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Sunday, 3 July 2011


Hello everyone, I’m back today with yet another top 5; this one will be a treat to all you detective readers. Hercule Poirot is the best character created by the Queen of Crimes, Agatha Christie. Well there is no need to say how popular Agatha Christie books are; they have sold over a billion copies in English and another billion copies in 100 foreign languages outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Today I’m going to select the best of the best – the top 5 Poirot novels of Agatha Christie.
In March 1948, Dodd, Mead and Company published this Christie work in the US and Collins Crime Club published it in the UK later that year.
The death of Gordon Cloade in an air raid leaves his vast amount of fortune to his wife Rosaleen, which makes the former’s relatives very unhappy as they were in desperate need of money. So you guys can pretty much guess what happens next; a very brutal murder occurs. But the surprise is that, Rosaleen is not the victim.
Maurice Richardson, in his review of the November 21, 1948 issue of The Observer was slightly unimpressed: "Agatha Christie has, if not a whole day off, at least part of the afternoon. The killing of the blackmailing Enoch Arden, who puts up at the local to harry the already embarrassed Cloade family, the murder that follows, and Poirot's doubly twisted solution are ingenious enough, but the characterization is a little below par. The quintessential zest, the sense of well-being which goes to make up that Christie feeling is missing."
This work of Christie was published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on Nov 1, 1937 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in the next year. As the title suggests, most of the story takes place at Egypt and on the river Nile.
Jacqueline De Bellefort, a young and very enthusiastic girl was very much in love with her fiancé Simon Doyle. She visits her old and wealthy friend, Linnet Ridgeway in the hopes that the latter would give Simon a job. But the plot thickens as Simon brakes his engagement with Jacqueline and marries Linnet.
The Times Library Supplement’s short review of November 20, 1937 by Caldwell Harpur had reported, "Hercule Poirot, as usual, digs out a truth so unforeseen that it would be unfair for a reviewer to hint at it" – which I would say was an understatement regarding the brilliance Christie has shown in this book.

Collins Crime Club published this book in the UK on Jan 1, 1934 and in the US Dodd, Mead and Company published it later in the year under the title Murder in the Calais Coach.
Hercule Poirot, returning from Palestine boards the Orient Express. He meets his acquaintance M. Bouc director of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits who helps him secure a berth as the train was unusually crowded.
On the second night of the trip, Poirot is woken from his sleep by a loud racket from the compartment next door which was occupied by a Mr. Ratchett. Poirot peeks out and sees the conductor knocking on Mr. Ratchett’s door and enquiring whether he was all right; Mr. Ratchett replies that it was nothing and he had just tripped. Satisfied with the reply the conductor walks off. But Poirot senses something wrong with the incident

This book was first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in June 1941 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later that year.
Hercule Poirot intends to have a quiet vacation and settles himself at the hotel in Devon. But as usual, things don’t go quite as well as he plans, not when Arlena, a very beautiful and flirtatious young woman revels in the attention of another man while in the company of her husband.
The verdict by Maurice Willson Disher in The Times Literary Supplement of June 14, 1941 was positive: "To maintain a place at the head of detective-writers would be difficult enough without the ever increasing rivalry. Even Miss Christie cannot stay there unchallenged though she has a following which will swear her books are best without reading the others. Unbiased opinion may have given the verdict against her last season when new arrivals set a very hot pace; but Evil Under the Sun will take a lot of beating now".

William Collins & Sons published this book in the UK in June 1926 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company on the same month.
This work of Christie is regarded by many as her master piece, its innovative twist ending combined with the sheer ingenuity and brilliant characterization of the Queen of Crimes makes this the best detective work of all time and a must read book.
The story revolves around Poirot, who is in pursuit of the murderer of Roger Ackroyd, the wealthiest man in the fictional village of King’s Abbott in England. He rules out all of the original suspects to come at the shocking truth.
The Times Literary Supplement's review of June 10, 1926, began with "This is a well-written detective story of which the only criticism might perhaps be that there are too many curious incidents not really connected with the crime which have to be elucidated before the true criminal can be discovered". The review then gave a brief synopsis before concluding with "It is all very puzzling, but the great Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian detective, solves the mystery. It may safely be asserted that very few readers will do so."


  1. What about 'BIG FOUR"!!????

  2. Big four is of course a great book, a different style from the usual Christie books. But it lacks the ending punch to get into the top 5