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The Labours of Hercules

Author: Agatha Christie

The best-selling fiction writer of all time, Dame Agatha Christie is known for her many detective novels, especially those starring Hercule Poirot. The Labours of Hercules is a collection of short stories following Poirot as he takes on twelve final cases before retirement. He decides to base these cases on the twelve labours of Hercules, proving himself as the Hercules needed for the modern day, emphasising brains over brawn. As with any of Christie’s work, the Labours feature an array of fascinating characters and intriguing mysteries, and of course the genius of Poirot.

These short stories follow the original myths with varying degrees of accuracy. Some have only the most tentative of connections, using a metaphorical link of Poirot’s own choosing, while some have an almost absurd degree of coincidental similarity, with characters and crimes playing reflections of the original labours. At no point does Christie claim to be accurately retelling the myth of Hercules, she makes it clear that these are Poirot’s labours, simply inspired by the mythology.

This collection is ideal for any fans of Christie hoping to get into classics, or any fans of classics hoping to get into Christie. A knowledge of the original myths is not necessary to understand this book, however it may enhance the enjoyment of it. Twelve short stories perfectly showcasing Christies famous descriptions and dialogue, captivating and with a classical twist, this collection is an underrated combination of two legendary stories.

Accuracy: 4/5

Entertainment: 3.5/5