Suit has a plot as contrived and coincidence strewn as The Secret Adversary but is more dependent on the cliches and tropes of literature than those of films imported from the United States. At the same time the book is paced more like a movie than was TSA with changes of venue and actions sequences to distract the reader from paying too much attention to the actual plot. Christie also manages to make the “real” villain amusing and likeable which means that even the many readers who twig to what is going on fairly early in the game will still find the story a fun ride.It is also interesting to see a book in which the woman is clearly an “action" protagonist not someone wracked by sensibility. Yes, Anne’s life is saved more than once by the mysterious man to whom she is attracted, but Anne also plays an important role in saving his life. And though he may be stronger and land a meaner punch one ends the book with the suspicion that she is the smarter of the two--and that she knows it. It is also enjoyable to find a book which shows two smart women enjoying a real friendship not based on their common relationship to a man.more
This isn't a great book in literary terms, and Agatha Christie certainly wrote better, more mature works. Nonetheless, this is one of my favourites. I like to think of it as the 'mashed potato of novels; it makes me feel good, especially when I'm a little under the weather.more
This is unlike any Agatha Christie I have ever read. It is a variation of the “damsel in distress” stories that I used to devour in my younger years—early [[Mary Stewart]] and Victoria Holt come to mind. It features a young and plucky heroine with intelligence who doesn’t always stop to think before rushing in where even fools would fear to tread. It is written in an interesting style with two POVs. I was pretty sure who the “villain” was fairly early on and certain of my conclusion well before the end, but there were enough other questions to be answered to keep me interested and two real surprises. It was a perfect “light” read when I was feeling puny. Recommended for fans of the genre.more
i read this when i was 12 and liked it. now it seems really stupid. after finishing it at 12 and loving it (it was my first adult mystery), i lent it to a friend whose mother wouldn't let her read it because of the cover--a woman in a strapless dress being pursued to cliff side by a man in a brown suit(to the best of my memory 50 years later). i can remember my mother saying " has she never heard of agatha christie?".more
What can you say in a review about Agatha Christie?? Of course I liked it. I like nearly everything she wrote. However, I did find this book to be different from some of her other books. Usually Christie springs the romance on you at the end of the book - suddenly these two people discover their love and decide to get married. However, in this book the romance goes through almost the entire plot. And of course there is always a dramatic twist at the end of a Christie story. In this book, though, the plot twists didn't surprise me so much. I kinda saw them coming. ;) I wasn't so sure if I liked the romance at the end or not. A part of me was hoping she would end up with a different man. But I enjoyed reading this, as I do all her writings.more
This book was directly inspried by an Empire Tour taken by Agatha and Arthur Christie, and colonial South Africa and Rhodesia take centre stage in the novel. Its also surpising that this was first published in 1924 as its heroine, Anne Beddingfield, is depicted as a modern, liberated, adventerous woman, who falls in love with a man who is best described as a combination of Heathcliff, Rochester and Darcy. This is an adventure story rather than a detective story and really is a ripping yarn.more
I've been rereading all my Agatha Christie books while I'm recovering from surgery. Anne is a great heroine. After her father dies, Anne is tired of keeping house and ready for an adventure. So she spends her inheritance on a ticket to South Africa. She gets entangled in a mystery involving stolen diamonds and a master criminal. I remember being quite surprised by the identity of the criminal the first time I read this book, but this time round it was just good fun to be swept up in the story.more
I’ll get it off my chest right away: The Man in the Brown Suit is a mess.It pains me (like a jewel-hilted dagger in the back) to say this but Agatha Christie’s 1924 novel is below sub-par. The story seems cobbled together from pulp espionage novels, True Romance confessionals, and episodes of The Perils of Pauline. You can almost see the threads stitching together this patchwork quilt.The plot is such a jumbled mess that I’m finding it hard to come up with a proper summary.It all starts when Anne Beddingfeld—a poor, friendless but ever-chipper girl whose “life had such a dreadful sameness”—witnesses a man fall to his death at a London train station. From there—with the flimsiest of coincidences involving an overcoat that smells of mothballs, a dropped note and a fake doctor—Anne is off on a series of adventures which take her from London to Africa in the turn of a page.As the estimable Bedside Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie puts it, this is “a tale of international intrigue, diamond thefts, murder, shipboard shenanigans, bomb-throwing revolutionaries, island idylls, and at least three marriage proposals.”Throw in a kitchen sink and you’ve pretty much got all of The Man in the Brown Suit.All is not completely lost with this novel; there are still flashes of Agatha’s trademark wit and economical way with words—especially in her descriptions of characters. The shifty Guy Pagett, secretary to Sir Eustace Pedler is described thusly: “The only amusing thing about the fellow is his face. He has the face of a fourteenth-century poisoner—the sort of man the Borgias got to do their odd jobs for them.”But then it settles back into dull briskness (or brisk dullness I can’t quite be sure).I’ll chalk this one off as an early mistake of Agatha’s. This was only her fourth published book and she was testing the limits of her creativity—trying to find that balance between devising a formula for brain-snapping puzzle plots and a speedy, efficient style which would allow her to churn out books quickly enough to pay the bills.The Man in the Brown Suit (which was also called, variously, The Mystery of the Mill House and Anna the Adventuress) missed the mark by a mile. Die-hard fans will always find something to love about every Christie novel, but for this reader, I’d rather reach for a Poirot or Marple. Heck, I’d even settle for Tommy and Tuppence on a bad day.One small note of interest: in the center of my paperback copy of The Man in the Brown Suit (a 1962 Dell which once sold for 40 cents), there is a neat hole running through the entire volume. It seems a previous reader fired a BB gun at the book. I can certainly understand why. The Man in the Brown Suit is just another Christie victim itself.more
This was interesting, as it was one of her very early efforts. Though the dialogue was outlandish at times, the heroine unnatural and the romance and adventure laid on a bit thick, there were some solid characters and the mystery was intriguing and well thought out. An enjoyable read, but not necessary to repeat.more
Read all 13 reviews

Reviews

This is the first non series that Christie wrote. Published in 1924 it takes place in 1920. A feisty young girl raised in a sheltered way catering to her scholarly father has the whole world before her after her father dies but she has made no plans until she is present at the death of a man who falls on the third rail in the subway. A man in a brown suit claiming to be a doctor tries to resuscitate the man but rushes off dropping a mysterious piece of paper.

Our heroine Anne Beddingfeld grabs the piece of paper and starts on an adventure of a lifetime.
Anne is an unusual girl for the era in someways because she is educated, fearless and intrepid. On the other hand she longs for romance and all the things others girls of the time want. A man, family and a home.more
A good book by Christie that doesn't fit what became her traditional formula. It alternates well between a first person account by Anne and the journal/diary of Sir Edgar. There is even a little love-interest typically absent in novels Christie wrote under her own name.more
A newly orphaned young woman, Anne Beddingfield, heads off to make her way in the world and finds herself embroiled in the midst of an unexpected adventure. Anne is spunky, if a bit too naïve and reminded me a bit of Catherine in Northanger Abbey. Anne’s read too many mystery novels (as opposed to Catherine’s penchant for gothic novels) and sees a bit of mystery in everything. I wasn’t thrilled with this one. I won’t get into the plot too much, except to say Anne witnesses a death, meets lots of people and ends up falling in love. It was nothing to keep you up at night flipping pages, which is kinda what I want from a mystery. It was less creepy goodness and more whodunit with a dollop of romance. It’s not a bad book, just a light entertaining read. It’s not quite up to par with some of Christie’s darker murder mysteries, like my favorite, And Then There Were None. I’d skip this one and pick up a different Christie instead.  more
This is Christie’s fourth published book and one can see a rabid maturation of her writing technique. After returning, in her third book, to a story built around a detective, she goes back in this book to the “romp” style of her second book. This time, however, the romp is executed with much more panache than in the first case. The Man in the Brown Suit has a plot as contrived and coincidence strewn as The Secret Adversary but is more dependent on the cliches and tropes of literature than those of films imported from the United States. At the same time the book is paced more like a movie than was TSA with changes of venue and actions sequences to distract the reader from paying too much attention to the actual plot. Christie also manages to make the “real” villain amusing and likeable which means that even the many readers who twig to what is going on fairly early in the game will still find the story a fun ride.It is also interesting to see a book in which the woman is clearly an “action" protagonist not someone wracked by sensibility. Yes, Anne’s life is saved more than once by the mysterious man to whom she is attracted, but Anne also plays an important role in saving his life. And though he may be stronger and land a meaner punch one ends the book with the suspicion that she is the smarter of the two--and that she knows it. It is also enjoyable to find a book which shows two smart women enjoying a real friendship not based on their common relationship to a man.more
This isn't a great book in literary terms, and Agatha Christie certainly wrote better, more mature works. Nonetheless, this is one of my favourites. I like to think of it as the 'mashed potato of novels; it makes me feel good, especially when I'm a little under the weather.more
