Friday, August 25, 2006

Sherlock Holmes Vs Hercule Poirot

I know. It has been an eon since my last post. I also know the title sounds much like one of those entertaining, yet ultimately inane and pointless Hollywood flicks the studios churn out when they are totally bereft of ideas... Godzilla Vs King Kong, Freddie Vs Jason, Alien Vs Predator et cetera. My post doesn't endeavor to be anything more than just that: inane and pointless.

As a kid, I was an avid reader of detective stories of any kind. In particular, I was a big fan of one Mr. Sherlock Holmes. There was hardly ever a story involving the master detective that left me unsatisfied. At the same time, much as I tried, I could never really enjoy the brand of detective fiction that Ms. Agatha Christie peddled. I attributed my dislike of her works to the fact that Mr. Hercule Poirot came across as a pompous jackass with a silly accent, who seemed to revel in the fact that he was smarter than all those around him. Oh! How I hoped and prayed to come across one story where the great Hercule Poirot was left with egg on his face (and a bullet lodged in his rear..) But, as you may have guessed, I never came across such a story. Time passed and I grew out of the "detective novel" phase... and grew into an allround excellent chappie. But I guess that's as well known a fact as any other. So, let's get back to the main theme of the narrative...

A few months ago, out of nostalgia (OK... out of sheer mind-numbing boredom on account of cable TV being out), I picked up my former roomie's "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" and dug into it. Pretty soon I was being thoroughly entertained by the excellent Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson. As some smart-ass once said, "All good things must come to an end." and so it was a few days later, when I was done with the book. I thanked Sir AC Doyle for having entertained me in my darkest hour and moved on.... until a few days later, fate handed me an opportunity to revisit the works of Ms Christie. I thought to myself that this was as good an opportunity as any to investigate why I had so detested the M. Poirot as a kid.

Thus thinking, I tore into "Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories" with the finesse of a pit-bull. It didn't take me long to discover why as a kid, I had hoped, much against my character, that the man get trampled by a horse carriage. In addition to being a pompous jackass, the man seemed to derive a perverse pleasure in teasing the readers by with-holding information, which he pompously declared he had, till the very end. And when he did share his deductions, they were supremely anti-climactic more often than not. But what irked me the most was that the hoity-toity Belgian never made a mistake.. ever. I mean, come on. Even the great Sherlock Holmes made the occasional mistake. But Hercule Poirot? No. He is perfect.

I still have to get through half the short stories in the book. Man, how I would love for the aforementioned horse carriage incident to occur in one of the stories. In fact, the hope is what keeps me going.... until later... cheers.. 8-)


At 7:41 AM , Blogger Kaushik said...

Good to finally see a new post!

Dude...I'm with you 100% on Poirot...surprised you didn't mention ze abominable french accent, and the fact that he waddles like a bloated toad. Was forcibly made to watch 'Murder on the Nile' a long time ago...first and last encounter with Poirot!

At 11:08 PM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Kaushik]: Yes. The French accent.. eet ees, what do you say, annoying, no?

At 12:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see a post, can you also read some more books and let us know your understanding?

At 1:10 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Anon]: Sure. Will do. Any suggestions on books to read?

At 11:08 PM , Blogger the Monk said...

Long time indeed. And I agree, I never got beyond the book in which Poirot thankfully dies, Curtain. Holmes & Co., of course, were brilliant as ever.

Suggestions on books to read: One Hundred Years of Solitude, if you haven't already. Mind blowing brilliance.

At 3:46 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Monk]: Ya, long time, dude. That book in which Poirot dies, I must read!! And thanks for the suggestion. I'll try to get down to it next...

At 12:43 AM , Blogger Guruprasad Kini (Guru) said...

Ah ha. You have been blogging! Good boy. :). Never read Poirot. In fact, I only liked Christie's ladies-gettogether-gone-wrong type of stories where some old hag invariably gets bonked off and others fret over it.
But I guess one can get enuf reasons to hate Poirot(he was Belgian, wasn't he? What's with the French accent?). But I liked the TV Serial's title track. I still it have on MP3 :)

At 1:26 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Guru]: I finally took your advice and started blogging again... :) Poirot was a Belgian, but in the book Agatha Christie appears to use the words French and Belgian interchangably. And ya, the title track of the TV series was indeed catchy tune...

At 12:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, Guru, as far as I know,Belgians have Dutch, French & German as their major languages, and France is right next to Belgium, so it's not really surprising that he has a French accent. Where did you get the title track by the way? I want to buy/download it.

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At 8:32 AM , Blogger Jonathan said...

Someone mentioned watching death on the nile. and that being their first and last encounter with Poirot. I can understand why. However, I do find poirot mildy ammusing. I must confess to not reading any of the books, but have watch a great deal of the TV programs. All I can say to anyone who has taken a dislike to Poirot in the form of Peter Ustinov, please give him another chance in the guise of David Suchet. Even if you don't like Poirot, I am sure you will agree that Suchet gets the character so much better than anyone else.

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At 8:18 AM , Blogger MonAmi said...

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At 8:08 PM , Blogger Raza K said...

Hey, first time writing on your blog. I just want to say that I aswell am a huge fan of Sir Doyle's great adventures of Holmes and watson and many people told me to give Poirot a try. I did indeed but I personally found that a true Sherlockian can never appreciate Poirot as anybody else would. There are major differences in writing styles and the characters themselves are completely different.

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At 5:09 PM , Blogger deidre said...

your article is fatally misguided!! Poirot has made mistakes oh but lots of times... if you have read the story The Chocolate Box, or The Lost Mine. Indeed in "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" it takes him the better part of 3 months to solve the case. It is also deplorable to a grave degree for some commentators here to go on criticizing of all things his accent!Vous devriez avoir honte!!

At 1:53 AM , Blogger Aayla Security said...

A simple question: HOW THE HECK DO YOU *READ* ACCENTS THAT ARE IN NO WAY INDICATED BY THE PRINTED WORDS ALONE? Poirot in the books speaks perfect English (even though he does misquote Shakespear and is on shaky grounds with idioms) and only slips into "native" mode when he wants to. Unless you read the short stories with some sort of special glasses, I can't see how you can be so annoyed by it that the books put you off.

Yes, Poirot is arrogant - just like Holmes. The Holmes who rants about boredom in SIGN, the Holmes who declares the superiority of his genes in GREE, the Holmes who willfully insults Watson in LADY. How is he better than Poirot, whose pomposity at least has a comical air and obviously no one takes him seriously?

Also, I think you are severely misguided if you form your opinion only on Poirot's short stories - they are generally worse than the novels, which are, as many will testify, the very reason why Poirot is so well-loved. The solutions to Poirot's crimes are more ingenius, simple as that.

(Not that I love Christie all that much - I was bitterly disappointed sometimes, especially by The Clocks. And there ARE times when I really want to strangle Poirot. Then again, save for a select few, Sherlock Holmes mysteries rarely impress me.)

At 1:54 AM , Blogger Aayla Security said...

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At 1:55 AM , Blogger Aayla Security said...

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At 9:32 AM , Blogger KRISHNAKUMAR said...

Well, in my opinion, Sherlock Holmes is far, far better than Poirot. I have read all 56 SS and 4LS of Holmes. They have been a logical treat for me, except a few which was a bit slow paced, by Holmes's standard. His deductions are so very logical and algorithmic. Also, the subtle humour(mostly involving Gregson, Athelney Jones, et al) are so hilarious. There was one point where I used to turn to Holmes's books whenever I felt bored or depressed...:-) Hats off to Sir ACD for giving the world such a treasure.

Coming to Agatha Christie. We will leave Marple for the time being...:-P

Let's talk about Poirot. I agree with Pushuka completely. I have not read all his books. But, I have read some of the famous ones like:

1. Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
2. Murder on the Orient Express.
3. Evil under the Sun.

