The Big Four (Hercule Poirot Series)

The Big Four (Hercule Poirot Series)

by Agatha Christie

Paperback(Reissue)

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Overview

The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks. In her classic The Big Four, the great Poirot is caught up in a deadly game of international intrigue as he races to uncover the strange mystery of “Number Four.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073877
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Series: Hercule Poirot Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 77,720
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England

Education:

Home schooling

What People are Saying About This

Dorothy L. Sayers

“It is always a delight to meet Hercule Poirot again. He is one of the few detectives with real charm.”

Customer Reviews

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The Big Four (Hercule Poirot Series) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
A complex plot that will keep you on your toes. As another reviewer stated, the plot is a bit hard to follow. Lots of twists and turns. Love the fact that Hasting has returned. Contains several French phrases so keep your French to English translation app handy. Well edited.
Cinnamon9 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful Hercule Poirot adventure! As usual Agatha Christie gives us another great adventure. The character development of the "Big Four" draws you deeper into the storyline as you read. I especially enjoyed the unmasking of "Number Four". Thoroughly enjoyable, and recommended!
gramieJL More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Agatha Christie's books multiple times. To me, Agatha Christie was the quintessential mystery writer. This collection of short stories is different from many others because the stories are connected by the four villians. The stories are well done, like all of her stories. Love her descriptions and intricate mysteries. No matter how many times I read these, I am intrigued from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot was very dramatic and far-fetched, but it was AWESOME to read if you like melodramatic kind of spy-like things... Great sacrifices (well, one amazingly humungous and intensely mind-blowing one is what I can remember) shall be made, and murders shall be committed. It's basically Mister Hastings' vision of the most interesting murder ever, which is...well, interesting! I reccomend it very much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
madamejeanie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot investigate several quite varied crimes only to find a common thread running through them. Before long, Poirot believes that they are up against an international cabal that calls itself "The Big Four." It is made up of a brilliant Chinese strategist, a female French scientist, a very wealthy American, and a master of disguise who calls himself, simply, Number Four. Close calls and near catastrophes abound, and even though it has taken the better part of a year, Poirot's obsession with destroying The Big Four will either be realized or will be the death of him. Literally.This book took a slightly different track to the finish than Christie's other Poirot novels. It was great fun to read, though.
BookAngel_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Poirot mysteries ever! Probably second to his last mystery, Curtain.Poirot and Hastings are on the trail of a criminal organization, and it really seems as though they are in over their heads. It's also a very active plot. Instead of Poirot spending most his time exercising his "little grey cells" in an armchair, he and Hastings do a lot of traveling.My favorite character in all fiction is Sherlock Holmes, and this book reminds me of Doyle's Holmes mysteries in many ways. I think there are even a few deliberate references written in by Christie. Some might complain and call it derivative, but I loved it!
mmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great disappointment after the skillful and inventive The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The Big Four barely holds together as a book. Indeed it may not be said to have a plot at all. Instead it is a series of vignettes that are tied together with the loosest of bindings. I presume what Christie was aiming for was a romp such as she had provided in several of her earlier books but this time with Poirot and Hastings at the center of the story. But instead of a romp she delivered a book that lacks both insight and joy with cardboard cutouts rather than characters.In many ways the most interesting thing about this book is the insight it gives into how precarious the world of the privileged middle-class seemed in the late 20s even before the stock market crash. Without doubt this book has no pretensions to realism yet at the same time it wouldn't have worked had it not played on the barely unconscious fears of the relatively monied that their world was tottering on the edge of something very frightening. All around they looked and they saw labour unrest and the overthrow of governments and they cannot believe that such things could hapen without some mastermind behind the scenes. Not, I think, because they thought that the workers had no reason to complain about anything but more because they really didn't believe that ordinary workers were capable of organizing themselves. And this book reflects the dream that if only the heads of those dread organizations could be cut off then the workers would subside back into their previous state of continual but safe discontent.
