This has been probably the quickest read out of the 4 books so far. This was a collection of 14 short stories that revolved around separate cases investigated by Hercule Poirot. From what I was able to discern they take place between The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder on the Links. I'm assuming this because Colonel Hastings relates all the stories and since he appears to still be single this was the only conclusion I could come to. Now I'm sure either Becke or Dulcinea could set me straight on this if I'm wrong (as I'm sure they will if I am).
Now for the most part I found most of the stories to be engaging and well thought out. Though they are shorted in length they didn't, with few exceptions, jump to conclusions that weren't supported by the clues discussed in the stories.
If I were to pick one or two favorites from the stories I would have to go with "The Tragedy at Mardson Manor", "The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge", and "The Veiled Lady". I felt all three of these stories showed off Poirot's reasoning skills and Christie's style of writing. They are not, by far, the only good stories in this collection for I found all but two to be wonderfully thought out and executed.
The only two I did not care too much for were "The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb" and "The Adventure of the Cheap Flat". The first I found to be a bit cliched but it could be that I'm just not a fan of "Egyptian Curse" stories. The second I found the jump in logic that Poirot made to be a little bit to far to carry me along.
Now whether I liked all the stories or not I absolutely loved the names for all of them. They were all brilliant and reminded me of the CBS Mystery Radio programs I would listen to as a kid. Now I'm not old enough to have listened to those when they first came out but somehow my grandparents had a whole bunch on tape and I would listen to them all the time. The titles alone were enough to get me interested in them.
I found this to be a better read than my last foray into Agatha Christie land and I will probably be revisiting my favorites often.
Synopsis Off The Back Cover:
What do a movie star, an archaeologist, a French maid, a prime minister, a wealthy dowager, and an Italian count have in common? Half of them have fallen victim to a terrible crime. the others have fallen under suspicion. leave the deductions to Hercule Poirot. From a posh resort in Brighton to a cursed pharaoh's tomb in Egypt, Agatha Christie plunges Poirot into the most intriguing cases of his colorful career. With fourteen stories, fourteen crimes, and twice as many suspects, this delightful Christie collection firmly established the brilliant Belgian sleuth's reputation and standing in the canon of classic detective fiction.