Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill - Sophie Hannah

Agatha Christie created some of the most memorable and beloved characters ever to populate a mystery novel, including Hercule Poirot. The first Poirot novel was published in 1920 and the last in 1975. Sophie Hannah has continued the series with the Christie estate's blessing. The latest is The Killings at Kingfisher Hill.

Poirot has a new sidekick in the Hannah books - Scotland Yard Inspector Edward Catchpool. Catchpool documents the cases and it is through his eyes that we see the unfolding mystery. He is a delightful character and he's clever in his own right. But, no one can match Poirot's deductive powers, so Catchpool's personal thoughts and comments are more in line with what the reader may be thinking and postulating. 

Poirot and Catchpool are taking the train to the Kingfisher Hill estate for a reason only Poirot knows. But before they arrive there are number of odd events on the train. A woman is afraid to sit in the last available seat as she has been told she will die if she does. Ah hah! Poirot is intrigued... And there's more once they arrive at the estate. Murder to be exact. Hannah's plotting is clever, serpentine and makes for addictive reading.

It is Poirot's 'little gray cells' that drive the investigation. I always have enjoyed the deductions, the piecing together, the reasoning, the seemingly innocuous clue tucked into a paragraph along the way.  The reader needs to pay close attention. The 'old fashioned' method of solving a crime is quite enjoyable and challenges the reader.

I think that Hannah successfully captures Poirot's style, mannerisms, dialogue and idiosyncrasies.Those looking for a book written as Agatha Christie won't find it in The Killings at Kingfisher Hill. But those looking for a classic mystery written in the style of Christie will enjoy this book. I did! Here's an excerpt of The Killings at Kingfisher Hill. And I had a quick listen to the audio version. It sounds great as well.


Grandma Cootie said...

Maybe I will give Sophie Hannah and this series another try. I didn't really enjoy The Monogram Murders but perhaps I was waiting for David Suchet to show up.

Luanne said...

Nobody could top Suchet for sure! It's very similar to The Monogram Murders. What about trying audio. I had a listen and the Poirot voice is very good!