Poirot Investigates is a collection of short stories narrated by Captain Hastings. I chose this title for today because I wanted to write about him.
Captain Arthur Hastings is my favourite character in the Poirot series. He makes his appearance alongside Poirot in Agatha ‘s first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1921.
Hastings is by nature easygoing, gullible, taking things at face value and often jumping to conclusions . This makes him a complete contrast to our detective Hercule Poirot who likes to analyse everything from every possible angle thus ultimately solving seemingly impossible crimes.
Hastings serves several useful purposes in the Poirot books. In some, like this one Poirot Investigates, he is the narrator. Mostly he is there to note the wrong clue, arrive at an incorrect solution and become crestfallen when corrected by Poirot. He is shown to resent Poirot ‘s conceit but also to marvel at his genius. In some books, where Poirot is unable to be at the scene of the crime, Hastings does the “leg work” and brings back data.
Although he keeps inviting censure from Poirot, Hastings is very dear to him. In stories where he is not there we see Poirot missing him and thinking about him. In Captain Hatings , Agatha has created a very believable and relatable character.
This image is the cover of the Fontana Books edition of Poirot Investigates that I have.
Both images in this post are courtesy Google.