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The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot…
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The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot Mysteries (original 1947; edition 2005)

by Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser (Narrator)

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Member:Snowstorm
Title:The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot Mysteries
Authors:Agatha Christie
Other authors:Hugh Fraser (Narrator)
Info:BBC Audiobooks America (2005), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
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The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie (1947)

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M. Hercule Poirot is sitting in conversation w/ Dr. Burton and they are discussing names. Dr. Burton mentions that M. Poirot does not seem to "fit" his name but M. Poirot assures the Dr. that he, Hercule Poirot, is indeed of great mental & detecting strenght. In order to prove that he is indeed capable of living up to his name, M. Poirot takes on twelve feats of detective work that correspond to the twelve labors of Hercules:

The Nemean Lion: There is a series of dognappings, in the form of Pekingese of rich idle women. The women pay the ransom without telling their husbands for fear the dogs will be harmed/killed.

The Lernean Hydra: The wife of a chemist has died and someone is spreading rumors that she was poisoned.... M. Poirot goes about the task of not only stopping the rumors but uncovering the actual murderer as well.

The Arcadian Deer: A young man falls in love, only to have his new love disappear without a trace.... People are not whom they seem and M. Poirot is enlisted to find the missing love.

The Erymanthian Boar: On a short holiday in Switzerland, M. Poirot boards a funicular to the top of a mountain... He is entreated to stay and help the police capture an infamous gangster

The Augean Stables: A seemingly upright member of Parliament is about to be exposed for dirty politics & dealings. M. Poirot is hired to clean up the mess by dealing w/ the scandal mongering paper that plans on exposing the dirt.

The Stymphalian Birds: While on holiday M. Poirot becomes involved with helping Harold Waring to untangle a fatality.... Two ugly sisters whom are thought to bring doom are staying at the hotel and seem to cross Harold's path too often for his comfort.... A young woman & her jealous husband fight and he dies..... or does he?

The Cretan Bull: A young man is about to marry a young woman he grew up with, but he then begins to wake up in the mornings covered w/ blood, bloody knives, and dead animals being found throughout the village & estate. He is sure that he suffers from a hereditary madness and has broken off his engagement.... M. Poirot is called upon by the fiancee of the young man in order to get to the bottom of the madness.

The Horse of Diomedes: After an all night party, a young man comes across a young woman (one of 4 daughters of a General living out in the country) in drugged distress and wants to help her before she becomes addicted. M. Poirot goes out to the country in order to find who is supplying the young people w/ cocaine & inducing their addiction....

The Girdle of Hyppolita: M. Poirot is called upon to find a missing Rubens, stolen in broad daylight from a museum. A schoolgirl on a train vanishes in mid-travel to a well known Girls' art academy and then reappears. A rather ugly painting arrives as a gift to the Headmistress in the girl's luggage... M. Poirot is the one to untangle the mystery.

The Flock of Geryon: A religious cult has ensnared older women who are all well off.... When they die (far from the cult in their own homes) no one thinks it odd, but their estates are left to the cult. A woman seeking to help her ensnared friend goes undercover w/ the help & guidance of M. Poirot.

The Apple of Hesperides: A valuable gold chalice once belonging to the Borgia family has seemingly disappeared in a burglary after being sold (but not delivered). The new owner will not file a claim, as once he is paid by the insurance company,the chalice then is no longer his property. M. Poirot is entrusted to locate the missing chalice and return it.

The Capture of Cerberus: A famous & beautiful jewel thief (Russian Countess Vera Rossakoff) with whom M. Poirot had previously become enchanted crosses his path on the stairs of the subway.... She invites him to visit her in "Hell"..... Hell, being a new nightclub based on legends & lore w/ a huge black dog named Cerberus guarding the door.... Again there are jewels involved, being swapped out for paste and drugs..... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Hercules angle often comes off as, well, labored, and the stories are no great shakes. The most interesting are "The Nemean Lion," "The Lernean Hydra" (shades of Sad Cypress), and "The Cretan Bull" (uses elements from Hercule Poirot's Christmas and Sleeping Murder). "The Capture of Cerberus" has a dumb plot but is notable for final appearance of Vera Rosakoff. "The Horses of Diomedes," about cocaine use among the younger set, is an embarrassment. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
A set of Hercule Poirot short stories loosely based on the labours of Hercules. Personally, I prefer the novel length Agatha Christie books. ( )
  cazfrancis | Nov 12, 2015 |
A very enjoyable set of short Poirot mysteries using the Labours of Hercules as a theme. Great fun. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Jul 19, 2015 |
Hercule Poirot is thinking of retirement. Before he ends his career as a private detective, he challenges himself to solve twelve more cases. But not just any twelve cases. They will be carefully picked to correspond with the mythical labors of Hercules.

I'm not a big fan of short stories in the mystery genre. The format imposes too many constraints on plot and character development. This collection is less successful than most in my estimation. The connection with the labors of Hercules is forced. Few of the cases have anything to do with murder, the usual subject of Poirot's investigations. Poirot prevented a murder or two, but many of the other cases involved drug dealing and/or smuggling. Poor Poirot has been trying to retire ever since The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. He won't manage it this time, either, since Christie wrote about a dozen more Poirot novels or short story collections after this one. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jun 7, 2015 |
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Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hercule Poirot's flat was essentially modern in its furnishings.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425067858, Mass Market Paperback)

On the verge of retirement, Hercule Poirot can't resist the lure of a seemingly unsolvable series of recent crimes--from a lost Pekinese to a man driven mad by love to a gentleman poisoned by gossip.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet - reasoned the detective - like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters. So, in the period before he retired, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed 'Labors'. Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.… (more)

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