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Book Review- Elephants Can Remember

Author– Agatha Christie

Detective– Hercule Poirot

Pages– 299

Type of Mystery – Past crime solved in the present

The interesting name of the book made me choose this among the many books of the author at a book fair. And I wondered why this book is not as famous as other Hercule Poirot mysteries. I was soon to find out.

What’s It About?

I loved the idea of digging into the mystery of the past and finding out the truth about events that happened years ago. And when the people concerned go to Hercule Poirot to solve it for them, the interest increases by thousand folds.

This story is about a couple, very much in love with one another, who were found dead with a pistol lying beside them on a cliff. It was declared as a double suicide outright by the police, but years later Poirot is roped in to find out whether it was really a suicide or a murder.

Hercule Poirot in this Book is Very Disappointing

I am a huge fan of Hercule Poirot but I did not like the detective in this novel. The problem with this book started from there. His mannerisms, his way of thinking, his way of questioning the people, and his responses are so unlike the Poirot we know. The author seems to have become fed up with the detective which is why she killed him in his last case, or so I have read somewhere.

Why is the case solved more by another person than Hercule? Why does the detective not feel enthusiastic about solving the case, up to the point that he discourages others to leave the past untouched? No real investigation and case-solving is done by Hercule Poirot here. It’s someone else who does most of the job which is not very interesting in itself.

The final reveal is a let-down too.

If you are a great Poirot fan and don’t want to be disappointed like I was, skip this one.

2/5 stars

I did not enjoy reading this murder mystery. It is slow, has unnecessary episodes, and biggest of all a ‘non-committal and almost lacking any zeal’ Hercule Poirot. I gave it 2 stars because it held my interest in the starting chapters.

If you wish to read a much better and thrilling case of a past crime solved in the present by Hercule Poirot, pick Five Little Pigs.

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