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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic whodunnit
This was to be Hercule Poirot's 2nd 'major' case after the Mysterious Affairs at Styles. In this story a man who asked for Poirot's assistance in an unknown matter was found dead before Poirot arrived. Before Poirot has time to unmask the murderer a second body was found, killed in the same way as the first, at the same spot.
The Murder on the Links was a very raw...
Published on 15 Mar 2001

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "For God's sake, come!"
In her second novel featuring Poirot, the peculiar private investigator from Belgium, Christie fails to illustrate the main trait that made her famous. The author had the ability to constantly "fool" us in connection with who the culprit was in each case and at the same time dangle the truth in front of our eyes, without us realizing it. In this novel, that is not the...
Published on 19 Sep 2007 by Sebastian Fernandez


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic whodunnit, 15 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This was to be Hercule Poirot's 2nd 'major' case after the Mysterious Affairs at Styles. In this story a man who asked for Poirot's assistance in an unknown matter was found dead before Poirot arrived. Before Poirot has time to unmask the murderer a second body was found, killed in the same way as the first, at the same spot.
The Murder on the Links was a very raw effort, but it is enjoyable because there is not much 'character-building' as in Christie's later works. The clues were straight to the point and you will have a fun time having a go at it too.
One point to mention is that Hastings found the woman of his dream in this story too :o)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "For God's sake, come!", 19 Sep 2007
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In her second novel featuring Poirot, the peculiar private investigator from Belgium, Christie fails to illustrate the main trait that made her famous. The author had the ability to constantly "fool" us in connection with who the culprit was in each case and at the same time dangle the truth in front of our eyes, without us realizing it. In this novel, that is not the case, and as the story progresses we are immersed into a tangle of complicated connections that go against the aforementioned simplicity.

As is usually the case in Poirot's novels, the events are described by Hastings, a charming character, who serves as the punching bag that tries to make sense of things, only to be beaten down by Poirot's brilliant deductions. The Belgian detective is bored out of his mind, with obvious cases that present no challenge to him, until a letter from Monsieur Renauld arrives. The missive comes from France, and carries a palpable sense of urgency. The sender is convinced that his life is in danger and requests that Poirot gets there to assist him as soon as possible. Thus, the detective, together with Hastings, embarks on a journey to France, towards a new challenge.

Upon their arrival at the villa, they face the news that they got there too late, and that Renauld was murdered the night before. Naturally, Poirot offers to stay around and help solve the case. There are a good variety of suspects, including a lady that had visited the victim frequently, a wife that may feel disrespected, a son that fought with his father shortly before the murder and a mysterious young artist that had crossed paths with Hastings before.

As I already mentioned, the only drawback I found with this novel is the way in which the author twisted and turned the plot, but I understand that she was still at the beginning of her career. She does a few things very well though, like for example the way in which she continues to develop the character of Poirot. The detective's worship of the little gray cells and his preference for method and order over running around after clues make him a very special character; especially since in this case, he is pitted against a French detective from the Surete, Giraud, in a competition of contrasting styles that is exciting to witness.

Even though this is a sub par effort for Agatha Christie, it is still a decent novel. If this is by any chance your first attempt at reading her work, I recommend that you stick with it. The rewards are going to be worth it! - 3.5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You know very well that you cannot afford to turn your back on Papa Poirot.", 27 Jan 2007
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
(3.5 stars) Written in 1923, Agatha Christie's third mystery features Poirot working with Capt. Arthur Hastings, who acts as his assistant, despite Hastings's greater interest in pursuing charming young ladies. In this novel, Poirot is summoned to France by Paul Reynaud, a wealthy businessman with interests in Chile. By the time Poirot arrives, however, Reynaud is dead, stabbed and then pushed into a makeshift grave on the golf course beside his house. Mme. Reynaud bears bruises from being tied up by two intruders, who, she says, forced her partly clothed husband from the house and then killed him. Soon another death takes place.

