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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Joint Blog: The Most Boring Poirot

Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Hercule Poirot, #28)



The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)


Here is our second joint blog post!

Moonlight Snowfall and I are going to be discussing Poirot for the next couple of days. Please feel free to chime in, in the comments below. Here is a link to our first joint blog, Joint Blog: The Most Surprising Poirot.

Today's topic is: DUN DUN DUN DUN

The Most Boring Poirot.



Yes, not all Poirot books are treated equal (and nor should they be) and we actually read a few duds here and there. I am still having bad flashbacks to some of them.



Moonlight Reader's opinion: 

This one was a toss-up for me between Third Girl (Hercule Poirot #35)

and Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Hercule Poirot #28). Since I think I am going to use Third Girl for another post, I'll go with Mrs. McGinty's Dead for this one.

This book went on forever. I originally started listening to it in audiobook using my scribd account on a drive down to Eugene with my daughter and husband. The three of us got so bored that we decided to listen to music instead. This is extremely rare for us - we are usually an audiobook family.

I was put-off by this experience, but had to read this one before I could move on in the project. It took me four days to read - I think I read three or four other books while I was trudging my way through it. The ending was contrived and silly. Poirot was not at his best, Ariadne Oliver got in the way, and the solution relied upon a ridiculous and untenable coincidence. Bentley was irritating, and could barely be bothered to get off the couch and defend himself.

The only character I actually liked was Inspector Spence, who had the integrity to get off his ass and go do something about the fact that he had lingering doubts about the guilt of the man who had been sentenced to hang for a crime he didn't commit. Good job, Inspector!

As for the rest of it - pah.




Obsidian Blue's opinion

Most boring Poirot. Definitely going to have to go with The Big Four (Hercule Poirot #5). I agree that Mrs. McGinty's Dead was a bit much though. It did just go on and on didn't it?

The initial part of the book started off really well but then completely went off the rails.

The Big Four read like a rambling narrative with way too many huge plot holes. The reason for that was because Christie initially conceived this as separate short stories. I wish that someone had edited this a bit better because the final structure of the novel made it still read as separate stories that didn't quite hang together well at all.

I think the biggest problem I had with the idea of four people getting together to lead an international evil organization was that that it ended up being so boring with the short stories that we get.


For example, at one point we have Hastings waiting to give up Poirot because one of the criminal masterminds says he has wife and will kill her if Hastings doesn't comply. I felt like Hastings skipped "Things Criminal Masterminds Say in Order to get you to Comply" class and should have had better sense. It also didn't help that minutes later after being saved Hastings is told that Poirot has secreted Hastings wife off to keep her safe. There were no real stakes involved in this story from beginning to end and I wasn't concerned that Hastings or Poirot was going to buy it.

Taken along with the lackluster stories and the fact that Poirot just keeps narrowly missing capturing people and would get thwarted by very dumb reasons to the point that it strained all credibility for me while reading.

I was never so happy to get to the end of the story with Poirot finally capturing all of the mysterious (eyeroll) figures who decided evil was the way of the day.




Like I said, if you have an opinion regarding most boring Poirot, please feel free to chime in. We get a kick out of discussing this with other people. 


Moonlight has the next topic- we will post about the most ridiculous/contrived Poirot story. Look for it on her blog Friday!


Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels if you are off to spend time with your friends and family.