Poirot Investigates

Ah, the continuing adventures of Hercule Poirot.  This is my 8th Poirot book of the past 6 months or so, and this one is very different than the others.  Poirot Investigates is a collection of short stories centered around Poirot, and it does some interesting things.  As this is a collection of stories rather than a novel, this review will not have my usual Character, Setting, & Plot structure, but just my thoughts about it.

Book Stats

244 pages

Mystery

Collection of Short Stories

Enjoyment

There were a lot of things to like about this book, especially when compared to the Poirot novels that I’ve read up to this point.  The first big difference is that while many of the stories in the book are murder mysteries, not all of them are.  In this collection Poirot investigates a kidnapping, several robberies, and a search for a will.  Throughout all of these stories, Poirot uses “the little grey cells” to find the murderer, in two of the stories not even going to the crime scene.

However, I had some problems with this book as well.  The stories are all told from the POV of Captain Hastings, who is essentially in the role the reader takes as the person observing the investigation.  There were several times where Poirot or other characters blatantly insult Hastings, and it comes across as blatantly insulting the reader.  Poirot also started to come across as a ‘perfect’ character who never makes a single mistake (with the exception of the last story, which is about the one case where he was wrong).

There was another issue that I had with the book, but I’m not sure if it is really a weakness of the book or the weakness of the form.  I don’t read a lot of mysteries (outside of these books this past year) and I read even fewer in the short form.  There were a lot of stories where the solution was very sudden and in some cases related to information that was barely mentioned earlier in the story or not discussed at all.  It was also really difficult to take the time to establish multiple suspects with motivations and opportunities to commit the crime, which left me thinking that several of the stories fell flat.  Again, I don’t know if this is a weakness of the book or the form, but it was something that bothered me.

Overall Grade

Not bad, but it didn’t blow me away either, worth reading if you’re a fan of Poirot.

5/10

On a side note.  This is the last Poirot book that I own, and I’m going to take a break from reading them for a while.  I’m starting to grow weary of Poirot as a character, and I think it’s from reading through the novels this close together.  However, I would like to read some other mystery novels to have a comparison for the Poirot novels I’ve already read as well as any I might read in the future.  Here is the problem, since this is a genre I don’t read much of, I don’t really know where to start in looking for other novels to read from it.  So I ask those of you who read my blog for some suggestions of mystery books or authors to read.  Thank you in advance for any suggestions and thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet.

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4 Comments

  1. hannahrose42

     /  January 3, 2012

    I’ll be honest, I don’t read a lot of mystery, so I used my handy dandy next-book-to-read finder. Here are some suggestions… The Art of Deception by Elizabeth Ironside, Oxford Double by Veronica Stallwood, and Dead Right by Peter Robinson. Again, I’ll be honest and say I picked the coolest titles, so I’m not gauranteeing these books are.going to be great. Good luck with your mystery hunt!

    Reply
    • That’s part of my problem as well, I don’t read a lot of mystery so I really don’t know where to start in looking for new mystery books to read. I’ve added your suggestions to my list of books to check out, if you come across any others let me know.

      Reply
  2. Adam Stone

     /  January 4, 2012

    The Sherlock Holmes books.

    Reply
    • I have The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I’ve read a couple of times, I’ll look into more of the Sherlock Holmes books.

      Reply

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