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The Labors of Hercules (Hercule Poirot #26)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  11,315 Ratings  ·  421 Reviews
What do a lost Pekinese, a reputation poisoned by gossip, a man spiraling into madness, and a Russian countess in love have in common? Hercule Poirot.
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published February 16th 1993 by Putnam Adult (first published 1947)
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Laurel Young
Apr 20, 2011 Laurel Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all Agatha Christie's collections of stories featuring the great Hercule Poirot, this is the one of which the man himself would most approve. It has the order and method, to be sure! A perfect dozen cases, updating the Labours of Hercules for the modern world (well, the 1947 world). The stories have a certain inevitability to them--it would be a shame to name a character Hercule and NOT do something with the classical allusion. The format is both the collection's greatest strength and its wea ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Twelve Hercule Poirot short stories, framed by the device of having each story relate to one of the labours of Hercules. Some of them are a bit of a stretch, like the Nemean lion being kidnapped Pekingese dogs. I read this once and found it utterly forgettable. Someone recently requested it from me on PaperbackSwap, and I read the first few stories again before sending it off. I wasn't interested enough to read them all.

2.5 stars. For Poirot completists only.
Michael
Mar 22, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2011
While I respect Agatha Christie for her contributions to the mystery genre, I have to admit I'm not necessarily a big fan of much of her work.

I've liked a good deal of what I've read, but for the most part little of it seems to end up on my list of favorite mystery stories or she on my list of favorite mystery writers.

But every once in a while, I'll admit something about a Christie mystery or story captures my attention and I'm inclined to pick it up. In this case, it's the hook for this collect
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Moonlight Reader
I am admittedly not a short story reader. I have now, however, read every last Hercule Poirot and the vast majority of the rest of the Christie full-length canon, so I have no choice but to dip into Agatha's short stories.

I listened to this as an audiobook, and it was delightful. The stories are loosely linked with a theme, and there is one character - Amy Carnaby - who shows up in two of the stories. I loved Amy Carnaby and I dearly wish that Christie had given her a book or two. I actually pre
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Obsidian
Many long time Christie fans know that Hercule would go on and on about retiring (at least it felt like it) well in this collection we have Hercule talking about going into retirement and growing the perfect vegetable marrow. This makes me think that the events in this collection all occur before the events in "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd." Poirot's conversation with his friend, Dr. Burton leads into the Greek hero named Hercules and his 12 labors that he undertook. What did make me laugh was Po ...more
Almeta
Dec 19, 2011 Almeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dying2read
Just finished The Labours of Hercules the 26th volume of Hercule Poirot adventures.

The premise is that Hercule has made a pact with himself to take on only twelve more cases before he retires to take up gardening. Not just any case but one that simulates the twelve labors of the Greek hero Hercules... not by brute strength but by the little gray cells!

So twelve entertaining short stories follow.

Obviously Hercule did not retire at volume 26, for there are a total of 41 volumes under Poirot's mon
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Dion Yulianto
Feb 27, 2012 Dion Yulianto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ada saatnya ketika kita tidak perlu berhemat," kata Poirot. (hlm. 445)

"Benar sekali, saat di obralan buku misalnya," tambah saya.

Dan, Hercule Poirot selalu benar.
Laura Verret
Hercule Poirot does not underestimate his abilities. No, no – he is the best. And while he does not resemble that powerful demi-god, Hercules, he thinks that his brain, it is no less inferior than Hercules’ body. In fact, he is capable of achieving his own labour of Hercules!

The Stories.

The Nemean Lion. Hercule Poirot is outraged, insulted. Miss Lemon has suggested that he investigate the kidnapping of a Pekinese dog. How utterly beneath him! And yet, when he reads the owner’s letter, it is int
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Brooklyn Tayla
I really really loved this! Taking the form of 12 short stories, Agatha Christie's beloved Belgian endeavours to find 12 cases - special cases that strike resemblances to Poirot's own namesake, Hercules.

These stories also mark appearances of not only the always faithful Georges (Poirot's valet), but Miss Lemon and Chief Inspector Japp, and Countess Vera Rosakoff appeared in a few of these stories. (I really don't like her- though I guess that's just the jealous fangirl in me talking).

But anyway
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Katheryn Thompson
When a Classicist comments on the peculiarity of Hercule Poirot's name, given how little he resembles Hercules, Poirot sets out to prove him wrong, choosing twelve final cases before his retirement based on the twelve labours of Hercules.
Reading Classics and English at university, I naturally love the concept. Although the rigid structure and the shortness of the stories means that the cases aren't overly complicated, they are all interesting in their own right as well as within the overall prem
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Annerlee
The book is a series of short episodes that echo the labours of Poirot's classical namesake, Hercules.

