Murder on the links

roamingrover86roamingrover86 United Kingdom
edited August 2014 in Ask an expert
IMHO, this is one of the most under-rated book of Christie's . We all talk about her brilliant work in ABC Murders, And Then There were None etc etc but Murder on the links is a proper book it moves along at a nice pace uncomplicated yet mysteriously unknown. The characters are limited & plot well thought of. Granted, you could make a guess & perhaps the murderer is more on the expected lines than in most cases. But I found this book refreshingly simple re-reading it after many years.
What do the in house experts think of it?? How highly do ya rate this book? Discuss please.


  • mike1410mike1410 Franklin, New Zealand
    I think it's better book than a lot of the very late Christie's ('Passenger to Frankfurt' & 'Postern Of Fate' spring immediately to mind!.), and of course it's a VERY important book for Captain Hastings
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Hastings isn't in The Sittaford Mystery
  • AgathasmykidAgathasmykid British Columbia, Canada
    Hi roaming, I most certainly agree with you.  If this site did a poll of AC's most underrated books, I would vote for Links, exactly for the reasons you stated.
  • How interesting that a few members admire this work. I found it a bit ridiculous, but probably I need to read it again to properly appreciate it. The characters seemed far-fetched to me, as they do tend to, I think, in the early novels, before she hit her middle class village dwellers groove, in the late 1930s, 40s, and 50s. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I just found it boring and I got confused a lot, I gave it a 2nd Chance, not a 3rd
  • Same here, Tommy, I am afraid. The villains were too exotic for me. My favourite villain for plausibility is probably the one in The Moving Finger, and I like the one in your favourite - ABC Murders. The setting in The Links didn't come alive for me - not like the one in Dead Man's Folly for instance. I think that with the early novels, AC is experimenting with the Sherlock Holmes/Watson dynamic, and then she later has the confidence to jettison other literary traditions in favour of her own observation of middle class repressions, aspirations and strictures. Links has the Poirot/Hastings duo, and  that slight rambling tale feel about it, (aka Holmes and Father Brown): novel as an adventure, rather than a plot worked tightly around a nucleus of a premise which is to be her later stock in trade. As I've said before, I've wondered if with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd she was toying with the detective/side kick formula, and her frustration with it came out, perhaps unconsciously, in the way she SPOILER ALERT killed off the side kick for good. 
  • luismkluismk Bariloche,Rio Negro, Argentina
    I agree, Griselda; In her early works, A. C. was still in search of her style...
  • Griselda, you present some interesting suggestions in terms of the Sherlock Holmes/sidekick idea, and I also agree with you that she is recognizing the merits of her own potential contributions to the crime fiction genre enough to strike out with her own devices.  I enjoy the book as far as the entertainment factor but it isn't a strong example of her technical skill and creativity.  She hadn't really developed her craft at the time, although the seeds of what would become her signature style are identifiable.  She hadn't learned to cut out all the extraneous detail and to only include what was pertinent.  If you notice, the book is solved and ready to end about three times yet goes on as yet another solution is offered.  This technique is overhauled in later books to become the expected scene in which Poirot accuses several characters and then clears them.
  • How very true, Madame Doyle. I had not really noted the nearly ending, and then carrying on, but you are right, and that description accounts for it exactly. I think that in The Affair at Styles, and the spy- type- caper- books, AC is occupied by thoughts of otherness, and what is exotic or different. In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, you get the homely crime, the everyday worries, and she shows her knack for imagining  exactly what characters would say under pressure: I'm thinking of the capable housekeeper, and SPOILER ALERT, her son. The characters are nicely brought to life, with intelligent insight into what drives them. Poirot too is human, unwilling to accept the true solution, but guided by his passion for truth and justice. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I liked the fact Hastings was in it but SPOILER ALERT!!! as his soon-to be wife doesn't turn up again I think the Creation of her was not a well thought out idea, The Daughter who appears in Curtain could quite easily have been a Ward without Ruining Curtain
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