As far as the deductions are concerned, Poirot relies heavily on guesswork. His 'grey cells' are mostly written in quotes, maybe giving us a hint that they are more of 'guess cells'...;-) While reading, you get a feeling that everything is custom made for Poirot. He seems to know everything beforehand and tries to drag the suspense till the end to reveal the culprit in the last chapter. I think, we can just read the first 2 and the last 2 chapters to get the whole plot. And one more thing is, you don't like to read the novel again since all the climax happens at the end.
If you want some orthodox whodunit to pass some time, read Poirot.
If you really want to stimulate your real grey cells, read Holmes. Period.

At 4:06 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

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At 4:10 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Deirdre, you answer is fatally misguided. It is true that Poirot has never made a single mistake except in "the Chocolate box", however Poirot did identify the killer, and the killer even admits it.
Second, Poirot did not make any single mistake in The Lost Mine and in "The Mysterious Affair at Styles". He did not make mistakes in these 2 cases either. Chocolate box was the only case where Poirot made only one single mistake in his entire professional career, but he did find the murderer.

At 4:18 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Also, Hercule Poirot is smarter than Sherlock Holmes, I found posts of an other poster here which prove this claim:


You should read this.Also Poirot has made only one mistake (that has been neutralized but still Poirot identified the killer, which means Poirot nullified his only mistake) while Holmes was making occasional mistakes.
Also, there should be considered the fact that Poirot just recently joined the police office and was very very young when he accepted the case Chocolate box.

At 2:36 AM , Blogger Murali_Krishnan. N said...

Sherlock Holmes is definitely better than Hercule Poirot in many ways.
Firstly, I would say that it is SH who REASONS while HP merely FEELS though he claims he THINKS. Notice that HP uses “I was not satisfied”, “it didn’t ring true”, “it struck me as rather odd”, "it seemed all wrong" to express his ideas midway during investigation. That is, he isn’t able to point at any actual incongruity which sets him suspecting, whereas SH clearly explains the purported ruse and the give away ! Also, HP is lazy to follow up his “suspicions”. I mean – he suspected some character and did what after that – tapped his phone ? followed him to identify who he is meeting or what he is doing secretly ? intercepted his letters ? overheard any of his conversations ? NO to all !! So, HP’s saying that he suspected some character serves only to make the reader believe that he indeed is guilty !! That is, AFTER you know the truth, if you re-read the book and look at the character’s actions and/or words, they MAY give you to “feel” he / she is hiding something or evading some question or something like it – the whole thing is nothing better than pure verbal trickery !! (How else can you explain HP’s absence from some scenes, but later using the “clues” from these scenes in his conclusions ???) In fact, the “mystery” element in all Agatha Christie stories is achieved only through this verbal trickery and not because of any genuinely singular sequence of events like what SH had investigated and explained !!
Secondly, I would say that the method of investigation used by a detective should be suitable for identifying the perpetrator whoever he is and WHEREVER he is at the moment of investigation ! SH scores over HP again here. HP’s way of “reconstructing the crime” is suitable ONLY when the perpetrator is within a confinement – be it a house, plane, ship, library, plane, railway coach, etc. where the investigation is going on. If the criminal is an outsider (as is more often the case in SH adventures AND BY NO MEANS IMPOSSIBILE, IN REAL LIFE), Poirot would be in a soup for sure ! Notice that whenever Poirot needs to do something like background check, gathering info, TRACING PEOPLE, there is always someone ready with the ideal result on a platter for Poirot.(I OFTEN WONDER HOW AGATHA CHRISTIE FANS NEVER REALISED THIS !!) So, HP’s job is reduced to keep conversing with those within the confinement about a murder over and over and over again till someone says something which he / she shouldn't have said and ultimately becomes his undoing. To ONLY conveniently direct the suspicion back to those inside the confined area, HP asks seemingly logical questions like “whose word do we have for it that there was a man in the corridor ? (Mystery of the Blue Train), “what evidence do we have for it that it was left in the draw last Friday ?” (The Submarine Plans), etc.
A really annoying point, in fact, a direct insult to SH, is HP’s way of showing the “uselessness” of tangible clues. This apparent uselessness ensues because the so called “criminal ingenuity” is too contrived (so much so that in the final explanation, it is PLAINLY MENTIONED / confessed (rather than “reasoned”) and/or the clues observed are way too superficial !! Psychology, if you ask me, can be used in a milder sense (like how SH does in “The Blue Carbuncle”) to elicit some info which one would conceal consciously, with people about the locality to collect info about some pasts or about some character - they shouldn’t be alarmed that you are a detective and you are spying for some info. Under the same roof, direct questioning can easily be employed to a far greater degree than what HP does. After all, if psychology of crime is so infalliable, why didn't HP detect the "wish to kill" in people and thus prevent murders ? (HP could’ve made entries at crucial spots and dramatically held the stabbing hand / poisoning/ shooting hand !) Interestingly, SH, who relies on physical evidence (which you get ONLY if the act had been done), has prevented crimes more often than HP.

At 2:53 AM , Blogger Murali_Krishnan. N said...

To continue what I was saying...
Hercule Poirot keeps harping “order and method” all the time. But tell me dear Christie fans, what exactly does he do in an “orderly” and “methodical” way ? He presses his clothes, folds the newspaper, arranges flowers in vases, wears his tie, etc. in a neat, methodical fashion. But then, my dears, he is supposed to be a “detective”. Is he any orderly and methodical in his profession ?? Sherlock Holmes is shabby in his appearance but EXTREMELY methodical in his profession and isn’t this what is more important ?? If you are not able to understand what exactly I mean, let me ask bluntly like this: (Answer honestly) IN HOW MANY AGATHA CHRISTIE STORIES YOU ARE ABLE TO STOP READING THE STORY SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE & SAY with conviction THAT (THIS) IS WHAT THE DETECTIVE HAS FOUND OUT SO FAR. (THESE) CHARACTERS ARE ABOVE SUSPICION, (THIS) CHARACTER IS BEING SUSPECTED B’COZ OF (THIS) REASON / CLUE ? That is, CAN YOU EVER SAY when POIROT / MARPLE OR WHOEVER FOUND which ASPECT OF THE CASE ?? You just keep reading page after page after page without knowing where things are heading and suddenly, the “truth” is revealed all at once. It is as though, the author herself felt tired of rambling for so many pages – she could have rambled more if she had wanted to – and so “condescends” to give the solution to the reader ! ( Even then, only how / why the murder was done and NOT so much on HOW IT WAS FOUND OUT like who was suspected when and why, what was noticed, whether the suspicion was confirmed / allayed, etc. are not told whereas Sherlock Holmes explains the whole investigation process right from the moment he was given to investigate till the final solution) step by step by step so much so even while keeping the mystery element intact. Isn’t this true methodicalness??
Also, SH hardly ever employs outside agents to help him. [He actually employs agents only in situations when he needs to simultaneously observe the goings on at more than one place simultaneously.] Even then, he tells them the exact trick that needs to be played with the baddies - what this means it is SH's ‘grey cells” that helps close the case. Whereas, HP uses outside agents to such an extent that his own job is reduced to just conversing with the people inside the confinement, and waiting for them to say something that might be their undoing. Another way in which SH is better: SH has investigated all types of crimes like blackmail, kidnap, bank robbery, jewel robbery, impersonation, treason, fake currency notes printing apart from murder. He has also investigated a lot of "cimeless mysteries". HP has solved only murders predominantly. Even in the minor no. of cases where other crimes are involved, HP is not able to get anywhere before a murder by someone under the same roof takes place. (This murder actually makes things easy for HP because you can reconstruct the movements of the people about the place, whereas with the other crimes, you cannot avoid looking for outsiders.)

At 3:07 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Murali, you have to answer, has ever Holmes faced off against psychological killers?
Killers who do not kill themselves but they force others to kill without anyone knowing-Holmes could not solve these kinds of cases. Holmes whenever he could not find any evidence or clue was lost. Poirot wasn't there are some cases where criminal got away in both Holmes and Poirot's cases, but Poirot knew the killer was.

At 2:02 AM , Blogger Murali_Krishnan. N said...

