Last Updated 1 month ago.One of the World’s Greatest Detective.
Who is Hercule Poirot?
You know him for his head in the shape of an egg, his famous stiff mustache, the neatness of his attire and his talent as a detective. After all, with Batman and Sherlock Holmes, he is known for being one of the world’s greatest detective.
We’re talking about the belgian Hercule Poirot, of course, created by Agatha Christie (here is the full Agatha Christie reading order). He appears in 33 novels, a play (that didn’t adapt a book) and more than 50 short stories, published between 1920 and 1975. He has also been portrayed on radio, film and television by different actors, more recently Kenneth Branagh and John Malkovich, but more legendary by David Suchet, Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov.
Hercule Poirot Chronological Reading Order
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Hastings is sent back to England from the First World War due to injury and is invited to spend his sick leave at the beautiful Styles Court by his old friend John Cavendish. Despite the tranquil surroundings Hastings begins to realise that all is not right. When Mrs Inglethorp, John’s step-mother, is found poisoned, suspicion falls on the family, and another old friend, Hercule Poirot, is invited to investigate.
- The Murder on the Links – An urgent cry for help brings Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face downwards in a shallow grave on a golf course. But why is the dead man wearing his son’s overcoat? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse.
- While the Light Lasts – Short story Collection. A macabre recurring dream… revenge against a blackmailer … jealousy, infidelity and a tortured conscience … a stolen gemstone … the haunting attraction of an ancient relic … a race against time … a tragic love triangle … a body in a box … an unexpected visitor from beyond the grave
- Poirot Investigates – Short story Collection. First there was the mystery of the film star and the diamond… then came the ‘suicide’ that was murder… the mystery of the absurdly cheap flat… a suspicious death in a locked gun-room… a million dollar bond robbery… the curse of a pharoah’s tomb… a jewel robbery by the sea… the abduction of a Prime Minister… the disappearance of a banker… a phone call from a dying man… and, finally, the mystery of the missing will. What links these fascinating cases? Only the brilliant deductive powers of Hercule Poirot!
- Poirot’s Early Cases – Short story Collection. Captain Hastings recounts 18 of Poirot’s early cases from the days before he was famous…From theft and robbery to kidnapping and murder – those cases were all guaranteed to test Poirot’s soon-to-be-famous ‘little grey cells’ to their absolute limit.
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much. He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her – and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he’d finished reading it – stabbed through the neck where he sat in the study.
- The Big Four – 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 to uncover the truth about ‘Number Four’.
- The Mystery of the Blue Train – Aboard the luxurious Blue Train running from London to the Riviera, pampered millionaire’s daughter Ruth Kettering is murdered, her expensive jewels stolen. But Poirot is at hand to solve the case.
- Peril at End House – Nick Buckley was an unusual name for a pretty young woman. But then she had led an unusual life. First, on a treacherous Cornish hillside, the brakes on her car failed. Then, on a coastal path, a falling boulder missed her by inches. Later, an oil painting fell and almost crushed her in bed. Upon discovering a bullet-hole in Nick’s sun hat, Hercule Poirot decides the girl needs his protection. At the same time, he begins to unravel the mystery of a murder that hasn’t been committed. Yet.
- Lord Edgware Dies – Poirot had been present when Jane bragged of her plan to ‘get rid of’ her estranged husband. Now the monstrous man was dead. And yet the great Belgian detective couldn’t help feeling that he was being taken for a ride. After all, how could Jane have stabbed Lord Edgware to death in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? And what could be her motive now that the aristocrat had finally granted her a divorce?
- Murder on the Orient Express – Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.
- Three Act Tragedy – At an apparently respectable dinner party, a vicar is the first to die… Thirteen guests arrived at dinner at the actor’s house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died. But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison – just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was absolutely no motive.
- Death in the Clouds – From seat No.9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No.13, sat a Countess with a poorly-concealed cocaine habit; across the gangway in seat No.8, a detective writer was being troubled by an aggressive wasp. What Poirot did not yet realize was that behind him, in seat No.2, sat the slumped, lifeless body of a woman.
