Poirot Investigates
By Agatha Christie

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11 chapters

4 hour read


33 minute read

I was standing at the window of Poirot’s rooms looking out idly on the street below. “That’s queer,” I ejaculated suddenly beneath my breath. “What is, mon ami ?” asked Poirot placidly, from the depths of his comfortable chair. “Deduce, Poirot, from the following facts! Here is a young lady, richly dressed—fashionable hat, magnificent furs. She is coming along slowly, looking up at the houses as she goes. Unknown to her, she is being shadowed by three men and a middle-aged woman. They have just been joined by an errand boy who points after the girl, gesticulating as he does so. What drama is this being played? Is the girl a crook, and are the shadowers detectives preparing to arrest her? Or are they the scoundrels, and are they plotting to attack an innocent victim? What does the great detective say?” “The great detective, mon ami , chooses, as ever,...


20 minute read

I had been called away from town for a few days, and on my return found Poirot in the act of strapping up his small valise. “ A la bonne heure , Hastings. I feared you would not have returned in time to accompany me.” “You are called away on a case, then?” “Yes, though I am bound to admit that, on the face of it, the affair does not seem promising. The Northern Union Insurance Company have asked me to investigate the death of a Mr. Maltravers who a few weeks ago insured his life with them for the large sum of fifty thousand pounds.” “Yes?” I said, much interested. “There was, of course, the usual suicide clause in the policy. In the event of his committing suicide within a year the premiums would be forfeited. Mr. Maltravers was duly examined by the Company’s own doctor, and although he...


21 minute read

So far, in the cases which I have recorded, Poirot’s investigations have started from the central fact, whether murder or robbery, and have proceeded from thence by a process of logical deduction to the final triumphant unravelling. In the events I am now about to chronicle, a remarkable chain of circumstances led from the apparently trivial incidents which first attracted Poirot’s attention to the sinister happenings which completed a most unusual case. I had been spending the evening with an old friend of mine, Gerald Parker. There had been, perhaps, about half a dozen people there besides my host and myself, and the talk fell, as it was bound to do sooner or later wherever Parker found himself, on the subject of house-hunting in London. Houses and flats were Parker’s special hobby. Since the end of the War, he had occupied at least half a dozen different flats and maisonnettes....


20 minute read

“After all,” murmured Poirot, “it is possible that I shall not die this time.” Coming from a convalescent influenza patient, I hailed the remark as showing a beneficial optimism. I myself had been the first sufferer from the disease. Poirot in his turn had gone down. He was now sitting up in bed, propped up with pillows, his head muffled in a woollen shawl, and was slowly sipping a particularly noxious tisane which I had prepared according to his directions. His eye rested with pleasure upon a neatly graduated row of medicine bottles which adorned the mantelpiece. “Yes, yes,” my little friend continued. “Once more shall I be myself again, the great Hercule Poirot, the terror of evil-doers! Figure to yourself, mon ami , that I have a little paragraph to myself in Society Gossip . But yes! Here it is! ‘Go it—criminals—all out! Hercule Poirot—and believe me, girls, he’s...


15 minute read

“What a number of bond robberies there have been lately!” I observed one morning, laying aside the newspaper. “Poirot, let us forsake the science of detection, and take to crime instead!” “You are on the—how do you say it?—get-rich-quick tack, eh, mon ami ?” “Well, look at this last coup , the million dollars’ worth of Liberty Bonds which the London and Scottish Bank were sending to New York, and which disappeared in such a remarkable manner on board the Olympia .” “If it were not for the mal de mer , and the difficulty of practising the so excellent method of Laverguier for a longer time than the few hours of crossing the channel, I should delight to voyage myself on one of these big liners,” murmured Poirot dreamily. “Yes, indeed,” I said enthusiastically. “Some of them must be perfect palaces; the swimming-baths, the lounges, the restaurant, the palm...


