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An urgent cry for help brings Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face downwards in a shallow grave on a golf course.

But why is the dead man wearing his son's overcoat? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse . . .

Topics: England, France, Private Investigators, Blackmail, Inheritance, Murder, Suspenseful, Series, 1920s, Village, 20th Century, Female Author, and British Author

Published: HarperCollins on Nov 23, 2004
ISBN: 9780061749940
List price: $5.99
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November 1998 Hastings finds love sums up this book for me. Sadly I watched part one of the BBC version of this book, I say sadly because the movie version does not follow the story line of the book, which is like following two conversations at the same time. Anyway, Christie is an extremely talented mystery writer, just when the murder is solved, things happen. Things and people are never what they appear to be which is almost the only constant thing. Someday I may read all Christie’s mysteries from beginning to end, won’t that be a task?read more
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What can I say, I love almost every Agatha Christie. True, not as well polished as some of her others but I did love reading the 'story' behind Hastings and his wife!Read on a kobo, loved it!read more
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Ercule Poirot receives a letter begging him to travel to France to help in a mysterious case. Upon his arrival it turns out that the man who wrote the letter was murdered and it is up to Poirot and his friend Captain Hastings to solve the murder and a couple of other mysteries along the way. A couple of years ago I got my hands on a volume of five of Christie's Miss Marple mysteries along with a book of short stories and for some reason while I enjoyed them I didn't love them. It all seemed very formulaic with superficial characters and without much feeling. Now that I've been reading more of her books I can't help but think that the timing wasn't right when I picked up that volume. I even remember saying in earlier Christie reviews that to me her novels are good riddles but usually don't have much depth. I officially take it back. This was Christie's second published novel and already we have a theme that will repeat in a number of her later books - heredity and its effects on a person's character. Poirot is a big believer in heredity and something tells me that Dame Agatha was as well. It was interesting to see how such considerations played a part in the characters' actions. We also have the matter of social classes and marriage outside of one's class. It seems like an archaic and snobbish subject in this day and age but in Christie's time it was very much relevant and I must admit, marriage is difficult enough without partnering up with someone who doesn't even have the benefit of a similar background. Like Poirot said, 99 times out of 100 it doesn't make for a happy union. But do not despair, my democratic friends, luckily for us Christie favors love and happiness much more than numbers and odds, and that's all I'm going to say about that. As far as the characters go this set was a lot of fun. Hastings always deems himself such a great detective and speaks of Poirot almost pityingly when the Belgian genius makes conclusions that don't coincide with his. Fortunately he remains such a good sport when he realizes that all his ideas were wrong that one can't hold it against him, which I don't think Poirot ever does. The French police are a different matter entirely and it was very amusing to watch them battle it out over the many plot twists - as the officer in charge of the investigation lamented this was not at all a simple case and you do have to get the little grey cells working to keep track of it all. Mme Renauld was definitely my favorite female character. She was a remarkable woman indeed and only at the very end of the book do we see the full extent of it. The rest weren't very straightforward either. We have devotion, self-sacrifice, strength, deceit and calculation all present and as carefully as I watched for clues I couldn't always tell who was looking out for whose interests. Hope you have better luck, both here and with the identity of the killer - I was off the mark yet again and A.C. is currently leading 15-0. That's ok, I have 51 more chances.read more
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November 1998 Hastings finds love sums up this book for me. Sadly I watched part one of the BBC version of this book, I say sadly because the movie version does not follow the story line of the book, which is like following two conversations at the same time. Anyway, Christie is an extremely talented mystery writer, just when the murder is solved, things happen. Things and people are never what they appear to be which is almost the only constant thing. Someday I may read all Christie’s mysteries from beginning to end, won’t that be a task?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What can I say, I love almost every Agatha Christie. True, not as well polished as some of her others but I did love reading the 'story' behind Hastings and his wife!Read on a kobo, loved it!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Ercule Poirot receives a letter begging him to travel to France to help in a mysterious case. Upon his arrival it turns out that the man who wrote the letter was murdered and it is up to Poirot and his friend Captain Hastings to solve the murder and a couple of other mysteries along the way. A couple of years ago I got my hands on a volume of five of Christie's Miss Marple mysteries along with a book of short stories and for some reason while I enjoyed them I didn't love them. It all seemed very formulaic with superficial characters and without much feeling. Now that I've been reading more of her books I can't help but think that the timing wasn't right when I picked up that volume. I even remember saying in earlier Christie reviews that to me her novels are good riddles but usually don't have much depth. I officially take it back. This was Christie's second published novel and already we have a theme that will repeat in a number of her later books - heredity and its effects on a person's character. Poirot is a big believer in heredity and something tells me that Dame Agatha was as well. It was interesting to see how such considerations played a part in the characters' actions. We also have the matter of social classes and marriage outside of one's class. It seems like an archaic and snobbish subject in this day and age but in Christie's time it was very much relevant and I must admit, marriage is difficult enough without partnering up with someone who doesn't even have the benefit of a similar background. Like Poirot said, 99 times out of 100 it doesn't make for a happy union. But do not despair, my democratic friends, luckily for us Christie favors love and happiness much more than numbers and odds, and that's all I'm going to say about that. As far as the characters go this set was a lot of fun. Hastings always deems himself such a great detective and speaks of Poirot almost pityingly when the Belgian genius makes conclusions that don't coincide with his. Fortunately he remains such a good sport when he realizes that all his ideas were wrong that one can't hold it against him, which I don't think Poirot ever does. The French police are a different matter entirely and it was very amusing to watch them battle it out over the many plot twists - as the officer in charge of the investigation lamented this was not at all a simple case and you do have to get the little grey cells working to keep track of it all. Mme Renauld was definitely my favorite female character. She was a remarkable woman indeed and only at the very end of the book do we see the full extent of it. The rest weren't very straightforward either. We have devotion, self-sacrifice, strength, deceit and calculation all present and as carefully as I watched for clues I couldn't always tell who was looking out for whose interests. Hope you have better luck, both here and with the identity of the killer - I was off the mark yet again and A.C. is currently leading 15-0. That's ok, I have 51 more chances.