Parker Pyne Investigates - Agatha Christie Love it. I haven’t even finished it, only read the first two of the book’s 12 stories, but I know the rest will be just as delightful.
Not surprising, really. The back blurb states that there are two billion copies of Christie’s books in print, and that was written in 1984. Obviously, I’m not the only one who likes her writing.
What is interesting though is that I had been trying to read several different books before this one. I tried a classical novel, a mainstream novel, a mystery novel, all by solid, respectable writers, and I couldn’t finish any of the books I started. Everything seemed boring, irrelevant, plainly wrong. Can I even enjoy a book anymore, I wondered? Maybe I’ve become too jaded. Then I picked up this little book in a thrift store (for 0.99), and I don’s feel jaded anymore. I feel rejuvenated, my interest freshly picked. My deep bow to Dame Agatha.
Her hero, Parker Pyne, isn’t even a detective. At least in the first two stories, he doesn’t investigate crimes. Just the opposite: he creates the illusions of crimes and adventures to make people happy, their lives exciting. His personal ad reads: “Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne.”
So I consulted him, and you know what: I’m happy. Last night, when I closed the book after the first two stories, I smiled. I fell asleep still smiling. Can’t wait to get back to the book and read all the stories.

Some of the latter stories are not as funny as the first two, but in all of them, Mr. Parker Pyne solves problems that make people unhappy. His powers of observation and deduction are formidable, his inventiveness is endless, and his heart is generous. Of course, he charges a hefty amount for his services... but only from those who can afford it. The others, he helps for free.

It’s an easy and fast read for our busy times.

I have only two problems with this book. First is cosmetic: I couldn’t find the edition that I own among the 50 editions of this book on GoodReads. Second is intrinsic to the writing style: the stories are written exclusively from the author’s POV. There is no character development, no inner monologues, and no thoughts of any of the characters are available to the reader. Only dialogue and action. As a result, the writing seems a bit dry, distant. But the plots of all the stories are engaging enough to overcome this little glitch.
Overall, I enjoyed it.