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Mystery Monday Review – Poirot Investigates

Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)


Over the years I’ve said rude things about Dame Agatha, for which, older and wiser now about the benefits of light reading material, I retract with chagrin, knowing that sometimes a tired brain should not take on anything heavier than a Golden Era whodunnit. I have zero plans to read her novels, but I grant Hercule Poirot is one of the best PI characters in detective fiction and the short stories in which he stars are perfect gems, like the Nero Wolfe novelettes.

Hercule Poirot is similar to Sherlock Holmes. He is a thinking machine and vain about this superior deductive powers. It helps in the comedy department that the narrator of this these stories, Capt. Hastings, is buffoon, the classic dim-witted Col. Brain of Henry Cecil novels who does not grasp how dim-witted he himself is. The lively interplay between Hastings and Poirot is entertaining.

These are short stories so Christie does not have any room for budding romances, melodramatic padding, or the complicated engines of death that plague mysteries from the Golden Era of whodunits. These stories, only about 10 to 15 pages long, are little classics, ingeniously and tightly constructed. Lest the development of the stories start to feel same-old same-old, they ought to be read one at time over a period of weeks.




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