Book Review: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot Book 3)

Book Review: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot Book 3)

Title: Poirot InvestigatesBook Review - Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

Author: Agatha Christie

Series:  Hercule Poirot

Publisher: The Bodley Head

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Detective Fiction, Short Story

First Publication: 1924

Language: English

Major Characters: Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings

Narration: First person

Preceded by: The Murder on the Links

Followed by: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

 

Book Summary: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

Poirot Investigates is the very first collection of superb short stories featuring Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings…

First there was the mystery of the film star and the diamond…
then came the ‘suicide’ that was murder…
the mystery of the absurdly cheap flat…
a suspicious death in a locked gun-room…
a million dollar bond robbery…
the curse of a pharaoh’s tomb…
a jewel robbery by the sea…
the abduction of a Prime Minister…
the disappearance of a banker…
a phone call from a dying man…
and, finally, the mystery of the missing will.

What links these fascinating cases? Only the brilliant deductive powers of Hercule Poirot!

 

Book Review: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

Poirot Investigates is the third volume in the collection of Christie’s Poirot series, a collection of short stories, better than most mystery collections, having been written by the best selling author of all time. The collection features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his powerful, little grey cells. First printed in the UK in 1925, the book included 11 stories. The US edition added three additional stories. I read a US edition from 1970.

 

The Adventure of “The Western Star”. A famous movie actress has been receiving mysterious notes which threaten to steal her precious diamond, the Western Star. Can Poirot determine from whence these notes come? And can he forestall the robbery?

The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor. A man’s body has been found. It was the body of Mr. Maltravers, a middle-aged man who had recently fallen on hard times and had just taken out a large insurance on his life. So the question is – death by natural causes, suicide, or murder?

The Adventure at the Cheap Flat. Mr and Mrs. Robinson have just snapped up a flat in one of the most fashionable parts of town for the price of £80. They are ecstatic over their good luck, but Poirot is suspicious. Why would anyone let out a flat for £80 when they could have easily charged £350?

The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge. An old man is dead. The only people who would seem to have a motive all have air-tight alibis – or do they? With Poirot sick in London, it is Hastings and Japp who do all of the footwork, but the magnificent Poirot who solves the case!

“One must have consideration for those less gifted than oneself.”

The Million Dollar Bond Robbery. Mr. Phillip Ridgeway is in deep trouble. Specially commission by his uncle’s bank, he was sent to America with a million dollars worth of bonds in a suitcase, only to have them stolen before ever reaching the shore. Was this robbery incidental, or was it specially planned beforehand?

The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb. For years the natives dared not to open the tomb of King Men-her-Ra for fear that the terrible curse would fall upon them. But now several Englishmen have excavated it and one by one are dropping dead. The sacrilege must end! Or perhaps the curse is only a cover…

The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan. The beautiful – and extremely valuable – pearls of Mrs. Opalsen have been stolen right from under the very nose of Mrs. Opalsen’s maid, Celestine. Or could they have been stolen by the maid? It might even have been the mistress…

The Kidnapped Prime Minister. It is of the utmost importance that David MacAdam, England’s Prime Minister be present at the Allied Conference tomorrow evening. His presence there may make the difference between war and peace. But he has disappeared! Where can he be? And who could have taken him? It is up to Poirot to apply his grey cells to the problem!

The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim. Mr. Daveheim has disappeared from his luxurious coutry home, The Cedars. Shortly after his absence, the house was burglared. Are these two events unrelated, or are they part of a complicated web woven by the criminals?

The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman. Count Foscatini has been found dead in his own flat – his head smashed in by a marble statuette. From the testimony of Foscatini’s valet, it would seem that blackmail was somehow involved in the case. But who was blackmailing whom? And what were the stakes?

“With method and logic one can accomplish anything!”

The Case of the Missing Will. Miss Violet Marsh’s foxy old uncle played one last trick before he died. He made a will stating that his estate and fortune would go to charitable institutions unless Violet could employ her wits to find the second will, a will which would make Violet his heir. Violet immediately turns to Poirot – who else could have the brains to outsmart the sly Andrew Marsh?

The Veiled Lady. Poirot is in despair. It seems that all of the criminals in London are hiding, hiding from his grey cells. There are simply no cases any more! But then, a beautiful young lady comes to him for help. She is being blackmailed by a man who holds a compromising letter penned by her hand. Can Monsieur Poirot recover it and save her from utter financial and marital ruin?

The Lost Mine. A Chinese man of great financial importance has suddenly disappeared from the very heart of London. Can Poirot find the man – or his murderer?

The Chocolate Box. A French statesman has died – the cause is believed to be heart failure. But a beautiful young lady appeals to Poirot; will he investigate to see if the man was done away with by some political enemy? In this case, Poirot takes us on a journey to the beginning of his career as a detective to the one case in which he “made a fool of himself”.

 

I do not think that Poirot Investigates is quite as brilliant as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but it is very good. I enjoyed Poirot’s little community – himself; Captain Hastings, companion and narrator; Miss Lemon, secretary and supplier of information; and Inspector Japp, secondary detective and good friend. They make a fun team, although the mysteries that they solve are not so well developed as Mrs. Christie’s larger novels.


 

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