This is a collection of Hercule Poirot stories from 1951 (in the US publication). These are mostly perfectly good stories and of course Poirot is charming as ever. What is mostly clear throughout all of these stories is that Poirot does not lend himself well to stories in general, when compared to the novels. I think this is mostly because he’s not always the center of the novels. His presence is secretive and understated a lot of the time, and then he moves in in swift succession and works the case. It’s hard to have a story that does that. So a lot of these end up being concentrated little novels where his presence in the peripheries is elided. And so the result is a story in a which a crime is described, the initial ideas comes out, the turn happens, and then Poirot solves the actual crime all in about ten pages. And ten pages for Agatha Christie are nothing really.
I think the other issue that comes up with Poirot stories is that his methods, working the case and reaching the impasse where physical evidence and human intention reach a gap that must be crossed is too often crossed here with someone simply confessing when they believe they are found out. So one novel where that happens works, even the occasional repetition too. But a series of stories where it happens a few times in a collection put that into too clear contrast. I think non-Poirot stories work better for her as she explores not the effect of Poirot on people, but on the nature of humanity in general.