Good morning! We have already reached Friday which means it is time for an adult review here on SWB. Today I am bringing you my review of The Mystery Of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. This is the third in the new Hercule Poirot mystery series that Sophie is writing with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s estate. I actually read this book back in April as part of the Magical Readathon, it was my herbology prompt. I reviewed Closed Casket the second book in this series way back in 2017, it was one of my first reviews here on SWB and you can find the review here. I have also recently been accepted for an eARC of The Killings At Kingfisher Hill which is the fourth book in this series and was recently released.
Author: Sophie Hannah
Publication Date: 23rd August 2018
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About The Book…
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?
What I Thought…
Poirot is just getting out of the back of the car when he is accosted by someone who believes he is written to them accusing them of murder before long it becomes very apparent to borrow that a number of people have received letters supposedly from him saying that they are responsible for the death of somebody. The Mystery of Three Quarters follows Poirot as he attempts to discover who is behind the letters and if anyone was actually murdered.
For as long as I can remember I have been quite a fan of Poirot. I remember sitting on a Sunday afternoon with my dad and watching the adaptations on ITV starring David Suchet and I certainly always preferred them to the Miss Marple adaptations but I must confess I’ve actually read very few of the original novels by Agatha Christie herself. This is the third of Sophie Hannah’s new Hercule Poirot series and the third of them that I’ve actually read! I’m a huge fan of the way that this feels like a very traditional mystery novel. Now I love modern police and crime fiction books I have no problem with any sort of darkness and some of the more graphic types of series especially things that have been written by authors in the medical profession say things like the Rizzoli and Isles series. Things like the Tempe Brennan forensic anthropologist books I adore but at the same time there is nothing like a traditional mystery book full of little clues and red herrings to really get stuck into and try and beat the protagonist to solving the crime.
I know that sometimes this sort of book taking on famous characters that past authors have created and using them to create new stories can feel almost cheap an as though the publishers are banking on a famous name getting them sales rather than taking a risk on a brand new creation from a brand new author. It’s something I’ve spoken about before so it feels a little hypocritical to stand here and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this new Poirot book but it’s true I found the plot to be really interesting, I was very keen to discover who was writing to these people in pretending to be Poirot why they were doing it and if a murder had even occurred at all. Sophie Hannah manages to negotiate Hercule through a plot filled with twists and turns and new reveals and some red herrings to land on what to me it was a really satisfying conclusion that I probably didn’t actually see coming until very close to the end.
I’m not sure there’s too much point talking about all the different characters I think most people will be very familiar with Hercule Poirot and although most of my knowledge of him comes from the TV show rather than Agatha’s books themselves I still feel like Sophie manage is to create and portray Hercule Poirot in very much the same manner I would expect he still has his little quirks and he still gets the little grey cells to work. I thought the supporting cast of characters in The Mystery of Three Quarters were all interesting. I enjoyed getting to see the reasons behind each of their letters being sent and to slowly develop an understanding of the relationships that they have with each other however distant they may be made for really interesting read.
I think Sophie Hannah has created a really satisfying read here. I would recommend The Mystery Of Three Quarters and Sophie’s other Poirot books to anybody who enjoys a good traditional mystery and I am very much looking forward to reading The Killings At Kingfisher Hill over the next couple of months.
About The Author…
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.
Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.
Connect With Sophie
Want To Buy It?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?