Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview MOONFLOWER MURDERS: A NOVEL (MAGPIE MURDERS BOOK 2)by Anthony Horowitz (@PenguinUKBooks) (@AnthonyHorowitz) Two mysteries in one, fun and entertaining, perfect to forget 2020

Hi all:

Today I’m reviewing a novel (well, sort of two) by a very well-known author whom I hadn’t read before. It was about time!

Moonflower Murders: A Novel (Magpie Murders Book 2)by Anthony Horowitz

Moonflower Murders: A Novel (Magpie Murders Book 2)by Anthony Horowitz

Featuring his famous literary detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide bestseller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly complex literary thriller with echoes of Agatha Christie from New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life. She is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend Andreas. It should be everything she’s always wanted. But is it? She’s exhausted with the responsibilities of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, and truth be told she’s beginning to miss London.

And then the Trehearnes come to stay. The strange and mysterious story they tell, about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married—a picturesque inn on the Suffolk coast named Farlingaye Hall—fascinates Susan and piques her editor’s instincts.

One of her former writers, the late Alan Conway, author of the fictional Magpie Murders, knew the murder victim—an advertising executive named Frank Parris—and once visited Farlingaye Hall. Conway based the third book in his detective series, Atticus Pünd Takes the Case, on that very crime.

The Trehearne’s, daughter, Cecily, read Conway’s mystery and believed the book proves that the man convicted of Parris’s murder—a Romanian immigrant who was the hotel’s handyman—is innocent. When the Trehearnes reveal that Cecily is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to England and find out what really happened.

Brilliantly clever, relentlessly suspenseful, full of twists that will keep readers guessing with each revelation and clue, Moonflower Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction from one of its greatest masterminds, Anthony Horowitz.

https://www.amazon.com/Moonflower-Murders-Novel-Anthony-Horowitz-ebook/dp/B084VRHJX8/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Moonflower-Murders-Novel-Anthony-Horowitz-ebook/dp/B084VRHJX8/

https://www.amazon.es/Moonflower-Murders-Novel-Anthony-Horowitz-ebook/dp/B084VRHJX8/

Author Anthony Horowitz

About the author:

Anthony Horowitz’s life might have been copied from the pages of Charles Dickens or the Brothers Grimm. Born in 1956 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a family of wealth and status, Anthony was raised by nannies, surrounded by servants and chauffeurs. His father, a wealthy businessman, was, says Mr. Horowitz, “a fixer for Harold Wilson.” What that means exactly is unclear — “My father was a very secretive man,” he says– so an aura of suspicion and mystery surrounds both the word and the man. As unlikely as it might seem, Anthony’s father, threatened with bankruptcy, withdrew all of his money from Swiss bank accounts in Zurich and deposited it in another account under a false name and then promptly died. His mother searched unsuccessfully for years in attempt to find the money, but it was never found. That too shaped Anthony’s view of things. Today he says, “I think the only thing to do with money is spend it.” His mother, whom he adored, eccentrically gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. His grandmother, another Dickensian character, was mean-spirited and malevolent, a destructive force in his life. She was, he says, “a truly evil person”, his first and worst arch villain. “My sister and I danced on her grave when she died,” he now recalls.
A miserably unhappy and overweight child, Anthony had nowhere to turn for solace. “Family meals,” he recalls, “had calories running into the thousands. I was an astoundingly large, round child.” At the age of eight he was sent off to boarding school, a standard practice of the times and class in which he was raised. While being away from home came as an enormous relief, the school itself, Orley Farm, was a grand guignol horror with a headmaster who flogged the boys till they bled. “Once the headmaster told me to stand up in assembly and in front of the whole school said, ‘This boy is so stupid he will not be coming to Christmas games tomorrow.’ I have never totally recovered.” To relieve his misery and that of the other boys, he not unsurprisingly made up tales of astounding revenge and retribution.

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps the busiest writer in England. He has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. He writes in a comfortable shed in his garden for up to ten hours per day. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he has also written episodes of several popular TV crime series, including Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. He has written a television series Foyle’s War, which recently aired in the United States, and he has written the libretto of a Broadway musical adapted from Dr. Seuss’s book, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. His film script The Gathering has just finished production. And&oh yes&there are more Alex Rider novels in the works. Anthony has also written the Diamond Brothers series.

https://www.amazon.com/Anthony-Horowitz/e/B000AP7TDG?

My review:

I received an ARC copy of this book from Cornerstone (Random House UK) through NetGalley that I freely chose to review. I thank them for this opportunity.

