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Publisher's Summary

Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the center of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realize that the simple favor has placed him in serious danger.

As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Sûreté gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret....

©1925 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    41
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful to listen again and again.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret of Chimneys to be better than the print version?

Hugh Fraser narrated the story very well, gave each character life and personality.

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

There are many surprises, humours and delightful moments in the story.

Any additional comments?

One of my favourite non-Poirot and non-Marple Agatha Christie mystery novel.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite Agatha Christie novel

Where does The Secret of Chimneys rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's difficult to rank this book among the others that I've listened to as they are all such different types of books. The Secret of Chimneys would definitely be close to the top, though.

What did you like best about this story?

This has always been my favorite novel by Agatha Christie. There's something about Anthony Cade that I've loved from the first time I read the book. His carefree manner vs his secretive nature just draws me in every time.
A very likeable main character, a murder mystery, and all set at an English house-party...it just comes together for me and keeps me entertained from the very first word to the very last.

What does Hugh Fraser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The accents. Hugh Fraser's ability to use different accents for every character really makes the book come alive in a way you don't get if you just read the book. Not only does he do several different British accents, but he's also great with the American, French, and Baltic area accents. He makes it that much more entertaining to listen vs read.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Without giving too much away about the murder mystery, I'd have to say the scene where they find out who the murderer really is and everyone's reactions. Especially George Lomax - the politician who thinks he knows everything - his reaction is priceless.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend getting The Secret of Chimneys as an audio book. The story itself is one of Agatha Christie's best, in my opinion. Hugh Fraser's performance is spot on and his voice is very enjoyable listening.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Somehow missed the humor before

Perhaps Hugh Fraser should be credited with bringing it out in his wonderful interpretation, but now I know, Agatha Christie really had a way with words, not to mention that the plots and characters were beautifully portrayed. I don't suppose I can offer anything new in my review, so I'll just say I'm glad I eventually noticed that I had been giving 4-5 stars to all the previous Christie audiobooks that I have in my library, and wonder why I only now have come to realize that I'm a fan.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Most Amazing Story I Ever Heard

Actually, there’s more than one secret at Chimneys, the historic country seat of Lord Caterham and the place of choice whenever George Lomax (of the Foreign Office) wants a rural setting in which to trade state secrets. To be exact, there’s a treasure hunt, two kidnappings, and two and a half murders.

In a plot that crowded, it’s little wonder that my title comes from an expostulation by Mr. Lomax himself, after hearing perhaps the most bizarre of the revelations that festoon this mystery. Though the least likable character in the book, his feelings echo mine; for all the far-fetched twists and turns, I enjoyed myself immensely.

That’s probably because Christie knew what H. G. Wells knew: to make an implausible tale plausible, you have to make all the plausible parts perfectly plausible. Her characters, dialogue and details ring true to life; I was perfectly willing to swallow (with relish) everything else.

And beyond all that, there’s Hugh Frasier, who played the earnest Captain Hastings to David Suchet’s impeccable Poirot in the long-running TV series. He gives his usual masterful performance here, though somewhat handicapped by a slight sibilance in the recording. It was his presence behind the microphone that prompted me to grab this one during the last 2-for-1 sale.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Outstanding narration, so-so story

I was really excited to read this given the reviews on goodreads, but I have to say I struggled through the middle terribly. I mean, it's Agatha Christie, so it could never be a bad book, but it just wasn't the best I've read of hers. Many of her books have my mind turning the entire time and that didn't happen for me with this one. I don't think there were enough twists and turns or intrigue laced throughout to keep me in suspense like usual. It finished in true Christie fashion, except I was still left wondering the details of a character mentioned throughout the entire book.

Narration was beyond incredible!! Though I hate using that word, Hugh Fraser deserves the sacrifice. This is the first book I've listened to performed by him, and I have to say I'm now super excited to listen to Christie's Hercule Poirot series.

So to sum it up: not the best, but I'm certainly not mad I used a credit. It as worth it for the narration alone. I'd just say to perhaps not start with this book if you're new to Agatha Christie. Everyone is different though, and perhaps I'm way off considering the high reviews on goodreads.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • CHERRY HILL, NJ, United States
  • 03-29-14

Inspector Battle is Introduced

Where does The Secret of Chimneys rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is high up on the list of books I have listened to for relaxation and enjoyment. The narration is excellent and it is clear which character is speaking at any time.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the way the Christie weaves the plot so you are never quite sure who did it. The ending was quite good.

Which character – as performed by Hugh Fraser – was your favorite?

Anthony Cade

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Everything is coming up roses

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Too many secret identities

It was a good story but I did get mixed up with all the secret identities.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not up to her usual quality

Another great narration by Hugh Fraser, but the story itself is not up the Agatha Christie's usual standards, in my opinion. Probably because this was a very early story of hers -- I like Inspector Battle, but the set up and mystery is both too confusing (fake monarchs of fake countries) and too cliche (stodgy forgetful old men, widow becomes a princess).

I'll gladly listen to Hugh Fraser again and again, but it will be one of Christie's other novels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Long Time Reader of Agatha Christie

I had never read or listened to this book, even thou I thought I had read all of the Agatha Christie novels
It was written in the 1920's and is charming. I loved it

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • KK
  • 03-09-18

Meh story......excellent narration

As a huge fan of Poirot and Miss Marple, even though I hadn't heard of this title, I had high hopes. After all, its a Christie!

The story started out great, the mystery was laid out, the characters were introduced and I looked forward to unraveling the mystery. When I realized I was only on chapter 14, based on the story so far, I couldn't imagine what might require another 16 chapters. That's where it went bad for me..... the story got convoluted with politics and underground militia. The detective was almost a background character while the most viable suspect was allowed to taint every crime scene and solve the murder. The whodunit was disappointing. I kept thinking "seriously?"

The best part..... listening to the voice of Capt Hastings doing the excellent narration.!!