Poirot, investigating is not the Poirot of later novels. Here he is not so much a caricature as he later becomes, even poking fun of his relationship with Hastings, as in the title's quotation. His contempt for the local police is typical, as is his arrogance, but he seems somewhat more human than usual here. Unfortunately, the nature of the mystery prevents much character development for any of the characters. Three young women, all with dark secrets (slowly revealed in the conclusion), act as the love objects of Capt. Hastings and Jack Renaud (the victim's son), while the secret histories, going back twenty years, of several other characters, including the victim and his wife, complicate relationships and hide the solution to the murders.

The plot strains credulity, though that is not necessarily a fatal fault with Christie, whose primary interest is in developing devious plots with minimal clues which still allow Poirot to deduce the murderer. This mystery is so complex and has so many characters, however, that readers will be hard pressed to keep track of them, their secret identities, their look-alikes, and their past histories. Though the plot is clever, there is too little characterization to keep the reader involved in Poirot's adventures here. Not one of Christie's most memorable novels. n Mary Whipple
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book for Learning How to Exercise "the Little Grey Cells" as a Mystery Reader, 27 Oct 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
If you don't like cerebral problems or dislike reading a period piece (written in the period), you won't like this book nearly as much as I do.

If you have enjoyed any Agatha Christie mystery, I highly recommend this one to you.

Agatha Christie has been a favorite of mystery readers since she began crafting her country-based, upper-crust stories. Murder on the Links is her second novel featuring that polite but elusive Belgian detective, M. Hercule Poirot. Ms. Christie became the first woman to make a dent as a major mystery writer, an important avatar for the many wonderful women mystery writers who entertain us so well today.

It's good to look backward a bit in considering this story. Sherlock Holmes was the reigning fictional detective of the day when the unimpressive Poirot was conceived. As you may remember, Holmes was a student of arcane subjects . . . which always seemed to allow him to take some seemingly unimportant scrap and turn that scrap into finding the killer. It was an early version of CSI.

Ms. Christie, by contrast, was much less impressed by that approach. Her detective instead thinks about human emotions and uses psychology to track down the killer or killers. To make the point clear, she often set up a foil in terms of a Holmes-like detective who obsessively pored over meaningless clues. A good part of the fun in Murder on the Links comes from her satire of the Sherlock Holmes style story.

Agatha Christie was a master at setting up little puzzles which the reader could solve, after leaping across an abyss of false assumptions and red herrings to reach the only conclusion that is possible. Her skill in that regard is very evident in Murder on the Links where the ostensible situation reveals so many puzzling qualities that the reader can only conclude that something is off.

The inimitable foil for Hercule Poirot is Captain Hastings, and you will find Hastings more charming here than in most of the stories in the series. As the book opens, Hastings is returning to England from France when he meets a most annoying and seemingly unsuitable young woman who nevertheless piques his interest. She's worried about her sister who doesn't seem to be on the train. Only later does Hastings realize that he doesn't know the young woman's name and where she lives.

Arriving in the rooms that Hastings shares with M. Poirot, they are soon discomfited by a desperate request from a wealthy man in France, M. Renauld, to save him from a threat. Taking the next available train, they are surprised to learn that the promised chauffeur is nowhere to be found. Hiring a car, Hastings is dazzled upon arrival by seeing a gorgeous young woman, Marthe Daubreuil, whom Poirot insists is not for Hastings to marry. Seeing that Hastings has been taken by the attractions of two young women so recently, Poirot offers to find Hastings a suitable wife. Hastings' vulnerability to the fairer sex provides for much good humor and some complications in the story.

All that amiability is soon dispelled as Poirot and Hastings discover that Renauld has been murdered and buried in a sand trap on the nearby golf course. Poirot is quickly alerted that the story of the death seems familiar . . . as does the appearance of a neighbor.

There are many hidden currents which are revealed in piecemeal fashion. You'll do well to keep notes on what has been observed and by whom.

The mystery is actually not hard to unravel, but you'll have to await more clues before getting beyond the initial appearances. Keep motive, opportunity, and method in mind.