princesserin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poirot is up against a group of four expert criminals who attempt to lead him into a trap in their determination to cause international upheaval. Very well written and suspenseful.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some time has elapsed since Hastings last saw his old friend Hercule Poirot. Hastings has been living in the Argentine on a ranch for the last 18 months, a happily married man. Poirot has set himself up in London as a consulting detective and apparently doing very well. Business complications have necessitated Hastings coming to spend some months in London and he is rather hoping to stay in his old lodgings with Poirot, although he has given him no warning of his impending arrival.Hastings arrives to find Poirot about to leave within the hour for Rio de Janeiro to carry out an investigation for Abe Ryland, an American millionaire, the richest man in the world. Poirot confesses that his new life has not satisfied him: he is beginning to weary of the unending procession of petty problems and has in fact been very lonely, missing the company of Hastings.Poirot has recently come across references to "The Big Four", a gang of international criminals banded together to destroy the existing social order, and to replace it with an anarchy in which they would reign as dictators. Just as Poirot is about to leave the door swings open to reveal a thin and emaciated man coated from head to foot with dust and mud. He has something to tell Poirot about the Big Four and within hours he will be dead.THE BIG FOUR is not so much a novel as a series of short stories generated by Poirot's quest to unmask and bring the Big Four to justice. Over the next ten months he and Hastings will progressively discover the identity of the Chinese man, American billionaire, French woman and the "destroyer" who comprise the gang. Poor old Hastings will be knocked out, kidnapped, blown up and gassed several times, and Hercule Poirot's life will be constantly under threat. This a book that stands up well in a modern context though. The scenarios are at times a little far fetched, but it is tightly plotted and a fairly quick read.I've read THE BIG FOUR as part of my self-created Agatha Christie Reading Challenge, in which I am trying to read Agatha Christie's novels in the order in which they were written. Just prior to THE BIG FOUR I read the short story collection POIROT INVESTIGATES published in 1925. Where THE BIG FOUR differs from the earlier collection is that the episodes in THE BIG FOUR are sequential and all connected by the quest to uncover the criminal gang. They could never be published separately whereas those from POIROT INVESTIGATES could and were.In pursuing my challenge I think I am seeing the writings of Agatha Christie in a new light.I am developing a sense of their continuity, able to see the Poirot novels for example as a series in which the main characters of Poirot and Hastings, and even minor ones like Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard, are expanded and developed. Previously I have read the Christie novels in a pretty random order. An older teacher librarian whom I once worked with was a teenager in the 1920s and she told me of the excitement of waiting for the next Christie novel to arrive. I am beginning to understand that excitement.There are connecting themes between all the novels too. THE BIG FOUR's central theme of a master criminal or a gang of organised criminals responsible for a variety of international catastrophes mistakenly attributed to other causes, has been present in earlier novels. The novel also highlights the problems of international collaboration when Poirot fails in his attempt to persuade the French Prime Minister of the identity of the woman whom he has identified has being a member of the gang of Four.There are signs at the end of THE BIG FOUR that Agatha Christie is ready for another protagonist. Perhaps the structure of this novel and the fact that the earlier Poirot was actually a set of short stories is a sign that Christie was finding it difficult to develop a proper full length novel around Poirot. Am I right I wonder?
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Hurcule Poirot mystery. This was not one of his better ones. I think it was written later and was an attempt to give Poirot a more challengeing foe as well as write an international spy novel. It was an enjoyable read but is not nearly as believable as most of the other Poirot novels.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is great for conspiracy theorists as Poirot battles the Big Four, whose goal is world domination. its also interesting as Poirot shows his romantic side.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her books are brilliant, but this one is not one of her best. If you are looking to read a Poirot mystery for the 1st time, don't read this one. Read the rest, preferably in order, first and come back to this one. It's not terrible, but it is odd. It tries to be too many things at once, so it never really succeeds at any of them. It's a, weak, full-length book that reads like a so-so short story. Which, is really strange, because, normally, both her full-length stories and her short stories are all well-plotted, tightly written masterpieces. It isn't really a mystery, though it has mysterious bits. It isn't really a tale of espionage, though it hints at international intrigue. It was written in 1927, so, when reading it, you have to keep in mind the politics of the world between WWI & WWII. Also, in 1927, the stories of Det. Charlie Chan and Dr. Fu Manchu were popular, so they may have influenced this book's style, too. Like I said, this isn't one of my favorites, but it has it's moments; particularly, the bond of friendship between Poirot and Hastings. Read this book, if you will, but make sure you read her other books, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story was interesting but difficult to follow story line
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And it sure isnt the sane as book. Have all in h c /sc so will dig out and check one of a c s intra national supercriminal ones and not a favorite theme but will re read they have been messing around with her stories and swutch piorit with marple
Bretton More than 1 year ago
It's not Agatha Christie's best. Too many words, not enough action. Also, for her, the unseen-hand plays too large a role in the twists and turns of the puzzle. However, Hastings is in fine form while narrating the exploits of his beloved friend Hercule Poirot.
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