Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

Poirot Investigates Agatha ChristieFresh from my first three Christie reads of A Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary and Murder on the Links, I then delved into a compilation of Poirot short stories called, Poirot investigates.  These stories comprise Christie’s fourth published book, published in March 1924.

I must say, after my disappointment with Murder on the Links, Christie has returned to her fine form.  Most of the short mysteries have a tight plot (probably necessary for a short story) and a well-crafted riddle. While Poirot’s little grey cells are in fine form, Hastings is his annoying self but at a level that is acceptable and even amusing in certain circumstances.  The stories run as follows:

  • The Adventure of the Western Star
  • The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor
  • The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
  • The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge
  • The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
  • The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb
  • The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan
  • The Kidnapped Prime Minister
  • The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
  • The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman
  • The Case of the Missing Will

The first story has a somewhat fantastical element to it, relating to mysterious, threatening Chinamen and stolen jewels, however Christie manages to steady her pacing and tighten her plots and the rest of the stories are worthy of her talent. Many devices and circumstances are employed including missing bonds, a questionable suicide, an Egyptian curse and the kidnapping of the Prime Minister!

Ingress Abbey Kent

Ingress Abbey, Kent ~ location of The Kidnapped Prime Ministser filming

Christie first wrote these short stories at the behest of the editor of Sketch magazine and they appeared there first, in 1923.  With the rest of a 6 book publishing contract with Bodley Head to fulfill and dissatisfaction with the terms, Christie canvased to get this compilation of stories counted as one of the six books.  Eventually, she was successful.

St. Margaret's at Cliffe

St. Margaret’s at Cliffe ~ film site of The Kidnapped Prime Minister

And on my Christie marathon goes with the next mystery, The Man in the Brown Suit.  I loved the old movie of it with Stephanie Zimbalist, so I can’t wait to see if the book lives up to it!

11 thoughts on “Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie

  1. fine post and great stories… i’ve read some of them in other contexts, but not all… someday i’ll have to engage in a total Agatha Christiean overhaul… (sort of like rebuilding a Dodge Hemi engine)…

    • Oh my! I think I finally fixed my comment moderation! You’re the first comment to go directly through. Yippee!

      Okay, enough celebration …. 😉 Honestly, I feel a little guilty reading so much Christie …. my true classic consumption has gone way down and I’m not targeting anything on my Classics Club list. But at least I’m reading. That’s something at least.

  2. I haven’t commented for a while, but I did finish my last Agatha Christie full length mystery last month, with Why Didn’t They Ask Evans. You’ll get to that one in ten books, if you continue to read in publication order..

    I actually really like The Man in the Brown Suit, although it is a very odd Christie. She’s experimenting with a narrative technique that she famously – and more successfully, IMO – uses a bit later. My favorite part of The Man in the Brown Suit is Anne Beddingfield – I really love that character. In addition, the very enigmatic Colonel Race makes his first appearance here. I think that this is one of Christie’s most autobiographical stories – there is a section where Anne Beddingfield goes surfing that is ripped from Christie’s own life.

    I’m curious to see what you make of it.

    • Congratulations on completing your Christie marathon! Awesome!

      I’m so enjoying The Man in the Brown Suit and you’re right, it’s so different than the other novels that I’ve read so far. I feel it’s a little like Elizabeth Peters’ Emerson and Peabody mysteries. Surfing would be so unusual for that time and especially for a woman, wouldn’t it? Sounds like fun! I can’t wait to experience more of this narrative technique; I think it works marvellously in this book!

  3. I have this one and I am now wavering between re-reading this or the Man in the Brown Suit which I have but not have read,,,ok Brown Suit it is! We shall compare notes in a few days!!

    • I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in The Man in the Brown Suit. I’m loving it! I hope I come across another Christie just like it before the end of my marathon!

  4. Great review. I love Poirot. I named one of my parrots after him (Hercule Parroh). I have an omnibus of all of her Poirot mysteries. And I love David Suchet’s rendition on TV.

    • Poirot is great and David Suchet’s portrayal is spot on. I must say though that I’m really enjoying Christie’s non-Poirot & Marple mysteries. It’s actually shown me that she is really an excellent writer and story-crafter in her own right.

  5. I’ve never read any Christie short stories, so I’ll have to check those out some time. It’s always fun to read a well-crafted short mystery. You’re trying really hard to send me down an Agatha Christie rabbit-hole, aren’t you! 🙂

    • Me, influence others?!!! Never! 😉 Well, sometimes ……. But you have to admit. Christie is a good rabbit-hole to go down if you’re going to do it. And I’ve found her books easy to fit in even while reading others. Oh, now it sounds like I’m really trying to convince you. I’ll be quiet now ….. 😉

      • Haha! I’ll try to be good and stick with my current TBR pile…though I can’t guarantee I’ll stay away from any TV/film adapations! 😉

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