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#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?

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, 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 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:





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.


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?

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, and you can follow her on Twitter at @sophiehannahcb1

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!

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