"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finally, it's Here!! The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (book review)

Monogram Murders
Author:  Sophie Hannah
Published:  September 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages:  320
Edition:  Hardcover
Genre:  Mystery
ISBN: 9780062297211
Source:  A complimentary copy was provided with thanks to the publisher and TLC book tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Since the publication of her first book in 1920, Agatha Christie wrote 33 novels, two plays and more than 50 short stories featuring Hercule Poirot. Now, for the first time ever, the Agatha Christie Estate has approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha's most beloved creation.
Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house 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 cuff link 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…
In the hands of internationally bestselling author Sophie HannahPoirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London – a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’.
Published worldwide in September 2014.

My thoughts:

I've been an Agatha Christie fan for a few decades so when I heard Sophie Hannah was going to write a Hercule Poirot novel I was excited. Though Poirot was written out in Curtain: Poirot's Last Case, it didn't deter me from my desire to read The Monogram Murders despite it being written by another author, Sophie Hannah.  

The novel is set in 1920's London, around the period of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.  Hercules Poirot is retired and all he desires is to relax with a cup of coffee in a local coffee house when in comes a distraught woman with murder on her mind... her own!

Shortly after meeting this woman, Jennie; Poirot and his friend of short acquaintance (a mere six weeks previous to the meeting of Poirot and Jennie), Edward Catchpool from Scotland Yard, find themselves at Bloxham Hotel investigating three murders that had taken place in one evening at the famous hotel.  

As Christie wrote Poirot, an intelligent Belgian man of style and sharp mind; Hannah's Poirot is virtually identical; an impeccable likeness of the great sleuth. Hannah kept him true to character, paying a great homage to Dame Agatha Christie.  As in this example from page 207:
"Au contraire, mademoiselle.  In due course you will have your turn to speak, you may rest assured, but first I have another question for you.  You said to me, "Oh please let no one open their mouths!".....And - pardon me! - one final observation, mademoiselle....." (Hercule Poirot, The Monogram Murders)
Just as Christie would have done, Hannah wrote in several twists in the plot so the reader, much like poor Catchpool, cannot quite keep up with Poirot who, himself, throws in a few false leads to keep Catchpool's grey cells working and, quite frankly, the reader's too. 

At first one may be able to determine this is not Christie writing this Hercule Poirot mystery as Hannah's writing style is similar but not identical, but Hannah does a fine job of capturing the attention of the reader by writing a twisted plot the likes of Christie that we soon forget whom we are reading and just sit back and enjoy another visit with the incredible Poirot.  Does Hannah pull it off?  Yes, she does.  Her obvious love for Agatha Christie's writing and for Poirot is tangible in this new tribute to a woman who is outsold only by the bible and Shakespeare.  It was wonderful to be in the presence of the great Belgian sleuth again.

“Sophie Hannah’s idea for a plot line was so compelling and her passion for my grandmother’s work so strong, that we felt that the time was right for a new Christie to be written.” (Mathew Prichard, grandson of Agatha Christie)

About Agatha Christie:
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.
Learn more about Agatha Christie through her official website.

Meet the Author:
Internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah breathes new life into the incomparable detective. In this thrilling tale, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London—a diabolically clever puzzle that will test his brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time. Authorized by Christie’s family, and featuring the most iconic detective of all time, this instant Christie classic is sure to be celebrated by mystery lovers the world over.
Connect with Sophie Hannah through her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. What an honor it must have been for Hannah to write in the style of someone she grew up admiring!

    Thanks for being on the tour!


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