1. He’s not French, he’s Belgian. (You don’t know how long it took for that to sink into my head when I was growing up.) (If I have indeed actually grown up by now. It’s open for debate.)
2. M. Poirot has appeared in more than 30 novels, more than 50 short stories and one play. By Agatha Christie, that is; God only knows how many works of fan fiction have featured him.
3. That play was Alibi (based on the book The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) and starred Charles Laughton as the mustachioed detective. This was in 1928, making Laughton the first of many actors to play Poirot.
4. Who are some of those other actors, you ask? Well, there’s David Suchet (from the long running ITV series, and who I would assume holds the record for most portrayals of the character), Albert Finney (who received an Oscar nomination for his Poirot in the 1974 Murder on the Orient Express), Austin Trevor (in the 1931 film version of Alibi, as well as two other Poirot adaptations), Peter Ustinov (six times) and Jose Ferrer (in an unaired 1961 TV pilot).
5. James Coco played a parody of Poirot in the 1976 Murder by Death.
6. There’s a Belgian beer called Hercule, named after M. Poirot. (Why do I think he would rather a bottle of wine or a fine liqueur bore his name?)
7. His peerless secretary is Miss Felicity Lemon. Don’t try to put anything over on her.
8. His last words were “Cher ami” and were directed at his terribly good friend Captain Hastings, who chronicled many of his adventures. (Well, Christie actually chronicled them, but Hastings was the fictional chronicler. Although he probably wouldn’t take to being called fictional.)
9. Christie parodies herself in the character of Ariadne Oliver, a mystery novelist who interacts with Poirot. (I parody myself all the time, but who knows enough about me to be able to tell it?)
10. Poirot was the Chief of Police of Brussels at one time (prior to World War I). The criminal class was undoubtedly glad when he left.