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Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poi Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it’s just as well that ‘old sins leave long shadows.' This story is part of Agatha Christie’s murder in retrospect series, a collection of stories which look at a crime several years after the fact, piecing together testimonials and witness reports to finally uncover the truth. This time we see Mrs Oliver’s goddaughter, attempting to find out the truth about her deceased parents – who killed whom?


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Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poi Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it’s just as well that ‘old sins leave long shadows.' This story is part of Agatha Christie’s murder in retrospect series, a collection of stories which look at a crime several years after the fact, piecing together testimonials and witness reports to finally uncover the truth. This time we see Mrs Oliver’s goddaughter, attempting to find out the truth about her deceased parents – who killed whom?

30 review for Elephants Can Remember

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Laurel Young

    Elephants Can Remember made me sad...because I solved it. You see, the reason I hold Dame Agatha Christie in such high regard is that she always outsmarts me, and I don't mind in the least--I love her for her twisted mind. ;) No other author can do it; fond as I am of Christie's Golden Age contemporaries--Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, et. al.--they never baffle me unless they haven't played fair and given me enough to go on. But Agatha...I rarely figure her out Elephants Can Remember made me sad...because I solved it. You see, the reason I hold Dame Agatha Christie in such high regard is that she always outsmarts me, and I don't mind in the least--I love her for her twisted mind. ;) No other author can do it; fond as I am of Christie's Golden Age contemporaries--Dorothy Sayers, Patricia Wentworth, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, et. al.--they never baffle me unless they haven't played fair and given me enough to go on. But Agatha...I rarely figure her out until the end. This one, though, seemed transparent to me, and that's a shame. I don't believe for one moment that Christie declined with age--she wrote excellent novels throughout her 56-year career, and a few of my favorites were late in her life. I just think, for whatever reason, this wasn't one of her best. Christie has many excellent "cold case" novels; they were one of her specialties--Murder in Retrospect, Dumb Witness, Nemesis, Sleeping Murder, and many others. Perhaps she did finally run out of variations on this specific theme. Perhaps it should have been a Miss Marple case instead of a Poirot, since Miss Marple does such a wonderful job of playing the gossipy old lady in situations like this. I don't know. I just know that for once the obvious twist was the correct one, and I'd rather never speak of that again!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    Mrs. Oliver stumbled upon a woman who happened to be a mother of a guy who was about to marry Mrs. Oliver's goddaughter. The latter's parents were found dead one morning a long time ago and that woman reminded about this to Mrs. Oliver who in turn decided to finally dig our the truth as the case remained unsolved. At this point I would like to mention that for Orthodox Christians (the branch of Christianity I am more familiar with) being a godparent is a serious business. Usually you are not supp Mrs. Oliver stumbled upon a woman who happened to be a mother of a guy who was about to marry Mrs. Oliver's goddaughter. The latter's parents were found dead one morning a long time ago and that woman reminded about this to Mrs. Oliver who in turn decided to finally dig our the truth as the case remained unsolved. At this point I would like to mention that for Orthodox Christians (the branch of Christianity I am more familiar with) being a godparent is a serious business. Usually you are not suppose to have more than two godkids. From my impression after I finished the book in Britain of that time the idea was the more the better. At least Mrs. Oliver had trouble recalling all of hers. Coming back to the story, Mrs. Oliver had to consult her friend Hercule Poirot saying to him that elephants can remember - probably hinting that people should be equally good at recalling what happened about 20 years ago. I am sorry to say the series that gave the world several classic mystery books and one of the most recognizable private detective fizzled by the end. Mrs. Oliver became old. Hercule Poirot became old. All the eyewitnesses became old. Most importantly, Agatha Christie became old. As a result the book consists of incoherent ramblings of old people who at their best bauble like very old people do. I mean people approaching their hundredth anniversary. Almost entire book consists of these. If you think they are exciting to read about, let me give a suggestion to insomniacs: this is the cure guaranteed to work even in worst cases. For people that do not having trouble falling asleep, reading this would be particularly painful. But wait, this is not all! A careful reader (the one who manged to stay awake) can make a good guess at what happened at about half length of the story. By the time you hit 75% mark you could even solve the mystery in all details; you could not possibly overlook the vital clues as Agatha Christie kept pushing them right at her readers' faces. Finally instead of gathering clues and making his grey cell work, Poirot found an eyewitness at the end. I was bored from the beginning to the end. The moment I finished this I started reading an anthology of early Poirot stories to make sure his investigations (and himself) can be interesting. The only reason I did not give this book two stars was my utmost respect for the series, its main character, and the advanced age of the author at the time of writing - she died of an old age a couple of years later. Without a doubt this is one of the weakest Poirot installment. I pity anybody who would start his or her acquaintance with the series with this book. The Big Four is still the worst book of the series though. That one is stupid; this one is boring - take your pick.

