This just might be the cleverest Hercule Poirot novel that Sophie Hannah has written yet.
Sophie Hannah’s third Hercule Poirot mystery gets off to a confrontational start as the Belgian detective himself is accused by four different individuals of writing them all a letter accusing them of murdering Barnabas Pandy – a letter which he did not write. However, this leaves Poirot with two mysteries to solve was Pandy murdered? and who has really written this letter?
As with her previous releases The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, Sophie Hannah brilliantly intertwines plenty of twists and turns into the plot, while allowing the reader insight into the way in which Poirot’s mind works.
With true style, the reader is introduced to a strong cast of characters – all with their own flaws that make them ideal suspects in many ways and the book really captures Agatha Christie’s unique way of dissecting a plot to offer clues in a clever way. However, Hannah takes this a step further by changing the focus – not so much on the crime itself but trying to discover what the true crime is, particularly when certain facts of the case don’t add up and seemingly leave Poirot uncertain where to start.
Written with great flair, The Mystery of Three Quarters might be Hannah’s best yet in the way in which it immediately draws the reader in from the very first page and accusations are flying about, effectively adding depth as dark secrets are revealed.
Those expecting a lot of blood and death will be disappointed but by taking a more psychological look at crime, it is a novel that is just as thoroughly engaging as if there had been more murders in it thanks to the way in which it has been constructed. It is a book that really gets your own ‘little grey cells’ working.
Throughout it all, there is a great build up to every unexpected revelation and attention to detail that Agatha Christie herself would be impressed with. It is very much to Sophie Hannah’s credit that to say anymore about the plot would actually spoil what is a cleverly written and thought out story.
For those who have enjoyed Hannah’s previous Poirot novels, they will not be disappointed in The Mystery of Three Quarters which is a very engaging and intriguing read.
By Emma Clarendon
The Mystery of Three Quarters is available to buy now.