The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

3.1 55
by Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie
     
 

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

Internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah breathes new

Overview

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

Internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah breathes new life into the incomparable detective. In this thrilling tale, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London—a diabolically clever puzzle that will test his brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time. Authorized by Christie's family, and featuring the most iconic detective of all time, this instant Christie classic is sure to be celebrated by mystery lovers the world over.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Library Journal
★ 09/01/2014
Hercule Poirot requires a rest for his "little grey cells" and anonymously rents a comfortable room not too far from his well-known address. The Belgian detective settles into his vacance with a new Thursday night routine—a light meal and two cups of Pleasant's Coffee House superb namesake. On one such evening, Poirot's rituals are disturbed by a terrified young woman entering the café as if all of hell is behind her. Thus begins a search for a macabre triple murderer who lines up the dead and places monogrammed cuff links between their lips. Edward Catchpool, Poirot's fellow boarder as well as a Scotland Yard policeman, begrudgingly allows the detective to lead the case. VERDICT Almost 40 years after Agatha Christie's final Hercule Poirot mystery, Hannah (The Orphan Choir), with the authorization of the Christie estate, has re-created the sleuth's voice and character as true to the original as anyone could. The egotistical little Belgian, interested in his "order and methods" and employing the "little grey cells" is back. Edward Catchpool is no replacement for the well-intended and captivating Capt. Arthur Hastings, yet fans of all formats of Agatha Christie and Poirot (the BBC TV series as well as original books, plays, etc) will delight in this new foray into the Christie canon. [See Prepub Alert, 3/3/14; see also Hannah's essay on p. 78.]—Jennifer Funk, McKendree Univ. Lib., Lebanon, IL
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.
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.’ ”
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.”
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062297235
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/09/2014
Series:
Hercule Poirot Series , #43
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
228
File size:
1 MB

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Matthew Pritchard
“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.”--Matthew Pritchard

Meet the Author

Internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah breathes new life into the incomparable detective. In this thrilling tale, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London—a diabolically clever puzzle that will test his brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time. Authorized by Christie’s family, and featuring the most iconic detective of all time, this instant Christie classic is sure to be celebrated by mystery lovers the world over.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 15, 1890
Date of Death:
January 12, 1976
Place of Birth:
Torquay, Devon, England
Education:
Home schooling
Website:
http://www.agathachristie.com

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The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery 3.1 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 55 reviews.
runandteach More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
NinaJon More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
doesn't even come close to Agatha Christie's style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was fairly well-written, but a hot mess in terms of plot and character development (or rather uner-developmnent). Ms. Hannah just tried way too hard, attempting to cram in so many Agatha-worthy twists and turns that were either forced, unrealistic or simply didn't work that the whole thing began to bore the hell out of me. I even began skipping ahead - something i've never done with the real Agatha Christie!! This soooo needed an editor and if it had one it should hsve had two. Very disappointing and it shouldn't have been. Wish I could get my money back.
DeviNair More than 1 year ago
When you are attempting to replicate legends, you should be very focused and detail oriented, because the people who read such novels are hard-core fans of these legends and will not compromise on quality. Dame Agatha Christie is the Goddess of Mystery, in my opinion. So, when “Monogram Murders” came out, I was very excited to meet Poirot again with his French exclamations and over-the-top attitude. However, I was to be terribly disappointed. The story started fast and well. The initial feel of the book was authentic and nostalgic. However, as the story progressed, Hercule Poirot changed considerably. The much-too-humble Poirot felt like a completely different person. Catchpool was added and played the role of Watson. However, many a times through the book, it is shown that Poirot almost missed out on several important points and Catchpool in fact saved the day. However, Catchpool is too immature or too much of a novice to be a detective. Therefore, Poirot depending on such a person to gain insights is something far too impossible to imagine. All this is very different from the Poirot I know and admire. The comes the climax – which lasted a good 4 chapters. Who puts climax for so long? Towards the end, I was so bored that I did not have the patience to even finish the climax. With a seemingly dumb Poirot and a never-ending Climax, I really have almost no stars to give this book. 1 star just so I could meet Poirot again, even if it was only for a couple of initial chapters
prussblue10 More than 1 year ago
I can not agree with the assessment of the grandson of the late Dame Agatha Christie (see back cover of dust jacket. I was disappointed as I had hoped for a new Poirot mystery. Like some of the 'acting of characters in the story line,' the Poirot depicted here seemed to me to be pretending to be Poirot. The story line twists too much to become confusing at times, e.g. it is not made clear that an important event that the story is based upon happened quite some time before until well into the story. Putting a lot of unnecessary details and twists into a story does not make it 'Christie quality.' I truly hate to give a negative review but Hannah, in my opinion, has not lived up to the style and quality that many of us know for Christie's body of work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While it was not a true Agatha Christie it did have many of the elements of a Hercule Poirot mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept putting me to sleep. Never did finish it. Don,t think Agatha would approve of having her name on the cover. FES
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt this book was slow with too much time explaining what had taken place. It moved so slow and the characters were rather dull.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed in this book. Took way too many pages to explain what happened. Author should have cut out at least 100 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
mlrphotos More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely not Agatha Christie's talent. Hard going for a true Christie fan. More like Dorothy Sayers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But this is a flop. even after a long time writing a series burn out seems like a ghost writer has been substituted. This is about the sloppiest careless continuation did not seem to have read any of the novels and i ordered the hard cover which was back ordered at book store to see it already marked down to 19.50 at wal mart read at library first or confirm with sample page counter
elizabethCC More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. Agatha would not approve.
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BookloverAS More than 1 year ago
After reading the reviews that only gave this one star, I decided to write a review even though I haven't finished the book yet. I am enjoying it very much. I was not expecting a Christie novel, but rather another writer's version of a Christie book, and that's what this is. Poirot is Poirot - a little more transparent in his thoughts and I like that. I see his method a little more clearly and I enjoy that. He is not in an England without changes - clearly he is a little older, time has progressed slightly. Why not? The knowledge of human nature is still there, and the plot is a Christie plot. I actually would enjoy more of these. Thank you, Ms. Hannah