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The Labours of Hercules (Hercule Poirot #26)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  8,569 ratings  ·  285 reviews
In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet—reasoned the detective—like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters.

So, in the period leading up to his retirement, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed 'Labours'. Each would go down n the annals of crime as a h
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ebook, 100 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1947)
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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.
Laurel Young
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
Michael
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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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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Almeta
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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Richa
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.
Ellen
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
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
Sammy
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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Doris
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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Tom
Sep 16, 2012 Tom rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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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David
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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Troy Blackford
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
Evil Genius
Reading this was the 13th Labor of Hercules. The latter half of the book had some funny moments though.
Vipula
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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Library-KAT
M. Hercule Poirot is sitting in conversation w/ Dr. Burton and they are discussing names. Dr. Burton mentions that M. Poirot does not seem to "fit" his name but M. Poirot assures the Dr. that he, Hercule Poirot, is indeed of great mental & detecting strenght. In order to prove that he is indeed capable of living up to his name, M. Poirot takes on twelve feats of detective work that correspond to the twelve labors of Hercules:

The Nemean Lion: There is a series of dognappings, in the form of P
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Aries

Un giorno l'impareggiabile Hercule Poirot apprende che un eroe della mitologia classica ha avuto l'impertinenza non soltanto di chiamarsi come lui, Poirot, ma di compiere imprese che un amabile professore universitario sembra giudicare superiori a quelle compiute da lui.
Ma chi è mai questo mitico Ercole se non un omone tutto muscoli, privo di eleganza, buone maniere, e soprattutto degli ineguagliabili baffetti di Poirot? E come paragonare le imprese di Hercule, frutto dell'impeccabile funzionam

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Andrea Ika
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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Jennifer
I love short stories by Agatha Christie. While I enjoy her full length books, she tended to be pretty loose with Poirot's Belgian language which is confusing to this ignorant American. It's French, right? The short stories give me all the mystery I crave without trying to decipher what phrases such as a bientot and depechez vous mean. Most of the stories were entertaining, but a few you could really tell the outcome a well before the story ended.
Antonio Rosato
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
Nanny SA

Ketemu lagi dengan Hercule Poirot...:)
Buku ini berisi kumpulan cerita pendek tentang petualangan Hercule Poirot dalam memecahkan masalah menjelang masa pensiun sebagai detektif.
M Poirot (seperti biasanya :D) berencana untuk memasuki masa pensiun. Ketika sedang memperbincangkan tentang masa pensiunnya dengan seorang teman lama yaitu Dr. Burton, tiba-tiba Dr. Burton menanyakan kenapa ayahnya memberi nama Hercule, menurut dia Hercule Poirot sama sekali tidak mirip dengan Hercules dalam cerita klasi
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Tiina
This collection of short stories is not Christie's best work, definitely not, but it is enjoyable enough and easy to read. I appreciated the wide variety of cases Poirot investigates: this book is not just about murders but also about a lost dog, a called-off engagement, a stolen cup, a cocaine league, and a religious cult.

However, I think the stories were too short: I never had time to form any sort of ideas about or feelings for any characters, which made the results seem flat. I also disliked
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Steve Chaput
The great Belgian detective is nearing a self-imposed retirement from active cases, but feels that he wishes to end his career with a number of cases that (at least to him) are similar to the twelve labors of the original Hercules. Ranging from dog-napping to a missing persons case to jewelry theft and drug dealing, Poirot allows his little grey cells (with the assistance of returning characters like Detective Inspector Japp and the ever helpful George, among others) to conclude each of these la ...more
M.C. Dulac
Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot, is the opposite of the brawny Hercules of Greek mythology, for whom he was named. Facing retirement, Poirot nevertheless sets himself a challenge - to find twelve cases that mirror the legendary twelve labours of Hercules. Poirot, and us, are in for a treat, as Christie imaginatively updates the myths. The Lernean Hydra, the many headed beast, appears in the modern world as the tongues of vicious gossip, the horse of Diomedes that feed on human flesh ...more
Amanda Jaczkowski
I'll just start off by saying that I love Agatha Christie. This particular book was a series of twelve short mysteries, making it a fast paced and easy read. There was not a lot of depth, but her writing style is uncanny.

I was surprised to have multiple references to India, including a servant named Abdul, multiple references to "henna dyed hair", and at least one dropping of the word "wallah".

This brings me to a side-bar. How much of books do we just pass over and not understand? How many peo
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Γιώργος




"The Labours of Hercules... Mais oui, c' est une idée, ça"

I find Christie's idea of great ingenuity. Hercule Poirot, the Belgian neat detective, takes on twelve cases that resemble the Labours of Hercules, his great predecessor, but they are modernised. I must admit that the idea was good but the stories themselves were fairly "queer" because there was no time for the case to be developed and, as a result, the end was very strange for the reader. Nevertheless, it is a rather good collection of
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Sharla
Last week I watched the BBC movie “The Labours of Hercules.” I had never read the book, which consists of a collection of short stories. After seeing the movie I wanted to read the book and I finished it last night. The stories deal with some unusual circumstances and cases, which are themed according to the classical literature featuring the Greek divine hero, Hercules. I enjoyed the stories but am in complete admiration of whoever pulled a few of them together to form the narrative for the mov ...more
Liberty
Really excellent stories, with good twists (though after reading a dozen or so Christie's one gets to figure out that if you are sympathetic to the character or if they are the most unsuspecting in personality, they are most likely the criminal). Each of the stories are fairly fresh and very interesting. Poirot's analysis of the ancient Greeks at the beginning of the book was definitely one of my favorite parts though, -quite hilarious in fact- as he puts them down in his very Hercule Poirotian ...more
Yoana
Probably because they're so short and there's no room for a well-rounded development of mysteries, but I saw most of them coming and so didn't enjoy them that much.
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Agatha Christie L...: July 2014 - The Labours of Hercules 19 102 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 Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
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More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 43 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)
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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