Monday, December 15, 2014

The Monogram Murders

  By the time Agatha Christie passed away in 1976, I had read pretty much everything she had written. I enjoyed all the Hercule Poirot books and the Miss Marple mysteries and had a special fondness for Tommy and Tuppence. With no new books available, I moved on to other authors, expecting that I would someday reread some of the Christie classics.
  Though that time for rereading hasn't yet arrived, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see a new Poirot mystery, The Monogram Murders, written by Sophie Hannah, had been published.

 Set in the late 1920s, the novel fits nicely among those by Ms. Christie, and presents Hercule Poirot in all his glory. Ms. Hannah has created a new character, Detective Catchpool, as the narrator, giving her the opportunity to explore Poirot's eccentricities through a fresh set of eyes. Catchpool experiences the same frustrations of Christie's own Colonel Hastings and others as Poirot teases the answers to him (and the reader).
  As for the mystery itself, three bodies are found in a posh London hotel, each carefully posed with a monogrammed cuff link in his or her mouth. Catchpool, the detective in charge of the case, recruits Poirot to help him make sense of the case. As with the best Christie books, not everything is what it seems, though the answers are right there in front of you if you (like Poirot) know what to look for.
  All in all, a quite satisfying read. I hope Ms. Hannah gets the opportunity to continue the series.

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