Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.
Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy.
Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?
This is the third book by Sophie Hannah that brings Agatha Christie’s Belgian Private Detective Hercule Poirot back, giving the reader a new mystery to enjoy.
As I considered what to write I have a small (!) confession to make. Ah, you say, already the influence of Hercule Poirot is at work. What might I have to feel guilty about? Surely such an upright citizen (?) could not have any, what do you say, mmmm….. skeletons in the closet? But, my friends, I must tell you this – I have never read any Poirot books well not until now. So, there you have it, shocking I know. However, there is more? oh dear! Perhaps worse still is that I have something of a preference for, she will remain nameless in this post, the other Agatha Christie amateur detective.
You may find all this somewhat beyond the pale. How could I dare to thrust my opinions upon you with so little familiarity with M. Poirot? I will not use my watching of him on the little or big screen in my favour just to say we must all begin somewhere and this is where I have begun my foray into the world of Hercule Poirot.
Well now, the book. The opportunity to read a Poirot mystery not by Agatha Christie appealed to me even though I had not read the previous two books by Sophie Hannah. Starting here is not an issue for the stories stand alone. Of course, as with any series, the style and characterisations grow stronger, more confident and rounded with each book. This being the third such book it is not surprising then to feel that Sophie Hannah is presenting an accomplished and quintessential piece of writing. It is unique and yet evocative of the great lady herself, a masterly piece of writing.
The mystery is thoroughly enjoyable, well thought out and will keep you guessing. I rather liked Hercule Poirot a character I had never really warmed to in my (non-reading) Poirot experience. The Mystery of Three Quarters is mainly written from the point of view of Police Detective Inspector Edward Catchpool who is a new character introduced by Sophie Hannah. As is Fee Spring, a wonderful character, who brings a down to earth element to the book and gives one outlet for the humour than can be found throughout the story.
The Mystery of Three Quarters is a terrific read, thoroughly enjoyable, well written and well worth reading. I can see that, like me, if you haven’t read Agatha Christie’s Poirot that these books from Sophie Hannah will open up a wonderful world of new stories from both authors and for those who are already fans of Agatha Christie’s Poirot surely these books will be a great pleasure to read and an opportunity to expand their collection of Poirot mysteries.
With thanks to HarperCollins via NetGalley for an eARC copy of The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. This review is purely my own thoughts and, for which, I have received no payment.
Pages: 401 (Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0008264457)
Publisher: HarperCollins (23 Aug. 2018) (Paperback: 4 Apr 2019)
SOPHIE HANNAH is an internationally bestselling writer of crime fiction, published in more than 35 languages. Her novel The Carrier won Crime Thriller of the Year at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards. She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Sophie has written two previous Hercule Poirot novels, The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, both of which were top five Sunday Times bestsellers.
Little Face Hurting Distance The Point of Rescue The Other Half Lives A Room Swept White Lasting Damage Kind of Cruel The Carrier The Orphan Choir The Telling Error Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen A Game for All the Family The Narrow Bed Did You See Melody?
AGATHA CHRISTIE is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, more than 20 plays, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott.
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