17 July 2015

Review: POIROT'S EARLY CASES, Agatha Christie

  • this edition published by Fontana Books 1979
  • first published by William Collins in 1974
  • 222 pages
  • source: my local library

This is a collection of short stories, most of which were also published in other collections, and some of which I had already read.
My Take

So that left me 7 stories to read. They all feature Hercule Poirot and are about 13 pages each in length.
Surprisingly they are all from relatively early in Christie's career.
  • The Third-Floor Flat, first published 1929
    Patricia Garnett returns with her friends at night to find that she has lost her key to her flat. Her male friends decide to get into her flat, which is on the third floor, by accessing the service lift from the basement. They break into the wrong flat and discover a dead woman. Hercule Poirot is staying in the building and comes to the rescue.
  • The Adventure of Johnnie Waverley, first published 1923
    Hercule Poirot solves the problem of the abduction of a three year old.
  • The Chocolate Box, first published 1925
    Drinking a cup of chocolate by a warm fire reminds Hercule Poirot of a case that he regards as his greatest failure. It is set in Belgium when he is still in the Belgian police force and involves a sudden death.
  • The Lost Mine, first published 1925
    Hastings is marvelling at his dwindling bank balance and suggests that Poirot buy some shares. Poirot tells him the story of how he was given 14,000 shares in Burma Mines for his role in solving a murder mystery.
  • The Veiled Lady, first published 1925
    This story is narrated by Hastings who has noticed that Poirot is becoming increasingly restless. The newspapers are full of reports of a daring jewellery robbery in Bond Street. They are discussing this when a young lady arrives at Porot's flat. She is heavily veiled. She tells Poirot she is being blackmailed by someone and Poirot agrees to meet the blackmailer. But Poirot is cleverer than his visitor imagines.
  • Problem at Sea, first published 1936
    Poirot is on a cruise to Alexandria. He has been keeping to his cabin with seasickness but now emerges to observe his fellow passengers. His attention is caught by Colonel and Mrs Clapperton. The latter seems to be a very unpleasant person who treats her husband with contempt. The day they arrive in Alexandria Mrs Clapperton takes to her bed and Colonel Clapperton goes on shore with a couple of young women. When he returns Mrs Clapperton is dead, murdered.
  • How Does Your Garden Grow, first published 1932
    Poirot receives a letter from an elderly woman who wishes to consult him, but before he can visit her, she dies of strychnine poisoning, and her Russian companion, the major beneficiary of her will, has been accused of murder. This story show Poirot using Miss Lemon in an investigative capacity, slthough he mourns the fact that she does not have Captain Hastings' imagination.
I read these as part of the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. Check my short story list

These stories are pretty quick reads, but each shows Christie's acute observation of character, and her great interest in what causes people to commit crimes. 

My rating: 4.0


Unknown said...

What a great posting! I now have to add your featured title to my reading list. I've read many of the full-length Poirot treatments but (I think) none of the short stories. I can now rectify that oversight. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Irene said...

I'm familiar with a few of these, but did not realize they were written so early in Christie's career.

Shalet Jimmy said...

I might sound frivolous. But I never knew she had written short stories...

Graham Powell said...

Looking through the publication list of the complete Poirot short stories a few years ago, I discovered that about half of the 50 stories were published in a single year, which seems just about impossible, but is apparently true. What an outburst of creativity!


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