Jim's Books

The Mystery of Three Quarters

Sophie Hannah

The Mystery of Three Quarters
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ISBN: ‎9780008264


Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him ― a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy.

Reviewed on 29th December 2021

Sophie Hannah’s third Poirot novel is one I’ve put off reading for some years, but found a pleasant return to the character.

The characterisation of Poirot is perfect - the little mannerisms, the ways of thinking, all spot on.

The plot is a solid mystery - four letters have been written accusing different people of the same murder - and it’s up to Poirot to sort the truth from the lies.

The narrative however is quite long, certainly feeling longer than the Christie originals, and quite convoluted. The storytelling is presented as if from one point of view, but still presents scenes that the narrator can’t have been present for.

Overall though, worth reading for the joy of a new mystery.

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