March 2022 Update: So once again some of the stories were great and some were not. I am still more puzzled now more than anything on the whole “The Adventure of the Cheap Flat” and some of the other stories. The only stories I really enjoyed were “The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor”, “The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim”, and “The Chocolate Box.”
I really thought this stories as a whole were way too short to get that engrossed in. I found most of them to be merely okay. There was only one that I thought was good. I did have to give it 3 stars though since we have Hastings as our narrator for all of the stories. I do miss Hastings when he is not present in Poirot books. Poirot solo is beyond aggravating. He needs Hastings there to blunder along to be superior to to show off his gray cells.
“The Adventure of the Western Star” (3 stars)-Poirot and Hastings are called in to keep a woman’s most expensive jewel from being stolen from a Chinamen (yeah you read that right). The whole reveal in this story didn’t make a lot of sense to me and I had a hard time with Poirot coming out the winner here when he is given facts that Hastings was not.
“The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor” (5 stars)-The main reason why I had to give this one 5 stars was that honestly I thought it was quite an ingenious way the person behind the murder did this. Apparently the rule is not to be too trusting of others when you have a rifle near you. I do have to say that once again I thought that how Poirot put things together was a bit much though.
“The Adventure of the Cheap Flat” (2 stars)-I liked the BBC version of this story better. It somehow made less sense written.
“The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge” (2 stars)-This was a weird case. We have Hastings investigating with Japp when Poirot is down and out with flu. I don’t know why he just doesn’t tell all to capture the bad guys instead of providing notes with no context to Hastings. This is one of the rare cases where the bad guys get away with it, but karma eventually wins out.
“The Million Dollar Bond Robbery” (3 stars)-A clever case of who stole some bonds. I do have to say though that I still don’t get how Poirot was able to figure this one out. It was a stretch for me.
“The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb” (1 star)-Nope. Seriously. Once again a far-fetched reason for the murder and it is missing Christie’s attention to detail when the action moves to another country and city. Very disappointing.
“The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan” (1 star)-I honestly skimmed this one. I had to. It was so boring. And the reason why Poirot caught the bad guy (their shoes) made me roll my eyes.
“The Kidnapped Prime Minister” (3 stars)-I found that most of these short stories are really Poirot just explaining to Hastings why he’s stupid. Seriously.
“The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim” (4 stars)-I have to say the reason behind the disappearance doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I just thought the whole story was quite clever. I enjoyed the BBC television episode of this one too.
“The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman” (1 star)-I can’t remember this story at all. My re-read was this wasn’t that great still.
“The Case of the Missing Will” (3 stars)-I did call BS on the woman in this story hiring Poirot to find out where the missing will her uncle hid from her. He expected her to figure out in order to show that her choice of education was correct in order to inherit his estate. She hires Poirot who figures things out and she wins. I didn’t blame Hastings for not feeling okay about things.
“The Veiled Lady” (2 stars)-A case of the wrong shoes.
“The Lost Mine” (2 stars)-Reading about how Poirot came to own shares in a mine. It was boring.
“The Chocolate Box” (4 stars)-You read about a case that Poirot solved, but was wrong about who the murderer was. I would have enjoyed this collection more if we had Poirot recounting older cases of his to Hastings and showing that Poirot was not the smartest person around. He made mistakes, as he did in this one.