112 pages 3 hours read

Agatha Christie

The ABC Murders

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1936

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Character Analysis

Hercule Poirot

Poirot is a semi-retired private detective, who came to England as a refugee from Belgium during World War I. He had acquired some fame as a police officer and by the time of the ABC Murders he is nationally and internationally renowned for his crime-solving skills. Poirot is fastidious about his personal appearance, and particularly proud of his luxurious mustaches. Hastings notes that he was “inordinately proud” of them (2). Poirot is not remotely modest about his intellectual prowess, and frequently references the power of his “little grey cells” as his greatest attribute (3). He is frequently frustrated with law enforcement and solves the crimes the British police cannot— a fact Franklin Clarke references in the ABC letters.

Poirot is a confirmed bachelor, with a wide array of friends and acquaintances. His friendship with Hastings is perhaps the longest of his life, as they met prior to his settling in England. Poirot frequently chides his friend for his less sophisticated outlook. Poirot may be content in England, but he retains much of his home culture; he frequently interjects in French, affectionately referring to Hastings as “mon ami” (my friend), and never translates his utterances for anyone, though he sometimes requests assistance with English idioms.