The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
Filed under: Book Reviews,General Reading — Ibis at 5:00 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2010

From the back cover:
“‘For God’s sake, come!’ Unfortunately, by the time Hercule Poirot received Monsieur Renauld’s urgent plea, the millionaire was already dead—stabbed in the back, lying in a freshly dug grave on the golf course of his adjoining Merlinville estate. There’s no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger served as the weapon; his embittered son, who would have killed for independence; and his mistress, who refused to be ignored—and each felt deserving of the dead man’s fortune. The police think they’ve found the culprit. Poirot has his doubts. A second murder proves him right.”

My thoughts:
This is Agatha Christie’s second novel featuring Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Captain Hastings. From the title, I was a little concerned that golf would be heavily featured (as apparently have most book cover designers for the novel), but in fact it isn’t really mentioned at all. One of the bodies in the case is found on property which happens to be a golf course under construction, but that’s the only connection to the game.

In this one, Poirot using his knowledge of human psychology, observation of the people involved, and his memory of a prior murder case is pitted against a French detective using “modern” methods of evidence collection and analysis. Hastings, blinded by the attractive and/or interesting women he encounters, is particularly foolish (for example, leaving one of them alone with the body for several minutes).

Some of the twists in the plot I figured out, but still I was surprised at learning the identity of the killer, so overall it was a good mystery. I didn’t care for the object of Hastings’ affection and had to agree with his initial dislike of her but it will be interesting to see how their relationship plays out in future books. Next comes a collection of Poirot short stories.

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