Hercule Poirot returns in another brilliant murder mystery that can be solved only by the eponymous Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.
'What I intend to say to you will come as a shock....'
Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will - one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live....
Among Lady Playford's guests are two men she has never met - the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited...until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke in the presence of a possible killer?
When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot's best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?
Following the phenomenal global success of The Monogram Murders, which was published to critical acclaim following a coordinated international launch in September 2014, international best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah has been commissioned by Agatha Christie Limited to pen a second fully authorised Poirot novel. The new audiobook marks the centenary of the creation of Christie's world-famous detective, Hercule Poirot, introduced in her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
©2016 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
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"Ridiculous plot, badly in need of editing"
Don't know, the plot is ludicrous and the story is endlessly repetitive.
The plot. Some of the characterisation is good but they run over the same points again and again ad nauseum. The only thing that makes this a worthwhile purchase is Julian Rhind - Tutt's performance.
Everything. His voices and accents are clearly distinguishable and give you an insight into the individuals character and are very appropriate to the story setting.
Intense disappointment, as a Christie fan I think this book is a travesty.
One and a quarter hours to reveal the denouement which could have comfortably been completed in 20 minutes.
"Not as good The Monogram Murders"
In some respects I loved this novel. The narration was superb, the character development wonderful and the 'feel' of the setting, time and Poirotness of the book were so right! It felt ( in so many respects) like something Agatha Christie could have written, expect she hasn't, and if you scratch the surface of this novel, it is obvious that Dame Agatha's fabulous talent is most definitely lacking. The plot was downright silly, the motive weak and frankly laughable. That I could forgive, to be honest, as Agatha Christie plots can stretch motive thinly too, however Agatha's novels are always robust and solid. However, unlike the original Christie masterpieces, the storyline for 'Closed Casket' is full of so many holes it is fragile and quite unstable. It really felt was if it had been painted using broad brush strokes only with little attention to fine detail evident. Agatha's books was solid and robust and always held up to intense scrutinisation, the same can't be said for this poor imitation.
"Good but not Christie"
Although I enjoyed it, there was too much detail and I kept thinking oh do hurry up. It took a while to get used to the fact that poirot was really not the main character, however I can see why as otherwise it would try to be a copy of Christies which is impossible. If this idea is to repeated cut down the description and padding out. Poirot's books were so good because they were the right length and you could still imagine all the characters
Long drawn out and boring. Hardly surprising as no one can write like Agatha Christie.
I was really looking forward to this story - the narrator is great and very comforting to listen to. I did enjoy the story as well, although I found it a bit predictable. Hoping for more Poirot stories from Sophie Hannah!
"A mysterious offer of styles"
The narration is excellent - I occasionally found Julian Rhind-Tutt's Poirot a little uncomfortable to listen to when despairing of 'Catchpool' in the last offering. Here he is just that little bit more settled into the character and he distinguishes the other characters from each other with admirable success.
I was intrigued by the mystery, finding myself enjoying the story for most of its length and I was looking forward to the solution which I could not guess at. The style here worked rather well except for the lack of Hastings. Catchpool serves his function in the story but somehow does not manage that likeability of Poirot's original foil. The last quarter takes a bit of a dip, however. Though more successful than 'The Monogram Murders' this story suffers from a similarly drawn out and exasperating denouement. The ending would have benefitted immensely from a bit of pruning - losing the tiresomely detailed catalogue of every wrinkle of the killer's psychology. The major mechanics of the murder are interesting and feel quite faithful in style but there is a truly infuriating moving of goalposts that Christie would surely have felt was just not Cricket. Another minor mystery is also a disappointment and could be excised from the story without losing anything - the reasoning behind its resolution still feeling tenuous even though a character has evidently been given a quirk for the sole purpose of justifying the title.
An enjoyable piece but one that outstays its welcome. That definitely was not Christie's style.
"Scorchio? Not quite"
Character names grated- is Athelinda a real name? Shrimp Seddon? Catchpole would sound better than Catchpool. Scotia? Scoccia? No, Scotcher- but couldn't get Scorch-io! from the Fast Show out of my head, every time it was said.
Not sure what the Irish setting added to the story; not sure what Catchpool brought to it either (even less impact than Hastings). And too much needless Shakespeare.
Suspending disbelief, the motive was a neat contemporary twist on a traditional plot line but the last few chapters did rather repeat themselves to drum it in.
Fairly enjoyable read/listen apart from the names, but like other reviewers I think I may forget it as quickly as The Monogram Murders...
I was in the mood for an old fashioned murder mystery. Must admit next time I'll buy a real Agatha Christie story. Even if I remember who was the culprit. Found this quite a pale imitation. I loved t narration however and will look out for more he narrates.
"Story dragged on way too long"
I felt like I kept hearing that same bit of the story again and again.
Love Poirot, love Julian Rt as the narrator.
The story could have ended much sooner, bit of mission to get to the end.
"very poor poirot"
struggled to finish, did not enjoy the narrators voice. storyline was very poor and dull
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