Hercule Poirot Mysteries (1-4): Mini-Op-Ed Reviews


The Mysterious Affair at Styles
First title in the Hercule Poirot Mystery series
by Agatha Christie
narrated by Nadia May
6.1 hours

I liked the book, but I made a serious mistake when I first approached it: I underestimated Agatha Christie. The last time I read Agatha Christie was in high school (The ABC Murders and Murder on the Orient Express) and now I had thought her dated and perhaps even less-than- sophisticated! I was struck by the density of the cast list, the plot, the motives and the subterfuges. I anticipate returning to this book again and being able to appreciate it more with each re-reading or re-telling.

As much as I love Nadia May, she was miscast for this book. The narrator is a 45 year-old male Captain coming in from the Front. Despite Nadia May’s versatility, there was no way to ignore that she wasn’t a 45 year-old male Captain coming in from the Front! There is a scene early on wherein Captain Hastings looks out the window to see Lawrence Cavendish walking with Cynthia Murdoch. In my mind’s eye, I saw Miss Marple peering out the window! Later, as Captain Hastings expresses his crush on Mary Cavendish or even later, proposes to Cynthia Murdoch, it took me aback.

Other Stuff: I borrowed a library CD edition of this audiobook from Blackstone Audio, Inc.



Murder on the Links
Second title in the Hercule Poirot Mystery series
by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Links (second in the Hercule Poirot mystery series by Agatha Christie) – I’m not much for cozies in general, but I do like Agatha Christie and, the earlier Hercule Poirot novels are very nicely crafted. In this story, an Englishman living in France summons Poirot to Merlinville-sur-Mer in France. The Englishman, Paul Renaud, believes his life to life to be endangered. Poirot arrives in all due haste; but it is too late. Renaud’s body is discovered on a golf course…. Silly me, I was half afraid that the book was going to contain arcane golfing terminology and I was going to have to ask DH about mashies and niblicks and such, but rest assured, there was nothing about golf in the story 🙂

Other Stuff: I borrowed a copy of this book from The Jackson County Library System (Southern Oregon) in Medford, OR.




Poirot Investigates: Eleven Complete Mysteries
Third title in the Hercule Poirot Mystery series
by Agatha Christie
narrated by David Suchet
5.75 hours

Individually, I can’t say much for the mysteries themselves. There wasn’t enough information given in any of the stories to help the listener solve any of the whodunnits; but overall the stories provide nice background color for the characters of Poirot and Hastings. David Suchet, the actor who played Hercule Poirot in the BBC series, narrates. As to be expected, he was great at portraying Poirot and very good at the other male characters; but his women and Americans were truly awful.

Other stuff: I borrowed a CD copy of this audiobook from the Jackson County Library System (Southern Oregon.)



The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Fourth in the Hercule Poirot Mystery series

by Agatha Christie
narrated by Robin Bailey
AudioGo
7.01 hours

Hastings has unapologetically disappeared from the the series! Poirot has retired to the countryside to garden; but the death of a local woman sets off a domino cascade of intrigue. We’re not counting teacups (cf The Mysterious Affair at Styles); but we are to
keep watch on the time! Robin Bailey is spot on as the village doctor from whose point of view the story is told.

Other stuff: I borrowed a CD copy of this audiobook from the Jackson County Library System (Southern Oregon)




This post is part of the Murder, Monsters, Mayhem feature being hosted by Jennifer L. at http://www.jennsbookshelves.com












Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Hercule Poirot Mysteries (1-4): Mini-Op-Ed Reviews

  1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of my all time favorite mystery novels. I read nearly the entire Hercule Poirot series my sophomore year in high school and enjoyed them, although I agree, that these mysteries rarely could be solved by the casual reader. Someday, I may go back a listen to a couple.

    Like

  2. I think of the four titles above, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is my favorite too. It's by far the cleverest and the most original of the lot. It switches away from Hastings as the narrator to another point-of-view and; Agatha Christie clearly “plays” the reader! The film adaptation of the book is very good too, though it moves the time setting and shift the focus away from the book's narrator/voice to Hercule Poirot himself. Still, despite the film's sensibilities (which includes that distinctly 1980's look and the very contrived feeling of shooting on location) it is of better quality than many of the Poirot episodes. I watched a few of the Poirot shows on DVD and many come dangerously close to being comedic in form. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (TV) is much more serious.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s