  3. 4 out of 5

    BrokenTune

    “Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.” My first Christie of 2017. It took me a few attempts to get into the story, not because it was difficult to find a way to engage with the plot but purely because I enjoyed re-reading the opening of the story where Ariadne Oliver, Dame Agatha's alter ego in this series, considers the different ways to wear a hat and which hat is appropriate for which occasion. I love Ariadne. She's the scatty, sassy, creative “Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.” My first Christie of 2017. It took me a few attempts to get into the story, not because it was difficult to find a way to engage with the plot but purely because I enjoyed re-reading the opening of the story where Ariadne Oliver, Dame Agatha's alter ego in this series, considers the different ways to wear a hat and which hat is appropriate for which occasion. I love Ariadne. She's the scatty, sassy, creative, liberal counterpart to Poirot. Not as brilliant in applying logic, but just as brilliant by her exuberance and love of life. As for the story itself, this was quite different from previous works of Christie. Although there are some similarities with A Murder is Announced (one of my favourites), Elephants Can Remember is not a locked room mystery and puts much more emphasis on the different mental states and attitudes of the characters, who all seem to be entities who interact with each other, but who seem to act somewhat isolated from other characters. Despite the occasional comic relief through Ariadne's antics, there is little that is cozy or twee about this story and in a way it struck me as if Christie tried her hand at a dark, psychological thriller, rather than at another Poirot mystery. I very much admired the attempt. Many of the Christie novels I love best are quite dark - just look at Endless Night! - even though she is of course best known for mysteries that are more akin to puzzles than gritty crime novels. Maybe my appreciation for Elephants Can Remember has been influenced by my recent foray into the writing of Patricia Highsmith, whose work was contemporary to Christie's later work (including Elephants), but I did wonder whether Christie was influenced by the change in direction that crime fiction in the 1960s and 1970s seemed to have undergone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melindam

    When I first read this novel, I did not realise that it was among the late ones, published in 1972 (and AC died in 1976). Now it was a more conscious read and bearing the publishing date in mind, it really felt a little ... hmm... maybe "tired" is the appropriate word. The mystery in itself was quite intriguing, but the way it was presented, was not. Hercule Poirot and Mrs Oliver both lacked energy and the solution was also just an eye-witness eventually confirming & telling what happened. Not a ba When I first read this novel, I did not realise that it was among the late ones, published in 1972 (and AC died in 1976). Now it was a more conscious read and bearing the publishing date in mind, it really felt a little ... hmm... maybe "tired" is the appropriate word. The mystery in itself was quite intriguing, but the way it was presented, was not. Hercule Poirot and Mrs Oliver both lacked energy and the solution was also just an eye-witness eventually confirming & telling what happened. Not a bad book altogether, but not engaging either.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    “She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read. Wonderful luck that was, Mrs. Oliver thought to herself. I actually really enjoyed this novel although it was very different to the usual Agatha Christie murder mysteries. Elephants Can Remember deals with a cold case, one devoid of threat or danger, where Poirot tries to put together events that happened 12 years prior. This could sound drab but for the brilliance of Ariadne Oliver. Sh “She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read. Wonderful luck that was, Mrs. Oliver thought to herself. I actually really enjoyed this novel although it was very different to the usual Agatha Christie murder mysteries. Elephants Can Remember deals with a cold case, one devoid of threat or danger, where Poirot tries to put together events that happened 12 years prior. This could sound drab but for the brilliance of Ariadne Oliver. She has a central role here. Not only does the case land on her lap but she actively goes in search of elephant people with long memories to great humour. Even Poirot behaves, encouraging and helping her in this endeavour. The mystery can be solved by the reader rather easily but it is the manner in which it is written that I liked. That and the fact that Ariadne embodies Agatha for me. Her comments about the literary gathering, experience with fans, etc., all sounded like things Christie had experienced.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    This was my least favorite of all the Poirot novels. On the surface it was a Poirot novel, possessing all the necessary elements: the complicated mystery, the little clues that don't seem at first relevant, the humor that comes out mainly through the side kick full of fanciful ideas, the love story between two young people, and of course, Poirot himself. But despite all these elements, the entire book read, not like an Agatha Christie, but like someone attempting to write in the style of Agatha This was my least favorite of all the Poirot novels. On the surface it was a Poirot novel, possessing all the necessary elements: the complicated mystery, the little clues that don't seem at first relevant, the humor that comes out mainly through the side kick full of fanciful ideas, the love story between two young people, and of course, Poirot himself. But despite all these elements, the entire book read, not like an Agatha Christie, but like someone attempting to write in the style of Agatha Christie. Overall, it was too heavy in dialogue, and structured somehow more like a drama than a novel. The voice, particularly in the characterization of Poirot, was all wrong. And the mystery itself....Though I didn't have every detail worked out, primarily because I was over complicating things and building in coincidences that turned out to be untrue, I still managed to figure the whole thing out well before Poirot. And I think that's the first time I've ever done that.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    Elephants Can Remember is one of the very poorly written murder-mysteries of the Poirot series. There was nothing original about the story, only a mixture of borrowed elements from the preceding novels thrown together. Here, Poirot is brought in to investigate a past crime at the request of both Ariadne Oliver and the daughter of the victims. Poirot is assisted by Ariadne Oliver to probe into the past to collect information/evidence towards unearthing the truth. The story was muddled with no pro Elephants Can Remember is one of the very poorly written murder-mysteries of the Poirot series. There was nothing original about the story, only a mixture of borrowed elements from the preceding novels thrown together. Here, Poirot is brought in to investigate a past crime at the request of both Ariadne Oliver and the daughter of the victims. Poirot is assisted by Ariadne Oliver to probe into the past to collect information/evidence towards unearthing the truth. The story was muddled with no proper flow. The investigation was haphazardly done and much was relied on conjecture. There was not much in the mystery; it was too simple and was easily figured out. The dual identity and the disguising which we've seen in some of her other stories were employed here with poor effect. Also, very little attempt is made at engaging the reader's attention and interest. Personally, I think this was the most disappointing in the Poirot series. Perhaps, being almost at the end of the series, Agatha Christie may have gotten tired with hunting for new ideas.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janete

