The Labours of Hercules



by Agatha Christie

Published: 1939

As a side note, the list of Poirot titles that I have has let me down the last couple of books by not having them in accurate published order, which is a tad annoying.  Ah well.

This book is comprised of twelve short stories, tied together with a common theme.  In the introduction, Poirot is talking with someone, who comments on the irony of Poirot’s first name (Hercule).  Poirot responds that he does not know what possessed his mother to name him after Hercules, but he thinks that they are not unalike, for while Hercules performed tasks requiring superhuman strength, he, Poirot, performs tasks that require superhuman mental strength.  After his guest departs, Poirot researches the life of the mythological Hercules, and decides that he, Poirot, will undertake to solve twelve mysteries that follow the same lines as Hercules’s Labors.

Usually, I am not a huge fan of Christie’s short stories, but these were actually a lot of fun, with a bit of snarky humor thrown in.  I think that the reason that they were enjoyable was because they were not super-involved mysteries crammed into a chapter, but mysteries that made sense to solve in a chapter.  It was also fun to see how Poirot followed the twelve Labors.

Overall, 4/5.