2008: 137. The Murder on the Links

“I believe that a well-known anecdote exists to the effect that a young writer, determined to make the commencement of his story forcible and original enough to catch and rivet the attention of the most blase of editors, penned the following sentence:

“‘Hell!’ said the Duchess.” ”

The Murder on the Links, Agatha Christie

Ok, I promise, this is my last mystery for a while - after this I went back to reading real grown up books with substance.  This is the second Poirot mystery, and the one where Hastings meets his future wife (which leads, in the future to a lot of mysteries where Hastings just happens to come back for a visit, so he can play a role - I bet Dame Agatha regretted marrying him off so soon!), and it’s an ok mystery - again, not one of my childhood re-reads, so I don’t have quite as much fondness for it as others (I think I’ve read this twice, whereas I have read some of the others - even obscure one like, oh,  The Hollow, ten times).  Anyway, this time the murder occurs in Paris, and Hastings and Poirot and are competing with the police detective Giraud to solve the case.  There is a lot going on here - two murders, multiple love affairs, double crossings, twins, and the French setting, which Christie doesn’t quite pull off.  She is best with a nice, domestic country house murder*, and this book just doesn’t quite cut it.  But it is only her third book, so it is understandable that it can’t hold up to her later efforts, and it does have a reasonably ingenious solution.  

Also, can I just say how much I like the first line? It cracked me up.  


Date/Place Completed: 9/15/08; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Re-read; Agatha Christie Project


*Although, that having been said, she is actually at her very best on the Orient Express.  Damn, that’s a great mystery.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017