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A Deadly Affair: Unexpected Love Stories from the Queen of Mystery    by Agatha Christie order for
Deadly Affair
by Agatha Christie
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2022 (2022)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

A Deadly Affair is a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie that were previously published between 1923 and 1942. Two of her most beloved characters, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, appear in several of the stories in this book, which deals with desperate situations between or about people who are in love. There are other recurring characters who were not familiar to me, but someone in each of the stories solves the mystery without difficulty.

Hercule Poirot works his magic in the first story, The King of Clubs, when a missing playing card in a bridge game points to the clue that allows him to justify his suspicions as to the murderer. He appears again in The Double Clue and Wasps' Nest, three of the earliest of the stories, all written in the 1920s.

Miss Marple makes her appearance in Death by Drowning, first published in 1931, when she proves that a girl who had been written off as a suicide had actually been murdered. She once more solves the crime in The Case of the Caretaker, published in 1942. She does not actually become involved in the murder in this case, as the doctor who figured out what had really happened gives her his account of the events leading up to the solution and asks her what she thinks. This story illustrates Agatha Christie's clever takes on love, marriage, and the attractions posed by even evil suitors.

The other detectives featured in these delightful stories include Mr. Parker Pyne, Mr. Quin, and my favorites Tuppence and Tommy of Blunt's Brilliant Detectives, who provide humor in the two stories in which they are featured. There are also two stories, Fruitful Sunday and Magnolia Blossom, which deal with relationships alone with no murders having been committed.

This is a fun collection of Christie's stories. The doomed who have been done away with aren't likeable people, the solutions are worked out in imaginative enjoyable ways, and sometimes the reader can work out the conclusions along with the detectives in the story. It is interesting to read stories that span such a great number of years in a writer's life. I wouldn't call these cozy mysteries, but they won't keep a reader up at night.

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