The new Hercule Poirot novel - another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells'.
The best-selling novelist of all time.
The world's most famous detective.
The literary event of the year.
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 guardians of her legacy have 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 cufflink 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 best-selling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot 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'.
©2014 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Sophie'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, Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and grandson of Agatha Christie)
"We Agatha Christie fans read her stories - and particularly her Poirot novels - because the mysteries are invariably equal parts charming and ingenious, dark and quirky and utterly engaging. Sophie Hannah had a massive challenge in reviving the beloved Poirot, and she met it with heart and no small amount of little gray cells. I was thrilled to see the Belgian detective in such very, very good hands. Reading The Monogram Murders was like returning to a favorite room of a long-lost home." (Gillian Flynn)
The story. I think that Ms Hannah has captured the essence of Agatha Christie's story telling style. There is a lot of reliance on dialogue to move the plot along, always interspersed with Poirot's egomanic claims that HIS little grey cells are superior to his offsider's!
The only 2 comments that I make about the book, is the setting is not a classical Christie setting - elite hotel, aristocratic home or simple English country village. (Indeed the village in this story bears more relation to Midwich that St Mary Mead!) The other comment is that the writing is a bit more detailed than I am used to with Agatha Christie, making the story a bit too long.
However, neither of these was a significant barrier to my enjoyment of the book. I congratulate Sophie Hannah on an excellent replication of a Hercule Poirot tale, and await her foray into Miss Marple's world.
Not on the edge of my seat, any more than one of Agatha Christie's stories did. What it did do well was to get me to exercise my little grey cells. I thoroughly enjoyed the many and varied red herrings as they trailed across the story.
I haven't heard Julian Rhind-Tutt previously, and I thought that his personification of Poirot was especially good. I liked his voice and the pace at which he read.
One problem that I did have was that he varied the volume of his voice rather too much, and that even with earphones that sit inside my ear, there were times when I had to turn the volume of my iPod very high (if I had time) and then, when using hie regular voice, it was much too loud.
No extreme reaction - a quiet delight that there is someone who can write a good copy of Agatha Christie's style.
If you are a Christie afficionado - read it. If you have never read Christie - read it, but then read some Christie afterwards
Judging by thus book, I doubt it.
It will be a long time, before I try a pseudo Agatha Christie again.
Can't beat the real thing.
His performance was okay. The book was too long.
All of them;
Was bored to tears. Book was tooooooo long, did not hold my attention. Was longwinded.
Was a waste of money. Fell asleep twice. Was surprised it was still going, when I woke up.
"There's a good plot here…somewhere"
Sadly only parts of this book grabbed my attention and I was relieved when the narration finished. It seemed to go on for ever, and even the denouement lasted for more than three hours. Not good use of my time.
I wouldn't recommend this book to ardent Christie fans. Although parts were reminiscent of Christie's excellent Poirot stories The Monogram Murders was overlong, over-complicated and had too many characters, many of whom served no real purpose.
Julian Rhind-Tutt had a difficult task in trying to make so many characters sound unique. By and large he managed and produced a credible Hercule Poirot voice. On this basis I'd listen to other books narrated by him.
With very heavy editing this might make a half decent 'made-for-TV' film, but who could be cast as Poirot if David Suchet turns the part down?
"A Poirot travesty"
Every single aspect. The many non-English accents used by the narrator were grating on the ear, The plot was- frankly - awful. Fiction requires the 'willing suspension of disbelief' and while some lack of realism is acceptable, this book was too ridiculously unrealistic for comfort. A Scotland Yard detective who leaves corpses in an unguarded crime-scene overnight and goes home to mope.... one of the many badly written scenarios presented in the first hour of listening, Characterisation was shallow and anyone with a concept of Poirot needs to avoid this book at all costs because in this book, the weak and inconsistent character presented jars on the listener. Every scene is drawn out to beyond tedium - so much so that summoning enthusiasm and commitment to the story is impossible, and the elaboration so extensive that you forget what the original premise of the scene was supposed to be.
Not written it.
It was dire - the worst book I've encountered in a long time.
How a publishing house editorial team allowed something with such glaring weaknesses to reach publication, is quite beyond me.One example, taken from several I could quote: the mysterious sherry is referred to as 'Harveys Bristol Cream'. That phrase jarred on the ear - would it have been known as such in the 1930s (or whenever this farago was apparently set)? Quick online research suggested that this marketing phrase to describe the product was developed in the 1960s. Before mass-media advertising, products would rarely have been referred to in this way.