Yes, oh, yes, I’d heard of Anthony Horowitz (I love his biography!), and I’ve watched adaptations (and episodes, I’m sure) of his work on TV but had never read any of his novels. When I came across this one on NetGalley I thought the time had come. I love owls, and although the final cover doesn’t have an owl on it (if they don’t change it, the cover of the audio version does), the ARC copy did, and that was another good reason. (There is an owl in the book, yes. Well, sort of). And now I know why he is so popular. This is the second novel featuring Susan Ryeland and although I can’t compare them because I haven’t read the first one, Magpie Murders, I can confirm that this novel can be read as a standalone, although there are plenty of references to the first one.

This is the cover of the audio

I didn’t know what to expect, not having read the first novel, and although the initial premise of how Susan gets involved in the investigation is a bit thin, once you accept it (and any of us who are interested in books, as readers, writers, editors, collectors… will be quite intrigued by the concept), you are in for a pretty amusing ride. There is a book within a book, and you get two mystery novels for the price of one. And both are pretty good. The book at the centre of Susan’s inquiry, Atticus Pünd Takes the Case, is a classic mystery set in the 1950s in the UK (in Dorset), written by one of Susan’s clients, Alan Conway, who was also, it seems, central to the previous novel. Although we start by getting to know the characters of the current case (the main story is set in contemporary times although it goes back a few years to a murder committed at the hotel that takes centre stage in the plot), at some point, Susan starts reading Alan’s novel, as it seems to contain a crucial clue to the disappearance of Cecily, the young woman who has gone missing. And we get the novel in full, so we are in the same position as Susan, or almost, as she was the editor of the story and knew the writer quite well (although perhaps not as well as she imagined). She knew of his delight in creating puzzles, including all kinds of anagrams and secret clues inside of his books, where “everything” might have a hidden meaning. In some ways, it is as if we were reading over her shoulder, in the same way as we follow her around during her investigation.

One of the main achievements of the book is that both mysteries are engaging and work well in their own right. Atticus Pünd Takes the Case is written in the third person, mostly from the investigator’s point of view but not exclusively, and readers of classic mysteries will soon recognise many features and make comparisons with other well-known detectives (he is a foreigner, in this case, German, he is very intelligent although not overbearing, and we get a good sample of a variety of characters, red herrings, motives, secrets, twists, and turns). The main case, which frames the classic mystery, is written in the first person by Susan, whom we meet at a difficult time in her life, when she’s been living in Crete long enough for it to lose some of its shine, and she is wondering if she made the right decision leaving her life in the UK behind, so she jumps at the chance of going back to England and making some money. As you will imagine, she gets more than she bargained for.

I won’t go into detail about the ins and outs of both plots. There are also too many characters to go through, but one of the joys is that Alan Conway used some of the real people as inspiration for the characters in his book, so it’s impossible not to keep looking for similarities and differences as we read. I liked Susan. She is not a typical detective, and she keeps questioning herself as to why she is doing what she is doing. She does suffer badly from impostor syndrome, and a bit like Pünd himself, she wonders if she has not caused more harm than good with her intervention. As I mentioned before, readers, writers, and anybody who has ever edited or corrected a book will particularly enjoy this novel, as there is plenty of discussion as to the process of publishing a book, what is involved, the decisions people make, and how obsessed one can become with what seem to be minor details (but are fundamental to this genre). This is metafiction in action, and I enjoyed it immensely. And I liked Pünd as well. Although we don’t get to know him as closely as we do Susan, there are glimpses of the man behind the brain, and it is a fully-fleshed character.

Regarding the motives and themes featured in the novels, there is nothing terribly original or unexpected here, and there is a familiarity that readers of the genre will appreciate. It’s well done, that’s for sure, but there is nothing there that will keep any of us awake at night or will bring new insight into any important subjects. That is not the book’s aim, either, and, as I said, it provides good solid entertainment, although it won’t work for people looking for hard-edge crime stories or police procedurals heavy on the scientific side of things. On the other hand, I can easily imagine it as a good TV series, and I would be more than happy to watch it.

The writing is fluid, with enough details of the settings and characters to allow us to get a clear picture in our minds without getting in the way of the story. There are stylistic differences between the two novels that make it easy to know what we are reading, although I recommend readers to try to set aside a good chunk of time to read it, as otherwise due to the sheer number of them, the characters and details of both cases can easily get confused. And, keep your wits about you and pay attention as you read. The pace is not frantic, and you do get time to think, but the clues keep coming and there are enough twists and turns to get one’s head spinning.

Both endings are good and they mirror each other in a pretty satisfying way. Did I guess? I guessed the solution to one of the cases, more or less, (I won’t say which one), but there are so many things to pick on and so many clues to analyse, that it can keep readers busy for quite a while.

