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!
©1924 Agatha Christie Limited (P)1990 EMI Record trading on Music for pleasure Ltd
I have only listened to the audio edition, but I expect that it more than does the print version justice.
Um . . . Poirot . . . what kind of question is that? Seriously, he's the man. Next.
The two longer Poirot stories that came before were all right to pretty good. These short stories represent when the stories really start to get good.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (short detective stories) - This is a collection of maybe 10-15 short stories by Agatha Christie, set in the early 1900's. The star is a Belgian detective named Hercule Poirot, a small man with a big ego who always manages to outsmart everyone and crack the case. The publisher's summary gives hints about the different stories so I won't repeat that here, except to say that there's a bit of everything -- kidnapping, murder, robbery, etc.
I think the mysteries are well-written and interesting. My only negative comment is that, since the stories are short, there is very little "fluff." Everything is important, so you must listen carefully. Unfortunately, I'm used to much longer books and, as I'm commuting to and from work, my mind wanders a bit. In a mystery which is, say, 30 minutes in duration, you can't afford to "zone out" for two or three minutes without missing something important. I found myself lost several times and having to rewind and rehear to understand. Alternatively, I often just continued and was completely lost at the end of the story.
PERFORMANCE - Throughout most of the book, Mr. Suchet performed convincing French and British accents, great emotional performances and probably the best female voices I've ever heard performed by a male narrator. The only reason he received a four-start rating is because the last few stories (about the last hour) seemed like a completely different narrator was reading! The great voice of Hercule Poiroit was gone and blended in with the voices of the other minor characters. What happened? Anyway, he went from a five-star rating to a four just because of the final hour.
OVERALL - No sex or cursing. There's kidnappings and killings but they're described with basically no violence. Recommended for any audience, but must be prepared to listen carefully and concentrate!
Poirot, like Sherlock Holmes, is at his best in short stories, and this is a collection of mostly clever ones. Agatha Christie has a tendency to cheat sometimes, and Poirot's deductions are sometimes little more than guesswork, but that's a lot more forgivable in a short story than a full-length novel. It happens in some of these stories, but they're good enough to survive it.
Also, David Suchet pretty much is the voice of Poirot now. He does it well here.
There is only one character that matters here.
What fun to have a collection of short stories about Poirot read by David Suchet. I really think that Christie was at her best when writing short stories. These short stories are detailed and interesting. Really enjoyed this audiobook.
This was a fun little collection of Poirot short stories. Glad to say, of the 14 mysteries, I caught the same clues as Poirot and guessed the culprit at least a few times. If nothing else, I can always tell what Hastings will pick up on and know that that will likely be wrong. Last story a rare gem in which Poirot relates a story of a case in which he failed.
As only my second Poirot book, though I have read many since, I thought these made a great introduction to Christie's style, almost like they were a way of breaking me in as a reader and getting to know Poirot's methods before getting to some more of the full-length novel mysteries.
The last four or five are read by Hugh Fraser, the man who plays Hastings in the television series. He's no David Suchet, but he is also enjoyable to listen to.
David Suchet's narration is a pleasure, as is always the case when he dons the mantle of Poirot. The short stories are a mixed bag; some I find boring but there are a few great moments that number among my favorites too. Be aware that there is a story containing racist language and bizarre stereotypes (?) of Chinese people. I forget the title of the story in question, but be aware if you listen with children. There is a slur used casually and it would be easy for little pitchers to pick it up without realizing it is offensive.
Suchet is the ultimate Poirot -- and for most of the book, his rendition is flawless. However, suddenly in the last couple of chapters his performance changes. Instead of the voice of the fastidious little Belgian we know and love, we get a sort of vaguely Frenchified accent with the same pitch and timbre as Hastings. Not sure what happened there, but it really spoiled my enjoyment of the thing.
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