There are murder mysteries and then there is Hercule Poirot! This Belgian detective is surely AGATHA Christie’s greatest creation. Charming and not so modest about it, Hercule Poirot is known for his eccentric mannerisms. But well! He sure does manage to solve each of his cases with a dramatic twist. No wonder he has been the centerpiece in many of Christie’s novels.
And as the man himself says- “My name is Hercule Poirot, and I am probably the greatest detective in the world.” – Hercule Poirot in The Mystery of the Blue Train
And we don’t doubt that, do we?
It’s been over twenty years, since the day I picked up that first Agatha Christie from my neighborhood library. Ever since, I have been intrigued by her writing style, the narration and the element of suspense the books carried. I have read a fairly large number of her books. And I don’t mind re-reading a couple of them. My recent “re-read” pick was Murder in the Mews. The book is essentially a collection of novellas that are light-hearted British murder cases. Four whodunit cases, each with an unexpected ending. It is a book that you would simply not want to put down.
The stories are set in the early 20th century, and give you a quick peek into British culture too. Señor Hercule Poirot with his razor sharp mind is all out to solve the four cases.
- Case 1: How did A woman holding a pistol in her right hand manage to shoot herself in the left temple?
- Case 2: An important letter is stolen at the time when an apparition was spotted. What’s the link?
- Case 3: A rich old man is found dead in his study. Conflicting reports as to his mood during the day and who among the guests at his estate may have had a motive to slay the chap.
- Case 4: Triangle at Rhodes-A marital triangle leads to foul murder but the ending will surprise you.
The stories are short and crisp. But I somehow missed the elaborate investigative style that makes Hercule Poirot the man that he is. There is this element of eccentricity he carries, when he thinks aloud or, when he discusses the case with his aide Hastings. These conversations would often lead readers to come out with their own conclusions. And I quite missed Hastings too, who seemed to have done a disappearing act in all four of the novellas.
Murder in the Mews, nevertheless, is loaded with vigor and suspense. Brilliantly paced tales of murder and deceit. A must for all Agatha Christie’s fans!!