Poirot is completely switched on, even when solving 'lesser' crimes to do with drug dealing, theft, blackmail in addition to murder and attempted murder.

I prefer the more developed mysteries in Christie's other novels, but I still found each episode highly ingenious and Poirot as charming as ever.
Richa
Mar 10, 2015 Richa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is among the better works in the Poirot series. The 1st chapter or the Forward, introduces the premise, which immediately got me hooked. Very different concept.
Congratulations to Agatha Christie for convincingly giving practical instances, explaining the allegory in the 12 labours of Hercules!
She has grasped the crux of it and has beautifully narrated the 12 stories to show how the labours weren't really insane or fantastical.
Elsa K
Feb 02, 2016 Elsa K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie or mystery fans
Sometimes I read Agatha Christie books as fillers between other books. They always come through to amuse. This book was different as it was 12 short stories instead of one narrative. This made it nice as light reading during the holidays. I haven't read an Agatha Christie I didn't like!
Nurseto
Butuh waktu yang lama untuk menyelesaikan buku ini,bukan karena jelek tapi karena mood baca saya akhir-akhir ini kurang bagus dan kesibukan kerja(nonton anime winter season haha)

sebenarnya saya mau kasih bintang 4,tapi karena ada cerita yang saya skip katena ga paham(mengandung soal politik).tapi selain itu ceritanya cukup menarik-menarik.

ini juga menjadi buku agatha christiku yang terakhir yang sementara saya koleksi,jadi hatjs mulai mencari lagi buku-buku tante agatha yang lain.
Alex
Apr 23, 2017 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read but I loved every single little story in this collection! The connections to the Labours of Hercules were so clever and the characters intriguing!!
Bev
In the Labors of Hercules (1947), Hercule Poirot is visited by his friend Dr. Burton who winds up remarking upon Poirot's unusual given name and is aghast when he finds that the detective has never read the classical stories about Hercules. When the talk moves on to Poirot's intended retirement, a comparison comes up between him and the twelve labors of Hercules. Poirot is interested and has Miss Lemon get him books on the classic hero. At first he is appalled by this hero--"Take this Hercules-- ...more
Troy Blackford
Mar 26, 2012 Troy Blackford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be the most adroit 'themed' short story collection I have yet encountered. The 'skeleton' of this book is this - Hercule Poirot decides to undertake 12 cases that have some analog in the 12 'labors' of his classical namesake, Hercules. Suffice to say, all manner of witty and puzzling engagements follow. The genius Ms. Christie displays in making allegorical connections between the classical - and mostly physical - 'labors' of the famous historical strongman are paralleled via equally ...more
Damaskcat
Jan 27, 2017 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of twelve short stories featuring Hercule Poirot. Leading up to his retirement he decides to select twelve last cases which must bear a resemblance to the twelve labours of Hercules. These are really cleverly done and each story is similar to one of the labours of Hercules.

I particularly liked The Nemean Lion which is about Pekingese dogs - and The Augeam Stables. All the short stories in this collection are cleverly plotted and show Christie at her ingenious best. There ar
...more
Ardy Damar
Nov 01, 2015 Ardy Damar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Apakah anda sudah menikah m. Poirot?"
"Ahh" kata porot "saya belum memperoleh kebahagiaan itu."

Ego tinggi hercule poirot terusik ketika dirinya tidak dianggap mirip dengan salah satu mitologi yunani hercules. Setelah melakukan riset tentang sastra yunani klasik poirot memutuskan untuk melakukan 12 tugas hercules versi dirinya yg kekinian (pada masanya poirot).
Dari singa nemea sampai penangkapan cerberus poirot menunjukkan kempuan sel-sel kelabunya dengan gemilang.
Poirot memang pantas sombong.

Smp
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Julie Davis
Sep 19, 2015 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hercule Poirot, on the brink of retirement, decides to take twelve final cases which will correspond to the twelve labors of Hercules. The way Agatha Christie links the mysteries in these short stories to the classical labors of Hercules is both charming and clever. I thoroughly enjoyed this set of short stories. It doesn't quite reach the heights of The Mysterious Mr. Quin, but it isn't far off.
E.A. Lawrence
Apr 03, 2012 E.A. Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a sign that I'm not especially enjoying the other books I'm reading that I've managed to finish several Agatha Christies without making significant forward progress on the others. What can I say? Poirot never disappoints
Tom
Sep 16, 2012 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christie fans, mystery fans, Christie completists
A fun collection of twelve mini-mysteries with one common theme. Poirot considers him a modern Hercules, in the sense that he and his namesake both dedicate their lives to the removal of certain pests. So Poirot decided that these, the last cases before his retirement, should have some metaphorical connection to the original 12 Labours of Hercules. Some stories were better crafted than others but they all had that twist in the tail that Christie is famous for.

The Nemean Lion: The case of a missi
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Sammy
Oct 02, 2010 Sammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Poirot commits himself to retirement – once he has solved 12 cases which resemble the famed 12 labours of Hercules.

Is there a more unusual book in the Christie canon? "The Labours" are some of the last short stories Christie wrote (possibly the last?) and she brings a consummate skill – in both prose and construction – that wasn’t always present in the early days. Without Hastings, or indeed any narrator, we get to see Poirot at his most arrogant. It’s pleasant that Christie would let her charac
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Istiningdyah
Tugas-Tugas Hercules adalah kumpulan 12 kasus-kasus terakhir Poirot. Pada bagian pengantar buku ini, Poirot asik berbincang dengan temannya mengenai namanya yang tidak umum. Pembicaraan tersebut kemudian berujung dengan Poirot memutuskan untuk menyelesaikan 12 kasus khusus sebagai penutup karirnya. Kasus-kasus tersebut haruslah merepresentasikan 12 tugas Hercules yang ada pada mitologi Yunani.
Tugas pertama Hercules adalah membunuh singa Nemea yang konon memiliki kulit tebal dan tidak dapat ditem
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David
Jul 12, 2007 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It must be said. I am not a great fan of Poirot, who is nothing but a collection of idiosyncratic tics, in my opinion, and does not even approximate a flesh-and-blood person. Though, oddly, I like the David Suchet TV portrayal, but it's more for the furnishings than the characters. My lack of enthusiasm for Sherlock Holmes probably stems from the same feeling - a walking bunch of mannerisms, not really assembled into much of a human being.

That doesn't prevent some of the stories involving these
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Andrea Ika
Feb 16, 2014 Andrea Ika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: The Labours of Hercules

Agatha Christie



My rating 5 stars

Blurb
Someone suggests that people should be careful when it comes to giving names to thier children, here Hercule Poirot realeses the resemblence of his name to this of Hercules. Then a thought comes to his head: There should be, once again, THE LABOURS OF HERCULES.. in a modern way, before his final retirement.

My opinion
I enjoyed this book especially because it contains shorter murder mysteries with Hercule Poirot that are real
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Doris
Oct 05, 2009 Doris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poirot is not one of my favorite characters - he tends towards the stilted, and is a bit of a prig even for the days when this was written.

Likewise, I have never been particularly fond of Christie, and this set of tales reminded me of why. I like a story which works its way to a conclusion, inviting the reader along with a subtle touch, allowing said reader to say "Aha! I know who did it and why" even as the story's detective comes to the same conclusions.

These stories don't do that for the mo
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Antonio Rosato
Mar 25, 2015 Antonio Rosato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avevo già letto un altro libro di Agatha Christie con le avventure di Hercule Poirot e ne ero rimasto abbastanza deluso. Questo libro, invece, mi ha completamente preso ed affascinato... tanto da averlo letto in un colpo solo (nel corso di un'intera notte). Qui non abbiamo solo un'avventura dell'affabile detective ma diversi racconti che lo vedono protagonista, uniti tutti da una caratteristica abbastanza singolare e curiosa: Poirot, per farla breve, prima di ritirarsi cerca di rifare le dodici ...more
Vipula
Dec 15, 2012 Vipula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Labors of Hercules is a set of short stories with some really good mind-twisters. It's fun to try to solve the puzzles along with Hercule Poirot as he tries to complete the 12 labors as per his namesake Hercules.

I think I have finally reached a point where I am outgrowing AC novels. There is a marked difference in the quality of writing between Poirot and non-Poirot stories. I just read The Mirror Cracked which was actually a good mystery but not well written. I found it so tiring to get thr
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Simona Bartolotta
Apr 24, 2011 Simona Bartolotta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, collections
Non c'è nessuno intelligente come Hercule Poirot. Amen. Ripetere ad libitum.

Ho preso il libro non sapendo che i dodici racconti facessero riferimento alle vere fatiche di Ercole. Essendo sempre stata appassionata di mitologia [scrissi pure una tesina sull'argomento non molto tempo fa] è stata una piacevolissima sorpresa scoprire che erano davvero le dodici fatiche di Ercole, narrate in maniera moderna e sotto forma di racconto giallo.
Solo che stavolta il nostro eroe non è il semidio Ercole, ma
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Agatha Christie L...: July 2014 - The Labours of Hercules 18 109 Jul 13, 2015 12:51PM  
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123715
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
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More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 40 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

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“Never do anything yourself that others can do for you.” 456 likes
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