Showing posts with label Hercule Poirot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hercule Poirot. Show all posts

Tuesday

Murder in the Mews - Book Review


I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Murder in the Mews



1937


Description


Murder, stolen plans, a mysterious death and a menage a trois – four intriguing novellas featuring Hercule Poirot…
How did a woman holding a pistol in her right hand manage to shoot herself in the left temple? What was the link between a ghost sighting and the disappearance of top secert military plans? How did the bullet that killed Sir Gervase shatter a mirror in another part of the room? And who destroyed the ‘eternal triangle’ of love involving renowned beauty, Valentine Chantry?
Hercule Poirot is faced with four mystifying cases – Murder in the Mews, The Incredible Theft, Dead Man’s Mirror and Triangle at Rhodes – each a miniature classic of characterisation, incident and suspense.






My Thoughts


This is the 30th book by Agatha Christie and the 17th Poirot Mystery

One of the Poirot short stories books but they are not too short as there are only 4 in this grouping.  



Murder in the Mews
A few good suspects but it looks like suicide or does it, nice twists along the way and an obvious clue to anyone who watches or reads a lot of murder mystery now because I have seen that idea (no spoilers here!) used more and more but perhaps when I first read it many years ago I would not have been familiar with that type of clue.

The Incredible Theft

Well you know what happens with thefts in her novels - there is always much more than a slight of hand involved and again who is that foreigner?  And I'm not talking about Poirot here.

Dead Man's Mirror
Are people always who or what they claim to be?  (Slight clue there!)

Miss Christie throws in one of her outside/inside episodes here which she can easily do when the setting is a large house with various patio type windows.

Triangle at Rhodes
Very similar in a way but then also very different to a certain of her other well-known and full length stories so watch out for the twist here too.


A good read, in fact 4 good reads where you will change your mind on the guilty parties more than once or twice or even three times.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.









Dumb Witness - Book Review


Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Dumb Witness



1937



Description


An elderly spinster has been poisoned in her country home…
Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her.
On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… by which time Emily was already dead…






My Thoughts



This is the 28th book by Agatha Christie and the 15th Poirot Mystery

Okay I don't like cats, I do like dogs but not enough to be a dog owner.  So I would not particularly be drawn to a story which seems to be written about a dog.

However I love this book.

I have read it a few times and always enjoy how she has carefully written certain aspects to each of the suspects' character.  I like the way they are each not how we expect them to be and actually in the end nearly all of them are displaying different feelings and actions than before.  It is as if we have an aquaintance with them to start with but then get to know them and they have relaxed in front of us by the end.

Of course the dog Bob cannot speak but by getting to know his character as well the mystery is solved.

I would almost guarantee that the first person you think is the murderer will not be the one you think of half way through the book and certainly not the one who is revealed at the end.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.

















Cards on the Table - Book Review


I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Cards on the Table


1936


Description


A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players…
Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s private collection.
Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…






My Thoughts



This is the 27th book by Agatha Christie and the 14th Poirot Mystery

How does someone kill another person in a room with 9 people and no-one sees the murder being committed, not even the great Hercule Poirot himself.

There is no noisy atmosphere, no moving around because 8 of these people are playing bridge while the murder victim sits quietly and watches his guests.

We are faced with the secrets the bridge players are hiding from the world.
We are faced with the idea of a strange weapon that one of them could possibly have had with them.
We are faced with the problem of how Poirot will be able to interview the suspects when so little is known and so little happened that could be asked about.
We are faced with the dilemma "Was it spontaneous or premeditated?"

Definitely a difficult teaser for those little grey cells our favourite detective is always talking about.

But I felt there were just too many coincidences among the lives of players.
That was the one part of this novel that makes it not one of my top Christie books.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.



















Death in the Clouds - Book Review


Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Death in the Clouds



1935



Description



A woman is killed by a poisoned dart in the enclosed confines of a commercial passenger plane…
From seat No.9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No.13, sat a Countess with a poorly-concealed cocaine habit; across the gangway in seat No.8, a detective writer was being troubled by an aggressive wasp.
What Poirot did not yet realise was that behind him, in seat No.2, sat the slumped, lifeless body of a woman.






My Thoughts



This is the 24th book by Agatha Christie and the 11th Poirot Mystery

I love this one.

