November 7th, 2013


The Labours Of Hercules

The Labours of Hercules is far from being the worst thing Christie ever wrote but the form of the book- twelve lightweight short stories with a thematic connection- makes it an adaptor's nightmare- and it's no puzzle why Suchet and his team should have left it till next to last. In the event they've been bold, not to say high-handed, with their source. They've lost the original frame and nestled a selection of the mysteries (much edited and altered) in a snow-bound alpine hotel (shades of The Mousetrap.) The mood is dark, going on gothic. Poirot is fallible and frail and an old flame reappears to taunt him with the might have been. Given that it's a scissors and paste job, its a strong piece of work- faithful to the spirit if not the letter- which admirably sets the tone for next week's ringing down of the Curtain.