This is another of Christie’s short story collection, so to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. In general I find her short stories to be lacking somewhat. These short stories are more of a novella length, and I think this helps. The stories in this collection are:
- Murder in the Mews
- The Incredible Theft
- Dead Man’s Mirror
- Triangle at Rhodes
The first of these, Murder in the Mews is set on Guy Fawkes night, and coincidentally I did read it on the 5th November*. Poirot and Japp are walking together and listening to the fireworks. They conclude that a gunshot would not be noticed amongst all the firecrackers. Lo and behold, a body turns up the next day having been shot the night before.
The Incredible Theft looks at some missing documents stolen from a room which nobody could have entered. Poirot is marvellous in this. He knows full well what has happened, and sets out to prove it in that knowing way of his.
Dead Mans’ Mirror sees Sir Gervase Chevenix-Gore summon Poirot to his country estate, which Poirot doesn’t take well. When he gets there though, the fellow has committed suicide (perhaps).
In Triangle at Rhodes Poirot is trying to get away from it all with a holiday, although he quickly gets caught up in the murder of a beautiful young woman who is killed using a poisoned cocktail intended for her husband.
All of the stories are strong, and each shows how Poirot really looks at things in a totally different light from everyone else, and his alternative view of the world is what makes him a brilliant detective.
I am going to eat humble pie here, and say, despite my reservations these are great stories and very satisfying. You can read each of them easily in one sitting, and so if a little classic crime is what is needed on your daily commute, then these would suit you perfectly.
*I’d like to claim I had planned it that way, but frankly I am not that organised.