Although Agatha Christie created a vivid cast of characters for her novels and some of them (like Jane Marple) played a central and recurring role, none of them came near to the position of Hercule Poirot, surely the most famous of all Belgians even though he was fictitious. His name itself was a double fiction, being compounded from a Hercule Popeau and Monsieur Poirot, both fictional detectives of the time. Using his ‘little grey cells’ to great effect, Poirot would appear in 33 books by his author and become the most famous detective of his time.
First published as recently as 1969 and dedicated to P.G. Wodehouse, the tale concerns the dreadful murder by drowning of a girl who revealed at a Hallowe’en party that she had unwittingly witnessed another murder some time ago. Poirot is invited by a party guest, the mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver (who has to be some kind of Christie alter ego), to team up and track down the girl’s callous killer who could be any one of a number of suspects.
In this MP3 audiobook production by BBC Radio 4, John Moffatt stars as the great Belgian detective, an epithet that Poirot often uses about himself. The tale, along with a wide collection of Christie’s other stories such as Appointment with Death and A Murder is Announced, are now available on CD and MP3 audiobook format to bring the extraordinarily complex and twisted world of Christie to a new generation of fans.