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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. Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front d 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. Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused, and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage. Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him -- a man called John McCrodden who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy... Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?


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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. Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front d 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. Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused, and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage. Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him -- a man called John McCrodden who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy... Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

30 review for The Mystery of Three Quarters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Sophie Hannah resurrects Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot in this, her latest addition to the series. Having been disappointed with her last effort, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really enjoying this much more. Set in 1930s England, it has the requisite country manor and a Poirot with all his eccentricities and comic touches, although I should add that by now Hannah has made her Poirot her own creation, rather than a straight take off of the original. Poirot returns home after lunch Sophie Hannah resurrects Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot in this, her latest addition to the series. Having been disappointed with her last effort, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really enjoying this much more. Set in 1930s England, it has the requisite country manor and a Poirot with all his eccentricities and comic touches, although I should add that by now Hannah has made her Poirot her own creation, rather than a straight take off of the original. Poirot returns home after lunch to be confronted by an outraged Sylvia Rule, apoplectic that she has received a letter from him accusing her of murdering Barnaby Pandy and urging her to confess. Faced with Annabel Treadway, John McCrodden, and Hugo Dockerill having received an identical letter with the same accusation of killing Pandy, purportedly from him, Poirot is baffled as he has done no such thing, more to the point, it would be so out of character for him to have engaged in such behaviour. Poirot is suitably intrigued and cannot help but exercise his legendary grey skills to get to the bottom of this complex mystery narrated by Scotland Yard Inspector Edward Catchpool, who ably assists our Belgian detective. Waitress Euphemia Spring bakes the four square Church Window Cake to a secret family recipe, she is irate that the exact same cake is being sold in another establishment and insists Poirot finds out how her recipe was stolen. It is the four quarters of the cake, metaphorically representing the 4 people accused of Pandy's murder that gives rise to the title of this novel. Initially it appears none of the individuals are connected, but upon close inspection, it soon transpires that three of them emerge to be loosely connected, leaving one of them the odd one out but is that true? We are presented with a host of suspects, a search for a typewriter with a dysfunctional letter 'e', a boarding school and a Barnaby Pandy who at 96 years old, is deemed to have accidentally drowned whilst falling asleep in his bath. Could it possibly have been a murder, or is there something more dangerous at play? We have a father who is famously resolute over his support of the death penalty, at odds with his wayward son, John, a melancholic put upon Annabel who is madly obsessed with her beloved dog, a Sylvia about whom rumours abound, and the jolly, all over the place teacher, Hugo. There is scandal, with secrets from the past spilling out, and a family drama with all its intrigue, all to be sniffed out by our ever reliable Poirot. This is a entertaining and compelling addition to Hannah's Poirot series, with its complicated mystery for Poirot to get his teeth into. I was so pleased to see that Hannah makes a considerably better entry to the series than Closed Casket which I was far less impressed with. I have no doubt that most readers who love the Golden Age of Classic Crime and are fans of Hercule Poirot will enjoy this with all its familiar tropes, just be prepared for Poirot not to be same as Christie's famous detective. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Having had a soft spot for Agatha Christie, particularly those stories that feature Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, I was more than a little giddy at the thought of someone talented taking over to keep the Poirot character alive. But I was concerned that whoever was to take the reins would fail miserably at creating and fostering the Belgian detective's character in this new mystery. Crisis somewhat averted, Hannah does a decent, respectable job. As is acutely obvious to me and most other crime Having had a soft spot for Agatha Christie, particularly those stories that feature Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, I was more than a little giddy at the thought of someone talented taking over to keep the Poirot character alive. But I was concerned that whoever was to take the reins would fail miserably at creating and fostering the Belgian detective's character in this new mystery. Crisis somewhat averted, Hannah does a decent, respectable job. As is acutely obvious to me and most other crime readers, nobody has the ability to write like Christie. It doesn't matter who they are it's not likely to be as wonderful as her crime classics, and that's just a fact. Although I did enjoy this it had a distinct lack of atmosphere, atmosphere that was always present in Christie's writing no matter which of her stories you were reading. I found the storytelling was adequate here, the issue I had was that the plot was simply too straightforward, which is nothing like the originals that feature complex investigations with Poirot standing stroking his moustache before making his play. I understand that various best selling series' have been taken over by new writers, as the original author is no longer with us, but it often doesn't go down as well as they planned. Ultimately, the main issue is that it feels a world away from the Poirot we all know and love. There are no ingenius plot twists or misdirection that have you on the edge-of-your-seat, which I feel is essential to a Poirot novel. I'm sad I didn't appreciate this more. It's not a terrible book by any stretch of the imagination, it's just mediocre in every respect. This was a risk, and i'm afraid it didn't pay off this time. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC. I was not required to post a review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ova - Excuse My Reading

