The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot – the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and currently The Haunting in Venice – returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930’s London.
‘Murder! Me? How dare you!’
Hercule Poirot’s tranquil afternoon is ruined when an angry woman accosts him outside his front door. She threatens to report the famous detective to Scotland Yard for falsely accusing her of murder. Seeking sanctuary inside, Poirot is startled to find that he has a visitor – another stranger claiming to have received a letter from Poirot accusing him of killing the same man.
How many more innocent people have been sent letters? If Poirot didn’t send them, who did? And who is Barnabas Pandy, the alleged victim – is he dead or alive? Poirot has answers to find, and quickly, or more lives may be put in danger…
‘What Sophie and Agatha have in common is a rare talent for fiendish unpredictability. They make you see how the impossible might be possible after all.’
‘A literary marriage made in heaven!’
‘Sophie does justice to the Belgian brainiac, both in terms of bringing his character to life and giving him a mystery to solve that is worthy of his talents. It’s her best Poirot novel so far.’
About the author
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of crime fiction, published in more than 50 languages. Her novel The Carrier won Crime Thriller of the Year at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards. She lives in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Sophie was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library in 2023.
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in more than a hundred foreign languages. Her phenomenal career spanned six decades, until her death in 1976.
Bestseller Hannah's third Hercule Poirot pastiche (after 2016's Closed Casket) offers Agatha Christie fans another ingeniously deceptive puzzle. The premise is especially clever someone, posing as Poirot, has sent letters to four people accusing each of them of having murdered Barnabas Pandy. Pandy, a 94-year-old, was found drowned in his bathtub in Combingham Hall three months earlier a death that was universally accepted as a tragic accident. Two of the recipients of the letters confront Poirot angrily, professing to have no idea who Pandy was, but the third, Annabel Treadway, distraught at the accusation, discloses that Pandy was her grandfather and insists that no one in the household could possibly have killed him. Aided again by Insp. Edward Catchpool, an enigmatic Scotland Yarder, Poirot uses his "little gray cells" to ascertain who has been impersonating him, whether Pandy was in fact the victim of foul play, and if so, whodunit. The gratifying reveal is a neat variation on one of Christie's own solutions and demonstrates Hannah's facility at combining her own plotting gifts with another author's creation.