I know I have said that of others and it is true but then I do love so many of her books.

This one was written so carefully and well that the second time I read it I still got the murderer wrong.  I thought that I had remembered it so well that I remembered the correct murderer, but I was wrong.  I was actually still being mislead by the clues the same way as I had been the first time I read it so that to me makes a really good book.

Because this takes place on an aeroplane we have that added intrigue of the contained space like the locked room in so many stories.  Then because it takes place many years ago we have the added intrigue of the confined space full of people as the plane is small.

This one as many of her other novels have different nationalities involved so does this lead to misunderstandings because of different languages and cultures?

Also a young woman is there to help Poirot as in some of the other books based around him but does she help or hinder?

Now for the big question some of you may be asking because you know I love to have Hastings in the Poirot mysteries.
Is Hastings in this one?
Well you will have to read it to find out for yourself because this time I'm not giving you any clue on that important fact.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.














Three Act Tragedy - Book Review


I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Three Act Tragedy


1934


Description


At an apparently respectable dinner party, a vicar is the first to die…
Thirteen guests arrived at dinner at the actor’s house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died.
But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison – just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was absolutely no motive…







My Thoughts



This is the 23rd book by Agatha Christie and the 10th Poirot Mystery

Not one of my favourites.  Mainly because there is one part of the story line which I either just don't read or follow properly or is not explained properly but I have felt (on the both occasions that I have now read it) is not compatible with the rest of this murder mystery.  

This is one of Miss Christie's books to have multiple murders and speculation of even more murders so there is a lot to take in as we go through this book.

Friends are a feature of this novel too on both the murderer's side and the sleuth's side.

It is indeed a tragedy for more than one person and in more than one way but will bring the reader a great deal of satisfaction if they can not only work out who the murderer is but can work out exactly how it all was orchestrated or performed.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.














Peril at End House - Book Review

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Peril at End House 



1932



Description



Nick Buckley was an unusual name for a pretty young woman. But then she had led an unusual life. First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed.
Upon discovering a bullet-hole in Nick’s sun hat, Hercule Poirot decides the girl needs his protection. At the same time, he begins to unravel the mystery of a murder that hasn’t been committed. Yet.









My Thoughts



This is the 15th book by Agatha Christie and the 7th Poirot Mystery

The clues are always there.  No matter what they say - the clues are always there.

That is exactly how it is with this book which means that once you have read it (and no doubt missed some clues) you will enjoy reading it again later even though it is one of those books that you will remember who the murderer is.

But would anyone other than Poirot have solved this one?   In fact I actually think Miss Marple would also have spotted the very deviousness of this murderer.

A clever thought out murder mystery with a clever and vile murderer.

Great read.  Great deduction.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.

















Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.

Monday

The Mystery of the Blue Train - Book Review



I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.

  





The Mystery of The Blue Train.

1928

A Poirot Mystery.


Shelfari Description


Le Train Bleu is an elegant, leisurely means of travel, and one certainly free of intrigue.

Poirot boards Le Train Bleu, bound for the French Riviera. So does Katherine Grey, who is having her first winter out of England, after having inherited a huge sum in a most romantic manner.

While on board she meets Ruth Kettering, an American heiress bailing out from a marriage to meet her lover. The next morning, though, Ruth is found dead in her compartment, a victim of strangulation and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. The theft of her priceless rubies, and rumors of a strange man loitering near her compartment, send Poirot on a quest to find her murderer.



My Thoughts


This is the 9th book by Agatha Christie and the 6th for her sleuth Hercule Poirot.

I must say there is a large Red Herring here in this story for avid murder mystery readers but I do not believe in plot spoilers so you will have to read the book for yourself to see what it is.


This story involves characters you think you will not like but you then may be surprised that you do like them. There are also characters that we think we will like but may not.

I did of course miss "my friend" Hastings as the confidant of Poirot in this one but Poirot did have someone to help in a different way.

I enjoyed the book, having my attention drawn to different possibilities and always the constant "but why" in my mind regarding part of the form of the murder.

The train as a venue for this murder does open up certain possibilities more unique to this story which may not be obvious at the start of our sleuth's investigation. Still remembering that Miss Christie may have Poirot as the revealer of the solution at the end of these novels but she herself does indeed slip in all the clues throughout.