    Before the middle of the book, I already knew the solution to the crimes. Moreover, the explanation for the crimes was too melodramatic. And I love Poirot, but he appears little in this story, as Ariadne Oliver does too many investigations. Well, I read it in my native language and I got it from the public library where I work, but I have this book in the original in my home. Now, I don't know when I will read this story again to improve my English. Before the middle of the book, I already knew the solution to the crimes. Moreover, the explanation for the crimes was too melodramatic. And I love Poirot, but he appears little in this story, as Ariadne Oliver does too many investigations. Well, I read it in my native language and I got it from the public library where I work, but I have this book in the original in my home. Now, I don't know when I will read this story again to improve my English.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julian Worker

    I thought this book was very well written, however it does make the police who investigated the original deaths, look rather stupid and willing to accept one particular explanation rather than investigating what happened. If Poirot and Ariadne Oliver can find out the answers a decade after the original deaths then it doesn't say much for Inspector Garroway and his detectives who investigated the original crime. There are enough clues along the way for the reader to work out who did what. I thought this book was very well written, however it does make the police who investigated the original deaths, look rather stupid and willing to accept one particular explanation rather than investigating what happened. If Poirot and Ariadne Oliver can find out the answers a decade after the original deaths then it doesn't say much for Inspector Garroway and his detectives who investigated the original crime. There are enough clues along the way for the reader to work out who did what.

  10. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    Choose Your Own Adventure! The elephant brain is denser than the human’s, and the temporal lobes, associated with memory, are more developed than in humans. Elephant lobes also have more folding, so that they can store more information. That’s why elephants have excellent memory. But why? Elephants can recognize over 200 different individuals. This is essential, as females depend on one another for raising the young, more than in the case of other mammals. A mother can remember who is trustful an Choose Your Own Adventure! The elephant brain is denser than the human’s, and the temporal lobes, associated with memory, are more developed than in humans. Elephant lobes also have more folding, so that they can store more information. That’s why elephants have excellent memory. But why? Elephants can recognize over 200 different individuals. This is essential, as females depend on one another for raising the young, more than in the case of other mammals. A mother can remember who is trustful and complex bonds are the bricks of elephant society, while the memory is the cement. When two elephants approach one another, they emit a “contact appeal”: if the other recognizes the appeal, it responds and approaches; if not, it starts to agitate and adopts a defensive position. This capacity of recognition lasts a very long time, even after one individual is dead: even the recording of a dead animal attracts the attention of its relatives and descendants. If you are an enemy of elephants, choose http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... If you love elephants because of their long memories (better to remember all those grudges) and because of their big feet (all the better to stomp your enemies into paste), choose http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

