Mon Dieu!
The Man I Love Turned 100 Last Year!!

The year 2020 was infamous for a lot of reasons. But equally, it gave us many reasons to be thankful and celebrate. One thing that happened but was not publicized much last year was Hercule Poirot turning 100. Yes….it was in October 1920 that the Queen Of Crime, Agatha Christie, first introduced the world to the phenomenon that is Monsieur Hercule Poirot. The first story featuring the great detective The Mysterious Affair At Styles was published in the US in 1920. This year marks 100 years of it being published in the UK and ardent fans are celebrating by reading marathons or binge watching the series.

For the unversed (Ahem….OMG….Really??) Hercule Poirot is a detective of Belgian origin, featured in 33 novels of Agatha Christie. He is arguably the best-loved fictional detective. He is the exact opposite of what one would expect a suave detective to be. He is short, with a retreating hairline atop an egg-shaped head and a brilliantly waxed moustache. He is also meticulous and sometimes vain about his appearance.

Christie is an amazing storyteller. Her characterization of this little man with a sharp mind, who takes pride in his intelligence, unapologetically enjoys comforts, and also has some human faults endeared him to readers. I am a sucker for crime fiction & have always admired the mind over body and so, I readily fell in love with him when I was maybe 13 years old – that is when I first read a Hercule Poirot novel. (My love affair with books started when I was maybe 5 years or younger…another blog, for another time).

Though Christie’s novels describe crime and murders, it is never gory. The detective work itself involves intelligence or the use of “little grey cells” as Poirot himself proudly says. There is not much of chasing after criminals, violent fights, or shoot outs.  Poirot sees simple mistakes that the criminal makes and uses psychology to stitch together pieces of the puzzle and solve the crime, in most cases with public exposure of the criminal by his/her own hand. Often mistaken for a Frenchman, Poirot uses his “foreign-ness” and physical appearance to his advantage to elicit information and expose what lies beneath the surface.

The core reason why I love him is his cool & calm composure at all times even in the face of danger, his unmatched intelligence, his deep understanding of the human psyche, and his unconventional methods of solving a crime. He does not gather physical evidence like other detectives (Eg: Sherlock, another favourite of mine). His mannerisms (his obsessive attention to his moustache), his chutzpah and usage of unique phrases (Imbecile, Mon Ami, Mon Dieu), his unshakable faith in the truth & his ability to prove it make him my favourite hero even today.

Poirot continues to be a well-loved character that people readily devour. In fact, because of his popularity, Agatha Christie wrote 50 short stories featuring him and a few plays as well. Many movies were also made. Just a few years ago in 2017, a movie adaptation of The Murder On The Orient Express was released and did pretty well in the theatres. This during the times when spy/detective movies with gadgets, violence, and sex are the norm.

Today, Hercule Poirot remains a brand to be reckoned with and his popularity continues to grow. He is timeless and readers across generations connect with him.

Hercule Poirot’s character has been played many times, often by brilliant actors like Kenneth Branagh, Albert Finney, Alfred Molina, and John Malkovich to name a few. But by far, the most memorable and my favourite is Sir David Suchet who played Poirot in the television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot. I remember watching it many years ago and thinking that he fits Christie’s description to the T.

To celebrate this milestone, I plan to binge-watch the series with a friend and fellow Christie-Poirot fan! Of course, the books remain a constant on my reading list and I continue to re-read them every few months.

So…Mon Ami….Are you a Hercule Poirot fan like me? Which of his books have you read? Which book/movie/series was your favourite? Do write to me in the comments below. Would love to connect with you about Monsieur Poirot & The Queen Of Crime.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and generously SPONSORED BY Bugshield Clothing – Enjoy Outdoors More!

41 Comments

  1. Very well written! I liked the font and the famous waxed moustache and other images of our famed detective – pretty creative.
    As a kid born in a bengali household where our favourite hobby was to read besides Rabindranath sangeet and painting ( I was not good with the latter two ) detective stories always topped our list ; Poirot along with Perry Mason, Sherlock and the others ( Nancy drew,Famous 5, Secret 7 , the 3 investigators) have always fascinated me and they were real human characters in my world .
    So happy to see this tribute and taking me down memory lane with this blog – keep refreshing our memories that’s the best I can say

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  2. Vasumathi, I am on love in Agatha Chrishtie’s novels. My first book was Pocket full of rye. And then I read Murder of Roger Ackroyd. But when they released the full series of Poirot on Netflix, I was w super duper happy. I watched it, re-watched it. and still I watch it every now and then. Poirot was a classic exmaple of perfection. The way he handles his handkerchief, saves himself fro stepping in the puddle, arrange the decor pieces properly over the fire place – everything is just so very perfect. Murder of Orient Express was my favorite.
    BTW, loved the images that you ave used for this post.

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  3. I just love Agatha Christie’s novels Vasumathi. My favorite is the Pocket Full of Rye. Of course, I read this book and in love with Poirot too. Your post indeed made me nostalgic.

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  4. I have read few but after reading your post I think I should indulge more in Agastha Christie books. 100 years wow.. That’s a landmark.

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  5. I am feeling ashamed to know that I am totally unaware of this longest-running character Hercule Poirot. Your details on the series and movies making me curious to check out all at once. I think more than me, my 11 YO son is going to grab it before me. Thanks, Vasumathi, for sharing this.

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    1. You must read them Archana. Iam sure you will enjoy it. It is quite “clean” as in it doesnt have any violence or sex so your son can read it too …. if he is a voracious reader he will enjoy it. Else maybe give it a couple of years. That said, the narration is timeless and any age group that can understand the plot will enjoy it.

  6. What a lovely post-Vasu, your admiration for Hercule Poirot and Agatha is clearly visible through your words. I am yet to watch the series version, I have been planning to ever since I heard about it, now with this post I got a push 🙂

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  7. Nostalgia! Grew up on Agatha Christie. You have shown how Poirot has impressed you like he has so many other readers around the world. I haven’t watched the series though. Will put it on my watch list now for sure. Thanks for sharing this.

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  8. Your post was such a treat. Poirot does not seem to be 100, one of the few literary characters that have aged well over the years. I still enjoy reading the books, Agatha Christie is timeless.

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  9. sharing it with a friend, who is a huge fan of Agartha Christie. Though I personally never read her work, but now having read your article, I think I would love to give it a try. Love the colour combination of your website.

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  10. As a child and adult, I have loved Agatha Christie’s novels and Hercule Poirot is one of my favorite detectives of all time. His calm, cool demeanor and his mannerisms jsut make the readers fall in love with him. Murder on the Orient Express, Sad Cypress, etc. are all my favorites. And like you, Sherlock is also my favorite too.

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Vasumathi

Vasumathi

Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.