This is unlike any Agatha Christie I have ever read. It is a variation of the “damsel in distress” stories that I used to devour in my younger years—early [[Mary Stewart]] and Victoria Holt come to mind. It features a young and plucky heroine with intelligence who doesn’t always stop to think before rushing in where even fools would fear to tread. It is written in an interesting style with two POVs. I was pretty sure who the “villain” was fairly early on and certain of my conclusion well before the end, but there were enough other questions to be answered to keep me interested and two real surprises. It was a perfect “light” read when I was feeling puny. Recommended for fans of the genre.more
i read this when i was 12 and liked it. now it seems really stupid. after finishing it at 12 and loving it (it was my first adult mystery), i lent it to a friend whose mother wouldn't let her read it because of the cover--a woman in a strapless dress being pursued to cliff side by a man in a brown suit(to the best of my memory 50 years later). i can remember my mother saying " has she never heard of agatha christie?".more
What can you say in a review about Agatha Christie?? Of course I liked it. I like nearly everything she wrote. However, I did find this book to be different from some of her other books. Usually Christie springs the romance on you at the end of the book - suddenly these two people discover their love and decide to get married. However, in this book the romance goes through almost the entire plot. And of course there is always a dramatic twist at the end of a Christie story. In this book, though, the plot twists didn't surprise me so much. I kinda saw them coming. ;) I wasn't so sure if I liked the romance at the end or not. A part of me was hoping she would end up with a different man. But I enjoyed reading this, as I do all her writings.more
This book was directly inspried by an Empire Tour taken by Agatha and Arthur Christie, and colonial South Africa and Rhodesia take centre stage in the novel. Its also surpising that this was first published in 1924 as its heroine, Anne Beddingfield, is depicted as a modern, liberated, adventerous woman, who falls in love with a man who is best described as a combination of Heathcliff, Rochester and Darcy. This is an adventure story rather than a detective story and really is a ripping yarn.more
I've been rereading all my Agatha Christie books while I'm recovering from surgery. Anne is a great heroine. After her father dies, Anne is tired of keeping house and ready for an adventure. So she spends her inheritance on a ticket to South Africa. She gets entangled in a mystery involving stolen diamonds and a master criminal. I remember being quite surprised by the identity of the criminal the first time I read this book, but this time round it was just good fun to be swept up in the story.more
I’ll get it off my chest right away: The Man in the Brown Suit is a mess.It pains me (like a jewel-hilted dagger in the back) to say this but Agatha Christie’s 1924 novel is below sub-par. The story seems cobbled together from pulp espionage novels, True Romance confessionals, and episodes of The Perils of Pauline. You can almost see the threads stitching together this patchwork quilt.The plot is such a jumbled mess that I’m finding it hard to come up with a proper summary.It all starts when Anne Beddingfeld—a poor, friendless but ever-chipper girl whose “life had such a dreadful sameness”—witnesses a man fall to his death at a London train station. From there—with the flimsiest of coincidences involving an overcoat that smells of mothballs, a dropped note and a fake doctor—Anne is off on a series of adventures which take her from London to Africa in the turn of a page.As the estimable Bedside Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie puts it, this is “a tale of international intrigue, diamond thefts, murder, shipboard shenanigans, bomb-throwing revolutionaries, island idylls, and at least three marriage proposals.”Throw in a kitchen sink and you’ve pretty much got all of The Man in the Brown Suit.All is not completely lost with this novel; there are still flashes of Agatha’s trademark wit and economical way with words—especially in her descriptions of characters. The shifty Guy Pagett, secretary to Sir Eustace Pedler is described thusly: “The only amusing thing about the fellow is his face. He has the face of a fourteenth-century poisoner—the sort of man the Borgias got to do their odd jobs for them.”But then it settles back into dull briskness (or brisk dullness I can’t quite be sure).I’ll chalk this one off as an early mistake of Agatha’s. This was only her fourth published book and she was testing the limits of her creativity—trying to find that balance between devising a formula for brain-snapping puzzle plots and a speedy, efficient style which would allow her to churn out books quickly enough to pay the bills.The Man in the Brown Suit (which was also called, variously, The Mystery of the Mill House and Anna the Adventuress) missed the mark by a mile. Die-hard fans will always find something to love about every Christie novel, but for this reader, I’d rather reach for a Poirot or Marple. Heck, I’d even settle for Tommy and Tuppence on a bad day.One small note of interest: in the center of my paperback copy of The Man in the Brown Suit (a 1962 Dell which once sold for 40 cents), there is a neat hole running through the entire volume. It seems a previous reader fired a BB gun at the book. I can certainly understand why. The Man in the Brown Suit is just another Christie victim itself.more
This was interesting, as it was one of her very early efforts. Though the dialogue was outlandish at times, the heroine unnatural and the romance and adventure laid on a bit thick, there were some solid characters and the mystery was intriguing and well thought out. An enjoyable read, but not necessary to repeat.more
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