    This is so far the most Agatha Christie flavoured book Hannah have penned! The start of the book reminded me of "A murder is announced"- 4 people get letters accusing them of murdering a man called 'Barnabas Pandy'- and the letters are signed by Hercules Poirot! Who is Barnabas Pandy and did one of these people: Slyvia Rule, John McCrodden, Hugo Dockerill and Annabel Treadway, really killed Mr Pandy? Loved this book and so glad to be reading the world's best detective again. Full review soon!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    2.5 Hercule Poirot is being blamed for writing letters to four people, accusing them of the murder of one Barnabas Pandy, whom he has never heard of. Loathing his name to be thus tainted he decides to investigate and find the identity of the letter-writer and his motive for doing so. All the evidence shows that Barnabas Pandy has died of natural causes. But what if one of the four recipients of the letters is a murderer? Is there a connection between these four people. Do they know each other? Or 2.5 Hercule Poirot is being blamed for writing letters to four people, accusing them of the murder of one Barnabas Pandy, whom he has never heard of. Loathing his name to be thus tainted he decides to investigate and find the identity of the letter-writer and his motive for doing so. All the evidence shows that Barnabas Pandy has died of natural causes. But what if one of the four recipients of the letters is a murderer? Is there a connection between these four people. Do they know each other? Or are they unacquainted with each other as they claim to be? I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and have read all of her books more than once. In my humble opinion Agatha Christie would have never wrote this book and would have never portrayed Poirot in the light that Sophie Hannah has done. Agatha’s Poirot is always to the point. He doesn’t bore you. He is fun and lively, albeit sometimes serious and musing. Her stories do not drag on. You read them in a sitting and if you don’t, you wish you could. Her characters, even the villains, are somehow likable and vivid. Maybe this book would have had more success if it was written as a standalone mystery without Poirot.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Robert Collins

    Another not by AC Poirot book set early on long before Curtain. I did try see anyone else but David S no luck . She has great talent in making Mr.P sound like Agatha wrote him. Which is of course what you want , it is no good doing a mystery with Mr.P if not right. This the 3rd in the series but doesn't matter if you have not read the others . That was the joy of AC no order series books .I am huge fan of HP my favorite crime is Murder on the Orient Express. This is a poison pen book that drops P Another not by AC Poirot book set early on long before Curtain. I did try see anyone else but David S no luck . She has great talent in making Mr.P sound like Agatha wrote him. Which is of course what you want , it is no good doing a mystery with Mr.P if not right. This the 3rd in the series but doesn't matter if you have not read the others . That was the joy of AC no order series books .I am huge fan of HP my favorite crime is Murder on the Orient Express. This is a poison pen book that drops Poirot in the shit has him nearly getting sued , he is mad spiting Feathers as he is dropped in the shit feet first. Poor Poirot he really needs to solve this soon before his reputation is tuned inside out. .This not Japp but Edward Catchpool who tells the story after his 'escape' from his mother's matchmaking again. Catchpool is been dragged over the carpet by his bosses who think Poirot has gone of the rails accusing important people of murdering an OAP of 94 being murdered a Mr Barnabas Pandy who at inquest was decided to have died of an accident. Everybody agrees that what happened could have happened to me or you at 94 & he had good innings But Poison pen does not agree Poison Pen who ever he/she is has other ideas .A cat & mouse game with Mr P as the cheese & Catchpool as the big bad Cat. The idea of somebody else writing another person's Detective is not new we have 1000s of Sherlock Holmes by other authors. AC would not been upset as she often said her author friends bounced ideas over coffee and cake at crime clubs off each other Patrica Wentworth, Dorothy L Sayers, Gladys Mitchell, Nagio Marsh & Margery Allingham all friends of same age group like Tolkien all moved in small circles. If look at their books you see similar things, such as Miss Marple & Miss Silver, Roderic Allen & Catchpool, Campion to Lord Peter are simliar & AC was know to enjoy putting her friends into her books such as Miss Marple was a lot of Margery Allingham. So the idea of Sophie doing Poirot how much fun AC would been happy with the idea a real compliment