My first read of one of Horowitz’s books was very enjoyable. He has many fans, and although some preferred the first one in this series (that I now feel quite curious about, and although there are plenty of references to it in this book, I expect to enjoy nonetheless), others thought this one was better. I recommend it to people who love mysteries, in particular classic mysteries, and although some of the subtext and side-themes are slightly dark, the book is not explicit or violent either (there is a bloody nose and some scary moments, but not much else), so I think it will suit most readers of the genre. If you want two mysteries for the price of one and a book that will keep you engaged and entertained and help you forget about 2020, I recommend it. A great read.

 

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog THE KILLINGS AT KINGFISHER HILL: THE NEW HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY by Sophie Hannah (@sophiehannahCB1) (@HarperCollinsUK) #Poirot #mystery Fun, twisty, and light

Hi all:

I bring you another book in the new series about Poirot adventures by Sophie Hannah:

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah

The world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot—legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile—returns to solve a fiendish new mystery.

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, where Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. But there is a strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there.

The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached…

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0842DH5C6/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0842DH5C6/

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B0842DH5C6/

Author Sophie Hannah

About the author:

Hello! Welcome to my Amazon Author Page, and thank you for your interest in me and my books. Below you will find my official biog and all my online links so that you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You’ll also find a link to my Dream Author Coaching Programme for writers, which launched in September 2019.

Oh, and you can see some cute photos of my amazing dog Brewster on this page too! He often leaps onto my laptop while I’m writing and deletes entire paragraphs by accident – so you could say he’s a regular contributor to my literary efforts!

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (in which I give away freebies and share scandal, gossip and intrigue) you can sign up at the bottom of the home page of my website, sophiehannah.com. And if you want to contact me directly (to say you’ve loved a book of mine, or even to complain vociferously about one of my books), email sophie@sophiehannah.com. I’m always delighted to hear from my readers!

Sophie xx

My Official Biography is as follows:

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer whose books have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her crime novels have been translated into 49 languages and published in 51 countries. Her psychological thriller The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the 2013 UK National Book Awards. In 2014 and 2016, Sophie published The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, the first new Hercule Poirot mysteries since Agatha Christie’s death, both of which were national and international bestsellers. She went on to publish a third, The Mystery of Three Quarters in 2018 which was an instant bestseller, and her fourth Poirot novel, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill will be published in August 2020. Sophie helped to create a Master’s Degree in Crime and Thriller Writing at the University of Cambridge, for which she is the main teacher and Course Director. She is also the founder of the Dream Author Coaching Programme for writers which launched in September 2019.

Sophie is also an award-winning, bestselling poet, and her poetry is studied at GCSE level across the UK. She has co-written two murder mystery musicals with composer Annette Armitage: The Mystery of Mr. E and Work Experience. She has written a self-help book called How To Hold a Grudge: From Resentment to Contentment – The Power of Grudges to Transform Your Life, and hosts the How to Hold a Grudge podcast.

Sophie lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.

And I can be found online here:

Website: www.sophiehannah.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sophiehannahauthor/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sophiehannahwriter/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sophiehannahCB1

http://dreamauthorcoaching.com

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-hold-a-grudge/id1439465411

https://www.amazon.com/Sophie-Hannah/e/B001JP23J6

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Harper Collins UK for the ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review. Although this is the fourth book in this series written by Sophie Hannah, it is the second I’ve read (you can check my review of The Mystery of Three Quarters here).

Having read the novel and re-read my review, I realise that much of what I said about the previous book applies here, so I won’t elaborate on those points. What I can tell you now is that I enjoyed this novel even more than the last one. I won’t go into details about the ins and outs of the plot, because this is a mystery after all, but let’s say that there are a couple of murders, several murder confessions, clues galore, red herrings by the bucket load, board games, so many secrets and lies that’s difficult to keep track, a variety of motivations for the crimes (true and not), difficult family relationships, a terribly dysfunctional family, and of course, Poirot and his sidekick, inspector Edward Catchpool from Scotland Yard. Catchpool writes the story (in the first person), and often also reports parts of the investigation he has not directly taken part in (as Poirot gives him tasks to complete on his own, and the duo split up at times to cover all bases). He is the Hastings-type character and, despite his profession, as you can imagine Poirot takes the lead and tells him exactly what to do (at the same time giving readers a chance to ask themselves the same questions and to go over the main pieces of the puzzle). At some points he seems to be quite on the ball, but most of the time he is lagging behind Poirot and never dares to challenge him. In this novel there are even fewer of his personal concerns coming through, but that is not what the story is about, and I’m sure readers will be too caught up in the plot to worry about it, as this is a plot-driven story after all and not a psychological thriller.

