The Big Four

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A mastermind, a millionaire, a scientist and a destroyer – four master criminals pit their wits against Poirot in a bid for world domination.

"'Number Four' remains a mystery almost to the end. This, of course, makes it more difficult for the detective to guard against attack and to carry on his investigation, and it provides most of the thrills of the story."

The New York Times Book Review, 1927


About this story

First released

January 1924 (serialised in The Sketch, UK)

Genre

  • Detective, 
  • Espionage, 
  • Thriller

Formats

  • Novel, 
  • TV, 
  • Graphic Novel

Recurring characters

  • Poirot, 
  • Chief Inspector Japp, 
  • Hastings

Murder methods

Poirot enters the world of international espionage in this novel created from a reworked collection of short stories. The original stories were published in 1924 and it was in 1926 that Agatha Christie, in need of a new book, gathered them together with the help of her brother-in-law and submitted them to her publisher.

It was finally published in 1927 but Christie was never truly satisfied with the novel and considered it among her least favourites, referring to it as “that rotten book”. Critics were similarly dubious about the new offering, concluding that she was not at her best, especially ...

Read more

Poirot enters the world of international espionage in this novel created from a reworked collection of short stories. The original stories were published in 1924 and it was in 1926 that Agatha Christie, in need of a new book, gathered them together with the help of her brother-in-law and submitted them to her publisher.

It was finally published in 1927 but Christie was never truly satisfied with the novel and considered it among her least favourites, referring to it as “that rotten book”. Critics were similarly dubious about the new offering, concluding that she was not at her best, especially in light of the previous year’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, certainly a tough act to follow.

The story became a graphic novel in 2006, illustrated by Alain Paillou, and published in France. It was translated and published in English in the UK in 2007.

In 2013 The Big Four was adapted as part of the final series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, which starred David Suchet and featured the return of Hastings (Hugh Fraser), Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) and added Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran), all played by the original actors. This was their reunion, as the supporting characters hadn’t been featured in the series for almost ten years.



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