The beauty of the story is found in the way that Agatha Christie muddles up your clear thinking by having Hastings try to solve the matter. It's as though a magpie were shrieking in your ear. See if you can concentrate. It's good discipline for becoming more able to solve mysteries before the author reveals the solution.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Character development amid a confusing plot, 19 Dec 2009
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
In my opinion, a good mystery novel is one where you spend the entire narrative scratching your head, only to suddenly realise 'Of course!' as soon as the final revelation is made. That's not the reaction I had to this book. Although I did a lot of head scratching, there was no way I could have followed Poirot's deductions this time, particularly with the circuitous route of revealing the guilty party.

Captain Hastings' narration can be a little grating at times - he seems surprisingly incompetent and completely ignores Poirot's hints. I would imagine that if I were in his place I would have the time to think about the comments I were fed - although as I read through the novels in a couple of days I generally don't take the time out to think objectively about the case.

An interesting facet of this novel is that it is set in France. Strangely though all of the characters still speak the same language, and nowhere is it mentioned whether all French people speak perfect English, or the English perfect French. I found that an odd omission from a writer who pays such careful attention to the details of crafting her plots. The characters however are exactly the same as they would be in a Christie novel set in England, with the possible exception of Poirot's rival - a French detective who tries to solve the case in a more modern manner than the Belgian's.

I'm hoping that the problems that I had with this novel are because it's one of the earliest of Christie's writings, and that with time her style will mature into something I find a more satisfying read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, 1 Sep 2007
This was a brilliant book, and I find it difficult to find a flaw with it, as there is very little bad things to say about it. Towards the end I found it very difficult to put down.

The book is about a French man who calls Poirot to France, to investigate something, but by the time Poirot arrives, the man was dead, he was stabbed in the back and dumped in a shallow grave on a golf course. A while later another body is found, almost identically murdered. The case is a baffling one and you find out so much in the last section of the book, that it is difficult to keep up with all the revelations. I thought I had found out who did it, but I was very wrong.

The case is filled with clues such as, a short piece of pipe, how the murderer left the house, the connection with a 20 year old case, an argument between the murdered man and his son, who the second murdered man was and how he died, why the murdered man was wearing his sons jacket and who wrote the mysterious love letter in the pocket and the identity of the lady who wrote it. These are just some of the clues and there are a great number of red herrings aswell.

If you like exciting mystery books, based around a wealthy family, then you should definitely read this one, it's great.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD, 29 Dec 2001
By A Customer
I think that this must be one of the most witty plots of Miss Christie's stories. Through obvious evidence it reveals to you the least likely murderer, yet the only possible one! Definately get this book. It was the first one I ever read and certeainly didn't put me off reading the rest of Agatha's titles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder on the Links, 16 July 2011
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Murder on the Links (Poirot) (Hercule Poirot Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This is the second major case for Poirot, following on from "The Mysterious Affair of Styles". For some reason I had never read this one - perhaps the link with golf put me off when I was younger and beginning to read Christie's novels. However, the link with golf is tenuous and it is, thankfully, hard to imagine Poirot wishing to indulge in sporting activities! The story begins with Hastings meeting a young woman on a train on his way back to London. He barely arrives than Poirot receives a letter calling him to the aid of a millionaire in France, frightened for his life because of a 'secret' he possesses. Poirot, with Hastings, immediately leave England, only to find on arrival that Monsieur Renauld has already been killed and his body found on the golf course next door.

There follows one of Christie's most enjoyable plots. There is a tragic widow, a son about to be disinherited, a mysterious Madame Daubreuil and her anxious daughter and the lovely lady on the train. The crime reminds Poirot of an earlier case and he sets off in pursuit, while M. Giraud, a modern detective with new methods crawls around looking for clues and sneers at our hero. Although Hastings is impressed by poking around in the shrubbery, we know that the 'little grey cells' are all that is needed. Poirot, of course, comes out the winner and Hastings even gets his girl. Total enjoyment from the ultimate crime writer. Whatever came before her, or after her, Agatha Christie will always be my ideal crime author and Poirot my favourite detective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Par for the course, 7 Oct 2010
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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Agatha Christie's second novel is an entertaining read, but is spoiled by the trap that so many novels fall into, that of the incredible coincidence. I won't say what that is, but it was probably an unnecessary one.