Although Rind-Tutt has a pleasant voice, it does lack variety in tone. In his defence, he had long boring, dull passages to read so it was an uphill task to enliven the text.. Many actors have dismally failed to deliver Poirot in a realistic, non-caricatured way, and Rind -Tutt has now joined their ranks (Only David Suchet and John Moffatt have succeeded.) However, the accents of the boiler maker and restaurant staff were equally caricatured and I found them unpleasant to hear. The boiler maker mocking Poirot's accent was particularly grim.
All of them. The only interesting character was Fee, the waitress, who showed some insights and made some telling statements which - exasperatingly - were not followed up by Poirot. You had the feeling that if she had only stated what she knew, she could have solved the mystery without troubling Poirot or poor pitifully drawn Catchpole.
I live in Holland and had an unexpected day of driving ahead of me so swiftly downloaded an audiobook to keep me engaged and chose this one because of misleading ratings. I've asked Audible to restore my credit under the Great Read Guarantee as this was far from that. I endured 5 hours of it because I had no alternative - but deleted it from my device at the end of the journey. I very rarely give up on a book, feeling that you have to judge it as a whole - but my life is too precious to waste another moment listening to such tosh.
"Far Too Long Winded!"
A more straightforward plot to follow, I dont remember many of Agatha Christie's books being this complex.
Extremely good author, just too long!
Ive always like this narrator, not a Sean Barrett, but very good nevertheless.
The third act seemed to go on and on.
I think with some historic authors, the works should just be left and not reinvented. I realise this is a personal view but after reading House of Silk (sherlock holmes)too, I have reached this conclusion
"The Boring Monogram Murders"
Some one who is not an Agatha Christie fan, even then, maybe not.
Any other Agatha Christie to get the mood back.
Sorry, too much over the top as Hercule Poirot
The story could have been OK if it had been a good deal shorter
I found it long winding and boring. At one point I thought the conclusion was drawing near i noticed there were over three hours left. It just goes on, and on, and on.
In no way would Agatha Christie have written this book.
I am really disappointed as one critic said that Agatha Christie fans would nor be disappointed, well, the critic was wrong.
The only connection to Agatha Christie in this book is the name Poirot together with references to his well known personal habits. The rest is a long drawn out improbable murder plot which was endured and not enjoyed.
Can't imagine how the Christie Estate went along with it.
"Not the Poirot I knew and loved"
Very rarely can any modern author catch the flavour and elegance of stories written in the past (the exception being Jill Paton Walsh's Lord Peter Wimsey stories) and so it is with this attempt to write a new Poirot. There is no feeling for the period in which it was supposed to take place. Catchpool, the detective who acts as Poirot's new companion, is no Hastings not even a Japp! The story needs a lot of editing, it rambles uninterestingly, through a tale which never catches fire and there is far too much Catchpool and not nearly enough Poirot. I gave up out of boredom about half-way through, unusual for me.
Someone who hasn't read the originals.
No, but would hesitate to read this writer's other books.
None - all dreary
last third - rewrite the massive exposition as to what had happened
Not since I finished Anthony Horowitz's novel Moriaty have I felt so disappointed with an anticipated good read. But Horowitz’s novel was at least great fun until the author seemed to loose interest and resolve the plot with a sudden last minute, rushed exposition. This Poirot novel takes its final third of an overlong homage to set up both the solution and the many incorrect alternatives. Hastings, dull but endearing, is replaced by a banal and charmless Catchpool who recounts the story for much of the time, though without Dr Watson’s humanity or everyman intelligence. The village where the saga effectively starts has none of the interest of St Mary Mead, and the London hotel has none of the fascination of Bertram’s. If I hadn’t purchased this I would probably have abandoned this by half way, but determined to get my money’s worth with the vain hope that there might be a wonderful resolution I ploughed on. Convinced I must have missed a major aspect I even went back over the last third, to no avail. This is over-long, over-written (I now know that this phrase means), and far too convoluted. Poirot is a caricature with the worst aspects of his original character brought to the fore and played for all they are worth, yet with strangely anomalous aspects (he travels by London bus, writes with a finger in the mud, enjoys café coffee). The main theme seems to be that in a hotel not everything is what it seems, and those who are not chronic liars are merely pathetically naïve. This is hardly new, and was dealt with by Agatha Christie herself long ago in her exploration of the Great Train robbery. Read Miss Marple’s musings on the hotel as a simulacrum for a far more sophisticated discussion of authenticity and evil. Give this a miss, or return to your favourite original Christie novel.
"Reveal as long as the tale"
what started as a good mystery ended in an endless reveal, and very unlikely set of deaths.
Perhaps if the reader was not treated as a complete imbecile.
I will not purchase any further books by this author.
The narrator was great.
In this book both Hercule Poirot & Catchpole
Very disappointing novel
Far too convoluted and lacked the charm of Christie.
Yes but not a Poirot.
I have heard and enjoyed this narrator before but he is no substitute for Hugh Frazer.
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