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Hercule Poirot turns 100: The strange case of the Belgian detective (economist.com)
123 points by jkuria 24 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 44 comments

If you're interested in other continental European detective novels I recommend Georges Simonen's Maigret, Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Bärlach, Maurice Leblanc's Lupin and Marcel Allain's Fantômas novels. All of them set in the 19th to 20th century continental Europe.

If you have additional recommendations for famous northwestern continental mystery novelists from the last two centuries I'd love to hear (especially interested in German, Dutch, Belgian, and Luxembourgish authors).

Novels from Nordic and British Isles authors have been easier for this American to discover.

Rowand Atkinson recently did an amazing take on Maigret, three or four 2-hour episodes iirc. Some of his best dramatic work imho.

Seconding this recommendation. Excellent stories and high quality acting. PBS runs them occasionally late at night.

I was very impressed with the camerawork too! The series is shot in Budapest BTW.

Wow that's cool! Will have to watch.

> Marcel Allain's Fantômas novels

By the way Jean Marais's movies while being not very related to the books are excellent in being very hilarious genre parodies.

The Pink Panther films are also hilarious parodies of this genre. Peter Sellers as inspector Jacques Clouseau is a blast

> Novels from Nordic and British Isles authors have been easier for this American to discover.

So the Martin Beck novels by Sjowall / Wahloo are probably on your radar then, for mystery fans that have not seen them they are worth reading.

Also Seishi Yokomizo is a Japanese mystery author that may appeal to Christie fans

Henning Mankell's Wallander books are just great. Made into a fantastic series starring Kenneth Branagh. I also enjoy Arnaldur Indridasson (Iceland) though many might find them a bit too slow and introspective.

Yep, I've read a bit of Martin Beck and Harry Hole.

A semi-comedic series is the French 'Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie' which are a re-telling of many of Agatha's mysteries. SBS Australia has it with English Subtitles. Each episode is about 90 minutes.


Recently I know of Kommissar Dupin by Jean-Luc Bannalec (pseudonym), Parot's Nicolas Le Floch, Frédéric Lenormand's Voltaire.

Beyond being an interesting milestone, the Poirot novels being 100 years old means that each year more of them are entering the public domain. It’s fun to follow along Agatha Christie’s career as an author each year as novels drop: http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/451

Funny that she is ID 451 considering the censorship of her works.

I was going to say I'm a fan of the 10 little Jägermeisters, but search engines tell me "censorship" of AC refers to on-screen suicide in a Death on the Nile adaptation?


I highly recommend the television series, made by UK's ITV, starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. It ran for 24 years! It is eminently watchable, especially in these pandemic times. And the opening music!


After finishing watching Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes series, I have started watching Poirot. At first it didn't seem as striking to me as Sherlock Holmes(Holmes' and Poirot's character/style is very much different), but after a few episodes, I'm hooked up it, I must say. Highly recommend watching both of them.

Truly an excellent production!

Great acting, music, recreation of the era, awesome attention to detail and of course delightful mysteries.

It sets the bar very high, to the point it has alas kind of ruined "other Poirots" for me.

I do like Peter Ustinov's versions. Very different but delightful with a sense of humour. His "swimming" in Evil Under The Sun is a silly thing that has stuck with me forever.

Yes, I loved those films, as well (that's a funny scene indeed, hehe). Good thing I watched them before the David Suchet series.

For me it went down the pan starting series 10. Too much `sexing-up' type deviation from the books; no more Hastings, Miss Lemon and Japp; I think they even stopped using the wonderful theme tune to which you refer.

But, yes, before that, absolutely wonderful!

Yes, agreed, it has become a bit too serious and dark, still good, but definitely missed Hasting, Miss Lemon and Japp.

You mean after season 10? or after episode 10 in general?

In the UK, "series" is used rather than "season", and it has more to do with a financial commitment to make a number of episodes than it does with, say, a year's run of programming. A series may extend over the course of more than one year, and there can be two series in a year.

Thanks. so I'm good to enjoy them up until season 10 then. Many more episodes. Haven't seen this show since childhood.


More than just the music, the opening animation is iconic.

Yes, excellent one. Especially first 8 season with all the initial actors. It worked great as our family dinner night series.

Very enjoyable series, and David Suchet is stellar. It is also interesting to see some of the cast who went on to greater fame like Alice Eve, Peter Baelish and Talulah Riley; there are probably more I'm unable to remember right now.

So sad that netflix doesn't have it any more

My wife and I have been subscribed to acorn.tv for several years instead of Netflix. It has many eminently watchable shows, especially Poirot and Foyle’s War, my favorite.

Netflix used to carry both a few years ago. It’s a shame not many know about Foyle’s War in the US. Another excellent piece of British television.

It's available on google for between 3 and 25 $ per season. I just purchased the first season.

Ha! I grew up in a small (by Indian standards) city in India and our school library for some reason had tons of Agatha Christie. I think I read like 80% of all published Hercule Poirot books between the age of 10-15.

Maybe that is a global phenomenon :) I had the identical experience, in a high school near Washington, DC, USA.

Only today I was asking myself whether Agatha Christie knowingly named him "Leek" (because that's what "Poirot" means).

I couldn't find an answer immediately so I'll just wonder about it in here as well and see what happens :)

Honestly, aside from some of the classics (And then there were none, murder on the links, orient express) the Poirot series is my absolute favorite of any mystery novel ever.

Never seen the TV show, but if you can get past the language of the books you can’t beat them.

No suprise there. Her english was exactly the type that indian schools worked to promote in students. I was in a north american boys school. Other side of the planet, but our libraries' fiction sections were probably very similar.

Both of the books you mentioned have good film adaptations as well! The 1945 film version of “And Then There Were None”, and especially the Sidney Lumet version of “Murder on the Orient Express”. The scene of Poirot laying out his theory for the assembled passengers is amazing.

The "And Then There Were None" 2015 miniseries is very good version with beautiful cinematography of the island.

Is there a way to read the article without the paywall?

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