Agatha Christie created a character called Hercules Poirot, who appeared in 33 novels, one play, and more than 50 short stories published between 1920 and 1975. Recently, I started to read Agatha Christie books, first I read And Then There Were None (review), followed by Murder on the Orient Express in which the main characters is Poirot. After that, I started to make my way thorugh a bunch of Hercules Poirot books and I decided to review them a few at a time here on the blog. These are the first reviews:
(Published 1934) – 4 stars
What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?
- I really enjoyed the setting of this book, the train is stuck in the snow in a secluded area, so there’s no way out, all the characters are stuck together in the same place and Poirot has no information that wasn’t provided by those involved in the murder. I just like that kind of setting the most.
- I liked that this was told by an omniscient narrator that is unobtrusive and only gives the facts.
- I love the way this book was structured because we are shown the method that Poirot uses to solve the murder and the way he organizes the information, which I thought was really compelling and fascinating. It was my favorite thing of this book.
- I really liked the ending, it was surprising because it’s hard to imagine how elaborated the plan is, so much so, that when the connetion between some of the characters was revealed, I still didn’t guessed the answer to the mystery.
(Published 1920) – 3,4 stars
Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorpe, and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary–from the heiress’s fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary. Making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is on the case.
- This was the first Poirot book and it definitely established the fact that these books were not gonna be action packed or the detective chasing the murderer around. Poirot books are about the conversations with the people involved and the clues in the crime scene and the slow and thoughtful evaluation of the information, which I find fascinating and intriguing and I think it’s the reason I enjoy this book so much.
- I didn’t like the narrator in this book at all. It was narrated by a character named Hastings and he was so annoying, he keep inserting his own theories that made no sense, he was swayed by everything and he made fun of everything Poirot did or said. His narration frustrated me so much and was the main reason I gave it a low rating.
- I really enjoyed that there were lot of viable suspects, everyone had secrets (many not related to the murder) and because of that, they were acting in a suspitious way.
- I found the ending logical but not satisfying, I didn’t though it was as clever.
- This book shows that Poirot is a romantic, which added a fun an cute element to the story. I really liked that.
(Published 1926) – 4 stars
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, hwas stabbed to death…
- In Christie’s books, there’s these ‘smaller mysteries”, these questions that need to be answered before solving the mystery of the murder. I liked that, in this book, the clues allowed the reader to figure out those small mysteries and I was actually able to solve them, which was fun.
- The ending of this book is spectacular, the twist is brilliant and I didn’t see it coming at all. The worst is that I noticed a clue right at the beginning that pointed to the killer and I still didn’t figure it out, I think it was because it was the only clue that pointed to the actual murderer. Anyway, this book has one of the best endings to a mystery that I have ever read.
- But – like I have mentioned before- I do have the feeling that to have that very surprising ending in this book, there’s not as many clues or information that point to the actual murderer. I feel like the reader couldn’t have solved this before Poirot reveals the answer to the mystery, at least not by following the clues. Which I think it’s not the point of a mystery book, I like to feel that I could have solved it.
(Published 1941) – 3,8 stars
Set at the Jolly Roger, a posh vacation resort for the rich and famous on the southern coast of England, Evil Under the Sun is one of Agatha Christie’s most intriguing mysteries. When a gorgeous young bride is brutally strangled to death on the beach, only Hercule Poirot can sift through the secrets that shroud each of the guests and unravel the macabre mystery at this playground by the sea.
- It had a secluded setting, which I really enjoyed, because I feel like it intensifies things. This takes place on an island that while it’s not entirely cut off from the world, it did felt a bit separed and isolated.
- I really liked that this book wasn’t told by one character that it’s part of the story, like a lot of the Poirot books. In this one, we get different perspectives and that means we get a lot more information and particulary we get a lot of information that Poirot has and that he probably wouldn’t have share if another character was telling the story.
- I really liked the twist in this book, because they discover something and it seems like it’s pointing them in one direction but it’s too obvious, so when it’s time to the reveal and everything is explained, it’s surprising and a bit far fetched, but I still enjoyed it.
- I liked the overall theme of the book, there’s a lof ot talk about evil in this book and at the beginning I didn’t understand the purpose, but then by the end I really liked the message. It was kind of a commentary on the shaming and vilification of women.
Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Have you read any Agatha Christie books? Which ones?
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