The Secret of Chimneys

by Agatha Christie
244 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Clodsley S.

A good Christie read with slightly twisted morals.


After being abroad for several years in Africa, young Anthony Cade returns to England under strange circumstances - he has the Memoirs of the late Count Stylptitch of Herzoslovakia, which happen to be in the middle of a government conspiracy. He journeys to Chimneys where a myriad of characters try to help him on his pursuit after a murderer and possible conspirators.


Morality always seems to be somewhat twisted in Agatha Christie novels. You never really know if someone is a good guy or a bad guy until the very end. We never really quite know whose side Anthony is on, and all of the characters around him seem shifty, or in some cases, they're only in on it for the money.

Spiritual Content

No obvious spiritual content.


A few murders occur behind-the-scenes and the aftermath is briefly described.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A number of different narrations made by characters describe Stylptitch as being drunk when he met one of Anthony's friends. No other alcohol or drug content is made obvious.

Sexual Content

Virginia Revel, a widow and a prominent noblewoman, is sent to help Anthony, or rather act as a seductress to lure him out of the case, though that might be a reader's presumption. It also might be presumed that Bill Eversleigh, the secretary of sorts for the prominent George Lomax, has professed love to a number of different women (though this might only be an assumption). Cryptic notes are disguised as love letters from a wife to her secret lover.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A few four-letter words are tossed around ("D-mn", usually) as well as racial slurs. The Lord's name is taken in vain in a manner of ways, as well as British slang which is sometimes vulgar.


"The Secret of Chimneys" struck me as being unlike usual Agatha Christie mysteries. It was more political and circulated around conspiracy rather than murder or money, as her usual mysteries are. However, it was a good read. Anthony Cade is a colorful, humorous character, and the exchanges between higher society folks (especially George Lomax and his friend Lord Caterham) were very humorous and entertaining to read. Rather than being a story about government conspiracy, it almost pokes fun at government conspiracy, which made it interesting and overall a very compelling book.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: adult

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