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The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

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Overview

The bestselling novelist of all time. The world's most famous detective. The literary event of the year.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie's novels have been sold around the world. 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.

In the hands of internationally bestselling author...

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The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

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Overview

The bestselling novelist of all time. The world's most famous detective. The literary event of the year.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie's novels have been sold around the world. 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.

In the hands of internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London – a diabolically clever puzzle sure to baffle and delight Christie's fans as well as readers who have not yet read her work. Written with the full backing of Christie's family, and featuring the most iconic detective of all time, this new novel is a major event for mystery lovers the world over.

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  • Monogram Murders
    Monogram Murders  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

When Agatha Christie (1890-1976) published her first Hercule Poirot novel in 1920, she could have not imagined that her mystery series sales would eventually top two billion copies. (Only The Bible and Shakespeare outsell her.) And when she ended the Belgian detective's run in 1975, enthusiasts despaired that the series would never be revived. But now the unbelievable has occurred: After almost forty years, the Christie estate has finally authorized a revival of this classic and they selected respected mystery author Sophie Hannah (The Orphan Choir; Kind of Cruel) to create a Poirot whodunit worthy of its origins. By every evidence, this suspenseful fiction remains true to the letter and spirit of Ms. Christie. Editor's recommendation.

The New York Times Book Review - Alexander McCall Smith
Does Sophie Hannah's Poirot live up to our expectations? Yes, he does, and markedly so…The Monogram Murders is both faithful to the character and an entirely worthy addition to the canon…The plot is as tricky as anything written by Agatha Christie. Nothing is obvious or predictable in this very difficult Sudoku of a novel. The Monogram Murders has a life and freshness of its own. Poirot is still Poirot. Poirot is back.
Library Journal
04/01/2014
Because only Shakespeare and the Bible outsell Agatha Christie, internationally best-selling author Hannah must have been thrilled when the Christie estate authorized her writing a new Christie mystery—the first time it has ever done so. Hannah here resurrects beloved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, though plot details have not been officially released. Note that Morrow is reissuing Christie's After the Funeral with a new foreword by Hannah explaining why it's her favorite Poirot mystery; look for distribution on World Book Night, April 23.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-09
Hercule Poirot, last spotted in Charles Osborne's novelization Black Coffee (1998), returns from retirement to investigate a triple poisoning in 1929 London. It doesn't take long for Poirot to realize why the woman he encounters in Pleasant's Coffee House is all in a dither. She's afraid that she's about to be killed, and she can't bring herself to run from her killer, since death is no more than she deserves. She flees before he can pin her down to specifics, but he soon links her to three deaths at the nearby Bloxham Hotel. Each of the guests—retired lawyer Richard Negus, his former fiancee, Ida Gransbury, and their old friend Harriet Sippel—arrived separately the day before; each was poisoned with cyanide, then neatly laid out on the floor; and each is found with a monogrammed cufflink in his or her mouth shortly after someone turns in a note to the Bloxham's front desk with their three room numbers and the epitaph, "MAY THEY NEVER REST IN PEACE." Clearly this triple homicide has roots too deep for Poirot's temporary housemate, Detective Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard, to fathom. So Poirot attaches himself to the case, uncovering evidence about the victims' shared past in a village scandal 16 years ago, alternately lecturing and hectoring Catchpool, and sounding very little like Agatha Christie's legendary sleuth except for the obligatory French tags. Hannah, a specialist in psychological suspense (The Orphan Choir, 2014, etc.), would seem an odd choice for the job of resurrecting Poirot. The main strengths she brings to her task are a formidable ingenuity and a boundless appetite for reviewing the same evidence over and over again. The herrings-within-herrings denouement, which goes on for 100 pages, hovers between tour de force and unintentional farce. Despite the names and dates, this authorized sequel will remind you less of Christie, whose strengths are very different from Hannah's, than of the dozens of other pastiches of golden age detective fiction among which it takes its place.
Mathew Prichard
“Sophie Hannah’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.”
Tana French
“Perfect...a pure treat.”
Gillian Flynn
“Equal parts charming and ingenious, dark and quirky and utterly engaging…I was thrilled to see Poirot in such very, very good hands. Reading The Monogram Murders was like returning to a favorite room of a long-lost home.”
Charles Todd
“Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders does Christie proud. Our favorite detective is back and in impeccable form!”
Laura Lippman
“Sophie Hannah is a prodigious talent. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Alexander McCall Smith
“Does Sophie Hannah’s Poirot live up to our expectations? Yes, he does, and markedly so.... As tricky as anything written by Agatha Christie. The Monogram Murders has a life and freshness of its own. Poirot is still Poirot. Poirot is back.”
USA Today
“Sophie Hannah does an egoless, silky job of reviving Agatha Christie’s beloved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot...enough so to hope that Hannah turns to Miss Marple next.”
Washington Post
“Christie herself, some might say, could do no better.... Enough twists, turns, revelations and suspects to cook up a most satisfying red-herring stew. Literary magic.”
NPR
“Sharply written and rigorously plotted, this Poirot mystery rivals many of Christie’s own.”
Boston Globe
“Terrific.... uncanny. As Hercule Poirot himself would say, ‘Bravo, Madame Hannah. Bravo.’ ”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062297211
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/9/2014
  • Series: Hercule Poirot Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 7,263
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah is the internationally bestselling author of 8 psychological thrillers, which have been published in more than 20 countries and adapted for television. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 13, 2014

