Agatha Christie introduced her Belgian detective Hercules Poirot to great acclaim in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, so she followed up the book in The Murder on the Links with great success as well. The book, also narrated by Captain Hastings, begins with Hastings’ traveling on the train to the boat that crosses the English Channel from France to England and meeting a charming pixie of a girl who has just lost her only sister and thus refuses to get on the boat. Little does Hastings anticipate that he will see this girl, who refuses to give him any name but Cinderella, back in France in a matter of just a few days.
Following the Styles affair, Hastings has been sharing rooms with Hercules Poirot. When Poirot gets an urgent summons to rush to save a man in France, he and Hastings make the trip, only to discover that the man who has written to him has been first kidnapped, murdered, and semi-buried in a grave in the golf course the night before.
The mystery in this book is not as complex as in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but it contains plenty of fascinating twists, including times when it seems that this time for sure a solution is now imminent, only for the book to take a new turn and surprise us.
The Murder on the Links is a good example of combining mystery and romance, a typical characteristic of Agatha Christie and, as far as I am aware, a style not accomplished before Christie, certainly not accomplished with the skill and longevity of Christie. It includes the philosophical dilemma of what to do when one’s love seems to conflict with what is right.
Hugh Fraser once again narrates this second book about Hercules Poirot and does an excellent job. The narrator’s role for this book requires a good actor, someone who can play the fairly dense Hastings while also voicing the intelligent Poirot. Hastings undergoes intense emotions, which Fraser voices well.
While not of the same depth of The Mysterious Affair at Styles,The Murder on the Links is a fascinating read that I highly recommend and give five stars.
What do you think of The Murder on the Links? Are you ready to join me next week for some short stories in Poirot investigates?
Murder on the links is available now in multiple versions. To order from Amazon, click the link in the title. You may also find it at your local bookstore or library.