19 votes
Accepted

Customs at Calais in “The Mystery of the Blue Train”

In the 1920s, travellers on the Calais–Méditerranée express checked in their luggage at the departure station (for example, Victoria in London) and this was “registered through” to the destination ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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16 votes

Definition of "Victorian vandal"

This is a reference to a particular enthusiasm in Victorian times for "restoring" churches and other religious buildings. In some cases, this was a due to a desire to modernise them and ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

Did Poirot fabricate a fingerprint in "The ABC Murders"?

Poirot lied about fingerprints being found, in order to provoke the culprit into a confession. He did not fake any physical evidence. When he says "I put that part in for you", or in the ...
alexg's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

What is the source of this poem/song Captain Hastings quotes in Agatha Christie's "The Market Basing Mystery"?

"The Rabbit" is a poem by Lord Alfred Douglas, first published in the June 10, 1896 issue of a weekly called The Sketch (No. 176, vol. XIV, p. 264). The poem was reprinted in an 1898 ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 4,170
11 votes
Accepted

Definition of "Victorian vandal"

Imagine you have an old house (or other building). It has a number of distinctive features - perhaps its windows are an unusual shape, or very large or small compared to how windows are now. Perhaps ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
8 votes

How old was Hercule Poirot?

According to the Wikipedia page on Hercule Poirot and based on quotations from Curtain, Poirot died in October 1949, thirty-three years after he first met Captain Hastings in June 1916. (He wasn't ...
Gaurav's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Is there any merit to reading the Poirot novels in order?

There's no need to read the Poirot books in any particular order. Agatha Christie has rewritten a few of the early Poirot short stories (see list) from the book Poirot's Early Cases (1923) and The ...
b_jonas's user avatar
  • 1,770
5 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "The first rocket flamed to Heaven"?

They're watching fireworks. A few paragraphs earlier we have the sentence: "‘It’s warm,’ said Nick. ‘It’ll be nice when we’re watching the fireworks.‘" From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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4 votes

To what extent did Agatha Christie base Captain Hastings on Dr. Watson?

Whether Agatha Christie intentionally copied Watson in Hastings or not, he is an example of a necessity for a successful mystery writer: To fully engage a reader, generally one has to not just ...
Roy's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes

Which Agatha Christie book was this adaption with an Irish woman committing suicide based on?

As ShreevatsaR said: The phrase you heard is Erin go Bragh, said by Irish Freedom sympathisers who kidnapped the Prime Minister. The short story and the episode both go by the name: The Kidnapped ...
Mirte's user avatar
  • 2,943
1 vote

Is Hercule Poirot religious?

This answer is largely based on the Movies & TV post which user1964 linked in a comment. Yes, Poirot was a religious Catholic. In the story Murder in Mesopotamia (Internet Archive link), he ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
1 vote

How old was Hercule Poirot?

TL;DR: It is not possible to put together a consistent biography of Poirot that includes all the stories. Chronology Precise dates are very rare in the Poirot corpus, and there are few references to ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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