It was a day in early June. I had been transacting some business in Paris and was returning by the morning service to London, where I was still sharing rooms with my old friend, the Belgian ex-detective, Hercule Poirot.
The Calais express was singularly empty—in fact, my own compartment held only one other traveller. I had made a somewhat hurried departure from the hotel and was busy assuring myself that I had duly collected all my traps, when the train started. Up till then I had hardly noticed my companion, but I was now violently recalled to the fact of her existence. Jumping up from her seat, she let down the window and stuck her head out, withdrawing it a moment later with the brief and forcible ejaculation ‘Hell!’
Ah, Hastings. This book is all about Hastings.
And by the end of it, Christie may have had the proverbial excess of "a good thing", because even tho this is only the second book in the Poirot series, Christie seems desperate to get rid of Hastings. And I can't blame her.
Don't get me wrong, I love Hastings. However, in this particular book which is mostly written about him and not so much about Poirot, Hastings is utterly annoying. And what can possibly be worse than Hastings being annoying? Yes, there is only one thing - Hastings being in love.
Never mind the convoluted murder mystery in the French countryside ... somewhere near a golf course ... blah, blah,..., the real question is, will Hastings get the girl?
By the end of the book, I wished he would, because they seemed to deserve each other, and that maybe Hastings would learn a few things and stop being such an idiot (even if he is lovable). But as we know, ... that is not quite how it goes, and of course I desperately miss Hastings when he isn't in a Poirot story.
So, there. Not quite a review of the book, but really the book isn't about the murder that much anyway.