Book review: “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” by Anne Hart

As Sophie Hannah and Harper Collins resurrected Hercule Poirot from the grave (see “The Monogram Murders”), I decided to read up on Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective. Actually, I was searching my library for the “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”. For this is Agatha Christie’s first detective novel which features Hercule Poirot. It was followed by over thirty more thrillers and short stories in which he solves mysteries and murders.

Hard to believe, but my public library did not have a copy of “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”. I was dreadfully disappointed. However, as it does not use your average and useful browser to locate reading matter, but a limited-edition one which coughs up books, music, newspaper articles and anything which can be read using associations – by sheer accident, I found it did have a copy of a Poirot biography!

Yes, there cannot be that many invented characters around which actually have an official biography, but Poirot is one of them. So intrigued, I headed for the right floor, department, sub-department, book cases and after browsing several shelves, I finally found what I was looking for. Of course, this treasure was carted off home to be read as fast as I could.

Contrary to Sophie Hannah’s “The Monogram Murders”, the biography by Anne Hart proofed to be an excellent and entertaining read. It not only contains lots of information about Hercule Poirot. It also gives its reader answers to questions such as: “What ever happened to Captain Hastings?” – in case, like me, you were wondering about this. Or did you know that Poirot retired twice? And where exactly and what he did for a living while retired? Of course, this funny biography also contains some information about his family, career, likes and dislikes, and not to forget: his great love!

So if you are a true – or just interested – Hercule Poirot fan, this biography by Anne Hart might be an interesting read to become more acquainted with this fabulous character and his creator, and all the novels and short stories he features in.

“Agatha Christie’s Poirot; the life and times of Hercule Poirot” by Anne Hart, Pavilion, 1990
This and later editions of the book are still available through Amazon.