First of all, thanks for replying to my post.
SH hasn't investigated any murders which one person forces another to commit, you say. True,may be,but, it is again only murder ! AND, BY SOMEONE UNDER THE ROOF, AT THAT !! What's the big deal ??? And, I have already answered this point in my post. QUOTING MYSELF - I would say that the method of investigation used by a detective should be suitable for identifying the perpetrator whoever he is and WHEREVER he is at the moment of investigation ! SH scores over HP again here. HP’s way of “reconstructing the crime” is suitable ONLY when the perpetrator is within a confinement – be it a house, plane, ship, library, railway coach, etc. where the investigation is going on. UNQUOTE If one goes by SH's methods, he would have (in these cases) nabbed the murderer rather than the instigator. SH, as a detective traces the movement of the characters with uncanny accuracy that they are frightened into giving a confession. This confession includes the motive factor also. So, the instigation factor would come out, anyway. Not just crime, ANY human action - choosing a kind of dress, the colour of dress, setting a ring tone on your cell phone, choosing a life partner - ANTHING has a psychological angle to it. The moot question is how much of this psychological angle (is / can be made) evident when you investgate a crime & MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW MUCH OF IT CAN YOU PROJECT AS CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF GUILT. Thus, it always makes sense to approach any crime from the WHO and proceed towards the WHY (or, worst comes worst, analyse both simultaneously). If you approach it from the WHY angle and go towards WHO, you would not be able to dig out all the contacts of an individual. IT WOULD AMOUNT TO ASSUMING THAT THE CRIMINAL COULD BE ONLY THOSE INSIDE THIS CONFINEMENT AND SIMPLY NOWHERE ELSE,WHICH OF COURSE, DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. After all, if only you have set of people to talk about a crime and about each other who "could" be involved in the affair, your "psychology" becomes relevant. If you have only the result (like a burglary), how will you proceed ? Will you "conclude" saying one of the inmates has faked it ? Is that the ONLY solution possible ? Think about this and you will understand what I mean.

There is ample proof for this in HP novels themselves. SH is shown to succeed where the official police fail. HP is ALSO shown to succeed in nabbing some criminals who have been evading the clutches of the law. So far so good. The important and interesting difference is that SH succeeds because he has some special forensic knowledge which the official police lack. And HP succeeds because when he has entered the investigation arena, the criminal is within the confinement whereas, when the criminal was supposedly dodging the law, the situation would be like there would have been a need to look for outsiders and trace this person. Since everybody was, psychologically speaking, innocent, no one could be "framed". Did you notice this ???
For your second point,QUOTING MYSELF - Even in the minor no. of cases where other crimes are involved, HP is not able to get anywhere before a murder by someone under the same roof takes place. UNQUOTE. Can you NAME THE STORIES IN WHICH HE HAD TRACED PEOPLE ?(For two full posts of points against HP, you are able to point out just ONE (and feeble) point in favour of HP, beyond which you are only asserting HP is smarter than SH and NOT SAYING HOW. Ha Ha Ha Ha !!

At 3:42 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Believe it or not, Poirot has traced people I watched this it happened several times, the problem is I couldn't remember.
Poirot, occasionally did everything what Holmes did.
Poirot is all-around detective if you read all the stories, his first stories were basically similar to Holmes' stories when it comes to forensics, however in later stories and novels he started to use psychology and gut instincts, he focuses on details that even Holmes would find useless.
And read the big four this was the one case where Poirot had to travel from continent to continent to solve the case and find, detect and defeat 4 of the world's greatest and smartest criminal masterminds.

I have a question for you could Sherlock Holmes detect Norton as the psychological manipulator where other kill and everybody had motives to kill each other, and there were no clues, no wintesses or evidences on which Sherlock Holmes could rely on where Poirot did although he was quite old and crippled.
This is why I say Poirot is a better detective he would find a murderer just by talking to the guy, Poirot is a psychologist and Norton was a twisted version of Poirot.
Sorry, Holmes would never be able to detect the manipulator in the Curtain: The last Poirot story.
They say Holmes is intuitive, but it is Poirot who is intuitive.
If Holmes is all about forensics, Poirot is all about forensic psychology/profiling.

At 3:44 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Yes, Poirot did trace people but I couldn't remember in which stories/novels.

At 12:08 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Also. Poirot has solve burglaries, kidnapping and etc. it's not strange to him, in several mysteries Poirot has detected a murderer who was not inside the are of known people and was outside of the known environment, Poirot detected these murderers by simple notes.

At 3:54 AM , Blogger Murali_Krishnan. N said...

Lonewolf, you are repeating your mistake again and again and yet again !! - not quoting the name of the book(s) where HP had traced people. You are saying that there are several such adventures. How come you can't remember even ONE of them ?? Then, why would ANYone (let alone I) accept your statement supporting HP? I would VOUCH that there are NONE.

Have YOU read CURTAIN and THE BIG FOUR ?? In THE BIG FOUR, HP does play SH. But, just that once !! Even then, I would demand to know why the heck does he say that tangible clues are useless ?? Isn't he being hypocritical ?

And, if you have read CURTAIN, you should have known that HP is NOT a cripple but only pretends to be so. He even succeeds in convincing Hastings that he is a cripple. (I am not faulting him for this - just giving you some info.) Coming back to the plot part - as I was saying, SH would have got to the bottom of the matter in his own way - forcing a confession and bringing out the instigation element. When you say that there were no clue, no witnesses, no evidences, I can't help laughing and completing it with "and so, NO PROOF OF GUILT as well !! HA HA HA HA HA" - That is HP for you - it is one thing to know and quite another to be able to "prove" it. So, what's he good of "knowing who is guilty" without your being able to produce him before the law and get him punished ???? And yes - HP finds out that someone is a bad guy by just talking to him. That's what I am also trying to say !! If only you talk to the guilty person, you can find out. What do you do if everyone inside the house is innocent ?? Take any of the real life incidents as an example. You hear of / read about bomb blasts on railway tracks, bus stations. You hear of children getting kidnapped for some ransom money. How will you trace the culprits using HP's "grey cells" ?? Beyond the housekeeper's / baby sitter's testimony that the child was playing with his doll in the drawing room when she had gone inside the kitchen to fetch his glass of milk you can't get anything further from her. You HAVE to go look for outsiders. When you investigate bomb blasts, the police have a toughER time. Every survivor would have run away from the site and since this is an open crime, no one would be able to testify about "noticing" something. As I had said in my previous post, I am repeating here again. you are harping on only ONE point in favour of HP - that he had solved instigated murders. I have answered that - SH's methods of investigation encompasses solving crimes like this also. PERIOD

At 2:13 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Yes, I knew that in the Curtain NOT a cripple but only pretends to be so, but he was very old, it was his plan to detect a killer.
He said tangible clues are useless, mostly because he relies on forensic psychology, and with psychology you solve more cases in a real world.

Like I said HP has solved all kinds of cases, re-read them.
I can't remember any of them because a time passed when there was the last story of Poirot I have read the last time, but there was occasionally shown where both Poirot and Hastings (besides Big Four) have tracked a person.

There are others stories like Cornish mystery where a husband leaved all the fingerprints all kinds of clues and finished in the court room as guilty, but Poirot already detected who the real killer is.
The problem was Poirot did not have a single clue and did not have a shred of evidence against the killer.
So he had to somehow force the killer to sign the letter where he admits that he is the one who killed.
However, Hastings helped Poirot by telling the killer there are 2 secret agents on the street who will kill him or something like that (but of course those were not secret agents, they were normal salesmen), and than they gave the killer a time to run before they call Japp to arrest him.

Regarding the Curtain, The main reason why Holmes would not be able to solve this case or detect the real killer, because there was nothing to connect with him, it's Poirot's knowledge of psychology that actually lead him to the real killer, not forensics or anything else.
There are at least several more cases like this I read books 2 weeks ago but I couldn't remember the exact name of the novels/stories.
I have to again read them just to remember and I will write on my Microsoft word so I don't forget the name of the novels/stories,...again.

I'm not saying Holmes is not good psychologist, Holmes is as shown as excellent at reading people and their behaviors, but that's about it. Poirot takes another much higher level above Holmes when it comes to psychology because in cases where there were not anything to detect Poirot's knowledge of psychology helped him to solve cases in situations that were seemingly impossible.

