The Man in the Brown Suit

Newly-orphaned Anne Beddingfeld is a nice English girl looking for a bit of adventure in London. But she stumbles upon more than she bargained for! Anne is on the platform at Hyde Park Corner tube station when a man falls onto the live track, dying instantly. A doctor examines the man, pronounces him dead, and leaves, dropping a note on his way. Anne picks up the note, which reads “17.1 22 Kilmorden Castle”. The next day the newspapers report that a beautiful ballet dancer has been found dead there– brutally strangled. A fabulous fortune in diamonds has vanished. And now, aboard the luxury liner Kilmorden Castle, mysterious strangers pillage her cabin and try to strangle her. What are they looking for? Why should they want her dead? Lovely Anne is the last person on earth suited to solve this mystery… and the only one who can! Anne’s journey to unravel the mystery takes her as far afield as Africa and the tension mounts with every step… and Anne finds herself struggling to unmask a faceless killer known only as ‘The Colonel’….

This was my January selection for the Read Christie 2022 Challenge. The theme for this month was ‘A story inspired by Agatha’s travels’ so this book seemed like the perfect choice as the majority of the story took place on a ship travelling to South Africa. This was a story that I had been aware of but hadn’t read and was never super sure of the plot so I was very much looking forward to reading it and it did not disappoint. I ended up giving this book 4 stars which was a great start to my Read Christie 2022 Challenge!

The main character in this book, Anne, was such a good main character. She was independent, intelligent, and absolutely fearless! While reading this book I wondered if Anne was based a little on Agatha Christie. Anne witnesses a death and decides to investigate it which led her to using her entire income on a ticket to South Africa in order to follow her hunch.

I found the plot of this book to be very exciting and interesting. Anne, along with her new friends, managed to unfurl more of the mystery which led to her being put in danger. Not one to be put off, this only encouraged her which I appreciated in a main character.

I thought that this book made some good nods towards the attitudes towards women as Anne was not believed by anyone until she confided in another woman. She had to push to be listened to.

As this was an Agatha Christie book, there was a little romance. I must admit that I didn’t see it coming and had assumed that a different pairing was going to take place. I did enjoy the romance as it felt realistic and rather romantic given the participants.

This book was a very exciting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would definitely read it again and look forward to what more delights will come this year.

I do want to note that this book was published in 1924 and there are parts of this book that are definitely not acceptable especially the attitudes and descriptions of people of colour, especially the people in South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as on the liner itself. There are also some very dated attitudes towards romance so please be aware of these notes.

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