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Big Four by Agatha Christie
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Big Four (original 1927; edition 1986)

by Agatha Christie (Author)

Series: Hercule Poirot (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,208813,403 (3.33)118
Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell. Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life - and that of his twin brother - to uncover the truth about 'Number Four'.… (more)
Member:Stinson_Library
Title:Big Four
Authors:Agatha Christie (Author)
Info:Bantam Books (1986)
Collections:Your library
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The Big Four by Agatha Christie (1927)

Recently added byEmmaSee, pandr65, JimPratt, private library, samaloney, dresdon, funstm, SophieCaves22, AnneSchneider
Legacy LibrariesAyn Rand, Carl Sandburg
  1. 01
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    Ludi_Ling: Some 30 years may separate them, but both feature the same slightly inane global conspiracy theory plot.
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English (76)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Slovak (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Poirot was an extraordinary-looking little man. He was hardly more than five feet four inches, but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound. Yet this quaint dandified little man who, I was sorry to see, now limped badly, had been in his time one of the most celebrated members of the Belgian police. As a detective, his flair had been extraordinary, and he had achieved triumphs by unravelling some of the most baffling cases of the day.

Christie, Agatha. Hercule Poirot 3-Book Collection 1: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Murder on the Links, Poirot Investigates (Kindle Locations 308-313). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.


I love Hercule Poirot. Such a great detective. Such a character. There's always a great mystery with lots of twists and turns and red herrings, all of which keep me riveted. The characters are interesting and have complex motives for their actions. I've read many Agatha Christie books before but not all and not in order so I'm in the process of commencing a reread. Highly recommend to crime lovers.

The Big Four was not my favourite. Was a bit too disjointed for my tastes. And Hastings is back. I don't understand why he gets married and then spends all his time away from her. Seems pointless to get married. I did enjoy the humor though. Particularly the cutting marks directed at Hastings by Poirot and Japp. And even the villains get in on it. “I should not advise it,” he remarked. “Remember what came of your hasty action in Paris. Let me assure you that my way of retreat is well assured. Your ideas are inclined to be a little crude, Captain Hastings, if I may say so.”

Christie, Agatha. The Big Four: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot series Book 5) (p. 190). William Morrow Paperbacks. Kindle Edition.
Hastings is always so offended which cracks me up. And Poirot's self confidence. My favourite was this;

“You guessed this beforehand?” “‘Forecast the probable result of the deal,’” quoted Poirot from a recent bridge problem on which I had spent much time. “Mon ami, when you do that successfully, you do not call it guessing.”

Christie, Agatha. The Big Four: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot series Book 5) (p. 124). William Morrow Paperbacks. Kindle Edition.
Hastings is right - modesty is not his strong point.

“And his mistake?” I asked, although I suspected the answer. “Mon ami, he overlooked the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot.” Poirot has his virtues, but modesty is not one of them.

Christie, Agatha. The Big Four: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot series Book 5) (p. 130). William Morrow Paperbacks. Kindle Edition.


But that's alright because it makes for great reading. For all that, with the mystery being so disjointed - investigating each of the Four individually - I just couldn't get into it. 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2. ( )
  funstm | Aug 9, 2022 |
Embarrassingly contrived, painfully racist and glaringly obvious, except to poor Hastings who’s even denser than usual.

Hugh Fraser does a good job as usual on the audio book; his demeaning mock-Chinese accent is regrettable but in tune with the book itself. ( )
  kenf | Jul 3, 2022 |
Hastings is so stupid in this one it's almost painful. ( )
1 vote IVLeafClover | Jun 21, 2022 |
If you've read any Sax Rohmer or The Shadow or similar stories and enjoyed them, then this one is for you. It's full of improbable/incredible situations, insidious Chinese (think "yellow peril"), nasty American wealth, a French scientist and an English actor gone bad, with Hercule Poirot and his "leetle grey cells" at the center with Captain Hastings at his side. A bit of a stretch for Christie, if you ask me, for all that I was enjoying listening to this in the car! ( )
  fuzzipueo | Apr 24, 2022 |
4/13/22
  laplantelibrary | Apr 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, Hughsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pike, KarlEditorsecondary 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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Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell. Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life - and that of his twin brother - to uncover the truth about 'Number Four'.

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They are a vicious international quartet of criminals known as "The Big Four". Number One was a brilliant Chinese, the greatest criminal brain of all time; Number Two was a USAmerican multi-millionaire; Number Three was a beautiful Frenchwoman scientist; and Number Four was "the destroyer," the ruthless murderer with a genius for disguise, whose business it was to remove those who interfered with his masters plans. These four, working together, is a partnership with one simple goal, establish world dominance with murders.

Belgian detective Hercule Poirot was preparing for a voyage to South America when an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in mud, stood at his doorway, collapsed, then recovered long enough to scribble the number four on a piece of paper. Now, "The Big Four" pursues eliminate the only man who can foil them: Hercule Poirot. It's up to Poirot and his faithful assistant Hastings to follow the clues and stop the deadly cabal from achieving its devastating end. But do they really avoid the Grim Reaper? In the most dangerous case of his career, the little detective will not be diverted by poison, a falling tree, electrocution, or a hit-and-run. Poirot appears to meet his end when a bomb explodes in his apartment. Hastings, devastated, vows to avenge him--but can he succeed without Poirot?
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