In addition to the Poirot books featured in my #ReadingAgatha monthly book club, I’m also reading the Poirot books that we are not reading in the club. It’s been fairly easy to keep up so far since we read Mysterious Affair At Styles in January and have The Murder of Roger Ackroyd up for this month. It will be interesting to see how I can keep up when we jump forward several books. 🙂 I read the majority of these last year, but it is really fun to read them again now that I am learning so much more about Christie’s life.
Now for The Murder on the Links.
This is Christie’s third book (published in 1923) and second featuring her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. This is also the second novel featuring Poirot’s lovable sidekick, Arthur Hastings. After Poirot receives a letter requesting help from South American millionaire Paul Renauld, Poirot and Hastings rush to Merlinville-sur-Mer in France to meet with him. Upon arriving, they find out Paul Renaud is dead–stabbed in the back and dumped in a newly-dug grave in a nearby golf course. What follows is a mystery involving hidden identities, love triangles, past wrongs, and a comparison between new and old-world styles of detecting.
While overall I liked this one, at times the plot felt a bit far-fetched…and yet the way it all comes together at the end shows how well Christie is able to craft her stories. There are a few *gasp* moments near the end that are fun…but also contribute to the wildness of the plot. I particularly enjoyed how Poirot deals with the character of Giraud, the investigating officer and just an arrogant ass in general, by playing up his old age and abilities before being the one to actually solve the case in the end. We get to see a lot of “Sassy Poirot” (my favorite Poirot) when it comes to his opinions on Giraud. As in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Poirot demonstrates his soft spot for those in love…this time trying to help Hastings with his “Cinderella” problem.
While this book is not one of my absolute favorites, it still has many favorable aspects: sassy Poirot, Hastings, love struggles, hidden identities…and, as usual, the case neatly packaged at the end.