Hercule Poirot made his first public appearance in 1920 at the age, one guesses, of about 60. He finally breathed his metaphorical last in 1975 at the age of maybe 75 or 80. And in that short span of time — either 55 years or about 20, depending on how you count it — Poirot became one of England’s most profitable and ubiquitous export commodities.
But it’s very clear that his creator, Agatha Christie, did not at first intend for it to go that way. She made a very definite attempt to end the Hercule Poirot saga in the mid-1920s, when his story consisted simply of three novels and 25 short stories.
It is that first Hercule Poirot bibliography, the one Christie clearly intended to leave for posterity when she typed up the last few words of “The Crag in the Dolomites” sometime in 1924, that is presented in this collection.
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