Hercule Poirot: A Travel Timeline

The 1920s

Thumbnail The French Riviera
The French Riviera, where Poirot is travelling to in The Mystery of the Blue Train

Since he was forced to flee Belgium as a refugee in WWI and escape to England, Poirot has been continuously on the move. Left without a home due to the war, he gratefully accepted the sponsorship of Mrs. Emily Inglethorp in The Mysterious Affair at Styles and stayed in Essex. After the war, he chose to remain in England and settled in London, but he travelled regularly for cases. In The Murder on the Links, he investigated a pair of mysterious stabbings in France. Many of his short mysteries had him visiting diverse locations. He returned to Essex for the ‘Marsdon Manor’ case, visited northern Africa for ‘Egyptian Tomb,’ recovered stolen pearls in Brighton during the events of ‘Jewel Robbery,’ and crossed the English Channel again to Boulogne-sur-Mer in France to rescue ‘The Kidnapped Prime Minister.’ ‘Double Sin’ featured a visit to Devon, and he travelled to the titular town in ‘Market Basing’ to catch a poisoner. He sailed to Alexandria, Egypt in ‘Problem at Sea,’ and visited the Greek islands in ‘Triangle at Rhodes.’

He briefly retired to the seemingly quiet village of King’s Abbot in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd to grow vegetables. His attempt to bring down the supervillains The Big Four took him to France and the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. In The Mystery of the Blue Train he journeyed to the French Riviera (no expense spared, naturellement).

The 1930s

Inline Poirot Travel Istanbul
Illustrated by Bob Al-Greene, creator of Murder of the Orient Express: The Graphic Novel

In the 1930s Poirot travelled frequently for pleasure, only to find murder wherever he went. He solved the case of a poisoned scientist in Surrey in Black Coffee, and when he took a holiday in St. Loo in Cornwall in Peril at End House, he investigated a series of attempts on the life of a charming young woman. In Murder on the Orient Express, he visited Syria on a case, and on his way home, he stopped in Istanbul and then took the title train westward. Three Act Tragedy had him visiting Cornwall, Monte Carlo, and Yorkshire to solve a triple poisoning. Death on the Clouds’ investigation took him to Paris. The hunt for a serial killer in The ABC Murders took him to the English towns of Andover, Bexhill, and Churston, and Doncaster, with help from the Alphabetical Railway Guide.

He would return to the Middle East frequently, going to Iraq for an archaeological dig in Murder in Mesopotamia. After a brief trip to Berkshire in Dumb Witness, he’d make another trip to Egypt in Death on the Nile before going to Jerusalem (Israel) and Petra (Jordan) in Appointment with Death.

The 1940s

Outset Five Little Pigs
Cover illustration of Five Little Pigs by Becky Bettesworth

During the Second World War, Poirot stayed mostly in England, visiting the fictional town of Maidensford (south of London) in Sad Cypress. He travelled to Devon in Evil Under the Sun, Five Little Pigs, and The Hollow. After the war, he’d go to the Berkshire town of Market Loughborough to clear the name of a doctor accused of poisoning his wife in ‘The Lernaean Hydra.’ In Switzerland, he tracked down a missing woman and caught a multiple murder in ‘Arcadian Deer’ and ‘Erymanthian Boar’.

‘Stymphalean Birds’ took him to the fictional central European nation of Herzoslovakia (which features prominently in The Secret of Chimneys), and he made another trip to Devon for ‘The Flock of Geryon’ before retrieving a missing chalice in ‘The Apples of the Hesperides’. Taken at the Flood had Poirot visiting an impoverished family in the country village of Warmsley Vale.

The 1950s

Outset Greenway
Greenway House, Devon, which served as the setting for Dead Man's Folly, Image © The National Trust

Poirot did not leave England much during this decade, travelling to Broadhinny to save a wrongly convicted man in Mrs. McGinty’s Dead. Solving a murder game gone wrong returned him to Devon in Dead Man’s Folly, and he visited a prestigious English boarding school for girls in Cat Among the Pigeons.

The 1960s and 1970s

Inline Poirot Travel The Alps
Illustrated by Bob Al-Greene, creator of Murder of the Orient Express: The Graphic Novel

Poirot has fewer recorded cases during this time, but he spent two memorable holidays in an unspecified portion of the countryside in 'The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding' and the village of Woodleigh Common in Hallowe’en Party. In order to determine the truth behind a supposed murder-suicide in Elephants Can Remember, Poirot travelled to Lausanne, Switzerland to interview a witness. An ailing Poirot convalesced in Egypt shortly before the events of Curtain, before returning to Styles in Essex to solve his final case.

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