Poirot Investigates is a short story collection written by English author Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by The Bodley Head in March 1924. In the eleven stories, famed eccentric detective Hercule Poirot solves a variety of mysteries involving greed, jealousy, and revenge. The American version of this book, published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1925. The UK first edition featured an illustration of Poirot on the dust jacket by W. Smithson Broadhead, reprinted from the 21 March 1923 issue of The Sketch magazine.
The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6) while the 1925 US edition was $2.00.
The American edition of the book, published one year later, featured an additional three stories which did not appear in book form in the UK until 1974 with the publication of Poirot’s Early Cases.
- The Chocolate Box
- The Veiled Lady
- The Lost Mine
- 1924, John Lane (The Bodley Head), March 1924, Hardcover, 310 pp
- 1925, Dodd Mead and Company (New York), 1925, Hardcover, 282 pp
- 1928, John Lane (The Bodley Head), March 1928, Hardcover (Cheap edition – two shillings)
- 1931, John Lane (The Bodley Head, February 1931), As part of the An Agatha Christie Omnibus along with The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder on the Links, Hardback (Priced at seven shillings and sixpence; a cheaper edition at five shillings was published in October 1932)
- 1943, Dodd Mead and Company, As part of the Triple Threat along with Partners in Crime and The Mysterious Mr Quin), Hardback
- 1955, Pan Books, Paperback (Pan number 326) 192 pp
- 1956, Avon Books (New York), Avon number 716, Paperback
- 1958, Pan Books, Paperback (Great Pan G139)
- 1961, Bantam Books, Paperback, 198 pp
First publication of stories
All of the stories were first published, unillustrated, in the UK in The Sketch magazine. Christie wrote them following a suggestion from its editor, Bruce Ingram, who had been impressed with the character of Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The stories first appeared in The Sketch as follows:
- The Adventure of “The Western Star” – 11 April 1923, Issue 1576
- The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor – 18 April 1923, Issue 1577
- The Adventure of the Cheap Flat – 9 May 1923, Issue 1580
- The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge – 16 May 1923, Issue 1581
- The Million Dollar Bond Robbery – 2 May 1923, Issue 1579
- The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb – 26 September 1923, Issue 1600
- The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan – 14 March 1923, Issue 1572 (under the title The Curious Disappearance of the Opalsen Pearls)
- The Kidnapped Prime Minister – 25 April 1923, Issue 1578
- The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim – 28 March 1923, Issue 1574
- The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman – 24 October 1923, Issue 1604
- The Case of the Missing Will – 31 October 1923, Issue 1605
In the US, all of the stories first appeared in the monthly Blue Book Magazine. Each story carried a small, uncredited illustration. The publication order was as follows:
- The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan – October 1923, Volume 37, Number 6 (under the title Mrs Opalsen’s Pearls)
- The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim – December 1923, Volume 38, Number 2 (under the title Mr Davenby Disappears – the character’s name was changed throughout this original magazine publication)
- The Adventure of The Western Star – February 1924, Volume 38, Number 4 (under the title The Western Star)
- The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor – March 1924, Volume 38, Number 5 (under the title The Marsdon Manor Tragedy)
- The Million Dollar Bond Robbery – April 1924, Volume 38, Number 6 (under the title The Great Bond Robbery)
- The Adventure of the Cheap Flat – May 1924, Volume 39, Number 1
- The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge – June 1924, Volume 39, Number 2 (under the title The Hunter’s Lodge Case)
- The Kidnapped Prime Minister – July 1924, Volume 39, Number 3 (under the title The Kidnapped Premier – although the title “Prime Minister” was used within the text of the story)
- The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb – August 1924, Volume 39, Number 4 (under the title The Egyptian Adventure)
- The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman – December 1924, Volume 40, Number 2 (under the title The Italian Nobleman)
- The Case of the Missing Will – January 1925, Volume 40, Number 3 (under the title The Missing Will)
- The Chocolate Box – February 1925, Volume 40, Number 4
- The Veiled Lady – March 1925, Volume 40, Number 5
- The Lost Mine – April 1925, Volume 40, Number 6
Poirot Investigates – First Edition Book Identification Guide
The books are listed in the order of publication. While the majority of Agatha Christie’s books were first published in the UK. There are many titles that were first published in the US. The title of the book may differs from the UK edition in some cases.
|Year||Title||Publisher||First edition/printing identification points|
|1924||Poirot Investigates||The Bodley Head, London , ||First edition. "First Published in 1924" stated on the copyright page. Decorative orange or gold cloth, lettered in blue. Price 7/6.|
|1924||Poirot Investigates||Dodd, Mead & Co, NY, 1924||First American edition. Date on the title & copyright page matches. No statement of later printings. Orange cloth lettered in black. NOTE: The US edition contains three additional stories not included in the UK edition, many collectors consider it the true first. Price $ 2.00.|
Note about Book Club Editions (BCE) and reprints:
UK: You can see statements of later reprint dates or of book club on the copyright page.
US: The US reprint publishers usually use the same sheets as the first edition and are harder to identify by looking at the title page or the copyright page. One may identify a BCE by looking at the DJ, which doesn’t have a price on top of the front flap and a “Book Club Edition” imprint at the bottom. If the dust jacked is clipped at both the top/bottom of the front flap. You can safely assume it’s a BCE . If the book is missing the dust jacket. Later BCE editions can be identified by its plain boards, while first printings are issued in quarter cloth.
Please refer to the gallery for detailed images of true first edition bindings and dust jackets.
Poirot Investigates – First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Guide
First edition bindings and various dust jacket printings identification.