- The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories – When a young woman performs a magic trick to vanish a diamond and it is truly lost, Parker Pyne must get to the bottom of the mystery. s.
- The A.B.C. Murders – There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his waythrough the alphabet – and the whole country is in a state of panic. A is forMrs Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, C is for SirCarmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting moreconfident – but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud HerculePoirot might just prove to be the first, and fatal mistake.
- Murder in Mesopotamia – When Amy Leatheran travels to an ancient site in the Iraqi desert to nurse the wife of a celebrated archaeologist, events prove stranger than she has ever imagined. Her patient’s bizarre visions and nervous terror seem unfounded, but as the oppressive tension in the air thickens, events come to a terrible climax – in murder. With one spot of blood as his only clue, Hercule Poirot must embark on a journey across the desert to unravel a mystery which taxes even his remarkable powers.
- Cards on the Table – A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players… Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s private collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…
- Problem at Pollensa Bay – Short story Collection. Holidaying Mallorca, Parker Pyne is approached by a fellow British guest looking for some assistance saving her son from an unsuitable marriage…
- Murder in the Mews – Short story Collection. While her flatmate is away for the weekend, Barbara commits suicide. However Inspector Japp is sufficiently concerned about this case to call for the assistance of Hercule Poirot.
- Dumb Witness – An elderly spinster has been poisoned in her country home. Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… by which time Emily was already dead.
- Death on the Nile – The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting’ nothing is ever quite what it seems…
- Appointment with Death – Among the towering red cliffs of Petra, like some monstrous swollen Buddha, sat the corpse of Mrs Boynton. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist was the only sign of the fatal injection that had killed her. With only 24 hours available to solve the mystery, Hercule Poirot recalled a chance remark he’d overheard back in Jerusalem: ‘You see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?’ Mrs Boynton was, indeed, the most detestable woman he’d ever met.
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man.
- Sad Cypress – An elderly stroke victim dies without having arranged a will. Beautiful young Elinor Carlisle stood serenely in the dock, accused of the murder of Mary Gerrard, her rival in love. The evidence was damning: only Elinor had the motive, the opportunity and the means to administer the fatal poison. Yet, inside the hostile courtroom, only one man still presumed Elinor was innocent until proven guilty: Hercule Poirot was all that stood between Elinor and the gallows.
- One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – The dentist was found with a blackened hole below his right temple. A pistol lay on the floor near his outflung right hand. Later, one of his patients was found dead from a lethal dose of local anaesthetic. A clear case of murder and suicide. But why would a dentist commit a crime in the middle of a busy day of appointments? A shoe buckle holds the key to the mystery. Now – in the words of the rhyme – can Poirot pick up the sticks and lay them straight?
- Evil Under the Sun – It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun… she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena’s arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent ‘crime of passion’ have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?
- Five Little Pigs – Beautiful Caroline Crale was convicted of poisoning her husband, yet there were five other suspects: Philip Blake (the stockbroker) who went to market; Meredith Blake (the amateur herbalist) who stayed at home; Elsa Greer (the three-time divorcee) who had roast beef; Cecilia Williams (the devoted governess) who had none; and Angela Warren (the disfigured sister) who cried ‘wee wee wee’ all the way home. It is sixteen years later, but Hercule Poirot just can’t get that nursery rhyme out of his mind.
- The Hollow – Lucy Angkatell invited Hercule Poirot to lunch. To tease the great detective, her guests stage a mock murder beside the swimming pool. Unfortunately, the victim plays the scene for real. As his blood drips into the water, John Christow gasps one final word: ‘Henrietta’. In the confusion, a gun sinks to the bottom of the pool. Poirot’s enquiries reveal a complex web of romantic attachments. It seems everyone in the drama is a suspect – and each a victim of love.
- The Labours of Hercules – Short story Collection. Before retirement, Poirot takes on the twelve labours of his namesake, each one a new mystery to be solved across Europe. This collection includes 12 short stories.
