cover image Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World

Mark Aldridge. HarperCollins, $29.99 (512p) ISBN 978-0-00-829661-2

Historian Aldridge (Agatha Christie on Screen) celebrates the centenary of Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot with a comprehensive yet lighthearted romp through his very busy career. Working chronologically, Aldridge takes readers through the Poirot oeuvre, starting with the 1920 publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, for which Christie needed a detective “unlike those that had gone before,” and ending with such modern Poirot torchbearers as film adaptations of Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. Aldridge offers a detailed overview of Poirot’s appearances on the page, and also discusses radio and stage versions of the Belgian detective, as well as a fictionalized biography written by Anne Hart in 1990 and nods to recent graphic novels and computer games in which he figures. Christie-devotees will be piqued by the novelist’s thoughts on Poirot’s egg-shaped head (“When people say to me ‘Which way up is this egg?’ do I really know? I don’t... but nevertheless I know that he has an egg-shaped head”), several novels’ cover art in various editions over the decades, and excerpts from reviews of Christie’s novels. This quirky, trivia-filled look at a touchstone of detective fiction will have Christie fans young and old in heaven. (Apr.)