“It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within--not without."

I bet I’ll be able to predict what you’re thinking.

Hold that thought.

You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend…

Gif courtesy JarJarDrinks on imgur (https://imgur.com/user/JarJarDrinks).
Gif courtesy JarJarDrinks on imgur (https://imgur.com/user/JarJarDrinks).

 

Yep...that’s what you’re thinking of, aren’t you?

If you aren’t...hang on to the end of the blog for a tip that could change your life!

 

Okay, pressing on…

...that’s not what I’m driving towards.

Here’s the thing:

There’s two kinds of people in this world.

Those who’ve heard of Hercule Poirot...and those who haven’t.

 

If you haven’t, read on, and I promise you…

...that by the time you’re done reading, you’ll be calling your local bookshop (always better to support small local businesses) and asking them whether they’ve got Hercule Poirot books in stock.

If you do know who Hercule Poirot is, you KNOW this is going to be interesting.

Treading in the footsteps of one of the most popular fictional detectives of all time

Yep (for those NOT in the know), Hercule Poirot is a fictional detective, the creation of Dame Agatha Christie.

Described as a ‘little Belgian with the egg-shaped head’, Poirot is

  • always nattily dressed,
  • has an obsession with tidiness and discipline and
  • concentrates on psychological aspects rather than physical clues to solve mysteries

Adding up to a fascinating character, don’t you think?

 

He often sneers at ‘bloodhound’ detectives who prowl through crime scenes for clues (sorry, Sherlock Holmes fans)...

...preferring to apply his ‘little grey cells’ serenely to untangle clues and see through misdirection.

The body of work Monsieur Poirot appears in

Amongst the vast body of work Dame Christie created for us, Hercule Poirot appears in:

  • 33 novels
  • 2 plays and
  • 51 short stories

And it’s those short stories that we’re interested in, in this blog.

 

Here are 5 Hercule Poirot short stories that would make for great escape room games:

The Erymanthian Boar

Featured in: The Labours of Hercules

M Poirot is on holiday in the Alps when he is approached for help by the Swiss police.

A dangerous criminal is known to have arranged a meeting with some accomplices in a hotel on top of a mountain.

But, nobody knows what he looks like.

Can Poirot help the police nab him?

Interested, Poirot takes up the challenge.

He goes up to the hotel, and meets up with a certain Inspector Drouet.

Pretty soon, they find themselves trapped in the hotel, a corpse is discovered and Poirot is attacked.

Can he untangle what’s going on?

The Third Floor Flat

Featured in: Poirot’s Early Cases/Three Blind Mice and Other Stories

Returning home from a play with his friend Captain Hastings, Poirot is met with distressing news.

A couple of young women who live in the same apartment block as him have stumbled upon a dead body, when they mistakenly enter the wrong flat.

The women are inconsolable.

Can Poirot, Hastings and the two women’s boyfriends work together to find out what happened?

The Disappearance of Johnny Waverly

Featured in: Poirot’s Early Cases/Three Blind Mice and Other Stories

The Waverly family, who live in a large estate in Surrey, have been receiving notes threatening to kidnap their son Johnny Waverly.

Amazingly, each note mentions the exact date and time the kidnapping will take place.

On the fateful day, Inspector McNeil from Scotland Yard orders the local police to swarm the estate

Johnny, his father Marcus and the Inspector lock themselves inside a room in the house.

YET

The kidnapping occurs precisely when the notes threatened it would.

Can Poirot work out what happened?

The Case of the Missing Will

Featured in: Poirot Investigates

Miss Violet Marsh’s uncle has passed away, leaving behind a strange note for her.

It says that she is allowed to live on his estate for one year, within which she has to prove her wits.

If she fails, all his wealth will go to various charitable institutions, and she’d be left penniless.

Can Poirot decipher what the note means, and ensure she gets some of her uncle’s wealth?

Incidentally, we do have an escape room game that takes place on an estate and involves recovering hidden inheritances.

Why these five short stories in particular?

Any detective story is a good fit for an escape room, as they both involve uncovering clues, cracking puzzles and figuring out how to resolve a situation.

HOWEVER…

These five Hercule Poirot short stories mostly take place in a single setting, and have the time element - a need to solve the mystery within a deadline - which makes them particularly good escape room material.

 

Do you agree with this list?

 

(BTW, if you have no clue what the gif you saw at the beginning is, watch a film called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.)

 

Which Hercule Poirot short stories do YOU think are good fits for an escape room?

 

Let us know on facebook, with the captions #ExperimentalEscape #HerculePoirot #EscapeRoom!

 

Banner image courtesy https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/hercule-poirot/.