ARC Review: The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot–the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket–returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in the London of 1930.

Returning home from a luncheon, Hercule Poirot is met at his door by an imperious woman who introduces herself as Sylvia Rule. “How dare you? How dare you send me such a letter?” Ignoring his denials, Mrs. Rule insists that she received a missive claiming he had proof she murdered a man named Barnabas Pandy and advising her to confess her crime to the police. Threatening the perplexed Poirot with a lawsuit, she leaves in a huff.

Minutes later, a rather disheveled man named John McCrodden appears. “I got your letter accusing me of the murder of Barnabas Pandy.” Calmly, Poirot again rebuts the charge. Each insisting they are victims of a conspiracy, Mrs. Rule and Mr. McCrodden deny knowing who Pandy is.

The next day, two more strangers proclaim their innocence and provide illuminating details. Miss Annabel Treadway tells Poirot that Barnabas Pandy was her grandfather. But he was not murdered; his death was an accident. Hugo Dockerill also knows of Pandy, and he heard the old man fell asleep in his bath and drowned.

Why did someone send letters in Poirot’s name accusing people of murder? If Pandy’s death was an accident, why charge foul play? It is precisely because he is the great Hercule Poirot that he would never knowingly accuse an innocent person of a crime. Someone is trying to make mischief, and the instigator wants Poirot involved.

Engaging the help of Edward Catchpool, his Scotland Yard policeman friend, Poirot begins to dig into the investigation, exerting his little grey cells to solve an elaborate puzzle involving a tangled web of relationships, scandalous secrets, and past misdeeds.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a Physical copy of the book by Harper Collins India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I grew up on a staple of Agatha Christie Mysteries – Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot intellectual style of solving mysteries that to date remain the only mysteries that I have been unable to solve before the detectives themselves. 

Sophie Hannah has continued the legacy of Hercule Poirot Mysteries – and I have actually admired the way she has done everything in her power to retain the authenticity of the original detective in his personality and in his quirks.

In the newest mystery for Hercule Poirot – our favourite detective is enjoying his quaint morning when he is confronted by not one, not two but four irate people proclaiming their innocence of the accusations of murder that Hercule Poirot has made against them in a letter.

This flusters the usually unflappable detective and puts him on a path to unravel the mystery of the person behind these letters made to destroy the reputation of one of the finest (okay, fine; the finest) detective in all of England!

As with all the original Agatha Christie Mysteries – it would be better if the reader went in without any spoilers – because that’s exactly the fun of reading and getting lost in a mystery such as this one; where you pit your brain against the minds of detectives (and the author) in a race to see who wins the prize of solving the mystery first!

The best part though has to be the fact that Sophie Hannah keeps the legacy and authenticity of the original Hercule Poirot alive – and that shows the respect that Ms. Hannah has for the Queen of Mystery – Agatha Christie; which in turn ramps up my respect for this author who has made sure that a fan like myself is able to spend a little more time with the detectives she grew up with.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5


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