  11. 5 out of 5

    John

    A good story. Celia Ravenscroft and Desmond Burton-Cox want to marry. Desmond’s mother by adoption, Mrs Burton-Cox am odious woman opposes the marriage. At a literary luncheon she approaches Ariadne Oliver, who is Celia’s godmother to help her scupper the happy couples marriage plans. Celia’s parents died years ago in what the police determined to be a suicide pact. Mrs Burton-Cox wants to know who was the instigator as Molly the wife had a twin sister, Dolly that was mentally unstable. If she c A good story. Celia Ravenscroft and Desmond Burton-Cox want to marry. Desmond’s mother by adoption, Mrs Burton-Cox am odious woman opposes the marriage. At a literary luncheon she approaches Ariadne Oliver, who is Celia’s godmother to help her scupper the happy couples marriage plans. Celia’s parents died years ago in what the police determined to be a suicide pact. Mrs Burton-Cox wants to know who was the instigator as Molly the wife had a twin sister, Dolly that was mentally unstable. If she can prove this Desmond may hesitate to marry Celia if lunacy runs in the family. Oliver and Poirot team up to investigate and find out the motive behind the deaths. The character development is very good but not enough red herrings and not difficult to work out the motive. The four wigs, a dog that bites and the past accidents associated around Dolly with children lead us to the motive. A pleasant read and Oliver has Agatha Christie’s alto ego gives us a little insight into her eccentricity.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Reviewing an audio book is difficult because you have to separate out the different aspects: story, narrator and how well the story works in this media. First, the story feels a bit typical and mundane with no real excitement or cause pushing the storyline along. It really comes down to a bunch of old people gossiping over a murder-suicide. The whole justification for this matter being brought to light just doesn't compel one to care all that much. The narrator did a superb job differentiating the Reviewing an audio book is difficult because you have to separate out the different aspects: story, narrator and how well the story works in this media. First, the story feels a bit typical and mundane with no real excitement or cause pushing the storyline along. It really comes down to a bunch of old people gossiping over a murder-suicide. The whole justification for this matter being brought to light just doesn't compel one to care all that much. The narrator did a superb job differentiating the characters and giving them the appropriate feeling. With so much dialogue, he really had his work cut out for him and he saved this from being a 2 star rating. This book would have been better suited, in my opinion, as an actual book. Focusing on the dialogue and following along was troublesome, at times. Some books translate rather well to an audio version, but this was not one of them. Foul language and gore is absent. This book does bring up issues of murder, suicide and even sexual impropriety (though nothing vulgar or graphic) so that I would not recommend it to young readers. I'd put this in the category of older teens, but one could really find much better works that showcase the author's talent. I suggest going there first and leaving this one behind.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen ⊰✿

    Poirot is still my favourite of AC's detectives. And every time I read one, I picture David Suchet in my mind. :) Ariadne Oliver returns in this book and she is such a fantastic character. Apparently she is slightly auto-biographical and if that is the case than Ms Christie must have been a ton of fun to be around. As usual, there are loads of clues and potential plot lines, and although I mostly got there, I still didn't quite solve everything. Great fun! Poirot is still my favourite of AC's detectives. And every time I read one, I picture David Suchet in my mind. :) Ariadne Oliver returns in this book and she is such a fantastic character. Apparently she is slightly auto-biographical and if that is the case than Ms Christie must have been a ton of fun to be around. As usual, there are loads of clues and potential plot lines, and although I mostly got there, I still didn't quite solve everything. Great fun!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexa ❤️

    "Elephants can remember," said Mrs Oliver, "but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget." (Ariadne Oliver page 299). 4 Stars Elephants can remember was a satisfying read about a cold case from approximately 20 years ago where everyone involved remembers different things about the victims; you don't know who is right, wrong and which if any of it is relevant. But of course it is nothing for Hercule Poriot's little grey cells. It was interesting (as I knew who done it via watc "Elephants can remember," said Mrs Oliver, "but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget." (Ariadne Oliver page 299). 4 Stars Elephants can remember was a satisfying read about a cold case from approximately 20 years ago where everyone involved remembers different things about the victims; you don't know who is right, wrong and which if any of it is relevant. But of course it is nothing for Hercule Poriot's little grey cells. It was interesting (as I knew who done it via watching the tv episode) seeing how the case unravelled and putting together the clues myself. The first half of the novel doesn't feature Poriot that much being nearly all in Mrs Oliver's POV but that doesn't take away from the story and I can always picture Mrs Oliver as Zoe Wanamaker :) The brilliant thing about Christie's works is that they are intriguing puzzles that are timeless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Randi Annie Framnes

