Book Review | The New Hercule Poirot Mystery - The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

Book Review | The New Hercule Poirot Mystery - The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

Title: The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

Author: Sophie Hannah

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

Release Date: 20th August 2020

Source: NetGalley

Buy: Amazon UK
Celebrating 100 years since Poirot’s very first appearance, the world’s greatest detective and legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, returns to solve a fiendish new mystery.

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, where Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. But there is a strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there.

The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached…

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

Up until a couple of years ago I had never read a Poirot novel. The reason being, my heart belonged to Miss Marple and her amazing sleuthing abilities.  Then I was dragged to the cinema to see Murder on the Orient Express.  I went home and downloaded my first Poirot and then another and another.  His mysteries made for great reading and I kicked myself for not starting on his books earlier.

Of course Agatha Christie passed away many years ago and Sophie Hannah has taken up the mantle as Poirot’s puppeteer.  She has done a good job of bringing to life the Belgian and his many many quirks.

The start of the book finds Poirot on a motor coach travelling out of London with his companion, Inspector Catchpool of the fearsome Met.  Their destination?  Kingfisher Hill.  The reason?  They have been invited by Richard Devonport to look in to the murder of his brother Frank.

That sounds reasonable enough considering Poirot’s past exploits but this time the police already have their man locked up or more precisely their woman, for locked up in London’s Holloway Prison sits Frank’s fiancée Helen.  Her confession of murder has been taken at face value and she is to be hanged unless M. Poirot can prove otherwise.

The journey itself proves interest when a terrified woman makes their acquaintance along with a cool, calculating woman.  Both appear to hiding something but Poirot puts it to one side for on his arrival at Kingfisher Hill he finds a family very much in denial and determined to keep the secrets safe.

When another body turns up at the house bearing a sinister message Poirot and Catchpool work together to figure out if this murder is linked to the first and if the strange women on the coach have much more to do with these murderous goings on than they let on.

This was a good murder mystery however I did nearly give up on it at about 20% but all of a sudden it kicked it up a gear and I was more than happy to find out whodunnit.  Worthy of Christie herself the answer is nicely masked until the end and then with Poirot’s usual aplomb the murder is revealed.

Sophie Hannah has done an excellent job recreating the world of Poirot and the people that inhabit it and I think any fan of Christie should enjoy this.

Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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8 comments

  1. I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and was very nervous about Sophie Hannah's books but have been pleased with them. This one sounds great and I can't wait to read it!

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    1. It was good, a little slow to start but once it got going I really enjoyed it.

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  2. I read most of the Agatha Christie books years ago and Hercule was always my favorite though I did read Miss Marple finally! I haven't read other books by authors continuing with her characters, but this makes me feel better about trying Sophie Hannah's books. Good review!

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    1. I started on Marple then worked my way to Poirot, I do love Agatha! I think Sophie Hannah has written other Poirot books which I’ll need to investigate.

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  3. Didn't know Sophie Hannah wrote Agatha Christie fiction. Looks good.

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  4. I do love Hercule Poirot! Does Hannah do him justice? Right now I'm in the middle of Christie's Sleeping Murder, one of her Miss Marple books, and totally loving it.

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    1. Yes she totally does, he is still his usual quirk self! Sleeping Murder is so good, I don’t actually think I’ve read a bad book by her yet!

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