The first three of Agatha Christie's thirty-three celebrated Hercule Poirot novels in one collection. Including The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Murder on the Links and Poirot Investigates.

Topics: England, 1930s, Anthology, Suspenseful, Murder, Private Investigators, Female Author, and British Author

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062083661
List price: $4.99
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I'm not much for cozies in general, but I do like Agatha Christie and, the earlier Hercule Poirot novels are very nicely crafted. In this story, an Englishman living in France summons Poirot to Merlinville-sur-Mer in France. The Englishman, Paul Renaud, believes his life to life to be endangered. Poirot arrives in all due haste; but it is too late. Renaud's body is discovered on a golf course.... Silly me, I was half afraid that the book was going to contain arcane golfing terminology and I was going to have to ask DH about mashies and niblicks and such, but rest assured, there was nothing about golf in the story :-)

Redacted from the original blog review at dog eared copy, Hercule Poirot Mysteries (1-4): Mini Op-Ed Reviews, 10/10/2011more
The Murder on the Links is the second of Christie's Poirot series and from it a better picture of what this Belgian detective is like. The thing that struck me was that he might be a precursor to the man known in the current day as Mr. Adrian Monk. Hercule Poirot comes into a room and immediately looks around and if he can he will begin to straighten up the pictures on the wall, align edges of things out of place and generally look for what is out of order. This is basically the method to his madness as the saying goes.

Poirot's second characteristic is that he leaves forensic details to others because he can't waste time on clues like cigarette butts or blades of grass because frankly he knows nothing about them and he refuses to make himself look ridiculous moving his nose across the ground like a hound dog. Leave that for the dogs he says.

Poirot gets a frantic letter from France where a Mr. Renauld is in fear for his life. Despite leaving immediately with his friend Captain Hastings, he arrives too late. Renauld has been found in an open grave on a golf course wearing an overcoat which is too large for him over his underwear.