    Hercule Poirot and his friend Ariadne Oliver go on a quest to shake up the memories of people connected to the double suicide of General and Lady Ravenscroft in 1960s English countryside. As Poirot digs deeper, people contribute new information and this cold case changes entirely. Elephants Can Remember is #37 in Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie. It is about the married couple Ravenscroft who seemed to have shot each other with the husband’s revolver which is found lying beside the bod Hercule Poirot and his friend Ariadne Oliver go on a quest to shake up the memories of people connected to the double suicide of General and Lady Ravenscroft in 1960s English countryside. As Poirot digs deeper, people contribute new information and this cold case changes entirely. Elephants Can Remember is #37 in Hercule Poirot Mysteries by Agatha Christie. It is about the married couple Ravenscroft who seemed to have shot each other with the husband’s revolver which is found lying beside the bodies. The police were never able to establish who killed who, as motive seemed to be nonexistent at the time. Many years later Mrs Oliver dives into a truck load of old hearsay to get to the truth. She wants to protect the Ravenscrofts’ daughter. Main character, Hercule Poirot, seems to be sharing his main character role in this story, helping his longtime friend Ariadne with her case. I enjoyed that the author describes Poirot as a man with an egg-shaped head, a small stature and a monstrous mustache. She interestingly portrays him as a comic and strange looking personality. He seems very different from David Suchet in the TV adaptations. Ariadne Oliver, is the narrator and supporting main character of this story. She comes at problem solving from unexpected and creative angles, like comparing people’s memories to those of elephants. I find it refreshing and different from Poirot’s strictly analytical approach. She seems a kind hearted person with an amusing habit of brushing her hands through her hair messing it all up, even if she is very focused on hair style. The wonderfully descriptive writing takes me back to the 70s. In Agatha Christie’s universe every home seems to come with a set of servants for all domestic chores. I find it very entertaining to read her books as they give a glimpse into opulent environments and people’s interactions back in the day. Hercule Poirot is the main character in 38 of Christie’s stories. He is an absolute longtime favorite of mine and I have followed him both in books and in TV series. Ariadne Oliver appears in a smaller number of stories as a supporting character, being an interesting and well crafted character I love to read about. In this story she is the one who alerts Poirot to the case. There were plenty of references to old fashioned lifestyle of the 1970s, like keeping an address book for all contacts, something we stopped doing decades ago. I find it fascinating to be reminded how life worked before the digital age, and this is my favorite part of the story. Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot Mysteries #37) by Agatha Christie is the captivating and entertaining story of Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver solving a cold case from 1960, and is one of several works I have read by Agatha Christie. References are made to other books in the Hercule Poirot Mysteries Series in a clever way which triggers my curiosity. As a longtime fan, I am reading through most of them. Fans of Agatha Christie will love Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot Mysteries #37), as will readers of crime fiction. Similar works to explore might be the Sherlock Holmes Series by Arthur Conan Doyle. All opinions are completely my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    “She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read. Wonderful luck that was, Mrs. Oliver thought to herself.”--Ariadne Oliver One more to go! I have read all the Christie Poirot books in order, the last couple years or so, and this is the last one she wrote, published in 1972, when she was 81, though she wrote the last intended one in the series, Curtain, in the forties, to be released at the conclusion of the series. The first, The Myste “She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read. Wonderful luck that was, Mrs. Oliver thought to herself.”--Ariadne Oliver One more to go! I have read all the Christie Poirot books in order, the last couple years or so, and this is the last one she wrote, published in 1972, when she was 81, though she wrote the last intended one in the series, Curtain, in the forties, to be released at the conclusion of the series. The first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, she wrote in 1920. She died at 85. Elephant is just okay, compared to the great ones of the forties. When I review Curtain I will name my favorites. This one is amusing in that for humans at 81, memory is a struggle, a kind of focus in literature and life. One is not interested in memory at 20 in the same way. People forget, sure, though they sometimes remember things for many years. So? This story involves solving a murder that took place many years ago, which had been deemed a double suicide. The solution involves twins, wigs, the detective writer Ariadne Oliver again helping Poirot solve the crime. The elephant-never-forgets theme is way over done, and pretty boring; people are seen as elephants if they remember. The epithet “nosy parker” is repeated possibly five times; had she just heard it and couldn’t get it out of her head? For what she may have known was one of the last Poirot books, she surprisingly spends very little time reflecting on Poirot’s career, though there are some footnotes about books where Poirot has gone back and solved a cold case, something like this book. Maybe she was thinking she had Curtain in the bag to do that for her? She repeats a proverb she had just used in the last book: “Old sins have long shadows.” Did she forget she had just used it? Is she then not an elephant? The best thing about this book is Ariadne Oliver, of whom Christie clearly wishes she had written more, but was stuck with the Belgian guy for her whole life that she was sick of by this point. Gee, I wonder what will happen to the old boy, who was retired already in 1920 when she first wrote about him. 52 years later, you do the math, is he 117?! “Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.”—This is kind of how I feel about this book, after reading it. Forgive and forget. It’s not terrible, I guess, but I am by now ready to be done with her and Poirot, sorry to say, as it has been a largely fruitful and fun journey.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Meave

