As you might remember reading a vintage crime book per month is one of my reading goals this year. Last month I started reading Agatha Cristie’s Poirot novels, and since I am reading them in order, The Murder on the Links is what was up next for me.
After rekindling his friendship with Hercule Poirot while helping to solve The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Arthur Hastings now lives in London in a shared flat with Poirot, a setting which instantly reminded me of 221B Baker Street from Sherlock Holmes stories. 🙂 Poirot gets summoned to France by Mr. Renauld, a millionaire who fears an attempt on his life, and the duo Poirot and Hastings leave for France immediately. But on arrival, they get informed by the French police that they are too late to save Mr. Renauld’s life. It turns out Mr. Renauld was kidnapped the night before by two foreign thugs who were after a “secret.” Nonetheless, it is unclear if they got hold of the “secret” because Mr. Renauld’s stabbed-body is discovered on the links half buried, not far from his villa.
Unlike The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Murder on the Links does not have a lot of red herrings. All the facts are there in the story and the reader only has to put the pieces together. I used my “little grey cells” as Poirot calls them and most of my deductions were correct, making this a satisfying reading experience! 😀
But I do have one complaint about the novel. I really did not like the role Hastings played! He was being an obnoxious buffoon doubting Poirot’s capabilities, and then he put the investigation and the life of an innocent almost in jeopardy due to his infatuations with pretty girls! Arthur Hastings, in my opinion, can take a leaf from Dr. John Watson’s book on how to be a good sidekick!
The Murder on the Links TV episode is unfortunately worse than The Mysterious Affair at Styles adaptation. While the gist of the story remains the same, there are vast differences between the book and the TV episode.
The book is the clear winner this time! The book gives the reader a reasonable chance of solving the mystery, but the TV episode reveals key elements of the mystery way too early in the script, taking away all the fun! 😐 So if you can get your hands on the book, the book is the way to go!