The Gate of Baghdad

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Short Story

First published: 1934

A Parker Pyne story

Synopsis

The Gate of Baghdad

The Gate of Baghdad

Parker Pyne is touring the Middle East when one of the officers, Smethurst, tells Pyne he’s worried about something. Smethurst is killed before he can reveal the full story and it's up to Pyne to find out why... From Parker Pyne Investigates.

More about this story

Holidaying in the Middle East, Parker Pyne journeys across the Syrian Desert from Damascus to Baghdad in a motor coach. When one of the passengers if found dead, Parker Pyne must piece together the information he’s gleaned from the others to reveal the truth.

This is one of the few Parker Pyne mysteries to involve a murder, his cases generally revolving around romance and unhappiness. The story references one of Agatha Christie’s favourite poems The Gates of Damascus by James Elroy Flecker (1884-1919). The poem is also referenced in the title of one of her later novels, Postern of Fate.

The story first appeared in the UK in Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine in 1933, and the next year was included in the short story collection, Parker Pyne Investigates. BBC Radio 4 dramatised The Gate of Baghdad in 2010.

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