At 2:16 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Scotland Yard in Holmes' world would eventually detect the mastermind and detect the name Moriarty, but the cruel fact is that Scotland Yard didn't care to investigate anything on the streets, they didn't care to know streets, they didn't have the streets knowledge because they didn't care not because they are incapable, only Holmes cared.
And that's the fact a cruel fact, if Lestrade had secret agents all over the streets of London, they would eventually detect the mastermind by comparing informations and people on the streets, following criminals and clues would eventually detect there is a mastermind behind all these crimes.
After all such vast and complex organization would eventually be detected because it is so much large and complex.
When you have psychology there is nothing to prove, unless you know how the criminal mind works, and that is advantage of psychology over tracking people and forensics.

So yes, Norton was much more invisible than Moriarty.
After all the guy was a psychological manipulator, even Poirot, admitted that he is up against the smartest criminal he has ever faced...
Norton it seems was a twisted evil version of Poirot himself and you can call him Poirot's arch-nemesis.

Norton as far as I remember, psychologically manipulated people even before he entered the house of Styles.
Norton was, as we can see it, a perfect murderer, he was more invisible than Moriarty, the fact is people who worked about Moriarty knew about him as criminal mastermind, but in a case of Curtain, people confessed that they kill and they had no idea how and why did they do it.

This is completely different from Study in the Pink in BBC Sherlock, because people were under pressure of the taxi driver who would kill them, if they didn't listen to him and commit suicides. One of these people would eventually talk, he she would break eventually, big deal.
Also, you have to take into account that everybody, every single person had very strong motives to kill each (and everybody else) in the Curtain!

At 2:32 AM , Blogger Murali_Krishnan. N said...

I don't one bit understand what you are saying here - QUOTING YOU - Scotland Yard in Holmes' world would eventually detect the mastermind and detect the name Moriarty, but the cruel fact is that Scotland Yard didn't care to investigate anything on the streets, they didn't care to know streets, they didn't have the streets knowledge because they didn't care not because they are incapable, only Holmes cared.
And that's the fact a cruel fact, if Lestrade had secret agents all over the streets of London, they would eventually detect the mastermind by comparing informations and people on the streets, following criminals and clues would eventually detect there is a mastermind behind all these crimes.
After all such vast and complex organization would eventually be detected because it is so much large and complex.
When you have psychology there is nothing to prove, unless you know how the criminal mind works, and that is advantage of psychology over tracking people and forensics. UNQUOTING Sorry - I honestly don't understand anything. Can you rephrase your thoughts ??

As for your comment on "A study in Scarlet" is concerned, you are saying if one person is killed among the two who were there, it has to be the other who is the murderer. (Have I understood you correctly ? If yes, please take the following as my reply. If not rephrase that part also.)

It is not as simple as how you put it. Using forensics, SH had to first PROVE that there were only the murderer and his victim and nobody else in the house. And very importantly, he has to "trace" his PRESENT whereabouts !! Notice that he doesn't have any characters to talk about each other and about the murder itself to help him with tipsoffs !!

And, you are harping on "psychology", "how the criminal mind works",etc. again. I wonder if you have understood my ideas on these aspects. Just in case you haven't got what I am saying - "the psychology of crime" (and related stuff, by whatever terms they may be called) are factors to be considered only in a closed circuit. Here are some examples - if he does, his property will be mine. if she dies, my dirty secrets die with her. if I silence him, I will start ruling the place and so on. My question is - what will you do if the crime is an open one - where there is nothing much to talk about the "motive" factor. Examples - a bank robbery (it is obvious that the "motive" is the crime itself - they want the money) Ok, dig deeper, and you may come out with "society is apathetic towards poor people. and so, beggars are turning burglars / robbers." You have "understood" the psychology behind the act. Now next, WHO did it ?? WHERE do you look for them ?? Aren't you stuck ?? Taking the same example I gave you last time. Bomb blasts in public places. The psychological angle - some youngsters who had an unhappy childhood, who had been craving for affection and attention but didn't get any. When they resort to these terror acts, they get some gratification that their acts are noticed and people dread them and succumb to their demands (able to relate to what I am saying,eh ??) Now, next, (again the same questions - WHO are they ? WHERE are they NOW ??)Stuck again, aren't you ??? That is where "tracing" comes in. A slightly different angle to this - the "psychology" of crime should be considered by only the judge when awarding punishments. One has to identify the perpetrator first. That is what tracing helps you do. COME BACK LATER. In the meantime, rephrase your first part ....

At 3:24 PM , Blogger Bethan Chalmers said...

To be perfectly honest they both have their flaws I mean of course your supposed to find Poirot annoying that is the style Agatha Christie choose for him just like Sherlock is made out to be brilliant (which he totally is.) Though I can never get into the young Sherlock Holmes books
Now that's the books now more than half these people are basing their opinion on the movies or the TV series
Lets start with the Sherlock series half the reason people like it so much, including me, is the actors I mean Benedict is great and so is Martin freemen. Lets not forget Jude law in the movies equally as brilliant. My one problem with Sherlock is that he comes up with the conclusion almost immediately with out any evidence to back it up and he just knows a little unrealistic.
I've never read Poirot but I want to. I've watched many of the series though. THANK YOU for someone mentioning that Belgium speak french as one of there languages. Anyway The thing I like about Poirot is he has to back things up, check his conclusions like in 'the willow.'Though as you said some cases are predictable for a 13 year old like myself and some are boring and hard to get into to. But by the way it's Agatha Christie for crying out loud of course a child going to find that boring that's why I'm not reading them yet. (No offense)
So ultimately I love both of them I can't decide between books (because I haven't read much of them) but on the films and series ultimately it comes down to this. Most of the Poirot films and series were made earlier thus (like most things made in the twentieth century not all but most) not being as good as modern day films and series.

At 1:31 PM , Blogger Bethan Chalmers said...

( Murali_Krishnan. N) Come on I think what your saying is a little unfair I mean can you remember every little book you've read i guess not

At 7:43 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Hi, Murali ok, I accept that Sherlock Holmes is much better than Poirot, I spoke with other and started reading some of Holmes stories, and I truly apologize for my misunderstanding of Holmes

Part 1:
I have plenty of questions since you truly are a true SH expert, so I have to ask you, what about psychology Holmes' case?

Did Holmes ever detect someone as a killer by using psychology than looking for evidences?

And is the following true:
In some cases it was not true, but also in most of the cases Poirot always had some piece of evidence at least (either physical or some other), however Poirot did have a lack of evidence or no evidence, no clues, no connections, no circumstancial evidences against the criminal, but he knew this guy is guilty.
This is why Mentalist is better he basically put many, many mental traps for criminals in series, I now fully understand Beowulf when he says that Mentalist is better than Poirot when it comes to psychology.
Poirot relies on guessing, although he knows the guy is guility, but he cannot prove it.

James Moriarty and his entire criminal organization which was the biggest/largest in entire Europe vs. The Big Four that Poirot had to face.
Of course Moriarty's vast and totally invisible and totally undetectable organization vs. the Big Four who were not that invisible as people knew about it.
Definitely, James Moriarty, because Moriarty and his criminal organization was so much, much harder actually impossible to detect.

But how did Poirot detect the Big Four, do you perhaps know this?

Is the following true:
Holmes also detected murderers with random murders without connections, clues or evidences, you could say that he had intuition in these cases and was never wrong, the only time he was truly wrong was when he was simply acting arrogant and perfect. The key differences are that Holmes had to detect "outside of the house" street criminals.

Also, Moriarty's vast criminal organization was impossibly hard to detect even for Holmes himself he really put his little grey cells on the most extreme level plus being in disguise, but to detect Moriarty as being invisible mastermind was even much, much more impossible (as it was depicted and shown in Holmes' stories/novels), like you said only a handful of high-ranking members knew Moriarty was behind all this, but also Moriarty has never made a physical contact with anybody (no physical contact with his brother either), and actually only his brother might have known that James Moriarty is behind all the crimes, and that's it.

