My category substitution is: 'Short story collection' in place of 'Cookbook or Food Memoir' as I don't sit down and read cookbooks as such.
A collection of short stories featuring the ‘heart specialist’, Parker Pyne. Twelve tantalising cases for the retired private investigator Parker Pyne, who solves the personal cases that Scotland Yard won’t handle.
Mrs Packington felt alone, helpless and utterly forlorn. But her life changed when she stumbled upon an advertisement in The Times which read: ‘ARE YOU HAPPY? IF NOT, CONSULT MR PARKER PYNE’.
Equally adept at putting together the pieces of a marriage or the fragments of a murder mystery, Mr Parker Pyne was possibly the world’s most unconventional private eye – and certainly its most charming.
Agatha Christie is a favourite author of mine and I thought I had read all of her books. However, somehow the Parker Pyne stories passed me by and thus seemed a nice fit for the short story collection category. I don't think Agatha Christie is, for the most part, as strong a short story writer as she is a novel writer as such I tend not to enjoy her short stories as much as I do her novels - as was the case with this book.
The first part of the book was set in London and for me was by far the best part and included the more enjoyable stories. Then for some reason Agatha Christie send Parker Pyne on a trip around the world and at that point I found the stories less enjoyable. This was partly because at some point she had rewritten most, if not all, of the Parker Pyne non-London based stories as Hercule Poirot stories and I had thus read them when I had my Hercule Poirot reread a few years ago. I can see why she rewrote them with Poirot replacing Parker Pyne, as they do work far better as Poirot stories as they are more 'real' cases, as opposed to the 'case of the heart' Parker Pyne specialises in.
I enjoyed the book. It was what it was: a nice gentle, easy, light, no effort, unchallenging, fun read. I liked Parker Pyne and I enjoyed the reason for his creation and it was a change to see this type of 'detection'.