Despite the book's title, golf doesn't play any part in the story, other than the victim being found on a course under construction. The novel has two major strengths: Christie's ability to drag the reader along every conceivable garden path and the rivalry between Poirot and the Surete's detective, Giraud. Christie's vivid and repellent portrait of the latter is also at odds with the frequent criticism that her characters are all the same. It is true that many appear to be stock figures, but there are always at least one or two jokers of interest in her novels. 'The Murder On The Links' is worth a read, but it ought to have been better.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book for Learning How to Exercise "the Little Grey Cells" as a Mystery Reader, 27 Oct 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
If you don't like cerebral problems or dislike reading a period piece (written in the period), you won't like this book nearly as much as I do.

If you have enjoyed any Agatha Christie mystery, I highly recommend this one to you.

Agatha Christie has been a favorite of mystery readers since she began crafting her country-based, upper-crust stories. Murder on the Links is her second novel featuring that polite but elusive Belgian detective, M. Hercule Poirot. Ms. Christie became the first woman to make a dent as a major mystery writer, an important avatar for the many wonderful women mystery writers who entertain us so well today.

It's good to look backward a bit in considering this story. Sherlock Holmes was the reigning fictional detective of the day when the unimpressive Poirot was conceived. As you may remember, Holmes was a student of arcane subjects . . . which always seemed to allow him to take some seemingly unimportant scrap and turn that scrap into finding the killer. It was an early version of CSI.

Ms. Christie, by contrast, was much less impressed by that approach. Her detective instead thinks about human emotions and uses psychology to track down the killer or killers. To make the point clear, she often set up a foil in terms of a Holmes-like detective who obsessively pored over meaningless clues. A good part of the fun in Murder on the Links comes from her satire of the Sherlock Holmes style story.

Agatha Christie was a master at setting up little puzzles which the reader could solve, after leaping across an abyss of false assumptions and red herrings to reach the only conclusion that is possible. Her skill in that regard is very evident in Murder on the Links where the ostensible situation reveals so many puzzling qualities that the reader can only conclude that something is off.

The inimitable foil for Hercule Poirot is Captain Hastings, and you will find Hastings more charming here than in most of the stories in the series. As the book opens, Hastings is returning to England from France when he meets a most annoying and seemingly unsuitable young woman who nevertheless piques his interest. She's worried about her sister who doesn't seem to be on the train. Only later does Hastings realize that he doesn't know the young woman's name and where she lives.

Arriving in the rooms that Hastings shares with M. Poirot, they are soon discomfited by a desperate request from a wealthy man in France, M. Renauld, to save him from a threat. Taking the next available train, they are surprised to learn that the promised chauffeur is nowhere to be found. Hiring a car, Hastings is dazzled upon arrival by seeing a gorgeous young woman, Marthe Daubreuil, whom Poirot insists is not for Hastings to marry. Seeing that Hastings has been taken by the attractions of two young women so recently, Poirot offers to find Hastings a suitable wife. Hastings' vulnerability to the fairer sex provides for much good humor and some complications in the story.

All that amiability is soon dispelled as Poirot and Hastings discover that Renauld has been murdered and buried in a sand trap on the nearby golf course. Poirot is quickly alerted that the story of the death seems familiar . . . as does the appearance of a neighbor.

There are many hidden currents which are revealed in piecemeal fashion. You'll do well to keep notes on what has been observed and by whom.

The mystery is actually not hard to unravel, but you'll have to await more clues before getting beyond the initial appearances. Keep motive, opportunity, and method in mind.

The beauty of the story is found in the way that Agatha Christie muddles up your clear thinking by having Hastings try to solve the matter. It's as though a magpie were shrieking in your ear. See if you can concentrate. It's good discipline for becoming more able to solve mysteries before the author reveals the solution.
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