I think I’ve seen all the Poirot’s on TV at some point, including The Murder on the Links, although some of the finer details of the plot had drifted from my mind slightly. It was sort of a shame that I knew ‘who dunnit’ but, at the same time, it was quite handy as the explanation at the end was a little hard to follow.
Anyway, they’re all from the perspective of Captain Hasting’s, Poirot’s very English and earnest bestie. It’s slightly hard to believe Hastings was ever in an actually war given how dipsy he is at times, although I think much of that element is played up in the TV programmes. He actually only appears in 8 out of 30 Poirot books.
Anyway, Poirot has received a letter asking him to travel to France as a man believes his life is in danger, so he and Hasting’s hot foot it over there. Ironically, before frequent and low cost flights it seems that it was pretty easy for them to cross the channel and they’re dashing about all over the place. They arrive, Hasting’s manages to meet a few sexy ladies en route, but they’re too late and a body has been discovered on the golf course (that’s the ‘links’ in the title btw).
Poirot battles with an arrogant French detective who thinks searching for physical evidence like matches and hairs is useful while Poirot prefers to just think about things. I have to say that in the real world I think I would be on the side of the detective who is actually doing stuff. So does Hastings, who gets a bit annoyed by Poirot’s seeming inaction.
I was vexed. Poirot’s incurable habit of making a mystery out of nothing never failed to irritate me.
But obviously Poirot will save the day.
It’s not literary genius. For one thing, well the dialogue is peppered with random French words and phrases, everyone sounds very English. At one point the French detective, Monsieur Giraud exclaims,
A fig for the examining magistrate!
This is an easy read, a good one for the summer hols. Apart from a chapter near the end where Poirot and Hastings discuss the complicated plot while Christie tries not to give too much away and therefore makes it really hard to understand what they’re on about. It’s all explained in the end but I’m not sure this is one of Christie’s best.