Saturday, December 26, 2020


One hundred years ago Hercule Poirot was introduced to readers in the United States. The book in which he first appears is The Mysterious Affair at Styles. From The Telegraph today:
...[D]uring the First World War, by which time [Agatha Christie] was married to her first husband Archie and working in a hospital dispensary at Torquay, she perceived a certain something in the properties of poisons that would form the nucleus of a murder plot.

She also considered the Belgian refugees who had been offered sanctuary in the town. “Why not make my detective a Belgian, I thought?” she wrote in her autobiography. “Hercule – Hercule Poirot. That was all right – settled, thank goodness.”

She envisaged him as neat, fussy, vain, his highly polished appearance the external expression of a clean, ordered brain. A fabulous line drawing, rather than a three-dimensional character, yet with an instant aliveness upon the page, and possessing the indefinable quality of connection with the reader. ....
The final Poirot wasn't published until 1975. The Mysterious Affair at Styles is now in the public domain and can be read online or downloaded.

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