Sophie Hannah, carrying on in the tradition of Agatha Christie, has brought us another mystery to be solved by the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Kerry Hammond is here to tell us how Monsieur Poirot has used his little gray cells.
Closed Casket is the second book in the new Hercule Poirot Series by Sophie Hannah. It releases in Hardcover Worldwide on September 6, 2016, by William Morrow. Mystery Playground reviewed The Monogram Murders, the first in the series, which was met with critical acclaim upon its release in 2014. The author has outdone herself with this latest book.
Our narrator, Edward Catchpool, a detective at Scotland Yard, is summoned by Lady Athelinda Playford to her country house in Clonakilty, Ireland. He is invited to stay the week at her home and upon arrival is stunned to run into Hercule Poirot, who worked alongside him to solve the case in The Monogram Murders. Also in attendance are Lady Playford’s son and his wife, her daughter and her fiancé, two attorneys from the firm who handle her legal issues, and her personal secretary and his nurse. At dinner, she announces that she's changed her will and has left everything to her secretary, Joseph Scotcher. The announcement is that much more surprising because Scotcher is dying.
The story is the quintessential manor house mystery where guests are gathered and an unexpected murder takes place. Except, in this case, the possibility of a murder has been predicted and Poirot and Catchpool realize they’ve have been invited to try and stop it. When they are unsuccessful, the two once again team up to search for clues and analyzes each guest’s alibi in order to whittle down the suspects.
The mystery is quite a puzzle and both the investigation and the solution are worthy of a Christie story. Many will read and analyze the comparison to the great mystery writer. I was impressed by Hannah’s ability to follow in Christie’s footsteps, and Catchpool is a perfectly created sidekick of sorts. Good luck solving the crime. Hannah has sprinkled the clues throughout, but the reader must deduce the meaning behind many that, upon first glance, do not seem to fit the scenario. It’s an excellent mystery, one that I had a hard time putting down.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.