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:
- 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.
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.
- Three Act Tragedy
- Death In The Clouds
- Elephants Can Remember
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.
- The Mystery Of The Blue Train
- Appointment With Death
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.
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.
- 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.
- Hickory Dickory Dock
- Dead Man’s Folly
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…
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…
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…