Book of the Week: The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery – Sophie Hannah

Yep, dead authors keep “writing.” It’s a thing in publishing–we just can’t stand to see the end point of a good brand . The whole idea works to better or worse effect depending on who is tapped to extend the series. With over two billion copies of the original Agatha Christie titles in print, the author’s estate has thus far refused to give the nod to extending the series. Until now.

Bestselling mystery writer Sophie Hannah is a self-professed Agatha Christie geek and it shows in the writing. She’s picked up the Poirot series and by all accounts, knocks it out of the park. We’ve already gotten a lot of publicity and the major review coverage hasn’t even geared up. This is definitely one you want to have front of store.

 

“Hannah does a superb job of channeling Agatha Christie in this wholly successful pastiche authorized by the Christie estate. One evening in February 1929, Hercule Poirot is dining alone at a London coffee shop when a woman arrives who looks as if she had ‘come face to face with the devil.’ Poirot joins the distraught woman, known at first as Jennie, who tells the sleuth that no one can help her because she’s ‘already dead,’ and that no one should search for her killer. ‘The crime must never be solved,’ she proclaims…. [Later] two women and a man are found poisoned in a hotel near Piccadilly Circus, each with a monogrammed gold cuff link inserted in his or her mouth. The rest of the novel lives up to the promise of the opening, complete with dazzling deductions, subtle cluing, false endings, and superb prose.… Lovers of classic whodunits can only hope Hannah continues to offer her take on the great Belgian detective.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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 grey cells. I was thrilled to see the Belgian detective in such very, very good hands.”
— Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

“Hannah, who understands psychological mayhem as well as Ruth Rendell and maybe even Sigmund Freud, is best read with a crisis counselor on speed-dial. The tight plotting and excruciatingly precise clues make for a superlatively uneasy read.”
— Kirkus Reviews

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah is the first book to bring back Hercule Poirot and authorized by Agatha Christie’s estate.  And, boy, did they make a good decision!  Hannah has not only retained the characteristics of Poirot – the grand moustaches, the deliberate thinking out loud – but she has also retained the grand master of the Golden Age of British Mystery’s voice.  …. I truly figured that I had solved the mystery, only to have several more twists and turns stop me in my tracks.  The denouement was pure Christie, and it’s certain to please all Poirot fans!  What a wonderful treat!”
— Bill Carl, The Booksellers on Fountain Square

The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery (9780062297211) by Sophie Hannah. $25.99 hardcover. 9/9/14 on sale.

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