The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
Narrator: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot #2
Published by HarperAudio on July 3, 2012 (first published 1923)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 6 hrs
Format: Audiobook
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three-half-stars

In Agatha Christie’s class mystery Murder on the Links, Hercule Poirot attempts to unravel the grisly conundrum of not one, but two dead bodies discovered on a French golf course.

An urgent cry for help brings Hercule Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face down in a shallow grave on a golf course.

But why is the dead man wearing an overcoat that is too big for him? And for whom was the impassioned love letter in the pocket? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse.…

So, I’ve discovered that, depending on what’s going on in the office and what I’m doing, I can listen to audiobooks at work. When I’m folding newsletter, for example, or copying and pasting graphs. But, they can’t be overly complicated or at all potentially offensive, which means vintage mysteries, like Agatha Christies work well. They tend to not have any curse words, most of the violence happens off-stage and is not graphic, there’s enough of a plot to keep you interested, but they’re not so absorbing that you can’t just turn them off to answer the phone.

In The Murder on the Links, Poirot receives a letter calling him to the aid of a millionaire in France, frightened for his life because of a ‘secret’ he possesses. Poirot, with Hastings, immediately leave England, only to find on arrival that Monsieur Renauld has already been killed and his body found on the golf course next door. The plot is pretty convoluted. As you can see from the blurb, there are two murders, not necessarily committed by the same killer, but maybe they were. We’ve got lovers and blackmail and a mysterious girl on a train. There are layers upon layers, maybe a little too much?

I’m not a fan of Hastings in this one. His relationship with his future wife just annoyed me. “I love you even though I’ve only known you for a couple of hours and I’m pretty sure you’re a murderess,” just doesn’t work for me, no matter how charming she is. Ah well, Papa Poirot is the star anyway. Poirot has a rival in this one, a “modern” detective, M. Giraud, who is sure his ways are better. While Giraud spends lots of time crawling around on the ground, looking for the tiniest clue, Poirot uses his little gray cells and long memory. Of course, we all know who will solve it in the end.

I listened to the audio narrated by Hugh Fraser, who played Hastings opposite  David Suchet’s Poirot in the television series. The Murder on the Links is told in the first person by Hastings and I thought Fraser did a good job with it, but he is Hastings to me – those are the characters I always picture when reading one of the Poirot mysteries.

Hugh Fraser and David Suchet
Hugh as Captain Hastings alongside David Suchet’s Hercule Poirot

About Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright. She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She also wrote the world’s longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap, and six romances under the name Mary Westmacott. In 1971 she was elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature.

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