Is this true?
Sherlock Holmes has solved crimeless cases, crimes of murders, robbery, gangs and etc. without clues, connection, evidences on the streets of London, he first had intuition, than he was looking for solid evidence.

What about psychology:
I wouldn't say psychological manipulators are outside of his abilities. Truth is I do not recall a Holmes story where he ever encountered one so we cannot say one or the other. Holmes is smart enough to notice patterns of behavior that any semi-realistic manipulator would have to engage in to kill someone. It may be shuttle, but I can see him putting enough things together to figure one out. There were several cases where he only needed to hear the details of case with it mostly being behavioral to figure out what was going on.
Yes Holmes is excellent in reading people and their behaviours.

Do you agree or disagree?
So how come Holmes is not as good as Poirot in psychology-it doesn't make any sense!

At 7:45 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Part 2:
Is the following true:
Holmes solved cases detecting murderers without leaving his apartment.
Holmes has one huge advantage over Poirot:

Poirot would be more likely to be stumped if there was no one around to talk to about a case. I.e. if he was dumped onto a murder scene, with no witnesses, no idea about the means or motive, nothing to go on. Holmes would be better at deducing stuff like that by studying the environment and analyzing physical clues of that environment. Maybe the killer did not leave any evidence or a clue or any connection whatsoever, but the environment factor favors Holmes over Poirot and would much easier track the killer.

Do you agree or disagree?

Thank you so much, I will listen to what you write, since you know Holmes better than anybody I spoke with.
Big thanks for your inputs, Murali!

At 5:44 AM , Blogger Murali_Krishnan. N said...

Lonewolf, thanks for calling me a "Sherlock Holmes expert" ! But, I decline your compliment, because I consider myself not any better than a Sherlock Holmes fan / enthusiast.

Coming to answer your point - I don't quite remember about the character Moriarty. . .I read SH more than a decade ago. What I CAN vouch for, however, is this: Since SH was created way before HP, Conan Doyle tried to make his criminal as "cruel", "elusive", "cunning" (and what not) as possible for HIS time. Since HP came much much later, he is shown to be doing crimes in a more sophisticated fashion. Obviously, they don't compare.

Yes, climate often does favour SH. But then, HP is either not looking for any such clues at all or looking at stuff in a very superficial manner. Two points you people ought to realise are these: 1. It is not as though SH never employed psychology in his investigations. He does employ, but in a milder degree and with those people / in those situations when he knows people wouldn't be willing to reveal the truth if he is too blunt in asking his questions. Since this blends well with his "logical" questioning", you mayn't realise this. (Read how he does this at the duck store in the story "The Blue Carbuncle")
AND 2. What with SH's quick and accurate way of tracing people being available for the official police, Conan Doyle never felt the need to create a situation wherein SH is looking for a mastermind who is murdering without any visible patterns and stuff. As soon as a crime is committed, the culprit is nabbed immediately. . . Am I making it clear to you ??

At 11:29 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Murali, Holmes demonstrates knowledge of psychology in several occasions, such as in "A Scandal in Bohemia", where he lures Irene Adler into betraying where she had hidden a photograph based on the "premise" that an unmarried woman will seek her most valuable possession in case of fire, whereas a married woman will grab her baby instead. Another example of this may be found in "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", where Holmes is able to obtain information from a salesman by a wager rather than by interrogation or bribery, remarking, "When you see a man with whiskers of that cut and the 'Pink ’un' protruding out of his pocket, you can always draw him by a bet ... I daresay that if I had put 100 pounds down in front of him, that man would not have given me such complete information as was drawn from him by the idea that he was doing me on a wager."

At 11:32 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Also Murali, what Holmes demonstrated is absolutely nothing to what Mentalist and Poirot have demonstrated:
Holmes would never be able to solve Curtain and Cornish mystery because psychology is something that he does not know about, Holmes is all about forensics, clues, crime scenes, tracking, chemistry, botany-Holmes is not psychology, he was never written that way, nor he can solve any psychological crime, psychological manipulation and similar.

Let's take Mentalist for example:
Mentalist has talked a serial killer into getting killed by another, or found another man was a killer from looking at his cabinet, or told which book in a home-library a note would be hidden, without having visited the man or home.

Or when Mentalist found a man's password by looking at his paintings.. Hell, he can even tell if his friend is going to eat something (the exact item) from crime scene, while talking on a phone with him. I could add more, but you get the idea.

For memory, Mentalist made a list of every person he ever shook hands with since he started working on red john's case over the span of years,Or as for deduction, Mentalist correctly told a man was a psychopath, by looking at his medicine cabinet. Hell, he caught that the cook was guilty from the amount of butter he used in his food.Or as I already mentioned, Mentalist deducing people's password by looking at the paintings in their office (unlike Sherlock, he hadn't met the person at all till then), or telling which book in home-library a dead guy hid a note in, without previously visiting the house. He doesn't count as human in these matters...Or driving a car when blindfolded, and reading people's reactions..The guy isn't human, it's almost like he's some sort of reality warper.., the same thing is with Poirot.And catching people lying? He has never needed to check the pulse, except for the episode when he was blind. Or check this scene out (well, it's from season 1, so not that great of a spoiler, just wanted to share the amazing acting on both sides).
Mentalist has even seen a group's relations, the moment he met them. Like which members dislike each other, or a woman who was jealous of the others, and the members who were involved in a relationship..Nothing Sherlock did really put him on Patrick's level. How the hell can he even know things like the crime scene was going to have cup-cakes and rigsby is going to pick one up? (S5E20)Only time Patrick ever lost, or made mistakes, was when red john was involved. But considering red john can deduce what Patrick is going to deduce about him two months later.. that's not something that'll make Patrick look bad.
You see now why Poirot and Mentalist are above everyone else including above both Holmes brothers, too, as well.
Poirot has also done feats similar what Mentalist has done, however, Poirot has vastly superior intuition (actually Mentalist does not have/possess intuition at all), which makes Poirot superior to even Mentalist.

In the beginning of the Curtain despite complete randomness Poirot detected a psychic killer with only reading cuts of newspaper articles of completely random human tragedies and murders and suicides which each and all tragedies and murders have nothing in common with each other, even though there was no connections and no patterns at all to start with in all murders each in completely different place and each murder with completely different social status, just completely random murders of people who have NO connections and NO patterns with anything or with anyone at all, Poirot simply had intuition that he needs to investigate this-personally and privately-in the Curtain acted the same as Mycroft did (once again), doing nothing, solving everything.

At 11:51 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

First of all, read the curtain, second how could Poirot know or even suspect that completely random murders of which murders have admitted that they did it?
In every murder the killer is known.

Third, we're talking about newspaper articles, Beowulf-in newspaper articles there were no connections, no patterns nothing, I mean people kill each other day in random murders, how could Poirot find connection in newspaper articles?

Answer he did couldn't. That's like out of thousands murders published in newspapers articles I'm going to find 5 murders which were done by psychological manipulator?
What are the chances for that-answer is one huge ZERO.
It's pure intuition that Poirot had also in other stories/novels where he had nothing to be suspicious about and when everything was fit in-this is what I'm talking about, this is something that Holmes has never shown, Beowulf.

These murders in newspaper articles had nothing suspicious since no murder was connected with other murders in any given way at all-in the novel itself it was said by Poirot and Hastings that there is no connection and no pattern at all.
These people who do not know each other, with different social status, and no patterns and no connections to start with-this is

And how could he know when and where the killer would strike-the fact remains that he didn't know-that's a key point here, Beowulf, deal with this, like it or not.

Also, very, very important, let's suppose Holmes gets into the house of Styles for vacation (because this is the only way Holmes would be the witness of various killings of people, and it would the only way for Holmes to suspect something at all, since Holmes cannot suspect anything from newspaper articles) he sees people are killing each other with no reason at all, and there is nothing to investigate at all since people talk with each other and none is talking about murders-all of Holmes' attempts would fall apart, even if Holmes becomes suspicious, Holmes' suspicions would easily fall apart very, very quickly since there would be nothing to investigate in the house of Styles.

This is pure psychology and intuition novel (The Curtain), Holmes would never stand a chance against a psychological manipulator like Stephen Norton, only Mentalist, but maybe, only maybe would figure it out what's going on.