    I had read every Agatha novel when I was in high school, and now

    I had read every Agatha novel when I was in high school, and now, as a recently retired English teacher, have reread about 40 this past year. I eagerly awaited the arrival of this novel and had the local library purchase it for me and other Christie fans. I was honestly dissatisfied with it. It lacked all the descriptive charm of a Christie setting. Sadly, it seems as if the novelist created a pontificating Poirot ad nauseum. Way too many French phrases and way too many over-the-top, grandstanding explanations. I guess what I really wanted was a Poirot novel the way Christie would have written it and him. This is too overboard and I became overly bored in the process of reading.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Not the Poirot I know and love!

    Like many others, I eagerly anticipated this novel, but what a disappointment! The name "Poirot" is the only trait this character shares with Christie's beloved Belgian sleuth. Other than being a bit pompous and lapsing into French at times, he lacks all of the lovable and clever characteristics that make Poirot unique. On top of this, we are deprived of Captain Hastings and Miss Lemon, who are nowhere to be found!
    The writing style fails to evoke the early 20th century. The plot is contrived and plodding. The whole mess is a chore to read, yet I slogged through to the end, hoping against hope that things would improve, but quel dommage, they did not.
    I have no idea why the Christie estate sanctioned this author to carry on the Christie tradition, since Ms. Hannah proves herself incapable of doing so. This tome is a disgrace to the memory of Dame Agatha and Poirot.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2014

    Nicely Done Homage to Poirot

    Although loyal sticklers will nay say this well thought out mystery, I think it is an enthusiastic attempt to breath life back into one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. Many who have read and reread Dame Agatha's masterworks and felt that there could be a way of expanding the mythos of Poirot but also knew in their que incredable...this cannot happen!
    Yet before ye condemn, please read this book. Yes, it could not be good enough to pass as a Christie, but it is an entertaining mystery and the little Belgian is the master of the little grey cells. As one who was disappointed with Curtain, actually written by Dame Agatha as not being true to the character, and too flawed, this version has none, and doesn't add anything new to Poirot.
    It's biggest flaw, in not stirring the depths, is it's greatest asset. There is nothing of controversy, no new insights, yet if it had, I doubt it would have been as enjoyable. I am reminded of Thrones and Denominations, a book I can scarcely remember which thoroughly dulled the rapier wit of Lord Peter and gave Harriet his good lady wife a lobotomy.
    So I say, as in the case of Sherlock and Lovecraft, bring on the Christie characters we know and love. The mythos should continue to inspire and be inspiring. Nothing done well will ever tarnish the luster of the original.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2014

    Total waste of money and reading time.  This book should not hav

    Total waste of money and reading time.  This book should not have Agatha
     Christie’s name on it.  One of her characters, Hercule Poirot, is poorly
     represented in this book, but this is by no means an Agatha Christie book.
    The characters in this book are unlikeable and unrealistic.  The storyline is boring
     and the ending is just an unbearable repetitive twist on an already never ending
     murder mystery reveal.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2014

    Very disappointing. Read all Agatha Christies works and really

    Very disappointing. Read all Agatha Christies works and really wanted to enjoy this book. I made myself finish it but it felt more like a chore than a pleasure.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2014

    Do not recommend

    doesn't even come close to Agatha Christie's style.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2014

    Very disappointing. Agatha would not approve.