    I was too distracted by the impossible timeline of Mrs. Oliver's age vs. the length of time she and Poirot have been friends to focus on the story. If she was a bridesmaid at her friend's wedding, then they must have been around the same age--presumably within five years of each other. Now, if that school friend was 35 when she died, and her death occurred 13 years ago, that would make Mrs. Oliver at most 53 years old. How, then could she and Poirot have been friends for 40 years, as she says in I was too distracted by the impossible timeline of Mrs. Oliver's age vs. the length of time she and Poirot have been friends to focus on the story. If she was a bridesmaid at her friend's wedding, then they must have been around the same age--presumably within five years of each other. Now, if that school friend was 35 when she died, and her death occurred 13 years ago, that would make Mrs. Oliver at most 53 years old. How, then could she and Poirot have been friends for 40 years, as she says in the beginning of the book? When they meet, she's already "Mrs. Oliver," a lady, all enormous and gray-haired and loopy--certainly not a 13-year-old girl. Trying to figure out whether Christie meant to write that they'd been friends for 20, even 30 years, or if the entire "we were school friends" connection was a mistake to begin with, drove me NUTS. It was very sloppy and detracted from an otherwise acceptable--if boring--mystery.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Reddell

    Always a good read! I continue to enjoy Agatha Christie's twists and turns. She is a master of surprises. :) Check out my blog review of her here: https://rebeccaswriteinspirations.blo... Always a good read! I continue to enjoy Agatha Christie's twists and turns. She is a master of surprises. :) Check out my blog review of her here: https://rebeccaswriteinspirations.blo...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    Quite a slow moving and uninteresting ‘cold case’ Poirot story with most of the ‘investigation’ (that really consists of dialogue with no apparent revelations whatsoever) being carried out by a woman crime novelist(!) rather than the detective himself. He basically steps in at the end and reveals the solution that I this time have little idea of how he arrived at. An enormous weight was put in 4 wigs, but at the end of it all, the fact that there was even one wig was the factor and a dog bite co Quite a slow moving and uninteresting ‘cold case’ Poirot story with most of the ‘investigation’ (that really consists of dialogue with no apparent revelations whatsoever) being carried out by a woman crime novelist(!) rather than the detective himself. He basically steps in at the end and reveals the solution that I this time have little idea of how he arrived at. An enormous weight was put in 4 wigs, but at the end of it all, the fact that there was even one wig was the factor and a dog bite comes into it also. Rest was good guesses and the fact that a witness suddenly was available. Meh.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rating: 3 kindness-of-my-heart stars Dear oh dear me. An *awful* book, meandering and incoherent and apparently devoid of an editor's touch in which people are not properly or positively identified, events run on apparently unrelated timestreams, and holy goddess of memory will SOMEone please decide how old these folks are. Sometimes old, sometimes young, and never in the present or the past is it consistent! Did I mention the rambling? Like talking to a sleepy old person who's had too much wine. Rating: 3 kindness-of-my-heart stars Dear oh dear me. An *awful* book, meandering and incoherent and apparently devoid of an editor's touch in which people are not properly or positively identified, events run on apparently unrelated timestreams, and holy goddess of memory will SOMEone please decide how old these folks are. Sometimes old, sometimes young, and never in the present or the past is it consistent! Did I mention the rambling? Like talking to a sleepy old person who's had too much wine. I skimmed from 40% on, it was more than I could endure not to. The Agatha Christie's Poirot version for telly is almost infinitely superior to the novel, and I loves me some Ariadne Oliver as played by Zoë Wanamaker, but it's still a chopped salad instead of filet mignon for dinner. First and foremost, Celia Ravenscroft is pretty much accosted by her godmother Mrs. Oliver and grilled about her parents' death in public. Instead of throwing her water at the bitch, Celia asks her to investigate the case! That she knows nothing about! Because, apparently, she barely ever met these parents in the twelve years they co-existed on the planet. But she suddenly wants to know what happened? Why? And the show adds characters like mad to make the stakes worth staying awake for: A daughter who survives what had to be the single most hazardous childhood ever and yet has baskets of letters from her insane mother?! The discovery of the Ravenscoft woman's twinship which is a surprise to her self-described dear friend Mrs. Oliver! REALLY?!? Autre temps, autres moueurs, c'est vrai, mais anyone, at any time in history, calling themselves friends has a pretty clear picture of the immediate family tree of the befriended. Otherwise they're acquaintances. And not terribly close ones. And the long-suffering Zélie Rouxelle, mooshed together from two indistinguishable governesses in the book...ten (book) or thirteen (film) or so (frankly wasn't sure about the timing of events and stopped caring early on so never worked it out) years she silently keeps a murder under her wig, one she colluded in or at least knew about, and the murdered woman's child, who inexplicably and suddenly wants the truth about the crime, expresses no teensy-tinsiest morsel of the mildest reproof at this astounding perversion of justice?! None of this tale, book *shudder* or film *wince*, makes the smallest scintilla of sense and can be avoided without loss of pleasure. In fact, unless you just love Ariadne Oliver like I do, I encourage you to skip it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hiba Arrame

