*This is a spoiler free review.
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?
(Summary taken from HarperCollins)
Firstly, thanks to The American Book Center for the advance copy of The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. As soon as I received this book, I started reading The Monogram Murders, the first book in Sophie Hannah’s remake of Poirot mystery series. The Mystery of Three Quarters is the third book. I can see the growth in her writing and I’ve really enjoyed this so much more.
As a fan of Agatha Christie mysteries, this book has all the ingredients that I look for in a mystery. It has a compelling story line: someone sending accusations in letter form and using Poirot’s name is something I need to read. I could just imagine Poirot’s face before reading the book. Of course, a great mystery is not without clever red herrings and a great puzzle for you to try and solve as you read. There were a few times I thought I knew where this story was going to go, but wow, I got it wrong. To me, that’s not necessarily a bad thing and Sophie Hannah manages to weave the red herrings in so cleverly that it’s hard to be angry about them. Speaking of weaving, the little side-track in the book blended in so well and you’ll understand the title of the book even more.
Let’s talk about the characters. Poirot, is as always, intelligent, witty and sometimes annoying. His quirks and all the things that makes him Poirot are really vividly portrayed in this book. If you’re used to the Poirot of Agatha Christie’s books, you will not be disappointed here. As for the four suspects, they are so believable and memorable. They all have very distinct personalities which ensures things are less (or not at all) confusing.
From The Monogram Murders to The Mystery of Three Quarters, I personally think that Sophie Hannah has stepped it up a huge notch. Sign me up for the fourth instalment if there will be one! Fans of Agatha Christie will really enjoy this book as Sophie Hannah manages to capture the charms and everything we love about Poirot mystery books, but still add her own flavour. Upon finishing this book, I kind of wish that this will be turned into a movie!
I gave it 4/5 stars.
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