Book Review: The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie (1923)

Synopsis: Hercule Poirot receives a letter from a wealthy landowner in France who is desperately looking to hire the detective at any price because he believes he and his family are in danger. However, by the time Poirot and his companion, Captain Arthur Hastings, arrive, his would-be client, Paul Renaud, has already been murdered.

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Review: I am continuing with my goal of reading all of Agatha Christie's novels and had an opportunity to read this book (her third) over the past week or so. When I first started reading this book, I wasn't really sure if it was one I would enjoy. However, as it turns out, once I started reading it, I found it was hard to put down.

There are a couple things I really liked about this book. The biggest was the mystery. The victim's murder didn't seem random. But, it was truly difficult to figure out who the murderer was, especially as the story progresses, we learn more about who Paul Renaud really was and a whole new set of potential suspects are revealed. And, as is often the case with Christie's novels, there were enough twists toward the end to keep the killer's identity a secret.

I also found I liked the idea of Poirot facing off against a rival, Monsier Giraud. While Giraud did things differently than the detective, he (at least at first) appeared to be his equal in terms of finding subtle clues that pointed to the murderer.

One thing I will warn you about is, at one point, toward the end, the book does seem to drag on a bit as it focuses a lot on Hastings (the narrator) and his relationship with Poirot. When I reached this point, I did, momentarily at least, consider skipping ahead to the last page. Fortunately, I didn't do that because, as it turns out, that section of the book does reveal quite a bit more than I first realized and it was well-worth trudging through it as a result.

Final Opinion: This was an intriguing mystery with several potential suspects and a victim who wasn't as innocent as he first seemed. Even though there are some parts of the book that are a bit drawn-out, it was a fun mystery to read and one I would recommend.

My Grade: A

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