A revolution in the Middle East has a direct and deadly impact upon the summer term at Meadowbank, a picture-perfect girls' school in the English countryside. Prince Ali Yusuf, Hereditary Sheikh of Ramat, whose great liberalizing experiment -- 'hospitals, schools, a Health Service' -- is coming to chaos, knows that he must prepare for the day of his exile. He asks his pilot and school friend, Bob Rawlinson, to care for a packet of jewels. Rawlinson does so, hiding them among the possessions of his niece, Jennifer Sutcliffe, who is bound for Meadowbank. Rawlinson is killed before he can reveal the hiding place—or even the fact that he has employed his niece as a smuggler. But someone knows, or suspects, that Jennifer has the jewels. As murder strikes Meadowbank, only Hercule Poirot can restore the peace.
what a pleasant book to read. Really ingenious of Agatha Christie. The fairly harmless girl's school, the turn of events- murder, kidnapping and unlikely reveal. Love the way everything is smoothly tied together in the end. The introduction of Hercules Poirot into the investigation, comes in very late in the book and takes one by surprise. The climax itself catches you off guard. A well knit mystery and surely one of Agatha's best. Highly recommended for everyone.read more
don't worry! no spoilers. Just a synopsis.I wouldn't rank it up there among my favorites, but Cat Among the Pigeons was quite good. Quite late in the Hercule Poirot series (1959), the great Belgian detective only appears toward the end of this one. Basic synopsis: Ramat, a fictional country somewhere in the Middle East, is poised on the edge of revolution. The leader at the time, one Ali Yusuf, knows that revolution is coming, and entrusts his friend and private pilot with a cache of jewels, giving him instructions to get them out of the country and into safe hands. Rawlinson cannot think how he's going to do this, then settles on the idea of hiding them with his sister, who his there with her daughter on holiday. But he can't think of a place that won't be searched, so he goes to her hotel room while she's out, and hides them in the best place he can think of: in the handle of his niece's tennis racket. The revolution comes, Ali and Rawlinson fly out, and both are killed when their plane is sabotaged.We then learn that the niece, Julia Upjohn, has enrolled at the Meadowbank school, an exclusive, upper-class establishment. After school starts, there are some strange happenings there, none the least of which are two murders. Another student, Jennifer Sutcliffe, had switched rackets with Julia, and thinks it odd when a strange woman comes to Julia and gives her a new raquet, supposedly sent to her by her aunt. After the murders, though, Jennifer begins to put two and two together and goes to seek help from M. Poirot, who doesn't take long to realize that they are dealing with a clever mind.I still cannot read any Hercule Poirot mysteries without hearing and seeing David Suchet in the Poirot role! The book was very well written and the mystery a surprise -- and I enjoyed it very much.read more
One of the best works by Agatha Christie and the best among Hercule Poirot series. Set against the backdrop of Meadowbank school the revolution at Ramat lays heavy upon this plot. The ruler of Ramat and his friend/confidant Bob Rawlinson are murdered by the rebels. Rumors are abound that the jewels of Ramat have reached Meadowbank through Jennifer Sutcliff, Rawlinson’s niece. Cut onto Meadownbank, the scene opens with the summer term where Miss Bulstrode and her teachers are busy welcoming new and old students. The atmosphere though is rife with an implied sense of doom. As term starts, Jennifer Sutcliff confides in Julia Upjohn her best friend and tennis partner about the robbery at her home. While Julia suspects that this maybe due to the Sutcliffs’ association with the Ramat events, Jennifer dismisses it as usual. This is soon followed by a murder at Meadowbank where the Sports Pavilion is ransacked and its sports mistress is murdered. The school’s image takes a further hit with the occurrence of 2 more murders involving the deputy headmistress and the french mistress . Julia pieces together the events and reaches out to Poirot for help. The question becomes – who is the cat among the pigeons?read more
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