Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot have been the main reasons for my love affair with murder mysteries. A large part of my childhood was spent devouring her books. So when I heard that Sophie Hannah has attempted to re-create one of the greatest detectives of all time, I was over the moon with excitement.However, when I finally got the chance to pick it up, a bit of nervousness blended in with the excitement. I couldn’t help but set my expectations really high for this book, which ultimately proved to be its downfall.
The setting of the novel will appeal to any Christie fan. The 1920s. A huge bungalow. A countess who writes books for children. The eccentric son and the spoilt daughter. A contentious will. The elements are all there. The story begins with the countess summoning
her lawyer to re-write her will. Instead of leaving everything to her children, she decides to make her private secretary the sole beneficiary – a secretary who is terminally ill and has very little chance of outliving the countess. Expecting trouble post her announcement of the will, the countess decides to invite Hercule Poirot and Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool to stay at her mansion. So there you have it. The recipe for a perfect murder mystery. Except, it is anything but. Continue reading