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on 19 September 2012
I bought this for my wife, who has Parkinson's disease. It would be easy to manage for anyone without hand problems but my wife finds it hard to hold and turn the pages. A shame because she loves Poirot stories.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 August 2006
This compendium is a good purchase for the reader coming to Poirot for the first time, as it includes four of the first six Poirot novels to be published. The missing novels are "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" (1926) and "The Mystery of the Blue Train" (1928) which can be found in the "Perfect Murders" and "French Collection" anthologies respectively.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (4/5)
Poirot's first appearance in print, and Christie's first novel, is an intricate country house mystery that may well leave you as confused as it does Hastings.

Murder on the Links (4/5)
There's a lot to enjoy in this book, especially Poirot's rivalry with a French detective who displays almost as much arrogance as he does himself. It isn't too difficult to solve part of the puzzle, but the later convolutions will leave most readers foxed.

The Big Four (2/5)
Hastings returns from the Argentine in time to help Poirot battle a criminal conspiracy and its intentions to conquer the world! This barmy adventure - really a succession of short stories and episodes - is completely unlike other Poirot novels. Although some of the individual mysteries are entertaining, the whole thing has more the flavour of Sax Rohmer than Agatha Christie.

Peril at End House (3/5)
The impact of this mystery has been somewhat eroded by the number of stories that have imitated it since. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable tale with more urgency and focus than some of the more baffling puzzles.
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on 9 December 2008
Three of the four stories in this collection (The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Murder on the Links, Peril at End House) are classic Poirot and worth getting. The fourth (The Big Four) is more of a rather improbable adventure story, almost Poirot does James Bond; I probably won't read it again.

Note for if you are buying several of these Harper Collins collections of Poirot stories: The Murder on the Links is also in "The French Collection". You may still find it's still cheaper to buy both these collection volumes instead of the individual books, but caveat emptor.
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on 12 October 2010
Anytime is the right time to discover Agatha Christie. A great collection of book sfeaturing the famous Poirot, her Belgian detective. The only thing I should add is that if you are new to the author this collection does contain the final book about Poirot so one should really put 'Curtain' to one side for many years to come.
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on 21 May 2014
There are similarities in this book to Conan Doyle's "The Final Problem" as Poirot comes up against a group of criminals, supported by henchmen, who are just as clever as he, just as Holmes found the same opponent in Professor Moriarty. The book is one case with several cases along the way where no capture can be achieved. Hugh Fraser, who ably reads this book, tells the story in the first person in Captain Hastings and puts full angry gusto into Hastings' outburst, "Death to the Big Four". He also does full justice to the worry Hastings feels regarding the safety of his wife in Chapters 12 and 13. Poirot, as always, is on top form with his "order and method" and, of course, has to comment to Hastings on his untidiness ("Never, never shall I see you embrace the order and method)". If it's a gripping book you want which you just can't put down, look no further than The Big Four.
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on 20 June 2013
Overall good condition although there were some unsightly white marks on the front cover which was a shame considering it was gift. Nothing major though ...
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on 31 December 2012
Excellent all round - the product was a great purchase and in perfect condition. Highly recommended both in terms of quality and price
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on 6 May 2009
Having been an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, I finally decided to try reading some of the Poirot stories instead. This book was my first exposure to the Belgian detective, and to Agatha Christie's writing as a whole, and I have to say it has lived up to my hopes fairly well.

The writing style is very different to that of Doyle -- it feels very much more like 'classic' literature than the Holmes stories do... possibly a little more formal. For me, that made it a little less accessible, so I had to work a bit harder to get into the plots.

The mystery and intrigue are great though, and there's a splash of romance here and there. It takes you on a bit of an adventure of feelings about the main characters (Poirot and Hastings), as they portray very realistic development and personality traits.

My one criticism is that the plots tend to drag on a bit, so it is perhaps not ideal for people who prefer lots of pace. The third story ("The Big Four") is particularly bad for this... it just seems to go on and on... and then it suddenly stops in a slightly unsatisfactory way. It's still well worth reading it though.

I recommend this book as being an excellent introduction to the Poirot stories. If you are interested in crime stories and the somewhat bizarre methods of a small Belgian man, then you will be well catered for!
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on 5 October 2014
I have always liked murder mysteries, so I enjoy books by this author, and the culprit is always someone you least expect.
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on 2 September 2015
Book as expected and arrived on time.
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