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The Monogram Murders
New Hercule Poirot Mystery
Sophie Hannah

William Morrow
Sept 9, 2014/ ISBN 978-0062297211
Genre Traditional Mystery – England late 1920s

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Hercule Poirot vacations not far from his home and is dining in a coffee house when a woman with eyes wide with alarm storms in. When he offers his assistance, she informs him, “I am already dead…” and adds, “…let no one open their mouths” before she rushes from the establishment. His curiosity sparked, Poirot is determined to find the young woman known as Jennie. Then Poirot learns that his Scotland Yard friend Catchpool has been called to a hotel to investigate the death of three individuals, each with a monogrammed cufflink in their mouths. Poirot puts the two incidences together and takes the lead on the investigation. Together, Poirot and Catchpool work to determine who killed three victims, why, and how the mysterious Jennie is related to the murders.

Ms. Hannah’s Poirot has many of the qualities of Christie’s Poirot, including the personal charisma and fine-tuned characterization that make Christie’s detective so intriguing. Poirot manages to be direct in his questioning, but also compassionate, and the author has done a good job of capturing many of his quirks.

The Hastings substitute, Catchpool, is presented in first person point of view to serve as a narrator, which provides us with the opportunity to understand his frustration and inability to discover the clues that are so obvious to Poirot, and adds the dimension of revealing a past incident that makes him all the more human. The other characters in the plot are well-drawn and provide sufficient interest and intrigue to the underlying mystery.

Ms. Hannah’s novel reflects the brilliant spark and panache of a masterful novel by Agatha Christie. The author has attempted the difficult task of providing a satisfying mystery based upon a well-known character and, in this regard, she has succeeded admirably.

Reviews of other titles by this author

The Affair of the Pink Pearl & Finessing the King [audio]
Philomel Cottage and other Stories [audio]
Black Coffee (w/Charles Osborne)
Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly
Murder on the Orient Express 1 (Murder in the Calais Coach)
Murder on the Orient Express 2 (Movie Tie-In) [book]
Murder on the Orient Express 3 (Movie Tie-In) [audio]

And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians)
While the Light Lasts
After the Funeral
The Monogram Murders (w/Sophie Hannah)
Agatha Christie; An Autobiography
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making

Linda Morelli is the award-winning author of Fiery Surrender, Shadow of a Doubt, and Lani's Challenge.
Reviewed 2014