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The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
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The Monogram Murders (2014)

by Sophie Hannah

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English (48)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Poirot has taken up temporary residence in a London boarding house to take a break from his new found fame. While eating in a neighborhood cafe one night Poirot meets a young woman who makes some questionable statements before dashing into the night. Upon returning to his room Poirot's fellow boarder, a young police officer whom he's become acquainted with is shaken up by a case he's working on. Three people were found murdered in a nearby hotel, the three deaths, although identical in nature seem to have nothing in common except being murdered on same day and in that hotel. Intrigued by the crimes Poirot joins the investigation which leads to a country village where the victims have something or someone in common.

This is a story worthy of Agatha Christie's Poirot It incorporates many of the Christie's favorite plot themes - village scandals, tragedies caused by gossip, red herrings and false alibis - to give Poirot's little grey cells a challenge. This story could do with some trimming down. Some scenes seem to drag on too long, some descriptions are way more detailed than they need to be leaving the reader wanting to skim the long sections so they can get to the good parts. ( )
  FaytheShattuck | May 23, 2018 |
Poirot has taken up temporary residence in a London boarding house to take a break from his new found fame. While eating in a neighborhood cafe one night Poirot meets a young woman who makes some questionable statements before dashing into the night. Upon returning to his room Poirot's fellow boarder, a young police officer whom he's become acquainted with is shaken up by a case he's working on. Three people were found murdered in a nearby hotel, the three deaths, although identical in nature seem to have nothing in common except being murdered on same day and in that hotel. Intrigued by the crimes Poirot joins the investigation which leads to a country village where the victims have something or someone in common.

This is a story worthy of Agatha Christie's Poirot It incorporates many of the Christie's favorite plot themes - village scandals, tragedies caused by gossip, red herrings and false alibis - to give Poirot's little grey cells a challenge. This story could do with some trimming down. Some scenes seem to drag on too long, some descriptions are way more detailed than they need to be leaving the reader wanting to skim the long sections so they can get to the good parts. ( )
  FaytheShattuck | May 23, 2018 |
On its own, this is a weak novel. The mystery wasn't believable, the repeated depiction of "true love" as unhealthy obsession got old very quickly, and the ending, while tying up the mystery's loose ends, failed to really satisfy. None of the characters grew in the course of the story. The Scotland Yard detective should never have lasted 6 months as a beat cop, let alone been promoted as highly as he was. He was foolish, ineffectual, and unable to handle the work set before him. The main character seemed to be in contact with him purely to give him a new contact in Scotland Yard.

As a Poirot mystery, I'm alternately annoyed with and embarrassed for the author. We almost never see Poirot's bon vivant outlook - always he is angry or stern. The author captured his speech patterns, but very little else about the detective. Other than being told the date, the text is remarkably free of temporal reference. There's little to no mention of anything that establishes when the story takes place. That made it hard to know what to expect culturally and technologically - things very relevant in a mystery story.

I fear the Poirot/Catchpool relationship is supposed to be the basis of a whole series of novels. Please, please, whoever gets to decide this, don't do it! Inspectory Japp, at his most obnoxious, is more agreeable than Catchpool. Superintendent Spence would never have allowed such a pathetic creature of Catchpool to sully the ranks of Scotland Yard. Having to watch Catchpool flounder about beside a Poirot grown constantly cranky will have a terrible effect on the little grey cells of Agatha Christie fans. ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
This is the first Agatha Christie mystery written by Sophie Hannah with the blessing of the Christie Estate. She has done a good job in turning out a book most fans will likely enjoy reading.

"I did not want to talk about the Bloxham Murders ever again. What I wanted - needed - was to write about them, to set down on paper every detail of what had happened. It mystified me that I was so eager to do the latter and so reluctant to undertake the former? Why should writing about a thing be so different from speaking about it?"
These are the words of Edward Catchpole, a Scotland Yard detective (no rank is assigned to him) and narrator of "The Monogram Murders".

Beside narrating Catchpole is officially the investigating police officer, but actually plays the role as Hercule Poirot's unofficial "assistant" while providing him some official standing in the investigation.

Three people are found dead from poison in three separate rooms at the posh Bloxham Hotel in London in 1929. It's a classic closed room murder mystery and it's up to Poirot to find the murderer. Of course, there's a cast of intriguing characters with the reader not knowing who can be trusted. There's a complex backstory that shows the three victims in a bad light. Catchpole is presented as a young inexperienced police detective with Poirot as his mentor teaching him to use his little grey cells. The interplay between them is one of the best things in the book.
It's a good read and I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery story. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | May 13, 2018 |
I just don't know what to say. I was so eager to read new adventures of Hercule Poirot and was thrilled to get my hands on this book. I'm sorry to report that I didn't love it. It was a little more than okay but also a little less than a "like". I didn't take to Catchpool at all and as a substitute for Hastings, he falls terribly short. He has none of Hastings' endearing qualities as an accompaniment to Poirot. He's supposed to be a proper police investigator but there's no evidence of that in his personality or method. I wanted Japp to show up and flog him for good measure. Poirot was rendered in a way that I found very superficial to what I'm used to. And I can't quite put my finger on it. This is the first encounter I've had reading Poirot where he actually annoyed me. I'm still shocked about that! They murders and the backstory were well done and I thought the suspects were rendered well. Oddly, the one I found most memorable was the hotel manager, Lazzari. He reminded me of the railway director Bouc from Murder On the Orient Express.

As just a mystery, I liked the twists and turns and did feel this worked on that level. As a Poirot story, woefully short of my expectation. Perhaps I should not have had any expectations but as the cover has 'Hercule Poirot' & 'Agatha Christie' splashed across it (and Christie's family/estate approved this work), I did so... there it is. Now that I know what this is, I'll likely read the next in the series because a good mystery is still worth the read in my book life. I'd recommend this to mystery lovers but would recommend with my aforementioned caveats to Poirot and Christie fans. ( )
  anissaannalise | Feb 28, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sophie Hannahprimary authorall editionscalculated
Christie, AgathaCreatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ranild, SvendTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vartia, TerhiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Ich mag sie nicht, mehr sag ich ja gar nich", flüsterte die Kellnerin mit dem fliegenden Haar.
'All's I'm saying is, I don't like her,' the waitress with the flyaway hair whispered.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006229721X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:47 -0400)

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim.… (more)

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