The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

Poirot removed his hat and coat with less care than he usually took, and handed both to George. ‘It is not a pleasant thing, to be accused of something one has not done…’

Mystery of Three Quarters book cover

Hercule Poirot is returning home from a delightful lunch when he is accosted at his own front door by an irate woman claiming that he has sent her a letter accusing her of murder. In no short order, three more strangers contact Poirot to assure him of their innocence in the matter of the unfortunate death of Mr Barnabas Pandy. Poirot, however, hasn’t the faintest notion of who Barnabas Pandy might be.

Determined to find out not only who is sending out letters in his name, but also whether a murder has indeed taken place, and who, then, the perpetrator might be, Poirot must put every last one of his ‘little grey cells’ to excellent use.

**

An intriguing mystery, a satisfying conclusion, and one of my favourite fictional detectives combined to make this a witty and enjoyable read that I happily devoured. I’m generally dubious about new authors taking on the characters of other writers, but I felt a true Christie flavour came through in this story.

The plot was not over-complicated, but was methodically thought out and progressed at just the right pace. The mix of love-to-love and love-to-hate characters kept the story balanced, and the settings felt authentic, and added wonderfully to the atmosphere.

I was very pleased to find that there are two previous Poirot novels from Sophie Hannah, which were promptly added to my ‘to read’ list.

‘It turns out that you are capable of forgiveness after all, madame,’ said Poirot. ‘That is good. Whatever else has happened or will happen, that is always good.’

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