The Mystery Of Three Quarters
I am really enjoying Sophie Hannah's foray into the world of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. One thing that strikes me about the latest instalment, 'The Mystery Of Three Quarters', in particular is the way that Sophie Hannah has carried over her masterly handling of human emotion and moral dilemmas that characterise her psychological thrillers into this very different setting.
The story starts with Poirot being perplexed. When four people all come to see him to complain that he has sent them a letter accusing them of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, he is both baffled and somewhat indignant. Why would Poirot do such a thing? And, since Poirot knows he did not send the letters, then who did? And how dare they sign them with his name.
Things take an even more peculiar turn when one of the letter recipients explains that Barnabas Pandy was her grandfather and that far from being murdered he died as a result of drowning in his bath. Poirot and his engaging sidekick Edward Catchpool set out to find some answers.
This story really does have a close examination of human nature at the heart of it as well as a mystery. The motivations of some of the characters for doing what they did are absolutely fascinating, and something you'll keep thinking about once the book is finished.
Oh, and cake. Did I mention cake? Some light relief is provided when Poirot finds himself assisting his favourite waitress, Fee Spring, in the matter of a stolen cake recipe. The 'Church Window' cake in question becomes a tool for Poirot's own contemplation of what is behind 'The Mystery Of Three Quarters'.
All in all, a great read. If you love Agatha Christie, give it a go, and if you love Sophie Hannah's other work you'll certainly find much to enjoy here.
I received a review copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley.
You can read my reviews of more of Sophie Hannah's books here.
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