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The Monogram Murders (Hercule Poirot Mystery 1) Hardcover – 9 Sep 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (9 Sept. 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0007547412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007547418
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 3.9 x 16.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. Sophie lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She has recently written a new novel starring Hercule Poirot, approved by the Agatha Christie estate and due to be published in September 2014. This new Poirot novel has already sold to more than 30 countries. Sophie's website is www.sophiehannah.com, and you can follow her on Twitter at @sophiehannahcb1.

Product Description

Review

“Hannah gets it right in every particular – her extraordinary feat is to make the reader forget very quickly that the novel is not, in fact, written by Dame Agatha herself.”—The Times

“Poirot purists will be in seventh heaven.”—Daily Telegraph

“Within the first few pages of The Monogram Murders it is obvious that we are in safe hands. Sophie Hannah has written a novel that would have delighted the Queen of Crime.”—The Independent

“A brilliant new murder mystery which picks up where the grande dame of crime left off”—Mail on Sunday

“Both faithful to the character and an entirely worthy addition to the canon. The plot is as tricky as anything written by Agatha Christie. Nothing is obvious or predictable in this very difficult Sudoku of a novel. The Monogram Murders has a life and freshness of its own. Poirot is still Poirot. Poirot is back.”— Alexander McCall Smith in The New York Times

“Sophie Hannah had large boots to fill… Nevertheless, she manages it with considerable wit, charm and ingenuity.”—Sunday Express

“Equal parts charming and ingenious, dark and quirky and utterly engaging … I was thrilled to see Poirot in such very, very good hands. Reading The Monogram Murders was like returning to a favourite room of a long-lost home.”—Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

“Perfect … a pure treat for Agatha Christie fans.”—Tana French, author of The Secret Place

“Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders does Christie proud. Our favourite detective is back and in impeccable form!”—Charles Todd

“Sophie Hannah is a prodigious talent. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”—Laura Lippman

About the Author

Sophie Hannah Sophie Hannah is the internationally bestselling author of 9 psychological thrillers, which have been published in more than 20 countries and adapted for television. Her novel The Carrier won the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.
Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott.


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 99 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A terrified woman bursts into the coffee house where Hercule Poirot is partaking of the best coffee in London. When Poirot tells her he is a detective, she seems tempted to share her worries but in the end tells him only that she is about to be murdered and that, once she is dead, justice will have been done. Pausing only to beg him to prevent the police from investigating, she pleads cryptically 'Oh, please let no one open their mouths' and flees back into the night. Meantime Mr Catchpool of Scotland Yard, who lives in the same lodging house as Poirot, has been called to the Bloxham Hotel where three guests have been found murdered. Poirot (psychically) suspects there may be a link...

In fact, I hadn't ever before realised just how psychic Poirot was. How remiss of Ms Christie never to reveal this fact! All these years she led us to believe he came to his conclusions based on his reading of the clues, his ability to see through the red herrings to the facts, the superior power of his little grey cells. Ms Hannah kindly lets us in on the true secret though. Clues are unnecessary. Poirot just knows what has happened. At each stage, as other people flounder to make sense of the plot (well, I certainly did!), Poirot sees straight through to the truth without the need for any pesky evidence or suchlike nonsense. What a gift! Unfortunately not one that makes a detective novel work very well though...

If this book had been written about a detective called Smith, it might have rated maybe three stars. The plot is convoluted, psychologically unconvincing and over-padded. The list of suspects is far too small, meaning that there are no big surprises come the reveal.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on 5 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The characters are not so much cardboard cut-outs as names on a piece of paper. Ditto the hotel atmosphere - the Bloxam never becomes a character in the book as did the hotel in the excellent At Bertram's Hotel.

For someone who's supposed to be writing a classic style detective novel set in the 1920s, there are too many contemporary resonances - including names like Fee which Agatha would never have used.

Dull, flat writing, a ridiculous over the top plot that is beyond implausible.

It must be easy for HarperCollins listening to the cash registers sing as they cash in on Christie's name, but it evidently has not occurred to them that they are undermining their reputation as a publisher by releasing such tripe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lesley Rufus on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought long and hard before buying this book and once I had it thought long and hard before reading it. As a great fan of Agatha Christie I didn't expect this to come anywhere near a true Poirot story and I wasn't disappointed. How anyone expected to following Miss Christie and believe they could get away with writing a Poirot novel is beyond me. I persevered to the end of the book and can honestly say this is one of the worst books I have ever read. Who could have a policeman leave a crime scene and go home just because he didn't like what he saw!!!! The whole storyline is unbelievable, characters weak and unimpressive.
The book is an insult to the memories of both Agatha Christie and Hercules Poirot and should never have been allowed to come off the press.
I would appeal to the family of Agatha Christie not to allow another book to be published and to allow Poirot to rest in peace, let's be honest and remember that Poirot is Christie and there is no one on earth who can improve that combination.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mags Nash on 4 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the worst books I've ever read. I persevered to the end because i don't like to be "beaten" by any book.

I have been a Christie fan for over 40 years and, of course, didn't expect her standards to be met. However, what i wasn't prepared for was a confusing, flimsy and ultimately laughable plotline ... Never again will i buy any "pseuo-Christie" books. Disgraceful waste of paper.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Phylis James on 28 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover
The book is a travesty of what Christie fans know to be the real thing. On one hand Hannah declares she has not 'imitated' Christie's style -- on the other, she says she was careful to choose 1929 a the 'gap' year in Poirot's career -- which means she has made sure that her book fits in the canon. Well, it doesn't doesn't fit in the canon. The Monogram Murders is a grotesque ersatz -- it is so bad, it is embarrassing. It won't be enjoyed either by established Christie fans nor by newcomers. Hannah's chutzpah is astonishing. What could the Christie estate have been thinking?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on 22 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
It's not AC, but it's not bad either. In fact, the further I read, the more I enjoyed the story.

Reading the first chapter, I almost threw the book in the bin. Then I decided not to compare Ms Hannah's style with that of AC (never seen her equal), and forced myself to forget about AC and HER Poirot, and just pretend it's nothing to do with the Poirot we all know so well, which worked for me.

Starting with the second chapter, I began to enjoy the story. There is quite a bit of subtle and often not so subtle humour in it as well, and I found myself smiling from time to time.

Unfortunately, towards the end the story became painfully tedious. Apart from the neverending droning on, in a most unexciting way, the Catchpool character was just so completely useless, he was beyond belief.

Ms Hannah's Poirot isn't quite what I am used to, but as long I pretend that her Poirot is not THE Poirot, but a different man altogether, I can manage to accept him in this story.

It might have been better if Ms Hannah had created her own detective character, because for me there is only one Poirot, and he belongs to Agatha Christie.
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