There are many entangled threads involving several mysterious characters that Poirot teases out in a delicate fashion all the while poor Captain Hasting is totally lost at sea. He is a lot more that a day late and a dollar short. It made me wonder just why Poirot puts up with him.
I like the early Poirot books the best because as yet you don't get tired of the little grey cells comments.more
A good HP book. I don't know why, but it felt more like a "first novel" to me than The Mysterious Affair at Styles did. There is a lot going on in the story, both with the main action and between various characters. I did really like the character development of Hastings and the development of the relationship between Hastings and Poirot. I expect that this background will make the rest of the HP books more enjoyable.more
A nice, solid detective. The story keeps you guessing, it's complicated enough to not be too straightforward.more
Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings together, though sometimes at odds. It's a more complicated plot than in The Mysterious Affair At Styles, and it's possible to figure out some of it while missing quite a bit. There's also a part parody/part critique of the Holmes canon, with a French inspector who very much uses those methods.more
A letter containing a desperate plea for help brings Hercule Poirot to France, but unfortunately not before the author of the letter is murdered, his body found in a bunker on a golf course. As the story unfolds, so do the infamous twists and red herrings that are such a signature of Ms Christie's worksmore
Murder on the Links is the second Hercule Poirot mystery from Agatha Christie. In this story, told by Poirot’s friend Hastings, we are given a convoluted mystery about a body of a man found in a soon to be built bunker on a proposed golf course. The setting is the chateau in France of this rich yet mysterious dead man. Timing seems to be the matter that concerns Poirot’s little grey cells and, in this case, the timing is very difficult to work out. A good mystery and, we are also treated to the story of how Hastings meets his wife to be and comes to go to South America and raise cattle. Hercule Poirot is in fine form during this story as Agatha Christie reveals more of this man’s character and motivation. His ego, always a large one, gets plenty of stroking from the local French police that are very happy to see him show up and include him in all details of the case. His superior ways can be a little grating at times but in this case we root for Poirot to solve the mystery before a very snooty Parisian detective does.Charming and witty, with lots of red herrings to throw you a curve, I enjoyed Murder on the Links very much. As with all of Christie’s mysteries, the fun outweighs the obvious coincidences that she relies upon to move the plot forward.more
Poirot is asked to come quickly to France. It is the postscript that really convinces the esteemed investigator to take on the case. He arrives to find the man who sent the note murdered. Although Giraud, the French detective, seems to be up on the latest in scientific investigation, it is Poirot's psychological studies of the persons involved which leads to the conclusion. This is one with all sorts of twists and turns in the plot. It will keep readers guessing up to the very end.more
Another great one.Difficult to read any Poirot now without seeing David Suchet in your mind. His work might be the closest-to-the-mark portrayal of any mystery series character.more
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.more
This is Christies third book and the second outing of the Poirot/Hastings pairing. It is interesting to see the stylistic differences between this and The Secret Adversary, her previous book. Although Christie was definitely not one of the great stylists among the world of mystery writing one can see clear differences of writing style and plotting between the two “more serious” Poirot books and the romp she published in between. The greater part of this book is set in France and though Christie does indulge herself in presenting stereotypical French figures they are not the cartoon depictions put forward in her previous outing. In TSA Christie seems to have been playing a double game--presenting a rather farcical story on the one hand and winking at the audience about the farcical presentation on the other. Similarly in this story Christie seems aware of the fact that she is using stereotypes in order to justify Hastings responses and in order to lead the reader down dead ends when they think they are detecting.Poirot, while still not a fully rounded character is far more three dimensional than in his first outing and while Hastings emotional involvement is rather far-fetched his responses to various encounters are what one would expect from the man we met in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. In some ways this book is reminiscent of the end of The Return of the King with multiple “endings”, with the solution to one of the deaths coming well before the end of the book and having more than one solution to other death presented to the reader. And while Christie never loses focus on the murders the real “problems” the require solution, the emotional resolutions of the major dilemmas faced by various characters, feel like the true end of the book.While not one of her more famous books one can see, on reading Murder on the Links why Christie’s was beginning to become a readers favourite early in her writing career.more
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!more
I'm going through the Poirot mysteries in order, so this is only the second one I've read, but I prefer this one over The Mysterious Affair at Styles.I must admit, one of the characters I knew was going to come back, but not in the way I imagined it. Christie's talent for a mystery shines when Poirot reveals the truth and you can go back in your mind with the evidence and it seems to check out. Sometimes it may seem a little far-fetched, but if you read with your mind going, "ANYTHING can happen," it makes for a much more interesting read.I enjoyed this one a lot, especially with all the hidden identities here and there. Definitely one I'd recommend.more
Hercules Poirot and Hastings are off to France at the bequest of a South American millionaire who is in fear of his life. It takes some getting used to the English overstuffiness, but the storyline is okay. The ending actually had too many twists which got tedious after a while. I'll will probably still read more Christie novels, though.more
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.more
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.more
This is the second Hercule Poirot mystery and it finds both Hastings (our narrator) and M. Poirot being hired by a millionaire in France who feels his life is under threat because of a great secret that he possesses. When they arrive at his Villa, however, they discover that the millionaire has already been murdered and is a most alarming and intriguing fashion. Poirot is chagrined that an arrogant detective with the French police has taken over the investigation, and he challenges the man into a wager as to which one of them will have the culprit first. The clues are quite disjointed and don't seem to go together at all, but Poirot has more than one trick up his sleeve, and a very long memory that serves him well.There is no shortage of suspects in this story, and each one of them fits all the clues but one, with each one leaving out something different. It's full of twists and turns and revelations that kept me interested till the very end. And, no, I didn't guess correctly! I give this a 4 because while it was very cleverly plotted, there was just a tad too much going on that turned out to be completely superfluous at the end. The trick, though, was deciding what was vital and what wasn't.more
Not one of the best-known Poirots, but it has a lot in its favour. The crime has a more credible feel than some Christies, and Poirot's "psychology of the individual", though as usual it's really a simple concept of criminals sticking to a standard modus operandi, works well here to get him partway to the solution. Despite a contrived denouement, and a typical example of Hastings' thick-wittedness earlier on, the ending is effective, although (unusually for this writer) every time I've reread it I've forgotten the murderer!more
This was an exceptionally good Poirot mystery. There were a lot of complicated plot twists at the end, and just when I thought I had everything figured out there were more surprises. A couple of romances too!more
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?more
The book has a quite complicated plot, which is apparently based on a real case, and is very French in its feel. Poirot is completely at the heart of this book and you can feel his character and his 'little grey cells' developing. There is a slightly ludicrous, romantic subplot involving Captain Hastings, but this does not detract from the novel in the least and here I can really feel Christie growing into her craft.more
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Reviews

