Book review: The Monogram Murders

I was extremely skeptical when Harper Collins announced they were publishing a new Poirot novel, but since it was officially “the new Agatha Christie” I had to read it.

I used to read a lot of Christie’s novels as a kid. Mostly because my mother collected them, so there were always loads of the dog-eared paperbacks and old hardcovers in the house.

No wonder my first novel was about a group of kids that plan a murder.

Anyway, The Monogram Murders is fantastic. The novel is written in the same style and tone of voice as the original books. Poirot is his usual egotistical, otherwise self. Like every other Christie novel I’ve read I was convinced I knew who did it a few pages in, only to be proved dead wrong.

Poirot is in London recuperating the “little grey cells” when he encounters a distressed woman in his favourite coffee shop. Alarmed, he makes a few enquiries and is drawn into investigating three mysterious murders at an upmarket London hotel.

Hannah has managed to perfectly replicate Christie’s old trick of laying down red herring traps to lead readers up the wrong path. The ultimate reveal is masterfully executed.

I couldn’t find a single fault with the book. It captures the very essence of what an Agatha Christie novel should be – a nostalgic England that is timeless, but also familiar, Poirot’s trademark sense of urgency, and a feeling that good must triumph over evil at all costs. It all makes for a thrilling adventure.

I ended up with book grief – a sense of loss after the final page, leaving me not knowing what to do with myself. A very good sign.

And now since the reading bug has bit, I’m going to go re-read Fight Club. After all that murder I’m in the mood for a little mayhem.

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