 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie









The Big Four - Book Review

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.


I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.

  





The Big Four. 

1927  
A Poirot Mystery.


Shelfari Description


It is a few years after the First World War, Hercule Poirot is preparing for a voyage to South America at the behest of a wealthy American. Captain Hastings has returned from South America on business and his arrival causes Poirot to cancel his trip. Poirot has discovered the existence of four immensely powerful individuals who together plan world domination. A Chinaman, An American, A Frenchwoman and an Englishman. An investigation is in order. Fortunately, Poirot has the faithful Captain Hastings at his side as he plunges into a conspiracy of international scope -- one that would consolidate power in the deadly cabal known as "The Big Four". The book contains several chapters which are almost stand alone cases as the Big Four and Poirot, Hasting and various police forces progress towards the final outcome a year after the first contact Poirot has had with the Big Four.






My Thoughts

This is the 8th book by Agatha Christie and the 5th for her sleuth Hercule Poirot.

I read this in one day.  Started it at the hairdressers in the afternoon and then read again in the evening and then finished it in bed that night.   I really did want to read it quickly as it was holding my attention well and I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next and who Number Four was, but it also helped that I had been unwell for the four days before this and still not back to fighting fit form so I did not feel guilty about reading so much in one day.

A very different storyline to her last book The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  with this one not being about a specific murder and the household of suspects.  Instead we had different events in different locations and always the feeling of having to look over your shoulder no matter where we were.  Also the ever present threat to Poirot was part of the suspense.

Was the fact that Hastings had returned and was the narrator a great addition to this book?  For me I believe yes and for others who have not read any Poirot novels and met his friend Captain Hastings I still think yes, as I believe the narration comments he makes just endear his character to any reader.  One thing that I feel is misleading about the Shelfari description above is that Hastings did not cause Poirot to change his mind about his trip at the start of the book.

I really did not remember this book even though I know I have read it many many years ago and even though I had seen the TV adaptation about a year ago there was such a difference from the original story that I felt I was reading something completely new as I went through it.

Some parts of this book may seem a bit dated nowadays but as with all Christie mysteries the main storyline can be ageless.  But maybe we could also say that some of this book seemed even more suited to this day and age because of our world powers, wealth and prestige.

So even though it is not a straightforward murder mystery that I love from Agatha Christie you can tell by how quickly I read it that I really did enjoy it.







 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie




Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.



The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Book Review



I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.


  




The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. 


1926  


A Poirot Mystery.



Shelfari Description



He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her - and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he'd finished reading it - stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study...
Agatha Christie mysteries seem quaint today, relics of a bygone day. But when her books were new, she was a trailblazer, and never more so than in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Her twist ending shocked and even angered her readers -- I won't tell you why -- and even today may still have the power to startle.
Hercule Poirot is retired to the country, but when his wealthy neighbour is found murdered, he can't resist stepping in to help the police. The local doctor takes the place of usual loyal sidekick Hastings, helping Poirot investigate and recording all the facts of the case, like Dr. Watson recording Holmes' adventures. The mystery winds through estranged stepsons, secret marriages, and blackmailers, and even now still has a whiff of controversy over the resolution.







My Thoughts

This is the seventh book by Agatha Christie and the fourth for her sleuth Hercule Poirot.

I read this over a week while travelling. A few chapters at a time and each time looking forward to picking it up again for the next session.

Such a difference from the last one The Secret of Chimneys when I found it hard to remember the characters - here this was never a problem and I think there were more characters to actually remember in this one.

Was it the fact that Poirot was the detective again - am I so biased towards him? I don't think so. I think this book is so cleverly written and of course from having read it years ago I did remember who the murderer was simply because it was rather unique (not quite a spoiler but getting there!) but I really did enjoy the way it was written.

Yes I remembered the murderer, but the reason and part of the means of the crime had long since escaped from my mind.

I would say that this one could stand up against any of the more modern murder mysteries and is based on a motive that could be found in this day and age too, so anyone saying that Dame Agatha was for a different age is in my opinion completely incorrect.

This is one of those books that everyone should read even if they are not Christie fans because it's probably her most famously clever one.