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Summary

Summary

The world's most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot--the legendary star of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket--returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in the London of 1930.

"We Agatha Christie fans read her stories--and particularly her Poirot novels--because the mysteries are invariably equal parts charming and ingenious, dark and quirky and utterly engaging. Sophie Hannah had a massive challenge in reviving the beloved Poirot, and she met it with heart and no small amount of little grey cells. I was thrilled to see the Belgian detective in such very, very good hands. Reading The Monogram Murders was like returning to a favorite room of a long-lost home."

-- Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused, and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage.

Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him -- a man called John McCrodden 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?


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* It's a puzzle worthy of the skills of legendary detective Hercule Poirot: four persons receive letters accusing them of the murder of one Barnabas Pandy, letters ostensibly sent by Poirot himself. Two of the recipients, who have never heard of Pandy, are furious: Sylvia Rule believes her daughter's fiancé, a man she hates, to be behind this scheme, while John McCrodden suspects his disapproving solicitor father. The other two Annabel Treadway, Pandy's granddaughter, who lives in his house, and Hugh Dockerill, housemaster at Pandy's great-grandson's school regret what they know to be an error, for the 94-year-old Pandy accidentally drowned in his bath three months earlier. Recruiting Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool for assistance, Poirot starts with just one clue, a flaw in the letter e on the typewriter used by the accuser. Then the intuitive sleuthing begins, as Poirot looks for connections between Pandy and the four recipients, and among the recipients themselves, scheduling his customary reveal with all parties present before he cracks the case, to put pressure on himself, with a slice of an ingeniously constructed cake at the center. In her third Poirot mystery, Hannah, authorized to continue the series by Agatha Christie's estate, once again nails the style and substance of her beloved predecessor, producing another treat for Christie fans.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Hannah's third Hercule Poirot pastiche (after 2016's Closed Casket) offers Agatha Christie fans another ingeniously deceptive puzzle. The premise is especially clever-someone, posing as Poirot, has sent letters to four people accusing each of them of having murdered Barnabas Pandy. Pandy, a 94-year-old, was found drowned in his bathtub in Combingham Hall three months earlier-a death that was universally accepted as a tragic accident. Two of the recipients of the letters confront Poirot angrily, professing to have no idea who Pandy was, but the third, Annabel Treadway, distraught at the accusation, discloses that Pandy was her grandfather and insists that no one in the household could possibly have killed him. Aided again by Insp. Edward Catchpool, an enigmatic Scotland Yarder, Poirot uses his "little gray cells" to ascertain who has been impersonating him, whether Pandy was in fact the victim of foul play, and if so, whodunit. The gratifying reveal is a neat variation on one of Christie's own solutions and demonstrates Hannah's facility at combining her own plotting gifts with another author's creation. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Hercule Poirot isn't surprised when he's recognized on the street in front of Whitehaven Mansions, but he is taken aback by the venom and anger directed at him by a woman named Sylvia Rule. She has a letter written by Poirot saying she murdered Barnabus Pandy, someone she has not even met, and she demands that he recuse this slander. Then three more people accuse him of the same thing. Poirot asks his friend Inspector Catchpool to determine the forger, why these four strangers are accused of the same murder, and whether Pandy's death was murder or tragic accident. Resurrecting a character as famous and beloved as Poirot is not for the faint-of-heart writer, and Hannah's third installment in her reboot (after The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket) is her best yet. It rings true to -Agatha Christie's original writing, capturing the character of Poirot. VERDICT Enthusiastically recommended for fans of Hannah's other Poirot novels and detective fiction and Christie's original works. [See Prepub Alert, 2/19/18.]-Jennifer Funk, McKendree Univ. Lib., Lebanon, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Part I The First Quarter
1 Poirot Is Accusedp. 3
2 Intolerable Provocationp. 11
3 The Third Personp. 19
4 The Odd One Out?p. 28
5 A Letter with a Hole in Itp. 44
6 Rowland Ropep. 51
7 An Old Enemyp. 59
8 Poirot Issues Some Instructionsp. 67
9 Four Alibisp. 71
Part II The Second Quarter
10 Some Important Questionsp. 89
11 Emerald Greenp. 97
12 Many Ruined Alibisp. 105
13 The Hooksp. 116
14 At Combirigham Hallp. 123
15 The Scene of the Possible Crimep. 133
16 The Opportunity Manp. 141
17 Poirot's Trickp. 153
18 Mrs. Dockerill's Discoveryp. 167
19 Four More Lettersp. 174
Part III The Third Quarter
20 The Letters Arrivep. 183
21 The Day of the Typewritersp. 192
22 The Solitary Yellow Square of Cakep. 195
23 Meaning Harmp. 200
24 Ancient Enmitiesp. 212
25 Poirot Returns to Combingham Hallp. 219
26 The Typewriter Experimentp. 234
27 The Bracelet and the Fanp. 239
28 An Unconvincing Confessionp. 246
29 An Unexpected Eelp. 251
30 The Mystery of Three Quartersp. 256
Part IV The Fourth Quarter
31 A Note for Mr. Porrottp. 273
32 Where Is Kingsbury?p. 280
33 The Marks on the Towelp. 287
34 Rebecca Gracep. 297
35 Family Loyaltyp. 306
36 The True Culpritp. 318
37 The Willp. 329
38 Rowland Without a Ropep. 337
39 A New Typewriterp. 342
Acknowledgmentsp. 345
Books by Agatha Christiep. 347

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