I enjoyed the variety of clues, the twists and turns, the red-herrings, and although most of the characters are not psychologically complex or well-rounded, I enjoyed the variety they offered and was particularly intrigued by Daisy (not that she is very consistent or likeable, but that is precisely what makes her more interesting). Some of the side topics the story deals in are difficult and morally ambiguous, but the author doesn’t dig too deep, and there is little room for philosophical disquisitions or true heartache in this novel. Yes, even Poirot acknowledges that we might like or sympathise with a criminal and his or her reasons for committing a crime, but according to him, that does not mean they should go unpunished. We might disagree with him, but there is something reassuring in having a protagonist who is not tortured by doubt or self-hatred. Yes, we might want to kick him at times, but we know what we are getting, and he delivers it every time.

There is plenty of telling in the story, and that might not suit people who prefer thrillers or to be immersed in the action all the time. Much of the story involves interrogating suspects, witnesses, or others who might have relevant information, and some of it is not directly observed by Catchpool. There are almost as many narrators as there are characters (some are less than truthful, others are reluctant, infuriatingly detailed…) even though their versions of the story are usually reported by others, and that allows from some nuggets of observation and reflection from Poirot and/or Catchpool (although Poirot does as he is wont to do and plays with some of his cards very close to his chest). There are some touches of humour —funnily named and behaved dogs, bitchy comments, put-downs, witnesses who won’t stop talking and will tell Poirot off for interrupting (a spoonful of his own medicine at last)— that I enjoyed, but readers who are keen on avoiding anything extraneous to the plot might not appreciate them. I’ve also read some comments of people who complained that the writer does not manage to create a true sense of the location or the historical time of the story. It’s true that the author does not spend much time describing the setting, clothing, or other details not essential to the story, but I thought that made readers focus on the plot (and one needs to pay close attention to everything), and I liked the location and the fact that most of the story takes place in a big house, not a mansion but rather a much smaller affair, which goes some way to show times are changing (as does the coach trip).

We have the usual rounding up of all the main characters in the house at the end, and Poirot reveals everything, as he should. Did I guess right? Well, I did guess some things, but not the full explanation. I hang my head low and confess that I was not a match for Poirot’s “little grey cells”.

All in all, this is a book I recommend to fans of Agatha Christie, especially those who have been following this new series by Hannah, to lovers of classical mysteries looking for a puzzle to solve and a fairly light read, that enjoy a challenge and plenty of twists and turns. You won’t be left wondering and worrying about it for long, but you’ll relish it while it lasts and it will help you forget about your daily concerns. A fun read. What more can we ask for?

Thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins and the author for this fun read, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click review, keep smiling, and remain safe.

 

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview THE MYSTERY OF THREE QUARTERS: THE NEW HERCULE POIROT MYSTERY by Sophie Hannah (@sophiehannahCB1) Poirot is back in good shape. #Poirot #mysteryreaders

Hi all:

I must confess this series passed me by but I could not resist when I saw this novel was available on NetGalley…

Book review The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah
The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

The Mystery of Three Quarters: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah A good old-fashioned and convoluted mystery with a Poirot in good shape.

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 1930’s London.

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?

https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Three-Quarters-Hercule-Poirot-ebook/dp/B079KKJHMM/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mystery-Three-Quarters-Hercule-Poirot-ebook/dp/B079KKJHMM/

Author Sophie Hannah
Author Sophie Hannah

About the author:

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer. Her crime novels have been translated into 34 languages and published in 51 countries. Her psychological thriller The Carrier won the Specsavers National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year in 2013. In 2014 and 2016, Sophie published The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, the first new Hercule Poirot mysteries since Agatha Christie’s death, both of which were national and international bestsellers.

Sophie’s novels The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives have been adapted for television as Case Sensitive, starring Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd. Sophie is also a bestselling poet who has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE and A-level throughout the UK.  Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, two children, and dog.
Sophie’s website is www.sophiehannah.com, and you can follow her on Twitter at @sophiehannahcb1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophie-Hannah/e/B001JP23J6/

The Mystery of Three Quartes alternative cover

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley and to Harper Collins UK for the ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I had not realised that an author had been commissioned to write new Poirot mysteries, and as I saw this book after a conversation about Agatha Christie, I could not resist requesting a copy of it. This means I have not read the author’s two previous New Poirot Mysteries (The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket), so I cannot discuss the evolution of the characters or compare this one to the previous two. I am not familiar with any of Hannah’s previous writing either. I have read some of Agatha Christie’s novels and short stories, some of them I read translated into Spanish many years back (and might not have fully reflected her style of writing although I remember enjoying them) and I have not read a Poirot one in many years, although I have watched both films and TV series adapting some of Christie’s classic Poirot novels, so I would not dare to address this review to connoisseurs. Still, for what is worth, this is my opinion.

