Friday, 12 September 2014

Review: The Monogram Murders- A 'New' Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah (and Agatha Christie)

Book: The Monogram Murders

Author: Sophie Hannah

Pages: 373

I Read: The paperback pictured above (nice black and gold cover, right?)

I Read It In: 5 hours (over 2 nights)

Plot Summary: Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot.

‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’ 

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered.  She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim. 

Things I Liked: 

1. It is always exciting when the estates of my favourite dead authors permit someone to write a new story featuring the beloved characters created by that deceased author. So, the moment I saw this book on Book Riot, I decided that we must have it! I also read and loved the new Sherlock Holmes novel that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate allowed Horowitz to write! Read the review of The House of Silk HERE

2. The premise of the book was interesting- three connected murders and the possibility of a fourth?! What is not to love (in a totally fictitious scenario, obviously)?! 

3. Sophie Hannah does a good job of capturing the essence of Poirot. Her writing did not seem jarring or not like Agatha Christie's, so that was good. She stayed true to the tone and cadence of the original canon. 

4. The mystery at the core of the book was fairly riveting.. and tragic.. and like a lot of Agatha Christie books, the victims got what they deserved in some sense. 

5. The book was fun to read, overall. The story and motivations of the various people involved were sufficiently complex and interesting. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. There is a new Scotland Yard detective that is introduced in this book called Edward Catchpool.. and I am not a fan of him at all. He is the 'voice' of the book (and not our beloved Captain Hastings!) and it is not a voice that I took to. Sad. Also, if you can resurrect Poirot, why not resurrect Inspector Japp and Hastings? They are also equally beloved characters.. 

2. There were some very rambly, repetitive bits in the middle of the book, which slowed down the story quite a bit. Those could have been avoided. 

3. Also, this book is set in 1929.. and the author makes it seem like Poirot was on a break or some such. Now, in the original canon, Poirot does not take a break up until he is fairly old- in the 1940s or even mid-1950s.. or maybe even later. So, this seemed a bit weird and I could not place where in the Poirot timeline this book fit in. For an avid Agatha Christie fan, this was not a good feeling. 

Rating: 4/5 

This is a good book- with a good mystery and a writing tone that is similar to Agatha Christie's- a good tribute, overall. Read it! 

1 comment:

Anupriya DG said...

Hmmmm....sounds like I can take the risk of getting my hands on a copy, after all! Thanks for the review!! :)