At 11:53 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

these murders were completely unconnected with nothing in common in newspaper articles, there is nothing what Holmes would be able to detect or even suspect since there is nothing to start with, Poirot on the other hand is the specialist when it comes to random crimes, murders, suicides and etc., again read the Curtain once again.

Once you start investigate in the Curtain, Holmes and any other fictional and real detective (except maybe Mentalist, maybe) would still lose the interest because there would not be anything to start with at all, they would think there is a connection and a pattern, but as soon as stat to ask questions and start to investigate they would end up in a dead end-why?

Because there is none who was in the middle of the people who decided to kill, there was no pressure and there was no enforcement by anybody, the beauty of Norton's psychological manipulation is the fact that he never says anything concrete, he never says anything at all, but his words build up psychological pressure inside people's sub-consciousness (which people are not aware of them at all, since people do not see or feel any pressure at all) which breaks people mentally-and all that without saying anything at all.

Basically all what Holmes and other fictional detective would find out is who were their friends, what were they talking about (dead end) but they would not find any motive whatsoever, and they would not find any of those these killers know are connected in any other way-FACT; in the end the investigation would go in the dead end, and it would be finished, everybody will say "crime cases closed".

In order to solve this crime you really need to understand psychology on Poirot's and Mentalist's level.

People in the Curtain did not know each other, they were from different parts of all kinds of places, it's like saying when you read newspaper articles about the killings, and you say there is a serial killer/mastermind even though there is no connection at all, if this was the case like you said, I'd find as Holmes would find mastermind in the newspapers every single day-but this is not the case with Holmes or anyone else, because they are very weak when it comes to intuition and when it comes to detecting patterns and connections where they do not exist at all.

Of course, to Holmes (once he enters the house Styles and any other house where Norton is present), Norton would become suspicious since he was in the middle of all these crimes and people who committed crimes, but Holmes would eliminate Norton from being suspicious mostly because of the fact, Norton did nothing physically and did not force anyone to kill, so Norton would eventually be ruled out as mastermind, after all Holmes could be in the house and seeing and hearing everything what Norton says, and based on this fact Holmes would find nothing suspicious since Norton did not do anything and did not say anything that would make him a suspect in the first place, it would be a normal conversation between all of these people in the Styles and every other house.

Holmes' final deduction would be-there is no mastermind behind these crimes, they are truly 100% random and Norton would be ruled out as a suspect as everyone else would be ruled out as suspects-facts.

At 11:53 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

The same thing can be said for Mentalist, and you don't complain on Mentalist but Norton-I mean really, you're so incoherent.

And once again, I explained everything above, Holmes could not find any pattern in newspaper articles with different people killing each other-fact, plus Holmes would never know where to go and where is "murderer" going to be in which hotel motel and whatsoever and where the following completely random murders and "a murderer" are going to be.
It's pure intuition, I gave you above in my answer to both you and seeker how Poirot's intuition works, Poirot simply knows where he needs to be at the right place in the right time to continue solving crime cases, even though everything was fit in.
There are plenty other stories/novels where everything was solved, all the clues and all the evidences are definite and all patterns, all connections fit in, and yet Poirot's intuition tells him otherwise-Holmes does not have all that, and that is why 2 100% irrefutable facts remain:

a) Holmes would never be able to detect Norton just from newspaper articles which are 100% random, without any connection and without any pattern, no evidences no clues, no nothing, absolutely nothing;

b)Poirot can solve and solves many more crimes cases of all kinds than Holmes can solve, since he cannot continue where leads are lost-it's the endgame for Holmes, but it's not the endgame for Poirot, Poirot would find and detect the criminal, but he would not be able to prove it-that's a key difference between Poirot and Holmes-facts.

At 11:56 PM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

First, every murder was happening in a period over a year, second since there are so many random murders in newspapers every single day, there is no way Holmes or anyone else for that matter would become suspicious.

The only way for Holmes to become suspicious is to get into these hotels and witness murders all by himself, but the problem is if Holmes was going to investigate this, he would end up in a dead end, since all what he will see is people talking with each other and than killing each other-than Holmes' deduction would be there is no mastermind, these murders are completely random, the people who killed are true killers there is no planning behind these murders at all, since all Holmes and everyone else will ever see is just pure conversation between people.

But Holmes or any other detective would never see any pattern or connection since there was not any connection after you look in the newspapers, only after he starts to investigate these particular 5 murders (again Holmes would never even suspect that there is something to investigate from thousands of newspaper articles in the first place) Holmes would see pattern or connection with Norton-but the questions is out of every newspaper article about publishing murders Holmes would simply have no idea and he would never ever suspect there is something suspicious or the murders are connected in any way, but like I said, there is no way where will Norton strike next, so Holmes would not know where Norton will be in which hotel or whatsoever, when Holmes enters the hotel, he will find nothing suspicious, just Norton and a bunch of all other guests talking nothing particular, nothing coherent with each other and killing each other-dead end for Holmes and his investigation.

Just for the record Poirot did find a connection with Norton after Poirot started to investigate but that was after Poirot was reading newspaper articles (the exact thing is specifically said and written in the Curtain); but the key issue here is how did Poirot detect anything at all from thousands of newspaper articles (each murder was committed in a period of an entire year) about murders and human tragedies from each year and how did Poirot specifically know which particular/specific murders to investigate-the fact is Poirot couldn't know this, of course, it's obvious that Poirot had intuition that led him to believe there is more than just complete randomness in newspaper articles and their publishing of all kinds of murders and other tragedies over the period of multiple years which are all completely unconnected, with zero patterns, nothing weird or suspicious; since people kill each other every single day in a completely random way with zero connections and with zero patterns, with zero clues.

However, after that 4 pages later (after Poirot mentions murders in newspaper articles and the way how people were killed and why they were killed), after Poirot shows Hastings those newspaper articles, Poirot says that he mad e his own investigation and found out that that X knew all 5 murdered people and was always near them, but also that he has a picture of this X person-but the fact is Poirot has never shown this picture to Hastings which means he was lying to Hastings, plus Poirot specifically said at the end of the novel in his explanation that he has smelled danger only after Norton entered the house of Styles the very first moment, which again proves that Poirot did not know who is the mastermind and did not find any connection between these 5 people and a "murderer" as he claimed so, but Poirot knew based on his intuition, with no real evidence, no real clue, that there is a mastermind although there was no any connection and no pattern at all; plus Poirot was really old and was not capable to investigate himself what his intuition was telling him, even though there was truly nothing to investigate since everything was 100% random, zero connections, zero patterns and similar.

At 12:00 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

However, Poirot was correct, Norton was the mastermind behind all those murders and many more-which are never found out, I explained why Holmes would never be able to detect Norton, as an manipulator above.
It is only after Poirot entered the house of Styles, Poirot found out these facts about Norton, but he couldn't know them before since Poirot despite he was able to walk, Poirot still could not investigate himself because of the health issues.

Holmes' deduction would be (after and if ever Holmes enters the hotel Styles in disguise and focuses on Norton to track him into the hotel) is that there is no pattern and no connection since people are only talking with each other with neither mentioning murder and none is saying anything that has to do with murder or anything like it and what would Holmes will also see are people killing each other and that's it.
Norton was basically saying everything, but at the same time Norton did not ever say anything specific in his conversations with other people-that's the beauty of Norton's method.

Holmes' deduction would than be that Norton would be ruled out as an suspect as well as all other people in the hotel would be ruled out as suspects as well, except those who kill, people are truly killing each other with no reason at all-that would be the end result of Holmes' investigation-and this is where Holmes would make a huge mistake.

For something like this to truly figure it out what's going on, you need a top-level psychology/psychologist, I'm not even sure if even Mentalist would be able to figure it out what's going on and I'm not even sure if Mentalist would be able to detect Norton as psychological manipulator, since Mentalist's menipulation works in a different way than Norton's, and it can be recognized, while Norton's cannot be recognized.
Poirot specifically said that he smelled the danger the very first moment Norton stepped into the House of Styles, which 100% proves that Poirot did not know who the psychological "killer" is and he didn't know that there is a mastermind behind these killings in newspapers articles, but he intuitively knew what to follow and who to follow that psychological manipulator would be in the house of Styles.

