Parker Pyne

Another detective is Christopher Parker Pyne, a former government employee who compiled statistics. Upon retirement, Mr. Parker Pyne sets up a detective agency with an ad that states, "Are you happy? If not, consult Mr. Parker Pyne, 17 Richmond Street." He works more often to cure unhappiness (as if it was a disease) than to solve crimes. His methods are simple: deception, manipulation, and his use of "accomplices" to literally act out dramas for his clients. Through these dramas, he restores or brings happiness to his clients (for sometimes a very high fee). I myself disagree with Pyne being called a detective-- he's more of a specialist. He only does real "detective" work in the last half of the book, in my opinion.

Among those who he employs in his designs is Ariadne Oliver, the mystery novelist. She twice assists him in ploys to bring excitement to his clients. She, of course, aids Poirot in his investigations years later. Another famous face in Christie canon is Miss Felicity Lemon, Poirot's secretary. Miss Lemon is first Parker Pyne's secretary before leaving her post to work for Poirot. In his staff, Pyne also has Claude Luttrell and Madeline de Sara. Claude is a young man of 30, "graceful, debonair, perfectly dressed, extremely handsome." This "lounge lizard" was very adept at reuniting unhappily married women with their husbands. Madeline de Sara is an interesting accomplice of Pyne's: the sexy siren is really Maggie Sayers, fourth daughter of a hard-working English family in Streatham. This "Queen of Vamps" has disguised herself countless times, all women who are irresistible to men. She's so gorgeous that Pyne once said to her: "Our young friend has been along. The usual slight attack of Madeleinitis. He'll get over it in a day or two, but you are rather distracting."

Parker Pyne appears in the short story collection (12 stories) titled Parker Pyne Investigates and appears in two other short stories in the collection The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories.

Parker Pyne's Quotes

"It is a fundamental axiom of married life that you must lie to a woman."

"I have had a long experience in the compilation of statistics. From that experience I can assure you that in 87% of cases dishonesty does not pay."

"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."