Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Poirot Investigates

I don't think this about all of Christie's Poirot episodes, but this collection reminded me very much of Sherlock Holmes. It might be the short story format, it might be the use of Hastings as narrator, or it might be Hastings's Watson-style toadying. It's probably also Poirot's insistence on the simplicity of the solution, based on logic and reasoning. In novel-length works Poirot's style is usually to gather all of the suspects and offer a dramatic revelation of the culprit. In these short stories Poirot engages in setting traps and capturing criminals red-handed. Again, this is much more like Holmes than Poirot. In each of these cases Poirot is the only one with any focus. All of the other characters, including Hastings, are led astray by incorrect assumptions. I had the same reaction to Poirot short stories as I did to Miss Marple stories- they're a bit of fun, but I prefer the novel-length works.

Agatha Christie, Poirot Investigates (William Morrow, 2011, orig. 1924) ISBN: 0062074008 

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