The Case of the Middle-Aged Wife

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  • Parker Pyne
  • Short Story
  • 1934

When Mrs Packington, whose husband is paying more attention to a secretary, answers an ad in the papers and she soon finds herself being swept off her feet by the handsome Mr Luttrell. From Parker Pyne Investigates

More about this story

“Are you happy? If not, consult Mr Parker Pyne.” Having resolved that she is decidedly unhappy, Mrs Maria Packington seeks out the specialist detective to try and restore some contentment to her marriage.

The story features a wayward husband who begins an affair with a young typist named Nancy, the same name as the woman Agatha Christie’s first husband married after their divorce.

This story marks the first appearance of Miss Felicity Lemon who is Parker Pyne’s secretary. She appears in one other story in this collection before being ‘head-hunted’ by Hercule Poirot. It would be fair to describe Parker Pyne as a ‘romantic’ detective and his cases rarely deal with the types of crime Christie’s other detectives would be used to.

It was included in the 1934 collection Parker Pyne Investigates and was also adapted for TV in 1982 as part of The Agatha Christie Hour on the BBC. Maurice Denham played Parker Pyne and Angela Easterling featured as Miss Lemon, who was his secretary before she worked for Poirot.

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