• The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

  • The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (312 ratings)

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The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

By: Sophie Hannah
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
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Publisher's Summary

Named a New York Times Best Book to Give

The world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot - legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile - returns to solve a delectably twisty mystery in this “masterful and multi-layered puzzle...adding a new dimension to a much-loved series” (NPR).

“Yet again, the diminutive man with the little gray cells delivers the goods.” (Wall Street Journal)

Hercule Poirot is traveling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned the renowned detective to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. Poirot will have only days to investigate before Helen is hanged, but there is one strange condition attached: He must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.

The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached....

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

©2020 Sophie Hannah (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Eh

I've made my way through all Sophie Hanna's version. They're not the same as Agatha Christie's and shouldn't compare I know. All of them, like this one, have an interesting summary description. The only problem is that's it's dragged out to the point of boredom.

It could have been wrapped up 3 hours earlier and been a decent read. What always kills it is that she combines the classic character with her own other works. That tries to change it to a psychological suspense which comes across as odd when used to the original stories

10 people found this helpful

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No! Definitely NOT Agatha’s Poirot!

How do these authors think they can recreate the likes of Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle? What inflated egos are they pandering to that they consider themselves qualified to walk in their footsteps? Qualified to borrow their characters and claim to expand their plots?
This story could have been presented by the author without riding the coattails of an iconic writer. The character names could have been original and no-one would’ve known the difference. The author would at least have retained their own integrity. I personally cannot see Agatha looking favorably upon this effort.
I certainly can find no legitimate comparison between this so-called Poirot story and those created by Agatha Christie.

5 people found this helpful

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  • mc
  • 09-25-20

Terrible Poirot character

Did NOT like the way Poirot was characterized. Agatha Christy this author is not..big waste of time and money

4 people found this helpful

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sadly disappointing

I really loved the first three of Sophie Hannah’s Agatha Christie books, so I was very much looking forward to listening to this one. But sadly it was disappointing to say the least. The reason for the murder of Frank Davenport was beyond ridiculous. It absolutely would not happen. People don’t commit murder for something like that!

The best part of it was the narrator. Julian Rhind-Tutt’s excellent performance is the only reason I stuck with it to the end.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

As good as a standard Christie

I have not read any other books by Sophie Hannah but her Poirot series. They are all pretty good.
It is easy to forget that there are a lot of mediocre Christie books in addition to her masterpieces. The Hannah books fit in among the average Christie. They are enjoyable reads, but so far none has had the brilliant solution found in Christie's best, but that is perhaps an unfair bar to expect any author to achieve.
In this book we get all of the expected scenes. The country house with an unhappy family. A death in the past and a gathering of all the suspects at the end as Poirot reveals the solution which is a satisfactory one. Inspector Catchpole is along for the ride again. I find him fairly dull and wish Hannah would resurrect one of Christie's original side kicks.
Julian Rhind-Tutt is a great reader for a Poirot story on par with the readers of the Christie Poirot books.

3 people found this helpful

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Too heavy handed

Although the story is developed competently, the conceit of using Christie's Poirot is getting tired. The author takes what I can best describe as a 'mood' of Christie's Poirot (excited, arrogant, enigmatic, insulting to his companion), one which Christie used at relevant places in a story or novel to heighten suspense or mislead the reader, and makes it Poirot's only mood. It is tedious. I felt it was overused in Hannah's previous "Poirot" novels, but hoped that the author was just finding her stride. This is by far the worst. Rather than feeling compelled by the suspense to keep reading/listening, I repeatedly rolled my eyes and turned it off. I also found the first-person narrator (Poirot's companion) distracting. When Christie paired her detectives with a companion or helper of some sort, she used a character slightly more clueless than the reader. From what I remember, however, in Christie's books that helper is either a layman tagging along with her detective (a naive friend/temporary ally) or a police detective (someone with crime-solving experience and authority who is in competition with her detective and slightly antagonistic). The way Inspector Catchpool is written, he comes across as too dense and too timid to plausibly be a Scotland Yard detective. Or rather, he seems to be an otherwise intelligent and educated fellow, but bizarrely lacks any capacity for reasoning, decision-making, or personal initiative specifically when it comes to the solving of crime. While Christie effectively used the device of Poirot teasing, insulting, patronizing, confusing, etc. his companion in order to advance a story in key places, here it is incessant, tiresome, and ultimately implausible. I guessed key 'mysteries' early on. While it is fine that the 'companion' is slow in that regard, Catchpool's failure to catch on immediately once they are revealed to him is absurd. I appreciated this book as competent and as an imaginative reworking, but felt it wasn't skillful. You can feel the author working and it's exhausting.

3 people found this helpful

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Sending it back

I’m sending this back, especially after just now reading the other critiques. I thought it was just me, my attention kept going away from what I was listening to. No, after a fairly interesting start its’s become boring, Going over the same grounds again and again. I don’t understand how the Agatha Christie estate gave this writer permission to carry-on in Christie’s name. Some of her books have also been filmed and play on PBS. I’d forgotten that I had tried to watch a couple of them and ended up turning them off. Too much talking, not enough happening. Makes you see the genius of Christy, can’t even put my finger on it, how she does it, but Christie holds your interest every inch of the way. It’s really a shame that A better writer has not taken over the mantle.

1 person found this helpful

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Boring and tedious

Oh dear. This is just so convoluted a story. Just wanted it to end. Same points repeated again and again.

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Not true to character

This “new” Poirot’ feels too contrived and not anything like the original. Like some of the badly acted Christie movie adaptations the character and plot are distorted images of the Christie originals. Some continuations of classic mystery character have rung true but not in this book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Poroit needs a better sidekick

A good story, but Poroit's friend, the Chief Inspector, is the most timid, vague, daydreaming, slow-witted person that's ever been accused of being a policeman. Hearithe story through his eyes is often excruciating and frustrating. He's more Sgt. Schulze than Inspector Japp.