    Very disappointing. Agatha would not approve.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    I loved the book as I could not put it done. I too have read Ag

    I loved the book as I could not put it done. I too have read Agatha Christie since I was in 8th grade. Her books are exceptionally written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have read every Agatha Christie novel and I know that this was

    I have read every Agatha Christie novel and I know that this was not Agatha Christie but I feel that it was as close to the real thing as it could be. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    I know Poirot is out there, just not present in this book. I am

    I know Poirot is out there, just not present in this book. I am very disappointed, and I even feel betrayed that his name was used here. If you are a true Poirot 'lover', save your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I bought this at a book signing. Sophie Hannah, a great Christie

    I bought this at a book signing. Sophie Hannah, a great Christie fan (as am I) made it clear that she didn't set out to replicate Christie, as no one could do that, but wrote the book as a tribute to her. I think she achieves her aim quite well. Matthew Prichard gave his consent because he wanted people to start reading his grandmother again, and they are.
    Poirot is as fussy, abrasive, wily, and ultimately as kindhearted as he is in the originals, although there, the similarities end. The sidekick – Catchpole – is a  Scotland Yard detective. He's more Hastings bumbling, than Japp, but decent and well-meaning. He's there only to narrate, Poirot runs the investigation, the police don't really feature.
     At 373 pages, it's long but engrossing. With so many oddities to explain, the denounment is possibly a bit too long and rather complicated, but clever for it, and unexpected. There are enough footprints throughout to make it solvable, but mostly with hindsight. This is a cosy murder mystery which requires your full attention.
    Don't expect to read Christie, because you won't, nor were you intended to. The Monochrome Murders, is a good Christie-esque read, which, in my opinion at least, is better than some of its reviews suggest.
    Nina Jon is the author of the newly released Magpie Murders - a series of short murder mysteries – and the Jane Hetherington's Adventures in Detection crime and mystery series, about private detective Jane Hetherington.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2014

    Awful!

    Very disappointed in this book. Took way too many pages to explain what happened. Author should have cut out at least 100 pages.

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  • Posted December 8, 2014

    A Nice Addition to the Poirot Series! Sophie Hannah's new novel

    A Nice Addition to the Poirot Series!

    Sophie Hannah's new novel, THE MONOGRAM MURDERS, follows the famous Belgium detective, Hercule Poirot, as he tries to uncover the mystery surrounding the death of three guests at a London hotel and the possible death of a young woman he encounters in a coffeehouse. Through various twists and turns, and several red herrings, Poirot sifts through the clues and gleans the truth about what happened.

    The author fully captures Poirot's OCD habits and his mode of speech. I can picture David Suchet's Poirot smiling condescendingly at some fool, wincing at a scattered placesetting or a maid dropping his hat, and spelling out the truth of what happened to the gathered group of suspects.

    However, the tone of the story seems more current than the original Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie. This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless the reader is a devoted Christie fan. The story is told from a different point of view than the original stories were. The new narrator, Scotland Yard's Edward Catchpool, is thirty-two and introduces himself as a policeman friend of Poirot's. They meet when Poirot stays in the same London boardinghouse as Catchpool, about six weeks before the events in the book. Catchpool is a touch insecure and feels everyone will soon catch on that he's not the best policeman out there. He is an acceptable narrator, though.

    I prefer to base this review on the book itself and not on how it does or does not read like Agatha Christie wrote it. With that in mind, I think this is a fairly entertaining novel that has enough clues and suspects to make it an enjoyable story for people who love mysteries. With the good balance of dialogue and description, the interesting and unusual mystery, and a story that flows along nicely, this novel could bring in some new readers of Agatha Christie's stories.