I enjoyed the novel. The case starts with four seemingly random people accusing Poirot of sending them letters accusing them of a crime. Not only has Poirot not sent them such letters, but the alleged victim died of natural causes (he was an elderly man and drowned whilst bathing, alone in his bathroom). So, who is behind the letters? And what’s his or her motive? I will try and not reveal any spoilers, but I can say that there are plenty of clues to follow, red-herrings along the way, peculiar characters, true and false motivations, slices of cake, dogs, a public school for boys, a wonderful old mansion, faulty typewriters, likeable and less likeable characters, and a Poirot in full form.

The novel is told by Edward Catchpool, a Scotland Yard Inspector who, like Captain Hastings in Christie’s stories, is the scribe behind the stories. He is a new creation and one of a couple of characters that, from the comments, I have read, are regulars in The New Poirot Mysteries. The narration is split between parts written in the third person (when Catchpool is not present) that, when we are some way into the book, he explains he has compiled through later discussions with Poirot, and those written in the first person, that pertain to events he witnessed or participated in himself. This works well, in general (we might wonder briefly how Poirot might have become aware of some detail or conversation, but we all know he has his ways), and it also allows for any differences in style with previous novels to be blamed on Catchpool’s own style of writing (that would not be the same as Hastings’). The language is straightforward and effective in conveying the story, without any jarring moments due to usage inappropriate to the historical period. Catchpool himself does not reveal much of his own personality through the novel and he is mostly a blank canvas to reflect Poirot’s thoughts and his deductive process. There are some interesting personal morsels about the inspector included in the narrative (he does not like his boss at work and he is averse to the idea of marriage, especially one to suit his mother’s taste) but not enough for readers to become truly attached to him. As this is the third novel and I have not read the two previous one, it is likely that people who have followed the whole series will know and appreciate the character more fully (but this is not necessary for the enjoyment of the mystery).

Notwithstanding my disclaimer on my limited expertise in all things Poirot, the Poirot in the novel will be recognisable to most people who have some familiarity with Christie’s detective. People still think he is French, his ‘little grey cells’ are mentioned often, he sprinkles his dialogue with French terms and some peculiar English translations (‘oil of the olives’ instead of olive oil, for instance), he is a keen observer, opinionated, with high regard for himself, and a lover of comfort and good food and drink. Perhaps he is an extreme version of Poirot, but I could not help but remember, as I read the book, that Christie expressed her dislike for the character and called him: detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep. (We might agree or not with her assessment, although her Poirot had some moments of weakness and sometimes showed more of a soft heart than he would have liked to admit). He is that here and keeps making demands on people, puts to the test his ideas and theories in pretty cruel ways, and drags the resolution of the case, creating anxiety and disquiet among all. But he can come up with pretty amazing insights and his figure has always been one of those that perhaps we would not like to meet personally, but we nonetheless admire.

Some of the secondary characters are almost caricatures, and the story is fundamentally about the plot and not about the psychological complexity of those involved, but there are some likeable characters, and I had a soft spot for the younger generation (and the dog). There are good descriptions and observations that will keep people guessing and turning the pages, although the story is not told at a fast pace, and the ending drags on (as is usual for this type of stories, where the reveal can become as frustrating for the readers as for those present). Although the evidence, in this case, remains mostly circumstantial and stretches somewhat the imagination, everything is explained and tied up and people who like a definite ending will have no complaint. There is a murder but there is no explicit violence or bad language and although it will not suit readers looking for gritty and realistic thrillers, it should not offend or discourage most readers who love a gentler mystery.

I am not sure if this would fit into the category of cozy mystery. By its tone and nature, it should do, but many books marketed as cozy mysteries abound in over-the-top characters, seem to place more emphasis on other aspects rather than the actual mystery (romance, recipes, pets…), include elements of other genres (paranormal, for instance), and can be frustrating to any readers looking for logical explanation and a meaty, intriguing, and complex mystery they can actually solve. This is like a good old-fashioned mystery, with plenty of character, a light read that will keep you entertained, and if that’s what you’d like to read, I’d recommend it. (Does it add anything new to the Poirot canon? Well, that is a matter for another discussion. Judging by the reviews, most people think the author has done a good job and has made the character her own). Personally, I’ll keep track of the author and future novels in the series.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author, for the novel, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, please remember to like, share, commment, click, and always keep reading, reviewing and smiling!

GET MY FREE BOOKS
%d bloggers like this:
x Logo: Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security