Author: Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot
Publisher: The Bodley Head
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Detective Fiction
First Publication: 1923
Major Characters: Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, Monsieur Giraud, Monsieur Hautet, Paul Renauld/Georges Conneau, Eloise Renauld
Setting Place: France
Narration: First person from Hastings Point of View
Book Summary: The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with a urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly dug open grave on the golf course adjoining the property.
Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.
There’s no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger served as the weapon; his embittered son, who would have killed for independence; and his mistress, who refused to be ignored – and each felt deserving of the dead man’s fortune.
The police think they’ve found the culprit. But Poirot has his doubts.
Why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him?
And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for?
Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse.
Book Review: The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
Originally published in 1923, The Murder on the Links is the second in the popular Hercule Poirot series. This is the second major case for Poirot, following on from “The Mysterious Affair of Styles”. Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings find themselves in France summoned to speak with a client. However upon their arrival, the client is dead and there ‘s no shortage of suspects.
The true work, it is done from within. The little grey cells-remember always the little grey cells, mon ami.
The dynamic duo of Poirot and Hastings definitely have their work cut out for them, but Hastings manages to get off his game because of a pretty face named Cinderella. Luckily, the Belgian detective is patient and always challenging Hastings to get back to the case and not just go along with the French police theories.
The story begins with Hastings meeting a young woman on a train on his way back to London. He barely arrives before Poirot receives a letter calling him to the aid of a millionaire in France, frightened for his life because of a ‘secret’ he possesses. Poirot, with Hastings, immediately leave England, only to find on arrival that Monsieur Renauld has already been killed and his body found on the golf course next door.
“Man is an unoriginal animal. Unoriginal within the law in his daily respectable life, equally unoriginal outside the law. If a man commits a crime, any other crime he commits will resemble it closely.”
There follows a convoluted plot, waiting to be unraveled. There is a tragic widow, a son about to be disinherited, a mysterious neighbour – Madame Daubreuil, and her anxious daughter, and the lovely girl, known only as ‘Cinderella,’ who Hastings meets on the train. The crime reminds Poirot of an earlier case and he sets off in pursuit of the truth, while M. Giraud, a ‘modern’ detective with new methods crawls around looking for clues and sneers at our hero.
Although Hastings is impressed by Giraud’s poking around in the shrubbery, we know that the ‘little grey cells’ are all that is needed. Poirot, of course, comes out the winner and Hastings even gets his girl.