Project Poirot Episode Two: Murder on the Links, Poirot Investigates, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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When I introduced Project Poirot on my blog a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed to see the positive response to this personal project of mine. There is no doubt that Hercule Poirot has always been a well-loved character in the world of crime fiction, but it was great to interact with other die-hard Poirot fans and hear their thoughts. As promised, I will be sharing each of the Instagram Live sessions I have already conducted in this series as separate blog posts. Today, I’m here to discuss books 2-3-4 in the series.

Just a word on these early publications of Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels. After the phenomenal success of her first novel, Christie wrote ‘Murder on the Links’. Simultaneously, she was commissioned to serialise short stories on Poirot’s adventures for weekly / monthly publication in a popular magazine. Hence, the format, and in fact, even the nature of the stories was different from her long and leisurely novels that allowed for better character build-up. It was interesting to see how she approached this different medium as a writer. Another noteworthy aspect of these early books is that Arthur Hastings is still an important character and the narrator of most of them (with the notable exception of ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd).

Having said that, here are my reviews of Poirot’s second, third and fourth book appearances:

Project Poirot Episode Two


Goodreads Book Blurb:

When Hercule Poirot and his associate Arthur Hastings arrive in the French village of Merlinville-sur-Mer to meet their client Paul Renauld, they learn from the police that he has been found that morning stabbed in the back with a letter opener and left in a newly-dug grave adjacent to a local golf course.
Among the plausible suspects are Renauld’s wife Eloise, his son Jack, Renauld’s immediate neighbour Madame Daubreuil, the mysterious “Cinderella” of Hasting’s recent acquaintance, and some unknown visitor of the previous day–all of whom Poirot has reason to suspect. Poirot’s powers of investigation ultimately triumph over the wiles of an assailant whose misdirection and motives are nearly–but not quite–impossible to spot.

My Review (first given in 2018 – not as per the re-reading in 2022): 4/5 stars

The plot is convoluted and not up to Christie’s genius, but my high rating is for the entertainment this book provided, as I lay in bed recuperating from a back spasm.
The story is too far-fetched, with red herrings aplenty, but this can be put down to it being only the second of Poirot’s many mysteries penned by her.
I particularly appreciate Christie’s ability to change her voice and manner of presentation according to which character is narrating the story. Hastings has a simple, almost buffoonish mind, in order to make Poirot shine stronger.
Put in perspective, it’s a very enjoyable read.

I have an original facsimile edition of this book as well as that of ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ which certainly adds to the pleasure of reading them.



Goodreads Book Blurb:

First there was the mystery of the film star and the diamond… then came the “suicide” that was murder… the mystery of the absurdly cheap flat…a suspicious death in a locked gun room… a million dollar bond robbery… the curse of a pharaoh’s tomb… a jewel robbery by the sea… the abduction of a prime minister… the disappearance of a banker… a phone call from a dying man… and, finally, the mystery of the missing will.
What links these fascinating cases? Only the brilliant deductive powers of Hercule Poirot!

My Review: 5/5

One of the rare Poirot’s I had never read before. I’m glad I did, especially in keeping with my project goals of re-reading all the Poirot’s in the order they were published, because this collection of short stories was fabulous. They kept me guessing throughout and really shed light on Poirot’s fascinating personality in new ways.



Goodreads Book Blurb:

Considered to be one of Agatha Christie’s greatest, and also most controversial mysteries, ‘The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd’ breaks the rules of traditional mystery.
The peaceful English village of King’s Abbot is stunned. The widow Ferrars dies from an overdose of Veronal. Not twenty-four hours later, Roger Ackroyd—the man she had planned to marry—is murdered. It is a baffling case involving blackmail and death that taxes Hercule Poirot’s “little grey cells” before he reaches one of the most startling conclusions of his career.

My Review (First reviewed in 2016): 5/5

I’m so glad I’ve finished this year’s book reading challenge on a high note. Absolutely brilliant work by Christie. I have read this one before and knew the killer, yet it was a pleasure to pick up on all the hints and red herrings she lays down for her reader to discover the identity of the killer. She’s a wonderful writer!

This book was perhaps one of the first that upended recognised mystery tropes and showed the true genius of Christie to the world. Of the first five Poirots, this is most certainly the best one and I highly recommend you pick this if you are just starting or re-starting your Hercule Poirot journey.


Here’s a link to the Instagram Live discussion of these three books. Stay tuned for the next post in this series!

Project Poirot Episode Two


This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Monidipa Dutta.  


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**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.


  1. Now that you are sharing the names and reviews, my rusted memory is getting back all of what I read of Christie’s books. Happy reading to you Noor. Hope your back is okay now.

    1. Wow, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” sounds like an incredible read! The blurb itself has me hooked with its promise of a rule-breaking mystery in a peaceful English village. And after reading your review, I’m even more eager to delve into Agatha Christie’s brilliance. I can’t wait to uncover all the hints and red herrings along with Hercule Poirot. This book has definitely earned a spot on my to-read list!

  2. Since I have not read an Agatha Christie in ages, I like your sequential reading. I think I will also begin with the first book and then follow the sequence.I enjoyed hearing your session too,

  3. It is a Herculean ( connotation intended ) task but an enjoyable one to revisit Agatha Christie’s complete works. The murder of Roger Ackroyd truly was one of my initial reads of this author and I was completely hooked and mesmerized by her writing style and how the plot evolved.

  4. My my! what an ardent fan you are Noor. Although I have read TMoRA, I couldn’t even faintly remember or recollect the story while reading the blurb. That’s one good reason to read it again right?

  5. Have read all 3… though no in the order you mentioned. Some many decades ago 😂 Of this my favourite is the murder of Roger ackroyd. Looking forward to reading more on this…

  6. I have been following your series on Insta and it was lovely to recap. Hope to catch a live some day. I had meant to pick a copy of Poirot Investigates. Going to get it now.

  7. I have a huge collection of Agatha Christie books and used to love reading them. I am enjoying reading your reviews. They make me want to start them again.

  8. In your last post I mentioned that Agatha Christie is one such author … to be precise foreign author whose work and intellect in shaping any thriller mystery plot always mesmerized me. I first started reading her novels as translated work in Bengali and started liking it instantly and now I am in love with her work. Murder of Roger Ackroyd – what a brilliant plot was just mind blowing and as you mentioned its truly changed my readers perspective about traditional mystery stories. Glad to see an amazing Agatha Christie fan in you.

  9. I salute your decision to re read all the Poirot books! Noor how do you manage? Once an ardent bibliophile, now I am hardly even able to absorb the ones I read for reviewing. I would love to re read all Agatha Christie’s books.

    1. I just make it a rule to read a little before sleeping every night. Other than that, I carry a book with me for long commutes, long waiting periods at appointments or while on vacation (since I’m off work and have more time!). Being part of a book club and setting an annual reading goal also help me 🙂

  10. A beautiful way of presenting a review with all the characters with a pinch of suspense and thrill. Project Poirot series must be great for thrillers and suspense-liking book readers.

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