Title: Murder on the Links
Author: Agatha Christie
Paperback: 232 pages
Published: May 1923 by The Bodley Head
My Rating: 3.5/5
Summary (from Goodreads): A millionaire dies…
‘One can see by his face that he was stabbed in the back’ said Poirot.
But the strangest feature of the case was where they found the body – in an open grave!
Hercule Poirot had answered an appeal for help – but he was too late!
MURDER – bizarre and baffling – had come to the Villa Genevieve.
Ahhh, my fourth Hercule Poirot mystery. This is the second Poirot book, and I confess, I haven’t read any in order. I don’t own the first book and started with Murder on the Orient Express, which probably wasn’t my brightest idea, but hey.
I do love both the detective and partner, Captain Hastings. It’s a very Sherlock and Watson type relationship, and with every book containing the pair of them I find a smile on my face.
Poirot remains as arrogant as ever, but you can’t help liking him. There are parts of the book that are plain funny, which is what is needed in a mystery, I think. If we get too solemn, the book starts to drag and you just don’t care who actually did the crime.
Hastings, as I understand, settles down in the later books and becomes somewhat calmer. In this one, he does seem fairly young (and dare I say, a little bit stupid?) Allowing a crime scene to be compromised? Oh dear.
The romantic subplot was a tad cliché, but it was rather sweet. It’s interwoven with the mystery and set up in the very first scene…despite how quickly this ‘love’ developed (three days!) it seemed quite genuine. Even if it did make me want to hit Hastings over the head with a lead pipe for being so utterly ridiculous about it.
As always, we had a wide and varied supporting cast. I never fail to be amazed at the sheer number of characters that Christie creates. Poirot has a few run-ins with a French detective that does not share his methodological way of working out a case which turn out, again, to be quite funny.
It’s just a shame that the mystery in this book was so simple to solve. I’ve read that in most of Christie’s book it can be guessed quite easily just by searching for the character you’d least suspect, and that seems to be the case in Murder on the Links. Yes, there were plenty of red-herrings, but the idea that the least likely suspect is the culprit holds true.
Plot wise, the book is brilliant. The mystery is unfolded bit by bit, and despite the somewhat obvious answer, I was still engaged throughout every page.
I look forward to reading the next one!