An urgent cry for help brings Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face downwards in a shallow grave on a golf course.
But why is the dead man wearing his son's overcoat? 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....
©1923 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This story has nothing whatsoever to do with golf, so please don't be fooled, as I was, by the lively cover art. I don't like golf or play ⛳️, but I certainly thought that a mystery with a golf theme 🏌 would be a lark. It wasn't. Also, this story is very silly, even to the point of being slap-happy or tongue-in-cheek (way more than other mysteries featuring mustachioed hero Hercule Poirot), almost as if the author was inebriated or otherwise made giddy, especially toward the end. I also found the solution to the mystery wackily complex and contrived, and the characters too multitudinous (does ANY mystery need THREE beautiful young females who are so similar that a careless reader will easily forget which is which?) and often acting contrary to their characters,
This book deserves three, or at most three and a half stars. The fourth star is for the narrator, who's so talented and so expert at doing accents that listening was always a pleasure. Due to the silliness and ultimately the forgettable nature of the story (by tomorrow morning, I will no longer recall the identity of the killer), however, I recommend it only for diehard Christie/Poirot fans who (like me) are determined to read all of the books in the series in chronological order, or those who will feel unhappy missing the tale of how Captain Hastings finds love and acquires a wife during the course of a murder investigation.
Story: C+; Narration: A
As always, Hugh Fraser narrates the story very well. His Poirot voice matches the one from the film version so well, it is better than the one David Suchet uses in the audio books he narrates! The story is very well-crafted and moves quickly. I could not have predicted the twist at the end. This work has more romance in it than the other Poirot stories I know, which makes it all the more interesting and meaningful.
Must get it!
I loved the parts where Hercule went up against the "expert detective". While the he was searching for clues with a microscope, Poirot was examining a piece of pipe and piles of old clothes.
I love the way he is consistent with the voices of the characters that are in multiple books. It makes it very easy to know who is talking without him saying so.
One of my favorites so far!! Never saw the end coming!
This is my second Poirot story as I am attempting to read them all and mostly in order. This is also the second story written through the narrative of Captain Hastings. I must admit after just finishing Murder at Styles, I was beginning to get annoyed at Hastings' style of always looking down on Poirot and in general being too self important. That said, the overall story is wonderful, the mystery twisting until the end and the performance never faltering. Enjoy!
I've been going through the poirot series in order with the addition of the orient express and find this book to my current favorite. I was constantly guessing and feeling like a real Hastings. The only drawbacks I can think of is how confusing all the similarly sounding names can make following the story and the final romantic pairing. It felt a little too fantastic and I think I would have found it more believable had Jacque gone to South America alone.
Hugh Fraser turns in his usual superior performance in this somewhat creaky Hercule Poirot (from 1923). It's especially old fashioned in the stilted dialogue that takes place during action scenes, along the lines of, "Mon dieu, Hastings, my suspicions have been confirmed!" (I'm sure Agatha C's original lines were far better even if they were a bit dated sounding!)
But with so much of the plot spelled out, these mysteries are perfect accompaniment for chores such as cleaning the garage when your mind might wander or you have to make a bit of noise. You don't need to catch every line to understand what's going on. And a great new mystery writer like Tana French is too scary for me to listen to alone at night (Audible should have a category of Mysteries for Scaredy Cats).
Agatha Christie's female characters are lively and well drawn here, not quite the paper dolls they can sometimes seem to be. An amusing listen, all in all.
I have listed too a few of Agathas books and they have been great. This one is decently good but I feel like the wrap up an the end was just kind of slapped together. That being said I still enjoyed this one plenty. I suggest giving it a listen and seeing what you think for your self.
A complex narrative that doesn't lend itself to this format. You need the time that only reading can give you, or the visual of film.
But it's nice background listening, and Hugh Fraser is so good as a reader.
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