At 12:02 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

It's called both psychology and intuition, Poirot in crime cases when everything was solved, and every pattern and every connection was fit in and crime cases were 100% solved, Poirot's intuition started to work-he simply knew where to be in the right place and at the right time-and yes Poirot said it was his intuition that enabled him to solve the case.
And yes, you're right, this is one of major reasons I find Holmes more interesting than Poirot, because Poirot is just too damn good to be a detective, since what Poirot possesses does not have to do anything with being detective.

Of course, this did not happen in every Poirot's story/novel, but in some stories/novels Poirot solved the case with pure deduction and very few clues, in other stories/novels it was pure psychology and psychological traps and psychological games with criminals, while in other stories/novels was pure intuition, while in other stories/novels there was a combination either psychology and deduction, psychology and intuition all at the same time.

Because of these reasons, Poirot can solve/solves more crime cases/crimes than Holmes, he simply can go further when evidences and clues no longer exist or point to dead end, plus when evidences and clues are completely miselading-something that has never been shown in any of Holmes' stories/novels-facts.
But yes, Holmes is better detective than Poirot, far more technical, with far more knowledge, but also more human since he made many more mistakes and many more failures, dead ends and etc. than Poirot did.
The only true failure that Poirot had was in The Chocolate box, but the woman who killed her son confessed that she killed her son and why.

At 12:10 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

They key problem is that there were too many people in each murder, and each murder was done by the killer which was witnessed by everyone who were at that moment at the same place as killer, and there were lots of people every time, so Holmes would never be able to detect there is a mastermind in each and every murder which were done by the killers which were seen by everyone who were at that place in that time.

Yes, 4 of the 5 KNOWN murders and tragedies were done in the same district, but there were too many people in each and every murder involved and all of the people who were there at that time when killers killed their victims were witnesses, and there was none who was forcing these people to kill in these crimes.
They were doing this by themselves, without anyone suspecting anything, since there was truly nothing to suspect in the first place, all killers had motives to kill their victims, none was forcing them to kill their victims, none was threatening them to kill their victims, all of these people were just talking in normal conversations.
This is why Mentalist and all other fictional detectives would never be able to detect something suspicious since there was absolutely nothing suspicious in the first place.
Plus, Mentalist's manipulation is based on hypnotism and the power of suggestion, but Poirot specifically said in the Curtain, that what Norton does has nothing to do with hypnotism at all-fact.
What Norton does is much more sinister, much darker, much more vicious..., Norton simply has never said anything specific at all in all of his conversations, but Norton was just throwing his words, however these were completely random, completely unconnected words and Norton did not say anything specific at all in all of his conversations; basically Norton mentally broke people to commit murder or suicides and everything else.
Norton was saying so many unconnected things in his conversations completely randomly, so not even Mentalist would ever even suspect that Norton is a killer and actually Mentalist as well as all other fictional detectives would never be able to suspect anything at all in newspaper articles since there was never any connection, no pattern, no evidences, no clues, no nothing-facts.

At 8:26 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

About bomb blasts, Poirot would uncover the bomber since Poirot's intuition would tell him what to follow and eventually detect the bomber-both thanks to psychology and intuition-facts.

Also,Poirot has used his mental traps to catch killers many times, but Poirot's greatest weapons are his words, Mentalist is a raw copy of Poirot, with several disadvantages.

Also, it says in the text that Holmes can easily send someone to jail who is innocent, because all the tracks and all evidences and connections and all the patterns can easily be misleading-something that Holmes cannot see despite his observations.

Also, I have to say that Poirot 4 pages earlier, before Mayerling even showed up to the door, said to Hastings, that he started his own private investigation where he came up with the phrase the Big Four.
It doesn't explain how did Poirot in his own private investigation detected completely invisible Big Four, but he sensed this would be an event of international proportions (Poirot told this with his own words).
When Mayerling showed up on the door and told about the members of the Big Four, Poirot simply said/responded: "I knew this, it means I was right, I was right all alone"-which again 100% confirms that Poirot detected and knew about the existence of the invisible Big Four.

Also, Poirot would have continue to investigate the Big Four if Abe Ryland did not call him and payed him a lot of money to investigate something inside his company-however later in that same novel (The Big Four, of course) it is fully revealed that Abe Ryland was number 2 of the Big Four and the main and the key reason why he consulted Poirot is to mess his investigation regarding the Big Four-so he was called by Abe Ryland and that was before Mayerling came to the door.

In the novel "The Big Four" you can actually see that none knew about the Big Four since Japp and similar inspectors only laughed to Poirot when he mentioned them-the same as James Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes.
It is only the very near end of the novel when other people and investigators have become fully aware of the existence of the Big Four.

I own the copy of this novel, so none can mess me around.
I also own the copy of the Curtain, where it is specifically shown why Holmes would never be able to crack this case, his deduction would be there is no killer.
the Big Four is the living evidence of Poirot solving outside of the house crimes, street crimes and international level crimes.
Poirot is at least capable of doing this as Holmes is-Poirot has shown this multiple times, not just once.

Regarding Mentalist and Poirot: they are both similar, with few exceptions:
Poirot can actually sense evil and danger when it comes to humans, he can easily know the distinction between real and fake emotions-without looking for any body language-something that Mentalist usually always does, because body language can fool you into thinking that this guy is innocent or guilty-but that does not work with Poirot.

Like Mentalist, Poirot has shown using mental traps, mental games to use them against all kinds of criminals.

However, Poirot has very, very powerful, unmistakable intuition, it has been shown even though when all connections, patterns, evidences, clues fit in, and the crime is 100% solved (and that would be Holmes' deduction and conclusion as well after looking for everything), Poirot's intuition comes to save the day.

The key problem with Holmes like I said is that he can send innocent man into jail, despite all the knowledge he possesses, because clues, evidences, even patterns and connections can all be very misleading-Poirot does not have such problems, since he literally enters into person's head.

It has been shown, that Poirot has been tracking people, or just was sure when he looked at them that they are guilty as charge for the crime, even though everything even for Poirot was fit in.
Poirot's intuition has never let him down, than he used psychology and create mental traps to solve the crime.

At 8:27 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Also, if Poirot meets Moriarty he would know that there is something very wrong with this man, and would know that he needs to track Moriarty-because it would Poirot's intuition that would lead him to that conclusion-although he has never seen Moriarty (that has happened at least several times, actually many times, even though Poirot did not know these persons and has never met them in his entire life and intuition told him these persons are crucial to solve the crime, even though the crime was perfectly solved, even if Poirot said and admitted that there was absolutely no reason and nothing to dig and again investigate) this is what it has been shown or just play with words with Moriarty and create mental traps to put Moriarty to jail.

Don't get me wrong: Holmes is my favorite here, because he is so technical, and has vast and encyclopedical knowledge but if someone asks who is the detective who would solve more crimes-Holmes or Poirot-the 100% objective answer is Poirot, of course.

So, when it comes who solves more crimes: Poirot is the first followed by Mentalist, third is Sherlock Holmes.
When it comes to Holmes' observation, it is at least as good as and perhaps even better than that of Adrian Monk's, Columbo's, Psych's and etc.

Monk is not more observant than Holmes, I have seen all the episodes of all the seasons o Adrian Monk at least 15 times, and I have never ever seen anything Monk has done that Holmes has not done when it comes to observation, analysis and deduction and evidences, clues, patterns and connections that do not fit in-facts.