I'm not much for cozies in general, but I do like Agatha Christie and, the earlier Hercule Poirot novels are very nicely crafted. In this story, an Englishman living in France summons Poirot to Merlinville-sur-Mer in France. The Englishman, Paul Renaud, believes his life to life to be endangered. Poirot arrives in all due haste; but it is too late. Renaud's body is discovered on a golf course.... Silly me, I was half afraid that the book was going to contain arcane golfing terminology and I was going to have to ask DH about mashies and niblicks and such, but rest assured, there was nothing about golf in the story :-)

Redacted from the original blog review at dog eared copy, Hercule Poirot Mysteries (1-4): Mini Op-Ed Reviews, 10/10/2011more
The Murder on the Links is the second of Christie's Poirot series and from it a better picture of what this Belgian detective is like. The thing that struck me was that he might be a precursor to the man known in the current day as Mr. Adrian Monk. Hercule Poirot comes into a room and immediately looks around and if he can he will begin to straighten up the pictures on the wall, align edges of things out of place and generally look for what is out of order. This is basically the method to his madness as the saying goes.

Poirot's second characteristic is that he leaves forensic details to others because he can't waste time on clues like cigarette butts or blades of grass because frankly he knows nothing about them and he refuses to make himself look ridiculous moving his nose across the ground like a hound dog. Leave that for the dogs he says.

Poirot gets a frantic letter from France where a Mr. Renauld is in fear for his life. Despite leaving immediately with his friend Captain Hastings, he arrives too late. Renauld has been found in an open grave on a golf course wearing an overcoat which is too large for him over his underwear.

