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Book of the Month

Book of the Month The Murder on the Links

31st August 2016

An urgent cry for help brings Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face downwards in a shallow grave on a golf course.

But why is the dead man wearing his son’s overcoat? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse.

Following the success of Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Christie was encouraged to employ him again in her third novel. Similar to The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Christie came up with the plot outline for The Murder on the Links before engaging Poirot as the detective. Christie recalls the plot idea coming from a cause célèbre in France which centered around a tale of masked men breaking into a house, killing the owner and tying up the wife. As the case continued, the wife’s story was disproved and she was accused of making the story up. Christie took inspiration from this, deciding that her story should start with the wife being acquitted of the murder. "A mysterious woman would appear somewhere, having been the heroine of a murder case years ago." Christie set the story in France, making it the first of Poirot's foreign cases.

In An Autobiography, Agatha Christie reflects on writing Murder on the Links as the moment that she was tied not only to detective fiction, but also to Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings.

Did you know?..

Agatha Christie disliked the cover for The Murder on the Links, leading to an agreement that from then on Christie would get approval on all book jackets.

The book dedication reads, ‘To My Husband – a fellow enthusiast for detective stories and to whom I am indebted for much helpful advice and criticism.’

Find out more about The Murder on the Links here.

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