The Dust-jacket illustration
of the first UK edition in 1924

(I guess this is how the publishers
envisioned Poirot.)

I’m generally not fond of the short story format and this may explain my reaction to Poirot Investigates (1924), the most recent book I’ve read toward my goal of reading all of Agatha Christie’s published works.

This was Christie’s fifth published book and unless you’re an ardent Christie fan, I would skip this collection of 14 unoriginal and flat stories (I suspect these stories were cliché even by 1924 standards). The writing is crisp and some of the stories even humorous, but the mysteries themselves are repetitive and uninspiring. Unlike The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which featured a uniquely developed and nuanced Poirot, this short story collection makes Poirot and Hastings seem like second rate versions of Holmes and Watson.

No doubt about it, Christie is light reading, but some of her works have imaginative and creative plots that account for her continuing popularity. Unfortunately, Poirot Investigates is not an example of Christie’s best work.

Rating: D