    3.5* I wouldn't say I didn't like it, but it wasn't really that good, nor that captivating. But I must say that I absolutely loved the ending where everything came together, even though I had my suspicions even before it was declared. It's a story of love and jealousy and mental unstableness. Quite interesting. 3.5* I wouldn't say I didn't like it, but it wasn't really that good, nor that captivating. But I must say that I absolutely loved the ending where everything came together, even though I had my suspicions even before it was declared. It's a story of love and jealousy and mental unstableness. Quite interesting.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sharon :)

    This book helped me ✅ a book released in my birth year for my reading challenge.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    “Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.” Mrs. Ariadne Oliver is approached at a literary event by a woman whose son is wanting to marry Mrs. Oliver's goddaughter, Celia Ravencroft. Celia's parents died fourteen years earlier in an apparent murder/suicide. It was not determined wether the father shot the mother or if the mother shot the father and then themselves. Mrs. Oliver calls on Hercule Poirot to solve the case as Celia's future marriage depen “Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.” Mrs. Ariadne Oliver is approached at a literary event by a woman whose son is wanting to marry Mrs. Oliver's goddaughter, Celia Ravencroft. Celia's parents died fourteen years earlier in an apparent murder/suicide. It was not determined wether the father shot the mother or if the mother shot the father and then themselves. Mrs. Oliver calls on Hercule Poirot to solve the case as Celia's future marriage depends on it. Poirot revisits the cold case and discovers the truth. One of the last installments of the Hercule Poirot series (though the actual last book of these series was written many years prior this one) Elephants Can Remember features mystery author Ariadne Oliver and Hercule Poirot. Mrs. Oliver was friends with Celia's mother hence how she became her godmother. When years earlier the dead bodies of the Ravencrofts were found, it can not be determined who shot who as the gun has both their fingerprints. The case goes cold but now that it has been brought up again and Poirot takes the lead. Mrs. Oliver begins asking those that knew the Ravencrofts what they remember, dubbing them "elephants". Poirot takes a look at the police investigation. When Poirot has all the information, he discovers what the police have missed. Originally wriiten in 1972, Elephants Can Remember is a work that critics generally liked but did not consider to be one of the best by Christie. Judging by some reviews I have seen, that sentiment appears to be the same with the public. While this mystery is not as intricate as earlier books in the series, it is still very much enjoyable. There are not as many red herrings but the characters and narrative are still memorable. The solving of the mystery is satisfying. All and all, it is a good, cozy mystery.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Only rating this low because this is the first Agatha Christie book I've read where I guessed what had happened/who did it, and I was right! aaand I was kinda disppointed because it's not like I'm a Sherlock - I'm literally so dumb when it comes to mysteries - and I was multitasking while listening to this on audio. So I'm kind of diappointed that I guessed it.... Only rating this low because this is the first Agatha Christie book I've read where I guessed what had happened/who did it, and I was right! aaand I was kinda disppointed because it's not like I'm a Sherlock - I'm literally so dumb when it comes to mysteries - and I was multitasking while listening to this on audio. So I'm kind of diappointed that I guessed it....

