Friday, August 5, 2016

Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot and his friend from Scotland Yard, Edward Catchpool, are both invited to a home in the country for the weekend.  They aren't aware they would be there together until they arrived at the country home.  Upon meeting there, they decide it might be a bit more than just a casual visit.

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 6th.

Ms. Hannah has resurrected Poirot and is taking him on a new adventure.  She uses Ms. Christie's characters well and the storyline is similar to what the original author used for plots.  She also uses more words than Ms. Christie and that made the story read a bit slower.  Ms. Christie could do a complete story in a novella.  I like Ms. Hannah's work but I'd prefer a shorter story so it was a bit more like Ms. Christie's.

What they find is that the woman of the household has brought her family and friends close to reveal a change in her will.  Why she did what she did was a mystery to others.  She left everything to her secretary, a terminally ill man.  Her ideas was to stir the pot and see what fell out.  If someone tried to killed her, she hoped she could prevent it.  Instead, the secretary died.  The odd thing was that he was killed twice!

There's the strange family, the loyal servants, and events from the past as well as the present.  Psychology plays a large part in this story.  Who does what and why is based on past events that influenced the characters.

When the local cops show up, they are relieved to have a witness to the bludgeoning and think the case is solved.  Unfortunately, he was poisoned earlier and was already dead when someone was beating him in the head.  The cops know Poirot and look to him for help.  Poirot asks Catchpool to work with him.

This is a tangled, mixed up plot with everyone operating from a selfish point of view.  Ms. Hannah gives you a cast of characters you don't have any reason to like.  When you hate most of the characters, you don't care what happens to them.  The ending is a shocker and I didn't like it.  I felt like we got robbed of justice.  On the other hand, it's believable.  Not everything can be wrapped up like a gift.  Sometimes the ribbon gets tangled.  It's tangled good in this read. 

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