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

Monday

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.



Tuesday

Poirot Investigates - 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.  




Click on the Book Title or Book Picture
 for more information on the book.











Poirot Investigates. 

A Collection of Poirot Short Stories.




Shelfari Description

These are 11 short stories where M.Poirot and Captain Hastings solve mysteries together.
1. The Adventures of the Western Star
2. The Tragedy at Marsden Manor
3. The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
4. The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge
5. The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
6. The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb
7. The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan
8. The Kidnapped Prime Minister
9. The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
10. The Adventure of the Italian Nobelman
11. The Case of the Missing Will



M.Poirot solves the mysteries using his"little grey cells" and Hastings speculates wrongfully.


Cross a movie star,
an archaeologist,
a French maid,
a prime minister,
a wealthy dowager,
and an Italian count
with Hercule Poirot
and you get a collection of the detective's most intriguing criminal puzzles.










My Thoughts


This is the third Poirot book by Agatha Christie.

11 completely different short stories.

Great for lifting and setting down after one story.
Great for that little fix of an Agatha Christie puzzle to be solved during a busy day.

Contains stories that are well crafted and true to the suspense and mystery of her full length Poirot stories.

I really enjoyed this especially as I read it during good weather so left it by the door of the Sunroom and just grabbed it each time I took a little break on the sun lounger in the back garden.

My one question after reading this was simply



"How did she know when to write a short story or a full length novel when the basic idea
for a plot came into her head each time?"















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














Monday

Murder on the Links - Book Reivew




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.

  






If you want further info on this book please click on the Title or picture of the book.



Murder on the Links. 

1923.  
A Poirot Mystery.



Shelfari Description


"For God's sake, come!" 
But by the time Hercule Poirot can respond to Monsieur Renauld's plea, the millionaire is already dead -- stabbed in the back, and lying in a freshly dug grave on the golf course adjoining his estate. There is no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger did the deed; his embittered son; Renauld's mistress -- and each feels deserving of the man's fortune. The police think they've found the culprit. Poirot has his doubts. And the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse complicates matters considerably.










MY THOUGHTS

This is Miss Christie's third book and the second featuring her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

I had read this novel twice before and seen the TV versions but yet this time rereading it I still did not remember properly how the murder was committed.
I had fully forgotten who the murderer was although other facts were very clear before I read them again.

Is this an indication of a good author that you can reread the book still having to work at solving the mystery?

The thing I liked least about this story was the names given to the characters as for some reason I had difficulty remembering who was who.  Perhaps this was because there were French names involved.

The plot is not deeply rooted around golf, regardless of the title, so you do not have to be a golf enthusiast to take on the challenge of trying to solve this crime and there are some good clues to get your teeth into.

I would not rate this as one of my favourites by Miss Christie especially as I am not keen on someone co-incidentally ending up living in the same small village as someone else they had known before - not quite sure if this is a spoiler or not.

The thing I liked best was the fact that the story is told by Hastings (he is such a pet) and the fact of the time setting and pace of action being so different from today.











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









Tuesday

The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Book Review




Synopsis
Injured and sent back to England from the First World War, Lieutenant Hastings finds himself in a convalescent home very much to his disliking.  Thankfully his old friend John Cavendish invites him to spend the rest of his sick leave at the beautiful Styles Court.  Here, Hastings meets John’s step-mother, Mrs Inglethorpe, and her new husband Alfred.  Despite the tranquil surroundings Hastings begins to realise that all is not right.  When Mrs Inglethorpe is found poisoned, suspicion falls on the family, and who better to investigate than Belgian war refugee Hercule Poirot, another old friend and a retired police detective.






This was the first Agatha Christie novel and apparently publishers were not interested in publishing it. 
         Why?

Of course once one publisher did decide to give it a go then Mrs Christie had lots of interest from many publishers due no doubt to the great interest everyone had in reading and buying this book.

 The following and other great reviews of the time will also have helped.


                       "Though this may be the first published book of Miss Agatha Christie,
                                            she betrays the cunning of an old hand..."
                                                                    The New York Times Book Review, 1920









My View
I had read it years ago and I did remember who the murderer was but did not remember all the fine details so perhaps because of this I have realized now just how good this book is and especially just how good it was for a first book.  All the clues were there, so those who say that she hides some clues are mistaken here. We really just have to read the books carefully to see it all.  

I was even taken with the structure of some of the sentences, very carefully done so that things are not given away immediately but written so that it can get us thinking.  I normally refer to Agatha Christie novels as light reading but if we take it too lightly we will miss the clues, the background info which can often be very important and of course the subtlety in Poirot's musings. 

Written so well in the voice of Hastings, it was no wonder she kept him in many of the Poirot novels and if I had to give my view she should have kept him even later too.


You will find many other BOOK REVIEWS on Sandra's Ark



Book Review - The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie


You can find this book on Amazon just click on the pic below.





Here is a link to a list of other novels by Agatha Christie 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.