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    Ariadne Oliver plays a large part in the solving of a cold case. While it's a Poirot story, Ariadne takes up much of the book, to-ing and fro-ing, and shamelessly pumping various individuals involved with the murdered inviduals for information about the odd case. She's hilarious, and for that alone, I'm giving this book 3.5 stars. Ariadne Oliver plays a large part in the solving of a cold case. While it's a Poirot story, Ariadne takes up much of the book, to-ing and fro-ing, and shamelessly pumping various individuals involved with the murdered inviduals for information about the odd case. She's hilarious, and for that alone, I'm giving this book 3.5 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ClaraBelle

    Plot: Crime novelist Ariadne Oliver asks Mr Poirot to find out the truth about the double deaths of her goddaughter’s parents 15 years earlier. Thus comes after her goddaughter’s future mother in law wants to blackmail the girl for her tragedy. Was a suicide pact? Was the work of the girl’s mentally unstable aunt? Rating: 3 stars Recommend: for English mystery lovers Warning: an attempted abortion and an instance of illegitimate birth as well as a rabid dog attack

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Rating: 3/5 12 or so years after the fact, Poirot is determined to solve this mystery. A husband and wife were found dead - was it a suicide pact, or did one shoot the other, and then themselves? After a strange woman approaches Ariadne Oliver asking this, Ariadne brings the issue to Poirot, and together, they attempt to find any sort of clue that will point them in the right direction. Was it because one of them had failing health, and they decided they couldn't live without each other? Was ther Rating: 3/5 12 or so years after the fact, Poirot is determined to solve this mystery. A husband and wife were found dead - was it a suicide pact, or did one shoot the other, and then themselves? After a strange woman approaches Ariadne Oliver asking this, Ariadne brings the issue to Poirot, and together, they attempt to find any sort of clue that will point them in the right direction. Was it because one of them had failing health, and they decided they couldn't live without each other? Was there a love affair on either side, causing a murder then suicide? Or was it an outsider? I think this has to be the most disappointing of all the Christie books I have read so far. This isn't to say that it was bad, because it really wasn't. The story was interesting, and I was guessing at what really happened. However, it turns out that I was able to guess most of what happened before the big reveal, down to the (view spoiler)[ twin swap, why there were so many wigs, and the dog bite (hide spoiler)] . While I'm pretty happy at having discovered what happened, it took away from the big reveal when I knew what was being revealed. One thing I noticed in this book was that there was a ton of dialogue, which I didn't really like. I wish there was more narrative and less dialogue, especially because I was listening on audiobook. At times it because quite hard to differentiate between who was speaking, and I don't think it was the narrator's fault, because he's proven to be quite talented and I've listened to many things he's read. Overall, the other Christie books I have read are better, but this one was still pretty good. It had an interesting plot, but I feel like the nature of it made it easier to guess what really happened, because with that kind of scenario there are limited possibilities for who was responsible. I would never tell anyone not to read it, because I don't regret it, but I would definitely recommend a different Christie book that I know would blow their mind.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim Kaso

    A 4+, not top level, but very pleasing, nonetheless. As with most of the Mrs. Oliver/Poirot books, a little too much Ariadne, but I can forgive that. Many red herrings, and many trips into the past...I had it figured out early on, as soon as twins & wigs entered the discussion, but after years of reading Christie & other mysteries, it is hard to be totally surprised. Second tier Christie, but still very entertaining & fun. Just right for being sick in bed, as I have been most of this past week. A 4+, not top level, but very pleasing, nonetheless. As with most of the Mrs. Oliver/Poirot books, a little too much Ariadne, but I can forgive that. Many red herrings, and many trips into the past...I had it figured out early on, as soon as twins & wigs entered the discussion, but after years of reading Christie & other mysteries, it is hard to be totally surprised. Second tier Christie, but still very entertaining & fun. Just right for being sick in bed, as I have been most of this past week. Recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I love Mrs. Christie book's that have Mrs. Oliver in them. This one was about a terrible tragedy in the past, that won't stay buried. Two people died was it a suicide pact, did one kill the other, or was it an outside killer. To be honest the only thing I did not care for with this book, is that the solution was obvious half way through the book. However the character's, especially Mrs. Oliver was worth reading to the end. This may not be one of her best, but it is a great story, a tragic story, I love Mrs. Christie book's that have Mrs. Oliver in them. This one was about a terrible tragedy in the past, that won't stay buried. Two people died was it a suicide pact, did one kill the other, or was it an outside killer. To be honest the only thing I did not care for with this book, is that the solution was obvious half way through the book. However the character's, especially Mrs. Oliver was worth reading to the end. This may not be one of her best, but it is a great story, a tragic story, that I enjoyed reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vikas Singh

    Give it to Agatha Christie's superb story telling skills that the ace detective Poiroit is able to solve the mystery long after the crime has been committed. The only Poiroit novel in which his investigative effort is amply supported by another person. However compared to her other crime novels, this one is a bit flat as the end is abrupt and there are just too many coincidences. Give it to Agatha Christie's superb story telling skills that the ace detective Poiroit is able to solve the mystery long after the crime has been committed. The only Poiroit novel in which his investigative effort is amply supported by another person. However compared to her other crime novels, this one is a bit flat as the end is abrupt and there are just too many coincidences.

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