    * An ARC was provided by William Morrow/HarperCollins and Edelweiss for an honest review.
    ** Visit Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog for more book reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    Agatha Christie is my favorite author and I have read the books

    Agatha Christie is my favorite author and I have read the books as a teenager with my grandma and reread them often since. I was thrilled to find out that the estate had allowed another writer to continue with the adventures of Hercule Poirot, but what a gigantic disappointment! The writing was not even close to the master Agatha Christie. I know it must be hard to follow in the footsteps of someone so beloved, but there was so much wrong with this book. The plot was not clever or interesting. The characters were not likable. It didn’t have the interesting vocabulary that the originals have. It didn’t have the feel of the English towns (or the foreign destinations) that Agatha infused into her books. Even the great Hercule Poirot came across as impolite and unpleasant. I could not even finish it-I was not sufficiently interested in the outcome to slog through the boring writing. Please pick a better author next time!

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  • Posted November 3, 2014

    Classic Poirot!

    This was so similar to the original Hercule Poirot novels that it was hard to believe that it was written by someone other than Agatha Christie. Sophie Hannah did an incredible job with this favorite character, and the story was very enjoyable. I hope she will write more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    Poirot solves the case!

    It was a lot of fun, and very interesting to read through this "new" Agatha Christie novel. Sophie Hannah does a great job writing in Christie's style and keeping the reader guessing "Who did it?".

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  • Posted October 30, 2014

    Excellent Murder Mystery for Agatha Christie fans! Sadly, I have

    Excellent Murder Mystery for Agatha Christie fans! Sadly, I have never read an Agatha Christie book, but I have seen all the movies that PBS has shown! Yes, I’m behind the times. However, I was really excited about Sophie Hannah writing a book, based on Agatha Christie’s main characters: Hercule Poirot. He is away on vacation, taking a respite form his inspector duties. However, it’s not before long that a triple murder and an odd item found at the scene of each murder has him involved!

    I was able to predict pretty quickly who had murdered, but the motives and the roles of the others involved did throw me off a little. What I love most about the movies I have seen, which is very evident in this book, is that while the characters are trying to figure the mysteries out-the reader or viewer has a better vantage point and still clueless on some level! It’s just brilliant writing!!

    The character isn’t the only ingredient that makes a mystery book: Agatha Christie. It’s the tone of the story, the different characters that all somehow interconnect, and the way the story unfolds. It’s a classic read, even thought the book has been released in 2014. It’s just a great read, there’s a little romantic surprise at the end, and it’s a book that many Agatha Christie and mystery readers will want to read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2014

    Wonderful!  I was so eager to read this book and I was not disap

    Wonderful!  I was so eager to read this book and I was not disappointed. Agatha Christie's family made a
     great choice in an author to continue the tradition. Sophie Hannah did a magnificent job.  The characters
     are well defined and Hercule Poirot IS Hercule Poirot.  We find him retired and living in a London boarding
     house. Poirot frequents a local restaurant and is surprised when a woman rushes in saying she will soon be
     dead and then justice will be served.  What can she have done to make her feel that she deserves to be
     murdered? When he returns to his room, his landlady confides that another boarder is depressed and in
     anguish. The other boarder is a Scotland Yard detective, Edward Catchpool who is overwhelmed because
     there have been three murders at a local hotel. The Belgian detective will have to come out of retirement and
     use "the little grey cells"  to help Catchpool and to figure out the puzzle of the woman from the restaurant.
     I highly recommend this book to Agatha Christie fans and to mystery fans in general. Thank you to the
     publisher, HarperCollins, for providing me with an ARC.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2014

    Blasphemy

    I do not understand how 'the family' could disgrace Dame Agatha's memory like this. How dare they allow anyone to try to pretend. I hope that they now regret their very poor decision.

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  • Posted October 24, 2014

    I wanted to love it¿

    I really wanted to like this book. I was disappointed. I never felt that I was involved in the story. Almost every situation was described by one of the characters as something that had already happened, so there was no tension and very little mystery. I knew who the murderer was almost immediately, which NEVER happened when I read a real Agatha Christie story. Over the past 40 or 50 years, I have read them all. I'm sorry to say, this book was not worthy of Christie or Poirot.

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