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It is SO hard for me to read these books and not picture David Suchet as Poirot. While the man is perfect in the role, I hear his voice in my head while I'm reading. But...okay, moving right along...In this episode, we find the friendly little Belgian detective spending his time rescuing cats and he's fed up. Along comes a letter from one M. Renaud in France, asking for Poirot's help because his life is in danger. Off rush Poirot and his friend and erstwhile sidekick, Captain Hastings. But it's too late...when they arrive at Renaud's villa, Renaud is already dead. While Poirot has no official standing there, he is allowed to help the police, and they'll need it: there are a number of suspects from which to choose. With his usual energy, Poirot has to work fast to prevent the wrong person from going to the guillotine. This is installment #2 in the Poirot series, and it's easy to see that neither Poirot nor Hastings are in their fully developed selves yet. It's not one of her best but on the other hand, it's still early in the series. Originally written in 1923, the language is a bit stilted at times, and Poirot is a bit more long-winded than he will turn out to be later. A lot of this novel is based on coincidence, but you can sort of overlook it because it's interesting to see how Poirot uses zee little grey cells. However, a couple of plot twists will keep you guessing right up until the end so it's a good enough mystery and will keep readers turning pages. Recommended definitely for Christie (and Poirot) fans; readers of golden-age mysteries will enjoy this and readers of British mysteries in general will probably have fun with it. Overall...an average story from a great writer.
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A nice, solid detective. The story keeps you guessing, it's complicated enough to not be too straightforward.
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Originally published in 1923, I read an Agatha Christie Signature Edition published in 2001. ISBN 0-00-711928-3. 319 pages.Having recently transacted some business in Paris, Arthur Hastings is returning to London, to the rooms he is now sharing with Belgian ex-detective Hercule Poirot, by the morning Calais express. He shares a compartment with a young woman who introduces herself as Cinderella.On the following morning in London Poirot receives a letter from France, from someone who says he is desperate need of the services of a detective. The letter is written in a "bold characteristic hand", with a hastily scrawled line at the bottom, "For God's sake, come!" Poirot and Hastings set out straight away for Dover and then Calais. When they arrive at their destination they discover that the writer of the letter has already been murdered. His brutally stabbed body is discovered face down in a bunker on a nearby golf course, clad in its underwear and an extremely long overcoat.This is Agatha Christie's third novel, her second to feature Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings. Although this is only the second time we have seen Poirot in action, Hastings implies they have worked other cases together since THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES. In a reference to Inspector Japp from Scotland Yard in the opening pages, Hastings says that he had "more than once introduced us to an interesting case."The police have already been called to the murder scene by the time Poirot arrives and he is delighted to discover the police commissary is an old acquaintance whom he last saw in Ostend over a decade before. The commissary is able to introduce Poirot to the examining magistrate and the victim's doctor. After Poirot has inspected the scene and between them they have interviewed some of the household, a stranger turns up. He proves to be Monseiur Giraud from the Paris Surete, a much younger man, a "modern" detective, arrogant, self-assured, and only about thirty years old.From this point on the action becomes a competition between Poirot and Giraud to solve the case. Poirot and Giraud constantly refute each other's theories, and Hastings typically is ready to see Poirot as a quibbler, and indeed at one stage goes out of his way to deceive Poirot and thus lets him down. Giraud disparages Poirot's deductive methods, preferring to use more scientific evidence such as the new art of fingerprinting. Poirot makes no secret of the fact that he believes Giraud is not nearly observant enough.In addition Hastings loses his impartiality by falling head over heels in love with one of the suspects. It will be interesting to see if she appears in a future book.The plot is quite a complex one, and indeed I feel that the complexity actually became a little difficult for Christie to sustain. The reader is required to accept a considerable degree of coincidence, straining the credibility of the plot just a bit.There's quite a lot of description of Poirot and we have a really good idea of what he looks like. Hastings, through whose eyes we see the action of the novel, says "An extraordinary little man. Height, five feet four inches, egg-shaped head carried a little to one side, eyes that shone green when he was excited, stiff military moustache, air of dignity immense! He was neat and dandified in appearance." There is a scene however at the end of the novel which is a bit at odds with that description. Look out for it and see what you think."Dashing forward, he [Poirot] battered wildly on the front door. Then rushing to the tree in the flower-bed, he swarmed up it with the agility of a cat. I followed him, as with a bound he sprang in through the open window". Sedate, dapper, neat little Poirot climbs a tree? Never!Just as in the earlier two books, there are quite large sections of denouement, when Christie makes sure that the reader understands the complexity of the plot and the cleverness of her carefully woven webs. Almost 80 pages before the end Poirot begins his exposition designed to make things clear for the thick Hastings. Hastings thinks all is resolved and Poirot reminds him there is yet one more murder to be solved.My verdict. THE MURDER ON THE LINKS has stood the test of time quite well. Red herrings abound. Hercule Poirot changes his mind several times, and so did I. My rating: 4.2Interestingly MURDER ON THE LINKS contains a dedication "To My Husband a fellow enthusiast for detective stories and to whom I am indebted for much helpful advice and criticism."Agatha has been married to Colonel Archibald Christie since 1914, and her marriage, although apparently an unhappy one, will survive until their divorce in 1928.
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