Agatha Christie - Parker Pyne Investigates - HarperCollins - circa 2011 (reprint)
"For 35 years of my life I have been engaged in the compiling of statistics in a government office. Now I have retired and it has occurred to me to use the experience I have gained in a novel fashion. It is all so simple. Unhappiness can be classified under five main heads - no more, I assure you. Once you know the cause of a malady, the remedy should not be impossible."
So does Parker Pyne introduce himself and his work to prospective clients. You will readily appreciate that, while he does on occasion undertake a bit of sleuthing, he is not by any means a detective per se.
The first story in this collection was a definite winner to my mind but I was not at all sure that Pynes` actvities really would merit a whole book of stories. Maybe it would have been better for Ms Christie to quit while she was ahead where Mr P was concerned ?
The next story did not seem as good but I persevered and I have to say, Agatha was right and I was wrong. It`s true there are a couple of stories that I didn`t much care for, but taken as a whole the collection works.
It is necessarily a touch old-fashioned (the book first appeared in 1934). It may not be to everyones` taste but if you fancy trying something a bit different you may wish to do what I did and borrow a modern reprint from your local library.