At 8:32 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Poirot has been shown to track criminals on his own, the Big Four was first discovered and suspected strictly and only by Poirot himself (in his own private investigation as Poirot specifically mentions) without intervention of police or anyone else, Mayerling later only confirmed what Poirot has detected.
And that is not the only time when Poirot did discover and detect something on his own.
Holmes' psychology is very, very weak he cannot even tell if someone is lying, and his greatest flaw is that relies on physical evidences only, that's why he could easily send many innocent people in jail, a real detective looks first for motive, not physical evidences, than the way murder was done, and what was the person who committed murder and what were the reasons and were these murders made by cold-blooded or cold calculated person (like Holmes), and does it fit with the crime scene-if it does not than that person could not have done, but the evidence are fixed-that's the one thing that Holmes misses a lot.
Holmes was written in the style evidences and clues are never wrong, even though they can easily send completely innocent people in jail.
If for example, the murderer is cold-blooded and all the evidences and all the clues were proving that an emotional person has done those crimes, Holmes would rather accept evidences and clues as facts, even though they are fixed-why?
Because Doyle has written Holmes in that way in all of 56 short stories and in all 4 novels-facts.
Sherlock Holmes always gave readers a fair chance, but Poirot purposely puts down clues to make us come to the wrong conclusion.
Often, the clues all point to one person, without any serious opposition, but Poirot still reveals it to be someone else.
it is Holmes who has it too easy, he always has the evidences and clues for solving crime cases, he always has the perfect witnesses, he always comes with the lucky persons he meets; Poirot on the other hand, has to struggle with the fact that he can only rely on his little grey cells and psychology and intuition, plus evidences and clues are all fixed in every story and in every novel, while in Holmes' stories and novels evidences and clues are always 100% right and the criminals who are 100% truly guilty and they all are always the right ones.

At 8:35 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Holmes only detected Moriarty because the former keeps a close eye on London's criminal underworld, he noticed some odd things going on, and spent months investigating to to discover if there was such an organization and bring it down. Poirot reads a few random newspaper clippings about some random deaths, somehow "knows" they are all connected thanks to the same murderer based on nothing whatsoever. And thanks to this being a story he is right. Poirot just "knows" even though there was no way he could know.
Again Holmes is a better detective than Poirot, but Poirot easily solves many more crimes than Holmes does, just as I said.
Sherlock’s stories are detective stories just for the sake of deduction; no emotional connection, no character building and thus not fun to read-this is how people usually think.

For some people this might be blessing because they don’t have the capacity of critical thinking and are satisfied with whatever the author has to shove down our throat.
But to some people who wishes to engage in battle of wits with the author to see if they can beat him or her. it must be a story with good plot and
character and must have good progression. I do not find that in Conan Doyle's Sherlock.

However to me Holmes stories/novels/mysteries are much more exciting, mostly because of the adventures, and solving crime scenes and clues and evidences and etc., while Poirot's stories/novels/mysteries are somehow slower than Holmes' stories/novels/mysteries.

However, Poirot has undoubtly far darker and much more complex crimes to solve than Holmes, since Holmes already has everything in his hands with evidences, clues, witnesses, criminals who confess without doubting that science that Holmes uses can be misleading.

At 8:43 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Plus, Christie is by far the most readable of all crime fiction writers. But yes, personally I like more Doyle-like writing. But when I talk about Poirot and Holmes I'm 100% objective and even though Holmes is my favorite Poirot beats him when it comes who will and who can solve more crimes.
Unlike Poirot, for Holmes when nothing is unusual, when nothing is suspicious in his investigation everything fits in, when all connections, all patterns fit in and etc., Holmes would close the case and send an innocent man in jail.

In “The Musgrave Ritual” Holmes needs to know the exact height of an elm that no longer exists, and it is a lucky coincidence that his companion knows it since his old tutor exercised him in trigonometry by making him measure all the trees growing around.
Another fact contributing to the flatness of Holmes’s methods is the complete lack of ambiguity, and there is always only one interpretation offered.
Holmes is only here and there forced to ask an additional question; his clients usually know perfectly what he needs to hear.
Thus Doyle’s stories often contain long monologues sporadically interrupted by one-or two-sentence questions.

At 8:47 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

Poirot's deductions are mainly based on his excellent knowledge of human psychology: he always examines the personalities of the people involved in the case, and their mutual relationships.
He has a talent for discerning real emotions from the pretended ones and he instinctively feels evil in human nature.
His intuition is very strong, which is the result of his longtime work with criminals.
The method of Poirot’s interrogation is brought to perfection in “The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor”.

In this case, Poirot is asked by an insurance company to investigate the death of a certain Mr. Maltraves who insured his life shortly before he died. Poirot, accompanied by Hastings, arrives at Marsdon Leigh and, as it is the usual procedure of his investigations, he begins by consulting the doctor who examined the body.

He learns the evidence shows that the death was caused by a haemorrhage from a gastric ulcer and there are absolutely no doubts about the fact.
Another stage of his investigation also recurs in most of the stories: he examines the place of murder.
Poirot exchanges a few words with the bereaved widow, who is stereotypically the first suspected person, especially if she is as beautiful as Mrs. Maltraves; he explores the rook rifle which the deceased had on him at the moment of his death, and, finding nothing unusual or suspicious, he decides to leave: "Back to London, my friend, there appears to be no mouse in this mouse-hole."

And yet—‘” (Christie: TMM, 37), that is the moment when his intuition starts to work.

Something makes him hesitate as they walk away from the house, when suddenly they meet a man heading in the direction of the manor.

It is a pure intuition that suggests Poirot to follow the man, who later shows as the main witness in the case. Poirot observes the shocked expression in Mrs. Maltraves’ face when she sees the man and he realizes that his intuition was right.

The man is introduced to him as Captain Black and Poirot gives him several questions about his relationship to the family.

Captain Black’s answers appear quite innocent; however, Poirot decides to verify his words by “a little experiment”. What follows is an example of a perfect interrogative method based on Poirot’s knowledge of human subconscious.

At 8:49 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

You see, it is like this, I give you a word, you answer with another, and so on. Any word, the first one you think of. Shall we begin?
‘All right,’ said Black slowly, but he looked uneasy. ‘Day,’ There was a moment’s pause, and then Black replied: ‘Night.’ As Poirot proceeded, his answers came quicker.
Name, said Poirot. Place. Bernard. Shaw. Tuesday. Dinner. Journey. Ship. Country. Uganda. Story. Lions. Rook Rifle. Farm. Shot. Suicide. Elephant. Tusks. Money. Lawyers. (Christie: TMM, 40-1)
A fairly brief dialog gives Poirot the main clue to the information he needs to reveal the murderer.
When Hastings asks in amazement about the purpose of these, in his opinion meaningless words, Poirot explains:
’To begin with, Black answered well within the normal time limit, with no pauses, so we can take it that he himself has no guilty knowledge to conceal. Day to Night and Place to Name are normal associations. I began work with Bernard, which might have suggested the local doctor had he come across him at all. Evidently he had not.
After our recent conversation, he gave Dinner to my Tuesday, but Journey and Country were answered by Ship and Uganda, showing clearly that it was his journey abroad that was important to him and not the one which brought him down here. Story recalls to him one of the Lion stories he told at dinner. I proceeded to Rook Rifle and he answered with the totally unexpected word Farm. When I say Shot, he answers at once Suicide.
The association seems clear. A man he knows committed suicide with a rook rifle on a farm somewhere.’ (Christie: TMM, 41-2)
Poirot then recalls Captain Black who tells him about a very unusual suicide his friend committed, which is clearly identical with the death of Mr. Maltraves.
As Poirot has seen the shock in Mrs. Malgraves’s face when Captain Black appeared, he knows that Mr. Maltraves did not commit suicide but was murdered by his wife. The only thing which remains for him to do is to prove her guilty, which he achieves by playing a little drama with local performers in which an illusory spirit of Mr. Malgraves returns to haunt his wife. In a rush of terror the woman confesses. This is another example of Poirot’s ability to use his knowledge of psychology to make people tell him about their crimes.

At 8:52 AM , Blogger LoneWolf said...

This 100% proves that Poirot catches criminals with his mental traps in his mental games, Poirot is at least good as Mentalist in these mental games and in creating mental traps as well as reading people and if people are telling true or if they are lying, plus Poirot has very strong intuition something that Mentalist does not possess at all.

There are plenty more examples in Poirot's stories and novels of course, these are just very examples (the top of an iceberg) that are picked from Agatha Christie's novels/stories. And it does not mean anything if its inside the house crime or street crime.


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