There are many entangled threads involving several mysterious characters that Poirot teases out in a delicate fashion all the while poor Captain Hasting is totally lost at sea. He is a lot more that a day late and a dollar short. It made me wonder just why Poirot puts up with him.
I like the early Poirot books the best because as yet you don't get tired of the little grey cells comments.more
A good HP book. I don't know why, but it felt more like a "first novel" to me than The Mysterious Affair at Styles did. There is a lot going on in the story, both with the main action and between various characters. I did really like the character development of Hastings and the development of the relationship between Hastings and Poirot. I expect that this background will make the rest of the HP books more enjoyable.more
A nice, solid detective. The story keeps you guessing, it's complicated enough to not be too straightforward.more
Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings together, though sometimes at odds. It's a more complicated plot than in The Mysterious Affair At Styles, and it's possible to figure out some of it while missing quite a bit. There's also a part parody/part critique of the Holmes canon, with a French inspector who very much uses those methods.more
A letter containing a desperate plea for help brings Hercule Poirot to France, but unfortunately not before the author of the letter is murdered, his body found in a bunker on a golf course. As the story unfolds, so do the infamous twists and red herrings that are such a signature of Ms Christie's worksmore
Murder on the Links is the second Hercule Poirot mystery from Agatha Christie. In this story, told by Poirot’s friend Hastings, we are given a convoluted mystery about a body of a man found in a soon to be built bunker on a proposed golf course. The setting is the chateau in France of this rich yet mysterious dead man. Timing seems to be the matter that concerns Poirot’s little grey cells and, in this case, the timing is very difficult to work out. A good mystery and, we are also treated to the story of how Hastings meets his wife to be and comes to go to South America and raise cattle. Hercule Poirot is in fine form during this story as Agatha Christie reveals more of this man’s character and motivation. His ego, always a large one, gets plenty of stroking from the local French police that are very happy to see him show up and include him in all details of the case. His superior ways can be a little grating at times but in this case we root for Poirot to solve the mystery before a very snooty Parisian detective does.Charming and witty, with lots of red herrings to throw you a curve, I enjoyed Murder on the Links very much. As with all of Christie’s mysteries, the fun outweighs the obvious coincidences that she relies upon to move the plot forward.more
Poirot is asked to come quickly to France. It is the postscript that really convinces the esteemed investigator to take on the case. He arrives to find the man who sent the note murdered. Although Giraud, the French detective, seems to be up on the latest in scientific investigation, it is Poirot's psychological studies of the persons involved which leads to the conclusion. This is one with all sorts of twists and turns in the plot. It will keep readers guessing up to the very end.more
Another great one.Difficult to read any Poirot now without seeing David Suchet in your mind. His work might be the closest-to-the-mark portrayal of any mystery series character.more
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.more
This is Christies third book and the second outing of the Poirot/Hastings pairing. It is interesting to see the stylistic differences between this and The Secret Adversary, her previous book. Although Christie was definitely not one of the great stylists among the world of mystery writing one can see clear differences of writing style and plotting between the two “more serious” Poirot books and the romp she published in between. The greater part of this book is set in France and though Christie does indulge herself in presenting stereotypical French figures they are not the cartoon depictions put forward in her previous outing. In TSA Christie seems to have been playing a double game--presenting a rather farcical story on the one hand and winking at the audience about the farcical presentation on the other. Similarly in this story Christie seems aware of the fact that she is using stereotypes in order to justify Hastings responses and in order to lead the reader down dead ends when they think they are detecting.Poirot, while still not a fully rounded character is far more three dimensional than in his first outing and while Hastings emotional involvement is rather far-fetched his responses to various encounters are what one would expect from the man we met in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. In some ways this book is reminiscent of the end of The Return of the King with multiple “endings”, with the solution to one of the deaths coming well before the end of the book and having more than one solution to other death presented to the reader. And while Christie never loses focus on the murders the real “problems” the require solution, the emotional resolutions of the major dilemmas faced by various characters, feel like the true end of the book.While not one of her more famous books one can see, on reading Murder on the Links why Christie’s was beginning to become a readers favourite early in her writing career.more
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!more
I'm going through the Poirot mysteries in order, so this is only the second one I've read, but I prefer this one over The Mysterious Affair at Styles.I must admit, one of the characters I knew was going to come back, but not in the way I imagined it. Christie's talent for a mystery shines when Poirot reveals the truth and you can go back in your mind with the evidence and it seems to check out. Sometimes it may seem a little far-fetched, but if you read with your mind going, "ANYTHING can happen," it makes for a much more interesting read.I enjoyed this one a lot, especially with all the hidden identities here and there. Definitely one I'd recommend.more
Hercules Poirot and Hastings are off to France at the bequest of a South American millionaire who is in fear of his life. It takes some getting used to the English overstuffiness, but the storyline is okay. The ending actually had too many twists which got tedious after a while. I'll will probably still read more Christie novels, though.more
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.more
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.more
This is the second Hercule Poirot mystery and it finds both Hastings (our narrator) and M. Poirot being hired by a millionaire in France who feels his life is under threat because of a great secret that he possesses. When they arrive at his Villa, however, they discover that the millionaire has already been murdered and is a most alarming and intriguing fashion. Poirot is chagrined that an arrogant detective with the French police has taken over the investigation, and he challenges the man into a wager as to which one of them will have the culprit first. The clues are quite disjointed and don't seem to go together at all, but Poirot has more than one trick up his sleeve, and a very long memory that serves him well.There is no shortage of suspects in this story, and each one of them fits all the clues but one, with each one leaving out something different. It's full of twists and turns and revelations that kept me interested till the very end. And, no, I didn't guess correctly! I give this a 4 because while it was very cleverly plotted, there was just a tad too much going on that turned out to be completely superfluous at the end. The trick, though, was deciding what was vital and what wasn't.more
Not one of the best-known Poirots, but it has a lot in its favour. The crime has a more credible feel than some Christies, and Poirot's "psychology of the individual", though as usual it's really a simple concept of criminals sticking to a standard modus operandi, works well here to get him partway to the solution. Despite a contrived denouement, and a typical example of Hastings' thick-wittedness earlier on, the ending is effective, although (unusually for this writer) every time I've reread it I've forgotten the murderer!more
This was an exceptionally good Poirot mystery. There were a lot of complicated plot twists at the end, and just when I thought I had everything figured out there were more surprises. A couple of romances too!more
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?more
The book has a quite complicated plot, which is apparently based on a real case, and is very French in its feel. Poirot is completely at the heart of this book and you can feel his character and his 'little grey cells' developing. There is a slightly ludicrous, romantic subplot involving Captain Hastings, but this does not detract from the novel in the least and here I can really feel Christie growing into her craft.more
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