|Cat Among the Pigeons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Title: Cat Among the Pigeons
Author: Agatha Chirstie
Main Characters: Miss Vanisttart, Miss Bulstrode, Miss Chadwick, Miss Rich, Ann Shapland (Angelica de Toredo), Miss Johnson, Miss Rowan, Miss Blake, Adam Goodman (Ronnie), Colonel Pikeaway, Derek, Inspetor Kelsey, Prince Ali Yusuf, Bob Rawlinson, Mrs. Upjohn, Julia Upjohn and Joan Sutcliffe (Mrs. Sutcliffe), Jennifer Sutcliffe, Briggs, Mr. Robinson, M. Hercule Poirot, Shaista and Madmoiselle Blanche.
Description of one of the main characters : Mrs. Upjohn is the mother of Julia Upjohn. She is an extremely intelligent and clever woman. She has been a secret agent herself and has worked for the 'Intelligence'. She has the talent to identify criminals in a crowd. She is a very strange woman. She exhibits her strangeness by travelling to Anatolia from England in a bus. She is not very rich. She is a cheerful person. She is a keen observer and a quick learner.
Whom I like and why: I like Julia Upjohn very much. She is just as smart and clever as her mother, Mrs. Upjohn. She has alot of common sense and presence of mind when it comes to a problem. Though everybody knew, including Inspector Kelsey, that somebody tried to exchange Jennnifer's bat and that the first murder happened at the sports pavilion, nobody could put two and two together and arrive at the conclusion, that there must be something hidden in Jennifer’s tennis racquet which was kept in the sport's pavillion, except Julia Upjohn. She is the one of to discover the lost jewels of Prince Ali Yusuf and bring it to the notice of M. Hercule Poirot. These support the fact that Julia Upjohn is the only person, excluding M. Poirot, who pushed the cases of the murders and burglary forward.
Whom I Dislike and Why: I dislike Inspector Kelsey. He is of no use. Although he was telling others that he was trying to solve the mysterious cases, he did nothing but roam around the school questioning everyone uselessly. Only after M. Poirot entered the scene, the cases got cleared up one by one in Poirot’s own way.
Setting/Theme of the story: Prince Ali Yusuf, sensing that he would soon die, entrusts a bag full of precious jewel stones, which the Sheiks have had for centuries, to his personal pilot and best friend, Bob Rowlinson, asking him to somehow transport it to a new and safe place. Bob Rowlinson after racking his brains on how to send it safely somewhere, decides that London is the safest place for it as no one would suspect. Without his sister’s knowledge, he packs it in her bag and sends his sister, Mrs. Sutcliffe, off to London. During the revolution, when Ali Yousuf, the Prince of Ramat, tries to escape with Bob Rawlinson, they hit the mountains of Ramat. The plane crashes and they die. Mrs. Sutcliff hears the news and gets highly upset. She decides to send Jennifer, her daughter, to Meadowbank, a residential school, after a theft attempt in her house.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pikeaway sends a lad named Ronnie to Meadowbawk as Princess Shaita, the neice of Emir Ibrahim and the cousin of late Prince Ali Yusuf, comes to studyat Meadowbank. Ronnie comes with the name of Adam Goodman. He employs himself as the assistant gardener of Meadowbank.
The summer term begins normally at Meadowbank. There are two new teachers in Meadowbank - Mademoiselle Blanche, a french teacher and Mrs. Springer, the sports incharge. One day, Mrs. Springer gets murdered in the sports pavilion. The police investigate and Inspector Kelsey takes up the ease. During the 1st week and when all the girls could go out with their parents, the Emir plans to pick up Princess Shaista. Shaista get into her Royal Car and speeds off. But later did Meadowbank discover that, that car was not Emir Ibrahim’s and that Shaista has been kidnapped. Most of the parents, afraid to leave their children in Meadowbank any further, take them home. Mrs. Sutcliffe picks up Jennifer. Just before that, Jennifer plays tennis. Jennifer's old racquet did not have correct balance and it, as a whole, was a little misshaped. Knowing this, a woman comes with a new bat, stating that it is a gift from Jennifer’s Aunt, and exchanges the new bat for the old one. Fortunately Jennifer and Julia, who were best friends, had swapped their bats. So, the woman had actually taken off Julia’s bat and Julia still had Jennifer’s. Then after a few weeks Miss Vanisttart gets murdered in the sports pavilion. All of them are puzzled. Why the SPORTS PAVILIAN again? Inspector Kelsey doesn’t understand anything. Smart Julia finds out that there must be something valuable in one of the tennis rackets. She remembered that somebody tried to rob Jennifer’s tennis bat. So, she concludes that there must be something in Jennifer’s tennis racket which was kept in the sport's pavilion. She removes the bottom of the grip of the raquet and finds rich jewels. Realising that she would be the next victim for the murder if she does not go to a private detective she goes to M. Hercule Poirot and hands over the jewels to him, who deposits them safely in a bank.
After a few days Mademoiselle Blanche gets murdered in her room. Miss.Chadwick dies of shock seeing Meadowbank at this state. After all this, Poirot solves these mysterious crimes in his own mysterious way. He finds out that Ann Shapland was the culprit and that she was none other than Angelica de Toreda, a person who has committed many other crimes. Miss.Bulstrode thanks Poirot for solving the cases. She appoints Miss Rich as the next headmistress.