Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
There are no spoilers in this review
on 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.