monogram murders book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

I will admit, I am an Agatha Christie fan. I would think almost any mystery lover has to be, her being the queen of mystery and all. So The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah was a book I was really interested in reading. It is supposed to be written in the vein of the old Hercule Poirot style mysteries. I was somewhat surprised but not as smitten as I thought I would be.

Hercule Poirot is taking a vacation, though he is only renting an apartment across from his house. And while staying there, he frequents a little cafe known as Pleasant’s Coffee House. And it is there that he meets a young woman who appears frightened, whispering these words to him: “I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon….” He tries calming her and only succeeds in scaring her out the door into the blustery weather. So when he goes back to the apartment and runs into his new friend, Scotland Yard Police Officer Edward Catchpool, things turn interesting as Edward tells him of three peculiar murders that took place that evening. And believe me, it gets very odd at this point. Three people, murdered in the same manner, all staying at the same hotel, and all with something in their mouth. Poirot of course doesn’t think anything is a coincidence, and for some reason, Edward is inclined to trust him. Despite the fact that he sees no link between the murders and the young woman that his friend ran into, he allows Hercule to go with him and investigate. After all, we know that Poirot always finds out what happened.

Now, while I wanted to love this book as much as I loved all the Hercule Poirot novels, I just couldn’t. There were too many differences and far too many things that didn’t follow the same style of writing as I’ve been accustomed to from Mrs. Christie. The queen of mystery was known for an easily followed story line, a plot that used some twists and turns, but in the end, it was more the who and the why than the how. Hercule always wanted to get into the psychology of it, rather than how it happened. And I felt that this book was way too mixed up and jumbled. It was just too different from the original to merit being called a new Hercule Poirot Mystery. If the author had used another tag line for her book then it wouldn’t have bothered me as much. As it is, I can only give this a two star rating.

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Charity lives in Illinois and is the oldest of 6 children. The family also has 3 dogs and a cat. Reading is a hobby when not cooking, baking, sewing or enjoying music. She reads many different genres but Christian fiction is a favorite. Charity can be found often at her blog, Giveaway Lady

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.