THE MURDER ON THE LINKS by Agatha Christie

the-murder-on-the-links-by-agatha-christieDisappointed at the severe lack of golf-related hijinks in this, but other than that Agatha Christie’s The Murder on the Links is an utterly fun and thoroughly twisty ride.⠀

I’ve been working my way through the Poirot novels out of order, picking up whichever one happens to catch my fancy at the time. It wasn’t until I read the back matter that I realized that this particular book was only the second entry in Poirot’s mysteries, and, having read a couple of the later novels, I was just impressed with how much of a complete character he seemed even this early on. One would assume that in a long-running series such as this one the defining characteristics of the protagonists would emerge gradually and organically over time. But Poirot seems clearly defined from the outset. The reliance on psychology over physical evidence to solve crimes; the emphasis on using one’s “little grey cells”; the general air of outlandish grandiosity and pompousness. It was all there from the start. Good show, Christie.⠀


A fun fact about me is that my godfather was an amateur golf player and used to take me out to play when I was a kid. I had my own set of small golf clubs and everything. It was adorable. I inherited his regular-sized clubs after he passed on. They’ve all regrettably been lost or thrown away through the years due to my own carelessness, but I still have one huge driver that I keep in my room. It has the name “Big Bertha” engraved on it. I’m convinced she would make an excellent weapon in a murder mystery. Someone get on that. My gift to you. ⠀

Also yes I one hundred percent read this after watching Knives Out for the hundredth time.


3My partner and I saw Knives Out last night and had an absolute blast with it. The fact that I’ve been in a murder mystery sort of mood anyway, and had started reading Agatha Christie’s most well-known Poirot novel, Murder on the Orient Express, a couple of days prior only added to my enjoyment, too, I’m sure.⠀

This was my first time reading this story, although I have seen — and thoroughly liked — Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation a couple of times. What surprised me reading the original work is just how cold and calculating Poirot is with this particular case. I’ve read only a handful of the Poirot books, but just enough of them to know that he can be quite the fierce and impassioned character when the mood strikes. Going solely by Branagh’s interpretation (as well as David Suchet’s, which I have not seen, but have heard enough about), you are led to believe that this is Poirot’s hardest, most trying case, and so I went into the book expecting a Poirot full of righteous anger. And then by the time you get to the end you realize that, actually, this is all pretty damn standard for him. He even explicitly comments on it, at one point.⠀

Which I think is pretty damn great. As much as I can appreciate the Shakespearean drama of the modern adaptations, there’s something brilliant about this ridiculous, charming little man just relentlessly plowing through everyone’s nonsense to get to the truth. And at the end of it all, leave the resolution entirely in the hands of somebody else. Mainly, the reader. “I cannot judge this,” indeed.⠀

Anyway go see Knives Out if you love Agatha Christie stories and also straight up spoofs of Agatha Christie stories like Clue. It’s too good.