Book Review: Cat Among the Pigeons

“‘I think there is something wrong here,’ said Eileen Rich slowly. ‘It’s as though there were someone among us who didn’t belong.’ She looked at him, smiled, almost laughed and said, ‘Cat among the pigeons, that’s the sort of feeling.'”

“Cat Among the Pigeons”, by Agatha Christie

The September theme for the #ReadChristie2021 reading challenge is “a story featuring a school”, and I have read the suggested novel “Cat Among the Pigeons”. With the weather here in the UK starting to feel decidedly autumnal, it definitely feels like it’s time to get back to school…

Published in 1959, this novel is one of the later ones to feature Hercule Poirot – although if you’re a big fan, be warned he doesn’t appear until more than two-thirds of the way through the book! To me it felt more like some of Christie’s standalone adventure books, like “The Man in the Brown Suit” or “They Came to Baghdad” – plenty of international intrigue, revolution and secret service agents. But alongside that is a more traditional murder mystery setting of an exclusive girls school.

Meadowbanks is where the best families send their daughters to be educated, and it is run by the imposing Miss Bulstrode. The term starts much as usual, with anxious parents dropping off their daughters and trying to gain an audience with the headmistress. But things take a deadly turn when the games mistress, the not-well-liked Miss Springer, is found shot dead in the new sports pavilion. Was it a burglary gone wrong, or is something more complicated afoot?

Poirot swoops in at the end to solve things (with a nice call back to the earlier “Mrs McGinty’s Dead”), and I particularly enjoyed the setting of the girl’s school and various supporting characters in this one. A great read!

Pages: 224
Published: 1959
Rating: 🐈🐈🐈🐈/5

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