‘The Mystery Of Hunter’s Lodge’ by Agatha Christie

The Mystery Of Hunter’s Lodge by Agatha Christie, 1923

The magic trick:

Having Poirot solve the murder from his sick bed

Very early Poirot story today, and it’s one of the best ones, in my opinion.

Our heroes – Hercule and Hastings – are separated at the outset. Poirot is sick in bed with the flu, so Hastings must employ his own little gray cells, with Japp, investigating a murder at Hunter’s Lodge. It’s a brilliant little twist, because the separation winds up creating two mysteries for the reader. We puzzle over the murder, of course. But we also find ourselves trying to figure out how Poirot, through his wire communication with Hastings, is solving the case from afar. And that’s quite a trick on Christie’s part.

The selection:

All this I added to my report. A wire from Poirot arrived whilst I was at breakfast the following morning:

“Of course the black-bearded man was not Havering only you or Japp would have such an idea wire me description of housekeeper and what clothes she wore this morning same of Mrs. Havering do not waste time taking photographs of interiors they are underexposed and not in the least artistic.”

It seemed to me that Poirot’s style was unnecessarily facetious. I also fancied he was a shade jealous of my position on the spot with full facilities for handling the case. His request for a description of the clothes worn by the two women appeared to me to be simply ridiculous, but I complied as well as I, a mere man, was able to.

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