a detectionary tale
and a

with Lauren Krueger


The francophone Poirot (Hercule)
Lived and sleuthed by this one simple rule:

“Courage, mon ami,
And you surely will see
The culprit revealed as a fool.”


One day
Inspector Japp
gave his dossier
a snap.
“Well, Poirot,
this seems straightforward.
Nothing here
a bit untoward.”
Poirot said,
“I don’t yet know.”
“Why? You think
Lord Spafft was killed?”
“I don’t yet know.”
“If he was,
won’t you be thrilled.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“But do you suspect
foul play?”
“I don’t yet know.”
“Do you think you can
tell me today?”
“I don’t yet know.”
“Will you throw a spanner
in the works?”
“I don’t yet know.”
“And make my men
look like jerks?”
“I don’t yet know.”
“Would you like
to see my notes?”
“I don’t yet know.”
“Or my book
of witness quotes?”
“I don’t yet know.”

So Inspector Japp
left to take a nap.


Captain Hastings said,
“I say, Poirot,
this doesn’t seem
the way to go.”
Poirot said,
“I don’t yet know.”
“In spite of your
deserved fame—”
“I don’t yet know.”
“This really isn’t
playing the game.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“If you keep Japp
“I don’t yet know.”
“He’ll never ever
treat you square.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“If only you would
say I KNOW.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“We’d all be
better off, Poirot.”
“I don’t yet know.”

So Captain Hastings
went to the track,
sure that nothing would happen
before he got back.


Now, as the night
began to fall
a desperate client
paid a call.
She looked Poirot
right in the face
and asked him
if he’d like a case.
Poirot said,
“I don’t yet know.”
“I can pay you,
to be sure.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“A little now,
and later more.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“And you can lodge
at our castle.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“If that would minimize
your hassle.”
“I don’t yet know.”
“Either someone killed
my husband, Spafft—”
“I don’t yet know.”
“Or else you think
I’m completely daft.”
“I don’t yet know.”

So the client
hired Poirot.


Returning to
the detective’s flat,
Japp and Hastings
chewed the fat.
After half an hour
of this,
Hastings said,
“Something’s amiss.”
But then they heard
the telephone,
and realized
they were not alone.
Miss Lemon answered,
“Mister Poirot?
Sir! Are you safe?”
(“I don’t yet know.”)
She told the men,
“You had better go!”


They rushed to
Boroborough Hall,
where the local coroner,
handsome and tall,
ruled accidental
Lord Spafft’s death,
and all heard his Lady
let out her breath.
Poirot removed his pince-nez,
adjusted his tie,
and smirked—
because he now saw the lie.
Hastings reached
the end of his wit.
Japp barked,
“Come on. Out with it.”
Poirot said,
“I nearly did not discover,
that the coroner,
is this Lady’s lover.”
Asked the coroner,
an inveterate blurter,
“You know she and I
conspired to murder?!”
Then everyone
looked at Poirot
who whispered,
“Yes, indeed, I know.”
The client ignored
the coroner,
but spat at Poirot,
“You... foreigner!”

The moral of Poirot
is: USE YOUR BRAIN. If you’ve committed a crime in England between roughly 1916 and 1949, do not hire the greatest living private investigator around thinking that it will remove suspicion from you. He will figure everything out, and you will end up in a little grey cell.

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.