I picked this up from the library on a whim, ‘how is it possible for a new Hercule Poirot to exist?!?‘
The estate approved a new title by a new author, bestselling Sophie Hannah. So money, an effort to revive interest in her existing works, perhaps.
The first thing I noticed, after the shock wore off, is the sheer size of this book. Agatha Christie novels are never longer than 150, 175 pages maximum. This large book is 320 pages long. Hmmmm…
We begin with Poirot, enjoying the best coffee in London, eavesdropping on the waitresses and internally musing about the uneven shelves and the imperfectly placed silverware. In bursts a terrified woman, who stares out of the well lit window into the dark and stormy night before choosing a table and sitting with her back to the door, but constantly turning to look at the door.
Of course Poirot cannot resist, and moves to her table to offer his assistance. And we’re off.
In this new novel, Poirot is on ‘vacation’, renting a room only yards from his apartment to hide out and rest his little gray cells. We meet Detective Catchpool, who is also staying at the boarding house. This detective does his level best to avoid detecting anything, even delaying the analysis of the three murder victims at the Bloxham Hotel, because reasons.
I give this author credit for taking a huge leap stepping into these shoes. This story is certainly better than Christie’s worst, but it’s too long by far. Needlessly verbose and at the same time too, obvious.
Do yourself a favor and re-read an original Agatha Christie instead.