- Taken at the Flood –A few weeks after marrying an attractive young widow, Gordon Cloade is tragically killed by a bomb blast in the London blitz. Overnight, the former Mrs Underhay finds herself in sole possession of the Cloade family fortune. Shortly afterwards, Hercule Poirot receives a visit from the dead man’s sister-in-law who claims she has been warned by ‘spirits’ that Mrs Underhay’s first husband is still alive. Poirot has his suspicions when he is asked to find a missing person guided only by the spirit world. Yet what mystifies Poirot most is the woman’s true motive for approaching him.
- Mrs McGinty’s Dead – ‘Mrs McGinty’s dead!’ ‘How did she die?’ ‘Down on one knee, just like I!’ The old children’s game now seemed rather tasteless. The real Mrs McGinty was killed by a crushing blow to the back of the head and her pitifully small savings were stolen. Suspicion falls immediately on her lodger, hard up and out of a job. Hercule Poirot has other ideas – unaware that his own life is now in great danger.
- After the Funeral – The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.
- Hickory Dickory Dock – An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel was not normally the sort of crime that aroused Hercule Poirot’s interest. But when he saw the list of stolen and vandalized items – including a stethoscope, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack and a diamond ring found in a bowl of soup – he congratulated the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a ‘unique and beautiful problem’. The list made absolutely no sense at all. But, reasoned Poirot, if this was merely a petty thief at work, why was everyone at the hostel so frightened?
- Dead Man’s Folly – A charity murder game at a Devon house turns into the real thing. Sir George and Lady Stubbs, the hosts of a village fête, hit upon the novel idea of staging a mock murder mystery. In good faith, Ariadne Oliver, the well known crime writer, agrees to organise their murder hunt. Despite weeks of meticulous planning, at the last minute Ariadne calls her friend Hercule Poirot for his expert assistance. Instinctively, she senses that something sinister is about to happen…Beware – nobody is quite what they seem!
- Cat Among the Pigeons – Unpleasant things are going on in an exclusive school for girls – things like murder… Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress – shot through the heart from point blank range. The school is thrown into chaos when the ‘cat’ strikes again. Unfortunately, schoolgirl Julia Upjohn knows too much. In particular, she knows that without Hercule Poirot’s help, she will be the next victim
- The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding – Short story Collection. An Eastern prince loses a ruby when his mistress walks away with it.
- The Clocks – As instructed, stenographer Sheila Webb let herself into the house at 19 Wilbraham Crescent. It was then that she made a grisly discovery: the body of a dead man sprawled across the living room floor. What intrigued Poirot about the case was the time factor. Although in a state of shock, Sheila clearly remembered having heard a cuckoo clock strike three o’clock. Yet, the four other clocks in the living room all showed the time as 4.13. Even more strangely, only one of these clocks belonged to the owner of the house.
- Third Girl – Three young women share a London flat. The first is a coolly efficient personal secretary; the second is an artist; and the third interrupts Hercule Poirot’s breakfast of brioche and hot chocolate insisting that she is a murderer – and then promptly disappears. Slowly, Poirot learns of the rumours surrounding the mysterious third girl, her family – and her disappearance. Yet hard evidence is needed before the great detective can pronounce her guilty, innocent or insane…
- Hallowe’en Party – At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce – a hostile thirteen-year-old – boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the ‘evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer.
- Elephants Can Remember – Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it’s just as well that ‘old sins leave long shadows.’
- Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case – Poirot and Hastings come full circle at Styles. Now wheelchair bound, there is still one case for Poirot to solve. Who is the serial killer X?
- Black Coffee – A physicist dies after consuming a poisoned beverage. Enter Hercule Poirot, one of Christie’s most beloved sleuths, to solve the mystery. – novel adapted from play published in 1998.
Hercule Poirot novels not by Christie
In 2014, the Christie estate commissioned Sophie Hannah to write original stories in the Poirot canon.
- The Monogram Murders, written by Sophie Hannah – Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.
- Closed Casket, written by Sophie Hannah – Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. Among Lady Playford’s guests are two men she has never met – the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited . . . until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot’s best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?
- The Mystery of Three Quarters, written by Sophie Hannah – Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?
- The Killings At Kingfisher Hill, written by Sophie Hannah – Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. There is one strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.