- audio book - unabridged,
- narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt
- source: my local library
- length: 10 hours
- publisher: www.harperaudio.com
- published 2016
Hercule Poirot returns in another brilliant murder mystery that can be solved only by the eponymous Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.
'What I intend to say to you will come as a shock....'
Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will - one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live....
Among Lady Playford's guests are two men she has never met - the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited...until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke in the presence of a possible killer?
When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot's best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?
Following the phenomenal global success of The Monogram Murders, which was published to critical acclaim following a coordinated international launch in September 2014, international best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah has been commissioned by Agatha Christie Limited to pen a second fully authorised Poirot novel. The new audiobook marks the centenary of the creation of Christie's world-famous detective, Hercule Poirot, introduced in her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles
I have been a bit staggered to work out that I actually read the printed version of this novel 3 years ago. That didn't occur to me at all during this excellent rendition, so maybe it didn't make much of an impact on me.
The novel is a bit long winded, with an almost impenetrable mystery, lots of reasons why people would murder the victim, lots of red herrings.
I've given up thinking about whether Sophie Hannah writes well in the vein of Agatha Christie or not. I think this novel has a few questionable things: for example Hercule Poirot cheerfully crosses the Irish Sea - when we all know that Christie's detective suffered atrociously from "mal de mer".
It does have one characteristic of a Christie novel: a very long meeting between Poirot and all the other characters in which he reveals who the murderer is and how it was done.
The emphasis in the novel is on Poirot's interest in psychology and the "why' rather than the "how."
Nevertheless perfectly acceptable listening if you have 10 hours or so to spare.
My Rating: 4.4
I've also read
4.4, THE CARRIER
4.3, THE MONOGRAM MURDERS
4.2, CLOSED CASKET (printed version)