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The Big Four by Agatha Christie
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The Big Four (1927)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (5)

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2,126453,080 (3.42)79
  1. 01
    Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie (Ludi_Ling)
    Ludi_Ling: Some 30 years may separate them, but both feature the same slightly inane global conspiracy theory plot.
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» See also 79 mentions

English (42)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and I absolutely adore Hercule Poirot, but this book fell flat for me. It seemed that Dame Agatha tried too much with this one. There were so many conspiracies going on and so many plot twists, that Hastings wasn't the only clueless person around. Plus all of the times that Poirot foiled the plots of the Big Four, but did not manage to capture them, made the story appear to drag on forever. However, it IS Agatha Christie and it IS Hercule Poirot, so I still enjoyed it nonetheless. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
The Big Four - Agatha Christie
audio performance by Hugh Fraser
4 stars

This is the fifth book in the Poirot series. It is a series of linked short stories which revolve around Poirot’s quest to thwart an international crime syndicate known as the Big Four. Much of it borders on the ridiculous, a bit of comic book crime fighting. Colonel Hastings has returned to England from his South American ranch for a very extended visit with his old friend Poirot. (Apparently his wife does not miss him.) This allows Hastings to chronicle all the events while he plays the comedic Watson to Poirot’s all knowing Sherlock. Lots of exaggerated stereotypes in this one; a millionaire American crime boss, a corrupt female nuclear scientist, and a Chinese criminal mastermind. The best bit was Poirot’s twin brother, Achille. I love Hugh Fraser’s delivery of these books. They are always pleasant to listen to, although this one wasn’t up to Christie’s usual standard of mystery and suspense.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I read a few of Christie's detective series featuring Hercule Poirot in my wayward youth, but now I'm working my way through them in order. This entry finds the funny little Belgian with the "little gray cells" up against a vast international conspiracy called The Big Four. It takes all of Poirot's ingenuity and even a little help from the dim-witted Hastings (back in London for a visit, having left the wife he met and married in [Murder on the Links] back in Argentina). As usual, Christie's plotting is first-rate. I was intrigued by the structure of the book, which is almost a series of interconnected stories (more accurately nearly standalone chapters) leading up to the big denouement. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
This book does not have a big dramatic reveal scene. Gasps from the readers! Yes, it is true.
This book stands out among the Christie books for sheer action. People are kidnapped. They escape. Repeat process. It is told from the POV of Hastings, the delightfully dumb Watson sidekick. Poirot is at his prime when it comes to planning ahead, and I nearly had a heart attack at one of his schemes!
There are several different murders in here that would make good novels in and of themselves - except for the fact that it is one, big, shadowy organization behind all of the murders.
Clever? Yes. Cliche? Oh, yeah.
This is a book for those who love a little action and suspense in their mysteries, and myself I found it rather boring and anticlimactic. It's still an Agatha Christie, though, so even her worst is better than the best of other authors. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Agatha Christie wrote this in 1927 and if the name Hercule Poirot hadn't been on every page, I'd have suspected this was written by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was more like a Sherlock Holmes novel. This is not to say that it wasn't good - it was. But I am not as fascinated by the international spy stories as I am with English country house mysteries so this one is not as highly rated. I will say that I suspect Ian Fleming was influenced by Agatha Christie because the bad guys in this book reminded me of James Bond villains. 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have met people who enjoy a channel crossing; men who can sit calmly in their deck-chairs and, on arrival, wait until the boat is moored, then gather their belongings together without fuss and disembark.
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Book description
Alone, each was formidable. Together, they were virtually invincible. The Big Four -

a brilliant Chinese man,
an American Millionaire,
a French woman scientists and
an elusive maser of disguise -
a criminal conspiracy with diabolical designs.

Even the indomitable Hercule Poirot is appalled as he follows a trail of murders in what could very well prove to be his final case.
    ------------------------------

"No, no; rearrange your ideas, mon ami," Poirot said. "Exercise your little gray cells. You are Mayerling. You hear something, perhaps - and you know well enough that your doom is sealed. You have just time to leave a sign.
Four o'clock, Hastings. Number Four, the destroyer ....
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425098826, Paperback)

An emaciated stranger approaches Hercule Poirot, shouts a warning about "the big four" and drops dead. Who knew Poirot's inquiry into the man's odd behavior would lead to an underground laboratory, an insane asylum, and rumors of a secret weapon?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

They are formidable enemies in their own rights: a French scientist, an American millionaire, a brilliant Chinese gentleman, and a master of disguise. But together they are the Big Four, a partnership with one simple goal, murder. Hercule Poirot has never come up against an opponent so vicious, or so deadly.… (more)

» see all 11 descriptions

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