The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2) by Agatha Christie
Amy Caudill‘s review
In this classic Agatha Christie novel, we see her most illustrious detective, Hercule Poirot, reunited with his loyal sidekick, Captain Arthur Hastings in a case that involves murder, blackmail, and multiple secret identities.
Poirot is summoned to the home of a millionaire expatriate in France, only to find his intended client has been murdered before he could arrive. Thanks to his long term of service and contacts with the French police, he is invited to consult on the case, and soon finds obscure clues that elude the current “star” of the police force, Monsieur Girard.
Girard scoffs at Poirot’s methods, and soon begins his own separate investigation, hunting for clues that fit his theories, and ignoring pieces of evidence that do not appear to tie in with these. This leads to an arrest of an innocent man, and then the confession of an innocent woman to save the man, before a ruse perpetuated by Poirot in collusion with the widow of the original victim leads the real killer to reveal herself in the final chapter. (Sorry, spoilers!)
But all is still not what it seems, as multiple personages have hidden pasts and dark secrets that will soon come to light, and there are multiple issues caused by cases of mistaken identity before the whole mess can be sorted. In the end, Poirot will be triumphant, Hastings will be in love, and the real culprits either caught or on the run.
All in all, this is a very satisfying mystery, with enough twists and turns to satisfy the most diehard fan. The Murder on the Links shows why Dame Christie is still the queen of mystery a century later. While the reader must understand that the action takes place in the 1920s and so make allowances for different manners, clothing styles and vocabulary; the crimes are really timeless and could easily have occurred in a more modern setting. I give this book five stars and recommend it to readers of mystery everywhere.