Poirot Mysteries: The Chocolate Box

Most classic mystery stories are built on the idea that the primary detective is basically invincible and unstoppable. Sherlock Holmes always solves whatever case is put in front of him with ease. Dude straight up died and he walked it off!

Poirot stories are much like that as well. Our lovable little Belgian is basically never wrong and he’s never too far away from finding the truth. Every now and then, the bad guy might slip away. But Poirot himself always gets to the truth in the end.

Which made this story very refreshing. Because right from the outset, he himself tells us that this is, in fact, his crowning failure.

On the eve of becoming a minister, a French Deputy is found dead. While the case has been deemed open and shut, Hercule Poirot, still young and still working as a member of the police force, has his doubts. Alas, our beloved detective cannot reach the bottom of this case in time. As such, it lives on in his memory as his greatest failure.

Right out the gate, this one frames itself in a rather interesting way. We know that Poirot can’t solve the case. Therefor, we the reader are asking ourselves two questions throughout the short: just how will Poirot fail and what is the true answer to the mystery?

As for the mystery itself, I’d say it’s one of Christie’s better works. The clues we’re given all make sense and could allow for you to solve the case yourself without any dramatic leaps in logic making that impossible. Even still, it manages to come to a surprising and even somewhat sad conclusion.

Also, not having Hastings around is a refreshing change of pace. Because let’s be honest: he can be a bit obnoxious at times. John Watson he is not.

I really enjoyed ‘The Chocolate Box.’ It was a refreshing change of pace that does a great job of humanizing Poirot and delivers a strong mystery to boot. If you want a solid mystery to read in an afternoon, I’d highly recommend this one!

Dammit, now I want chocolate. Which, considering the context of the story, is probably a bad thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: