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.
©2016 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
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"Ridiculous plot, badly in need of editing"
Don't know, the plot is ludicrous and the story is endlessly repetitive.
The plot. Some of the characterisation is good but they run over the same points again and again ad nauseum. The only thing that makes this a worthwhile purchase is Julian Rhind - Tutt's performance.
Everything. His voices and accents are clearly distinguishable and give you an insight into the individuals character and are very appropriate to the story setting.
Intense disappointment, as a Christie fan I think this book is a travesty.
One and a quarter hours to reveal the denouement which could have comfortably been completed in 20 minutes.
"Poirot is back"
As I am partially sighted I always prefer an audio edition though this would be fine - for me - on my Kindle.
Although the story is told by the police inspector it was a joy to have Hercule Poirot back
The trouble with the reader's performance of Poirot which was otherwise excellent, was that he dropped his voice when speaking Poirot's words. This meant that they were very hard to hear and I had to keep running the book back to try to catch the words
The story was a good who done it, though there were really no clues to the murderer, well not that I picked up - but I am no Poirot
Only addition I would make, and this is not just for this audio piece - when readers are whispering could they please keep the same level of voice projection for poor listeners like me, who lie snuggled in bed, only to find that suddenly the audio is so muffled it is impossible to hear what is being said!
"A mysterious offer of styles"
The narration is excellent - I occasionally found Julian Rhind-Tutt's Poirot a little uncomfortable to listen to when despairing of 'Catchpool' in the last offering. Here he is just that little bit more settled into the character and he distinguishes the other characters from each other with admirable success.
I was intrigued by the mystery, finding myself enjoying the story for most of its length and I was looking forward to the solution which I could not guess at. The style here worked rather well except for the lack of Hastings. Catchpool serves his function in the story but somehow does not manage that likeability of Poirot's original foil. The last quarter takes a bit of a dip, however. Though more successful than 'The Monogram Murders' this story suffers from a similarly drawn out and exasperating denouement. The ending would have benefitted immensely from a bit of pruning - losing the tiresomely detailed catalogue of every wrinkle of the killer's psychology. The major mechanics of the murder are interesting and feel quite faithful in style but there is a truly infuriating moving of goalposts that Christie would surely have felt was just not Cricket. Another minor mystery is also a disappointment and could be excised from the story without losing anything - the reasoning behind its resolution still feeling tenuous even though a character has evidently been given a quirk for the sole purpose of justifying the title.
An enjoyable piece but one that outstays its welcome. That definitely was not Christie's style.
"Scorchio? Not quite"
Character names grated- is Athelinda a real name? Shrimp Seddon? Catchpole would sound better than Catchpool. Scotia? Scoccia? No, Scotcher- but couldn't get Scorch-io! from the Fast Show out of my head, every time it was said.
Not sure what the Irish setting added to the story; not sure what Catchpool brought to it either (even less impact than Hastings). And too much needless Shakespeare.
Suspending disbelief, the motive was a neat contemporary twist on a traditional plot line but the last few chapters did rather repeat themselves to drum it in.
Fairly enjoyable read/listen apart from the names, but like other reviewers I think I may forget it as quickly as The Monogram Murders...
"very poor poirot"
struggled to finish, did not enjoy the narrators voice. storyline was very poor and dull
"Dragged on for a bit"
the story dragged on for a bit - the reason I like Agatha Christie novels in the first place is because the narration was no longer than 6 to 7 hours otherwise I start to lose interest . Whilst I found Closed Casket to be more enjoyable than Monogram Murders , it was still way too long . Julian Rhind-Tutt seem to be improving as the narrator and his Poirot almost sounds like David Suchet , which I was impressed with . I hope the next new Poirot novel from Sophie Hannah will be slightly shorter .
I was in the mood for an old fashioned murder mystery. Must admit next time I'll buy a real Agatha Christie story. Even if I remember who was the culprit. Found this quite a pale imitation. I loved t narration however and will look out for more he narrates.
great storyline in keeping with all the old books. narration was best I've heard yet on audible. distinct character depth...oustanding accents. Did not expect to like this (Christie fan since childhood) but ended up loving it. I hope there's more to come
"Not as good The Monogram Murders"
In some respects I loved this novel. The narration was superb, the character development wonderful and the 'feel' of the setting, time and Poirotness of the book were so right! It felt ( in so many respects) like something Agatha Christie could have written, expect she hasn't, and if you scratch the surface of this novel, it is obvious that Dame Agatha's fabulous talent is most definitely lacking. The plot was downright silly, the motive weak and frankly laughable. That I could forgive, to be honest, as Agatha Christie plots can stretch motive thinly too, however Agatha's novels are always robust and solid. However, unlike the original Christie masterpieces, the storyline for 'Closed Casket' is full of so many holes it is fragile and quite unstable. It really felt was if it had been painted using broad brush strokes only with little attention to fine detail evident. Agatha's books was solid and robust and always held up to intense scrutinisation, the same can't be said for this poor imitation.
Long drawn out and boring. Hardly surprising as no one can write like Agatha Christie.
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