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Summary

Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress, shot through the heart from point blank range.

The school is thrown into chaos when the "cat" strikes again. Unfortunately, schoolgirl Julia Upjohn knows too much. In particular, she knows that without Hercule Poirot's help, she will be the next victim.

©1959 Agatha Christie Limited, a Chorion Company. All rights reserved (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK

Critic reviews

"Immensely enjoyable." ( Daily Express)
"To read Agatha Christie at her best is to experience the rarefied pleasure of watching a faultless technician at work, and she is in top form in Cat Among the Pigeons." ( New York Times)

What listeners say about Cat Among the Pigeons

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Cat Among the Pigeons

Well narrated by Hugh Fraser with an intriguing storyline.
Agatha Christie did her fantastic job of keeping you busy trying to work out who did what a throughly good audio book cannot wait for the next one

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect Comfort Listening

Hugh Fraser narrates this tale brilliantly: within minutes, the multitude of characters have each gained their own separate identity thanks to his ability to portray their mannerisms. The story itself is classic Christie; and knowing what to expect - the unexpected twist! - makes for the ultimate in comfort listening. Curl up with a hot drink and get stuck in!

3 people found this helpful

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Classic Christie

Unusual plot, with the standard cast of characters. First class entertainment, beautifully read by Hugh Fraser

3 people found this helpful

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Superb....

I have always loved this ere. The way the story is told and the way it has been presented makes you just slow down and listen to it with no care in the world. I'm a listener of Audible on long drives and this story helps you reduce the speed take life a little easier and enjoy the smaller things in life. Love it!!!!

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Brilliant

Brilliant story line, kept you guessing and very well narrated by Hugh Frazer. One you can listen to again and again.

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Cat Among Pigeons! Amazing!

I love Agatha Christie's book. Every detail well explained! Poirot is incredible as always. A million stars! ❤️

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Beautifully read, fascinating story.

Beautifully read, fascinating story. Keeps you guessing right up to the end. Very highly recommended.

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Best days of our lives?

It is the start of term and parents are arriving to drop their daughters off at the elite Meadowbank school, where the headmistress, Miss Bulstrode, has built a reputation for excellence. There are several new girls, Jennifer and Julia who are destined to become best friends, and Princess Shaista, a member of the ruling family in Ramat, a middle-Eastern nation that has just undergone a coup. Flashback a few weeks to Ramat, and we meet Bob Rawlinson, friend to Prince Ali Yusuf, the soon to be deposed ruler. Ali, aware of his likely fate, entrusts something of immense value to Bob and asks him to get it out of the kingdom. These two very different scenarios will soon cross into each other, bringing murder to the ultra-respectable Meadowbank.

Although this has never been one of my top favourite Poirots, it has lots of good things that place it high in the second tier. When I was younger Meadowbank seemed like a wonderful place, though now I find I hate the elitism of it and see no real signs of why it should be considered so remarkable – the girls we get to know seem a rather mediocre bunch on the whole, and are there exclusively because of their parents’ wealth and social position. Christie does address this through a conversation between a couple of her characters, but not convincingly.

The characterisation of the teachers is very well done. Miss Bulstrode is an inspirational leader (though she doesn’t seem terribly good at selecting staff!) while her long-time friend, Miss Chadwick, is one of these rather pitiable characters Christie does so well – a little lonely, loyal to a fault, often overlooked by stronger personalities. She reminds me of Bunny in A Murder is Announced. Miss Vansittart is the one considered likely to succeed Miss Bulstrode when she retires, although Miss Bulstrode is having doubts about her suitability. There are some new members of staff this term, each of whom may or may not be what she seems. It is one of these, Miss Springer the gamesmistress, who turns up dead in the new Sports Pavilion.

The two girls we get to know best are fun. Jennifer is an unimaginative and unobservant child, devoted to her tennis, while Julia is quite the reverse – sensible, but curious and with lots of intelligence and initiative. As happens often in Christie novels, the children are far less fazed by the murder and mayhem going on around them than the adults. She shows them as partly excited and partly too self-absorbed in their own affairs to be frightened. Personally I find this more credible than if they were all having screaming hysterics all the time.

There are a few reasons I don’t rate this quite as highly as some of the other Poirots, but none of these should be seen as major criticisms, simply observations. Poirot doesn’t appear until very late in the novel, and I miss him! Written quite late in Christie’s career, 1959, it shows a little of the weakness in plotting that became a feature of some of her final books. Well, perhaps not in plotting exactly, but in the presentation of the plot to the reader – I don’t think it could quite be classed as fair play, and Poirot seems to rather pluck the solution out of the air rather than build up to it by solid investigation. I’m never so keen on Christie’s occasional ventures into the world of international espionage – I don’t think she does it nearly as believably as her more domestic plots, and it does tend to mean there’s an awful lot of that British superciliousness towards foreigners that grates more with each passing year, although it’s clear from this one that Christie had herself moved on quite a bit from the worst of the colonial attitudes she showed in some of her earliest books.

Despite my minor criticisms, this is a very enjoyable read, and as always Hugh Fraser’s narration is excellent. A great way to spend a few hours!

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wow wow wow

I absolutely loved this book I was so hooked I didn't even try to figure out who done it.

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Agatha does it again

Red herrings thrown out, you grasp them but in the end it becomes obvious and you kick yourself for not picking the clues. Best story and well read and presented by High Frazer (Captain Hastings).

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  • Matthew
  • 23-01-19

A bit different from the usual AC

Really enjoyed this one. It was more of a novella-like than most Hercule books I've read in the past, and extremely well written and narrated.

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  • Anne
  • 21-08-12

Kept me guessing and I still was in for a surprise

Where does Cat Among the Pigeons rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my favorites

What did you like best about this story?

It never got dull and the characters were well portrayed. You always thought you could predict the story, and then it did a "twist"!!!

Which scene was your favorite?

The school with all the descriptions of the beginning of the 1st term and new people.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, I was just kept enthralled, which could be called extreme when you still have a busy life rushing around you all day.

Any additional comments?

Agatha Christie, has an amazing ability of making her characters "real"

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  • Margaret
  • 19-05-12

Good Reader as Usual and Intriguing

If you could sum up Cat Among the Pigeons in three words, what would they be?

Always enjoy a Agatha Christie and this story interesting

What about Hugh Fraser’s performance did you like?

Hugh Fraser is a great reader and sounds very plausible with acting women parts in book....Has good variation for different people