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Agatha Christie
The Big Four

First Published

Collins, London, Jan. 1927
The Sketch, Jan.2-Mar.19 1924 as 'The Man who was No. 4'
Dodd Mead, New York, 1927
Blue Book Magazine, Mar. 1927 - Jan. 1928


(from HarperCollins "The Agatha Christie Collection" cover)

Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an univited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure four, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper?


1. The Unexpected Guest
2. The Man from the Asylum
3. We Hear More About Li Chang Yen
4. The Importance of a Leg of Mutton
5. Disappearance of Scientists
6. The Woman on the Stairs
7. The Redium Thieves
8. In the House of the Enemy
9. The Yellow Jasmine Mystery
10. We Investigate at Croftlands
11. A Chess Problem
12. The Baited Trap
13. The Mouse Walks In
14. The Peroxide Blonde
15. The Terrible Catastrophe
16. The Dying Chinaman
17. Number Four Wins a Trick
18. In the Felsenlabyrinth

(different version) The Sketch (UK)
1. The Unexpected Guest (The Sketch, Jan.2 1924)
2. The Adventure of the Dartmoor Bungalow (The Sketch, Jan.9 1924)
3. The Lady on the Stairs (The Sketch, Jan.16 1924)
4. The Radium Thieves (The Sketch, Jan.23 1924)
5. In the House of the Enemy (The Sketch, Jan.30 1924)
6. The Yellow Jasmine Mystery (The Sketch, Feb.6 1924)
7. The Chess Problem (The Sketch, Feb.13 1924)
8. The Baited Trap (The Sketch, Feb.20 1924)
9. The Adventure of the Peroxide Blonde (The Sketch, Feb.27 1924)
10. The Terrible Catastrophe (The Sketch, Mar.5 1924)
11. The Dying Chinaman (The Sketch, Mar.12 1924)
12. The Crag in the Dolomites (The Sketch, Mar.19 1924)

(different version) Blue Book Magazine (US)
1. The Unexpected Guest (Blue Book Magazine, Mar. 1927)
2. The Dartmoor Adventure (Blue Book Magazine, Apr. 1927)
3. The Lady on the Stairs (Blue Book Magazine, May 1927)
4. The Radium Thieves (Blue Book Magazine, Jun. 1927)
5. In the House of the Enemy (Blue Book Magazine, Jul. 1927)
6. The Yellow Jasmine Mystery (Blue Book Magazine, Aug. 1927)
7. The Chess Problem (Blue Book Magazine, Sep. 1927)
8. The Baited Trap (Blue Book Magazine, Oct. 1927)
9. The Peroxide Blond (Blue Book Magazine, Nov. 1927)
10. The Enemy Strikes (Blue Book Magazine, Dec. 1927)
11. The Crag in the Dolomites (Blue Book Magazine, Jan. 1928)


Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, Li Chang Yen, John Ingles, Jonathan Whalley, Robert Grant, Mr. John Halliday, Mrs. Halliday, Madame Olivier, Madame Inez Veroneau, Abe Ryland, Miss Martin, James, Deaves, Mr. Paynter, Gerald Paynter, Ah Ling, Dr. Quentin, Dr. Savaronoff, Gilmour Wilson, Sonia Daviloff, Claud "Claudie" Darrell, Miss Flossie Monro, Sydney Crowther, Monsieur Desjardeaux

Joseph Aarons, Mr. Appleby, Betsy Andrews, Andre, Monsieur Henri, Ivan, Wycherly, Sir Charles Kingwell, Miss Clark, Mademoiselle Claude, Captain Kent, Madame Gospoja, Pierre Combeau, Chap. Saunders, Insp. James Japp, Giraud, John St. Maur, Mr. Templeton, Mrs. Templeton, Micky Templeton, Dr. Treves, Captain Harvey, Mabel Palmer, Halsey, Mrs. Pearson, Abraham Biggs, Professor Bourgoneau, Bronsen, Dulcie "Cinderella" Hastings, Achille Poirot, Mr. Hodgson, Dr. Boritho, Mr. McNeil, Mayerling, Insp. Meadows, Ernest Luttrell, Austen Lee, Dr. Ridgeway, Arthur Leversham, Duke of Loamshire, Felix Laon, Countess Vera Rossakoff, Arthur Neville, George, Rubinstein, Capablanca, Lasker

Movie & TV

The Big Four, 2013
Agahta Christie's POIROT XIII
director Peter Lydon
writer Mark Gatiss, Ian Hallard
cast David Suchet (Hercule Poirot), Hugh Fraser (Hastings), Philip Jackson (Japp), Pauline Moran (Miss Lemon), Patricia Hodge (Madame Olivier), Sarah Parish (Flossie Monro), Nicholas Burns (Inspector Meadows), Tom Brooke (Tysoe), Simon Lowe (Dr Quentin), James Carroll Jordan (Abe Ryland), Steven Pacey (Stephen Paynter), Teresa Banham (Diana Paynter), Jack Farthing (Gerald Paynter), Michael Culkin (Dr Ivan Savaranoff), Nick Day (Ingles), David Yelland (George), Lou Broadbent (Mabel), Barbara Kirby (Mrs Andrews), Alex Palmer (Robert Grant), Peter Symonds (Jonathan Whalley), Ian Hallard (Mercutio)


  1. Official Site: The Big Four
  2. Wikipedia: The Big Four
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