22 minute read

I have always considered that one of the most thrilling and dramatic of the many adventures I have shared with Poirot was that of our investigation into the strange series of deaths which followed upon the discovery and opening of the Tomb of King Men-her-Ra. Hard upon the discovery of the Tomb of Tut-ankh-Amen by Lord Carnarvon, Sir John Willard and Mr. Bleibner of New York, pursuing their excavations not far from Cairo, in the vicinity of the Pyramids of Gizeh, came unexpectedly on a series of funeral chambers. The greatest interest was aroused by their discovery. The Tomb appeared to be that of King Men-her-Ra, one of those shadowy kings of the Eighth Dynasty, when the Old Kingdom was falling to decay. Little was known about this period, and the discoveries were fully reported in the newspapers. An event soon occurred which took a profound hold on the public...


22 minute read

“Poirot,” I said, “a change of air would do you good.” “You think so, mon ami ?” “I am sure of it.” “Eh—eh?” said my friend, smiling. “It is all arranged, then?” “You will come?” “Where do you propose to take me?” “Brighton. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine in the City put me on to a very good thing, and—well, I have money to burn, as the saying goes. I think a week-end at the Grand Metropolitan would do us all the good in the world.” “Thank you, I accept most gratefully. You have the good heart to think of an old man. And the good heart, it is in the end worth all the little grey cells. Yes, yes, I who speak to you am in danger of forgetting that sometimes.” I did not quite relish the implication. I fancy that Poirot is sometimes a...


28 minute read

Now that war and the problems of war are things of the past, I think I may safely venture to reveal to the world the part which my friend Poirot played in a moment of national crisis. The secret has been well guarded. Not a whisper of it reached the Press. But, now that the need for secrecy has gone by, I feel it is only just that England should know the debt it owes to my quaint little friend, whose marvellous brain so ably averted a great catastrophe. One evening after dinner—I will not particularize the date; it suffices to say that it was at the time when “Peace by negotiation” was the parrot-cry of England’s enemies—my friend and I were sitting in his rooms. After being invalided out of the Army I had been given a recruiting job, and it had become my custom to drop in on...


22 minute read

Poirot and I were expecting our old friend Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard to tea. We were sitting round the tea-table awaiting his arrival. Poirot had just finished carefully straightening the cups and saucers which our landlady was in the habit of throwing, rather than placing, on the table. He had also breathed heavily on the metal teapot, and polished it with a silk handkerchief. The kettle was on the boil, and a small enamel saucepan beside it contained some thick, sweet chocolate which was more to Poirot’s palate than what he described as “your English poison.” A sharp “rat-tat” sounded below, and a few minutes afterwards Japp entered briskly. “Hope I’m not late,” he said as he greeted us. “To tell the truth, I was yarning with Miller, the man who’s in charge of the Davenheim case.” I pricked up my ears. For the last three days the papers...


17 minute read

Poirot and I had many friends and acquaintances of an informal nature. Amongst these was to be numbered Dr. Hawker, a near neighbour of ours, and a member of the medical profession. It was the genial doctor’s habit to drop in sometimes of an evening and have a chat with Poirot, of whose genius he was an ardent admirer. The doctor himself, frank and unsuspicious to the last degree, admired the talents so far removed from his own. On one particular evening in early June, he arrived about half-past eight and settled down to a comfortable discussion on the cheery topic of the prevalence of arsenical poisoning in crimes. It must have been about a quarter of an hour later when the door of our sitting-room flew open, and a distracted female precipitated herself into the room. “Oh, doctor, you’re wanted! Such a terrible voice. It gave me a turn,...


14 minute read

The problem presented to us by Miss Violet Marsh made rather a pleasant change from our usual routine work. Poirot had received a brisk and business-like note from the lady asking for an appointment, and he had replied asking her to call upon him at eleven o’clock the following day. She arrived punctually—a tall, handsome young woman, plainly but neatly dressed, with an assured and business-like manner. Clearly a young woman who meant to get on in the world. I am not a great admirer of the so-called New Woman myself, and, in spite of her good looks, I was not particularly prepossessed in her favour. “My business is of a somewhat unusual nature, Monsieur Poirot,” she began, after she had accepted a chair. “I had better begin at the beginning and tell you the whole story.” “If you please, mademoiselle.” “I am an orphan. My father was one of...