Title: Murder on the Links
Author: Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot #2
You can read all my other reviews of Agatha Christies Mysteries HERE
Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with a urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly dug open grave on the golf course adjoining the property. Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.
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. But Poirot has his doubts. Why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse…
Hastings, Hastings, Hastings… This is one of those books where we really get a sense of just how naïve and sometimes outright stupid Hastings can be, and Poirot knows it. We get our first taste of Poirot Sass in this one as he delights in winding poor Hastings up. Hastings spends a good proportion of this book falling for every girl he sets his eyes on and running after a girl he hasn’t even had the wits to find out the name of until the very end of the book!
The mystery itself is interesting, however, it does seem to go on a bit. There are waves and waves of suspicion and confessions that just seem to be a wee bit too much. The characters bounce back and forth a lot and after a while you would just rather know who did it. You can tell it is Christie’s second book. It hasn’t been as polished as Mystery at Styles but she hasn’t quite honed the craft yet. There is just a little too much going on and it takes a little too long to get to the great reveal which is then a bit rushed.
I loved that we got a real insight into Poirot’s methods and his competition with the Parisian Detective that favoured a ‘new style’ of detection. It added a fun little element when the mystery got a bit slow. Poirot’s sass and attitude towards Hastings amorous intentions is just hilarious, especially as Hastings is really utterly hopeless. I do have great affection for both characters after reading this one.