‘Poirot Investigates’ is a collection of 11 short stories in which Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective is the lead investigator. There are a lot of interesting cases right from the one in which the prime minister is kidnapped to the point where Poirot gets a call from a dying man. Agatha Christie, the queen of crime, does not need an introduction but those of you who have not read her books have missed out on brilliant piece of literature and good entertainment full of crime suspense. Not to forget the class that she brings in with her work ! She is the holy grail of whodunit of fiction books. I salute her for such wonderful characters that she brings to life – especially Hercule Poirot & Miss Marple
I will describe some the cases below and not reveal the killer/murdered/kidnapper for obvious reasons ( I want you people to read these books not only book reviews :))
English Prime Minister’s convoy is attacked while going to France. Bullets are fired at him but the Prime minister escapes with only a scratch. A while later, when he is on the way to peace conference in France, Prime minister is kidnapped. Leader of House of Commons panics and approaches Hercule Poirot to solve the case. British army and London police are unsuccessful in finding their PM ( may be, they don’t want to find him so soon :)). Hercule Poirot, though honored to receive such an important case, is surprised that why was the Prime minister attacked twice on the same day and why did Prime minister’s driver stopped his car when he could just drive pass through the assassins. After all, it was a bullet proof car. These questions bog Hercule Poirot and he goes about finding the English PM by his methodical, meticulous & neat ways.
Andrew Marsh, a real estate tycoon, is taking care of his niece, Violet Marsh. On his death, he does not leave all his assets to Violet directly but draws up a treasure hunt for her (through a written will !) to be able to ‘achieve’ his wealth rather than inherit it. Andrew makes a will, in which he mentions that if she doesn’t find the secret in the manor that he is gifting her, he will donate all his assets to charities & other foundations within a year of his death. Desperate to inherit all her uncle’s money, she approaches Poirot. This was the only case where Poirot could not figure out initially where was the second will or any other clue that leads to the riches. He suffers from a temporary dementia (just joking :)) where he forgets that what Andrew might have done (like Poirot forgets to check up on people he met before he made that will !). Andrew Marsh makes sure that his ‘book worm’ niece is not able to win against the brilliant and practical mind of her uncle. How Poirot uncovers the mystery in the house is purely fascinating ! This is the first case I have read in which Poirot gets a brain wave instead of using his methodical ways to solve the case. Last case in the book and it is worth a read!!!
Robbery of a million dollar bonds off the ship is another exciting story in this book. Esmee Farquhar approaches Hercule Poirot and tells her that she is the fiancée of bank manager (Philip Ridgeway) who was in charge of these bonds. These were being transferred from London to New york when the lock in which these bonds were present was forced open and the bonds were robbed. There were brokers at the New York stock exchange who talked about buying these bonds even before this vessel docked at NY. Who gave the bonds to the Philip Ridgeway? Who checked them before they were put in the safe on the vessel? Why some brokers claim that they receive bonds even before the vessel docked at NY? When all the crew members were checked after robbery why all passengers & crew came clean? Did the bonds disappear into thin air? if so, then how were they sold to NYSE within half an hour after the vessel docked? Hercule Poirot’s sharp & methodical brain gets to work immediately and he along with Captain Hastings goes to meet people connected with this robbery. He does a brilliant job he does of finding out the real culprit. Answers to those queries mentioned here looks like a piece of cake when you guys will read how the case unfolds.
Poirot investigates strange series of deaths which followed upon the discovery and opening up of Tomb of King Men-her-Ra. One Jon Willard, the main archeologist is the first one to die. His colleague Mr. Bleibner follows next. His cause of death is acute food poisoning. Nephew of Mr . Bleibner shoots himself in New york few days later. Three deaths – each one explicable taken by itself, but taken together surely an almost unbelievable coincidence, and all within a month of the opening of the tomb. Though Poirot, unbelievably, has some confidence in superstition, he picks his subjects carefully on superstition. He goes to Egypt with his friend Captain Hastings and starts investigating Poirot style. The more he investigates, more it looks like superstition and in the end, truth suddenly reveals itself. Flow, suspense and Poirot’s tricks were the best in this case when I compare it to other cases in the book.
I am throughly impressed with this book of multiple cases of Hercule Poirot. I give it a 4.25/5