The Second Best Hercule Poirot Novels

So the final round for the Best Hercule Poirot Novel poll is up and running, so let’s take a look at the ones that have been knocked out so far. How did your favourite do, if it didn’t make it to the Final? It’s worth pointing out that every single book received at least one vote, which, to be honest, completely surprised me. But I wonder… before we go any further, a quick quiz.

  • Which four books only received one vote each?
  • Which book has been knocked out despite receiving more votes than other finalists from different rounds?
  • And which two of the books that I voted for have been knocked out already?

So, without further ado:

1 vote:

  • The Murder On The Links
  • The Big Four
  • The Clocks
  • Third Girl

No surprises here, apart from the fact that some of these garnered even one vote. Never thought The Murder On The Links was that bad, but can’t remember a thing about it, which isn’t a good sign.

2 votes:

Bit surprised at The Hollow’s poor showing – I thought some people (not me) loved this one… While I like Taken At The Flood a lot, it’s one of those overlooked books IMHO.

3 votes:

More people like Elephants Can Remember than The Hollow! Sergio won’t be happy… The first two suffered from being in Round 2, the equivalent of the Group Of Death.

4 votes:

Four votes for The Mystery Of The Blue Train? Despite being in the same group as Ackroyd, Orient Express and Peril At End House? Impressive. And a good showing for one of my favourites Appointment With Death despite being in the Group Of Death.

5 votes:

Impressive showing for Sad Cypress but a little surprised that Hallowe’en Party didn’t make it through Group Four. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that Mesopotamia did so well, given the obvious problem with the plot, but it’s a memorable book if nothing else.

6 votes:

  • The Mysterious Affair At Styles

Good showing for Poirot’s debut but it was never going to beat the Ackroyd-Orient Express-End House triumverate.

7 votes:

Strong showing for a couple of books that I consider to be second-tier Poirot. Both of them were pretty obvious to me when I read them first and Dead Man’s Folly really didn’t need Poirot musing on women’s bottoms…

8 votes:

Disappointed by this one, but I can see why two of the books that beat it did so – Cards On The Table and Five Little Pigs. Less convinced by Evil Under The Sun…

13 votes:

Held its own for a while but couldn’t fend off Roger Ackroyd and that bloody train…

Of course, these votes don’t represent the relative quality of the books as it depends which other one it was up against. Take anything in the last round – basically, Curtain stormed that one with a few books jockeying for second with about nine votes each – whereas poor old Peril At End House got stomped on by Roger Ackroyd and then was run over by the Orient Express. But those are the rules…

As for my now-eliminated favourites? Well, it’s the top scoring non-qualifiers, Mrs McGinty’s Dead and Peril At End House. The first because it’s my favourite non-gimmicky Poirot (and for the guest house bits that make me laugh out loud) and the second because it was the first one of her books that I solved! Best read while still new to the genre though…

So, be back here on March 30th for the countdown of the top eleven Poirot books of all time – one of which at time of writing has garnered no votes at all in the final…

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14 comments

  1. I feel sorry for Lord Edgware Dies and Peril At End House which in my view are superior to The ABC Murders plot wise. And quite frankly can’t understand why The Mysterious Affair At Styles got so many votes if for the only reason that it was Poirot’s first. Otherwise I feel rather comfortable with what I expect will be the top 10 or 11, though I’ll have to revisit some of them.

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    • I don’t think that’s going to be a popular view on The ABC Murders – there’s a lot of love for it, not least from me, although Peril At End House has a place in my heart too. Not so much Lord Edgware after a recent re-read…

      You can see the top 11 on the voiting page, but due to the format, there are some there that really shouldn’t be in the top ten overall – Cat Among The Pigeons is the obvious one – but that’s the way I set it up. I really didn’t want to list 33 books in a single poll…

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    • Annoying, End House was neck and neck with Ackroyd and Orient Express for the first couple of days – and then it fell behind. It’s a similar tale with the final – four or five were neck and neck for a couple of days but now there’s a reasonably clear leader…

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  2. Ridiculous that The Hollow should get so little love – or that Hickory and Folly should get as much as they did! Still, im thrilled that my favorite has been recognized as one of the best!

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    • I think it’s a sign of people who like The Hollow still don’t rate it as their absolute favourite. Hickory and Folly were in a weak group and they are more memorable than others in there. Still, they’re out now…

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  3. […] And so, without further ado, it’s time to announce the results of my recent poll to find the Best Poirot Novel. To remind you – I arranged the books into four groups, chronologically speaking, and the highest rated two from each round went through to the final. There was one dead heat, making it nine, and then because I ended up putting Cards On The Table in the wrong round, I gave a couple of third places the benefit of the doubt. The results of the rest of the books are here. […]

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