Murder on the Links is an early Agatha Christie novel starring Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings. Admittedly, sometimes it really feels like an early Agatha Christie novel, as the characters aren't quite as memorable as in some of her later novels, and the end twist seems to lack the necessary punch. Still, Murder on the Links does have a satisfyingly twisty turn-y plot filled with plenty of really great surprises, and is ultimately a good mystery story. This makes up for any of the books shortcomings.
One thing I always forget about the older Christie novels is that they're narrated by Arthur Hastings. Hastings does a good job at providing the everyman's point of view. Like the reader, he attempts to solve the mystery for himself and follow Poirot's seemingly bizarre trail of clues. He also has a habit of falling in love with every attractive young woman he encounters, which provides a nice amount of comic relief. Another interesting character this time around is Monsieur Giraud, a French detective that serves as a bit of a rival for Poirot. Giraud sees Poirot as being old fashioned, while Poirot criticizes Giraud for relying too heavily on physical evidence, forcing it to fit unlikely solutions. Giraud is also a thoroughly unlikable character, so it's satisfyingly at the end when Poirot emerges from their rivalry victorious.
Murder on the Links is a fun, and short early mystery by Agatha Christie. From the start, the book moves quickly, making it a very fast read. Although it's far from the strongest of her novels, the mystery plot is really enjoyable to read. I would recommend this book to established Agatha Christie fans.
Rating: four stars
Length: 228 pages
Other books I've read by this author: The Tuesday Club Murders, Dead Man’s Mirror, They Came to Baghdad, 4:50 to Paddington, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Sleeping Murder, The Secret Adversary, The Secret of Chimneys, Hallowe’en Party, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Death Comes as the End, Appointment with Death, A Caribbean Mystery, A Murder is Announced, The Under Dog and Other Stories, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, Death in the Air, Murder in Three Acts, Murder in Mesopotamia, Evil Under the Sun, And Then There were None
Next I will be reviewing Spellbound by Kelley Armstrong and Rapture of the Deep by LA Meyer
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