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Detective style usually refers to rumpled trench coats or impromptu rhinoplasty, but in honor of Agatha Christie’s 120th birthday we thought we’d honor one of literature’s best-dressed detectives: a Belgian trad by the name of Hercule Poirot.

There have been disheveled variations from Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov, but the recent ITV series has managed to present Christie’s detective as an impressively well-kept gentleman, complete with period bow ties and lapel pins. (His mustache has been an influence to hipsters everywhere.) More than the Marlowes and Holmeses of the world, Poirot makes crime-solving seem like a function of personal style— fastidious, idiosyncratic, and ultimately undeniable. As far as the books go, we’d mark these two as good places to start—but there’s plenty more where that came from.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom