Agatha Christie

The Big Four

1927-01-27 (First published)

Main Details
Author
Agatha Christie
Date
1927-01-27 First published
Publication Location UK
Genre
Language English
Notes The Big Four is a detective novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on 27 January 1927, and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, and Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp.

The structure of the novel is different from other Poirot stories, as it began from twelve short stories (eleven in the US) that had been separately published.

• "The Unexpected Guest" - first published in The Sketch, 2 January 1924. This formed the basis for chapters 1 and 2 of the book: The Unexpected Guest and The Man from the Asylum
• "The Adventure of the Dartmoor Bungalow" - first published in The Sketch, 9 January 1924. This formed the basis for chapters 3 and 4 of the book: We hear more about Li Chang Yen and The Importance of a Leg of Mutton
• "The Lady on the Stairs" - first published in The Sketch, 16 January 1924. This formed the basis for chapters 5 and 6 of the book: Disappearance of a Scientist and The Woman on the Stairs
• "The Radium Thieves" - first published in The Sketch, 23 January 1924. This formed the basis for chapter 7 of the book with the same title
• "In the House of the Enemy" - first published in The Sketch, 30 January 1924. This formed the basis for chapter 8 of the book with the same title
• "The Yellow Jasmine Mystery" - first published in The Sketch, 6 February 1924. This formed the basis for chapters 9 and 10 of the book: The Yellow Jasmine Mystery and We investigate at Croftlands
• "The Chess Problem" - first published in The Sketch, 13 February 1924. This formed the basis for chapter 11 of the book with the slightly revised title of A Chess Problem. Chapter 11 from the novel has also been published as stand-alone short story in reprints
• "The Baited Trap" - first published in The Sketch, 20 February 1924. This formed the basis for chapters 12 and 13 of the book: The Baited Trap and The Mouse Walks In
• "The Adventure of the Peroxide Blonde" - first published in The Sketch, 27 February 1924. This formed the basis for chapter 14 of the book with the slightly revised title of The Peroxide Blonde
• "The Terrible Catastrophe" - first published in The Sketch, 5 March 1924. This formed the basis for chapter 15 of the book with the same title
• "The Dying Chinaman" - first published in The Sketch, 12 March 1924. This formed the basis for chapter 16 of the book with the same title
• "The Crag in the Dolomites" - first published The Sketch, 19 March 1924. This formed the basis for chapters 17 and 18 of the book: Number Four Wins the Trick and In the Felsenlabyrinth. It was also the final Poirot story that Christie wrote for The Sketch

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