Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Big Four by Agatha Christie

The Big Four (1927)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,006363,346 (3.41)76
  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.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 76 mentions

English (33)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Not one of Agatha Christie's better novels, but readable if you're after an unchallenging thriller. ( )
  cazfrancis | Nov 8, 2015 |
This is, up to now, my least favourite in the Poirot series. Of course, it's fun to read as the writing style of Christie as such is as good as ever. However, The Big Four is more of a thriller story than a real detective narrative. Afterwards, I read that it was composed of separately published short stories and that Christie herself noted ``I have been, once, in a position where I wanted to write just for the sake of money coming in and when I felt I couldn't – it is a nerve wracking feeling. [...] That was the time I had to produce that rotten book The Big Four [...]''. One can tell. :-( ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
Stealing a bit of a page from Doyle/Sherlock, perhaps? The detective's faked death, the dim-witted friend who can't be let in on the secret. (Hastings is an idiot)

I found the out/escape a little "too easy", and other than Hastings presence, the book was an enjoyable read. ( )
  jrsearcher | Feb 12, 2015 |
This is a rather fantastic story which reminds me of another Agatha Christie book I read recently called Destination Unknown. Both involve a massive conspiracy to conquer the world and secret headquarters where the evil plots are hatched. Destination Unknown introduces an unlikely heroine in place of Poirot's role which was actually quite refreshing.
The Big Four is riddled with coincidences and unlikely escapes but is still a great romp with lots of fascinating characters, many of whom would be considered unacceptable caricatures or stereotypes nowadays. This in itself makes the book an very interesting read. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Feb 10, 2015 |
Like most of Christie's political suspense mysteries, The Big Four falls flat. The string of coincidences and lucky breaks would shame even Dickens, while the tricks and twists are so contrived that they're almost laughable. At one point Poirot and Hastings are captured and the criminal mastermind asks Poirot if he has any last requests. He asks to smoke a cigarette, which their captor places in Poirot's mouth. What do you know — the cigarette is actually a blowgun tipped with curare, allowing them to escape. And that's just one of the many impossibly silly moments in this story. Oy.

The only redeeming feature of this novel is the humor. Poirot, as described by his friend Hastings, is quite funny. So is Hastings' own lack of self perception. Another comic bit comes in with the revelation that Poirot has a twin brother, Achille Poirot. "Do you not know that all celebrated detectives have brothers who would be even more celebrated than they are were it not for constitutional indolence?" Poirot asks the astonished Hastings. Hehe.

I'm a Christie fan and enjoy most of her work, but I can't warm up to her efforts at international conspiracy stuff. Give me her country house, cozy mysteries any day — that's where she earns her reputation as one of the best-loved authors in the mystery genre. ( )
  wisewoman | Jul 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Norwegian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
14 wanted
2 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.41)
0.5 1
1 12
1.5 4
2 35
2.5 15
3 144
3.5 42
4 103
4.5 11
5 53


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,898,885 books! | Top bar: Always visible