Tag Archives: Cards on the Table

Three more novels by Agatha Christie

I recently wondering why I cannot pick anything else to read besides novels with Hercule Poirot. And then it struck me that the novels (even if they are read in random order) are like watching a detective series. Yes, I am aware that there is a series out there, but there is one thing to watch the TV and another to have your imagination run wild.

Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective has become very dear to me.

With every novel that I read I start to notice more details, traits and little quirks that define Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings (and dare I say even Inspector Japp). It is really nice to see how these three very different individuals come together and actually get along.

At one moment I started thinking that all of the novels resemble each other in one way or another, but then I started reading “The Big Four“.


This novel is a very big change from what I’ve been reading so far. Hercule Poirot actually goes against people that are as intelligent as he is. He doesn’t go against one or two but against four different people: a Chinese man who is the brain (so the whole Asians are smart started a very long time ago), an American who is very rich and has a lot of influence, a French woman who is involved in science and an English man who is known only as “The Destroyer“.

These individuals formed an alliance of evil trying to destroy the world as we know it. And they go under the name of “The Big Four“.

In this novel I learnt a lot of things about Hercule Poirot:

  • he is a very patient person, that can handle failure without blinking an eye or even have his ego affected
  • he will do whatever he can to protect his friends
  • he will even shave his luxurious mustaches in order to save the day

I also learned that Captain Hastings, while being a very adorable character, he really is a dummy. But even if he lacks in the brain department, he really makes up with his courage and loyalty towards his friends and family.

“The Big Four” was a very entertaining novel, it was like watching a chess match but with a lot more drama and action, which is rarely found in Hercule Poirot novels. After all, Hercule Poirot is all about using the “little gray cells” rather then going around like a hound.

Another novel that I enjoyed these past few weeks was “Thirteen at Dinner“. This is the third novel that I’ve read in which Agatha Christie uses an actor as her criminal.

I don’t know why but I believe that actors these days would really fail miserably trying to carry out a murder in a smart way. Maybe the actors of that generation were more talented than the actors that we have now (I’m not saying that all actors suck, but 80% of them are horrible).

Still, the name “Thirteen at dinner” comes from a superstition. I’ve learned about a few superstitions from Agatha Christie books, but this one seems to be the most interesting. It is said that if 13 people gather at a dinner, the first one to leave will die.

And it’s quite nice how Agatha Christie plays this superstition in her novel. Really, she is a master in twists and turns, if you don’t pay attention you will get lost on the way.

And the last but not least, was “Cards on the Table“.

This novel has a lot of bridge in it, well  the name says it all. The plot if as follows:

There is a dinner party, where the host (a very eccentric man) invites 4 “sleuths” and 4 criminals (well 4 people that he suspects of being murderers). If you don’t know what “sleuths” means, well neither did I till I read this book, it basically means 4 people of the law, in this case Hercule Poirot the detective, an inspector of Scotland Yard, a writer of detective novels and an agent of the secret service.

Everything goes well, until the hosts gets killed in the room with the 4 “criminals” and yet nobody saw or heard anything and the big question is “Who did it?”

The 4 sleuths have the job of finding out who of the 4 suspected murderers did it and how. And the only way they can find out who is it is by digging up in their past and trying to find out why the eccentric host suspected them of being murderers.

It really is a case of human psychology. Very entertaining indeed, especially when one of the suspects saves the right girl.

Well if you want to know more, I do recommend you read the books. They are very captivating, entertaining and you can read them in one sitting. What else could I ask for, especially now when my free time has been reduced so drastically.