  6. 4 out of 5

    Campbell

    This is just awful. It reads like the most mediocre of fan fiction, as if the author has decided "no, I'm not even going to attempt to imitate Christie's auctorial voice". More Agatha Raisin than Agatha Christie. I'm done with this excrescent drivel, both book and series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    This is the 3rd book written by Sophie Hannah using the the character Hercule Poirot who was of course dreamed up by the legendary Agatha Christie. I have possibly read every novel written by Agatha Christie and have been a massive fan most of my life so I was always going to want to read this series. That said Sophie does change things a little and Hercule Poirot is certainly recognisable but nevertheless written in her own style. I had already read the previous books in this series but was lef This is the 3rd book written by Sophie Hannah using the the character Hercule Poirot who was of course dreamed up by the legendary Agatha Christie. I have possibly read every novel written by Agatha Christie and have been a massive fan most of my life so I was always going to want to read this series. That said Sophie does change things a little and Hercule Poirot is certainly recognisable but nevertheless written in her own style. I had already read the previous books in this series but was left a little unsure on how I felt having one of my favourite characters revamped by another author. But I found this book an improvement on the previous ones and was very entertaining. In this latest book, Hercule Poirot is accused by four individuals of sending a letter accusing them of being the murderer of Barnabus Pandy. The letters are stated to be from Poirot and he seeks to not only to clear his name but to solve the mystery. Was Barnabus Pandy actually murdered, if so by who and who sent the accusing letters. I suggest readers try as much as possible to avoid comparisons and concentrate on the novel itself to give the book a fair chance. A good entertaining read. I would like to thank Net Galley and Harper Collins for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I love the Poirot TV series with David Suchet. However, I have never actually read a Poirot novel until I read this one. Which isn't even written by Agatha Christie. It's probably good that I haven't read the original novels since I have nothing to compare with. But, I must say I was impressed with the story. The humor, the mystery and trying to figure out who sent the letters, before Poirot did. I could really see David Suchet as Poirot before my eyes all through the book and I was utterly charm I love the Poirot TV series with David Suchet. However, I have never actually read a Poirot novel until I read this one. Which isn't even written by Agatha Christie. It's probably good that I haven't read the original novels since I have nothing to compare with. But, I must say I was impressed with the story. The humor, the mystery and trying to figure out who sent the letters, before Poirot did. I could really see David Suchet as Poirot before my eyes all through the book and I was utterly charmed by the story and the writing. I especially like the beginning when Poirot is accused by several people on being the author of several letters claiming that just he/she was a murderer. He took it all in stride (not) and quickly tried to explain that he was not at all the one that penned the letters. Although they didn't want to believe him and hardly listened to his explanations. And, then, of course, he had to try to find out who wrote the letters and if anyone killed poor Barnabus Pandy. This book not only made me want to read the previous two books by Sophie Hannah, now I want to read the books by Agatha Christie as well. This a truly great book and I recommend it warmly! Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    In Sophie Hannah’s third “new” story featuring a certain little Belgian detective with magnificent moustaches and an egg-shaped head, Poirot finds himself confronted by four people who have all received a letter accusing them of murder - a letter signed by one Hercule Poirot. Who is Barnabas Pandy, and has he or hasn’t he actually been murdered? Poirot’s investigations, assisted by Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool, encompass a country house complete with aged retainer, a boys’ boarding s In Sophie Hannah’s third “new” story featuring a certain little Belgian detective with magnificent moustaches and an egg-shaped head, Poirot finds himself confronted by four people who have all received a letter accusing them of murder - a letter signed by one Hercule Poirot. Who is Barnabas Pandy, and has he or hasn’t he actually been murdered? Poirot’s investigations, assisted by Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool, encompass a country house complete with aged retainer, a boys’ boarding school, a solicitor with a passion for the death penalty known unaffectionately as Rowland Rope, and - in a very Christie-ish touch - a typewriter with a dodgy letter ‘e’. You wouldn’t actually mistake it for Christie - it’s definitely Sophie Hannah’s own take and while set in the past, has a more modern feel - but Poirot is very recognisably Poirot (and apparently protects his moustaches with a net at night. Did we know this?) Captain Hastings is nowhere to be seen, but Catchpool is a worthy substitute, as is waitress Euphemia (Fee) Spring, though she doesn’t have a great deal to do here.... though her Church Window Cake (Battenberg, surely?) provides a source of inspiration. Liked the chapter titles.... Proper chapter titles aren’t really a thing any more in most modern novels. Stuff like “Poirot Returns to Combingham Hall” and “The Typewriter Experiment”. They should be. Bring back the chapter title, modern authors! I enjoyed the various renderings of Poirot’s name (Porrott, Prarrow) which reminded me of first reading the books as a child back in ye olden days and not knowing how to pronounce it ( I think Pworrot was as close as I got, and I had no idea what the M. - for Monsieur - stood for. I asked my mum, but she didn’t know either). I think this is my favourite of Sophie Hannah’s three Poirot novels so far... neatly plotted and characterised, and though nobody can entirely recreate the spirit of the originals (and nor should they), Sophie does a very good job. I really enjoyed it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com I eagerly await any new releases from Sophie Hannah, whatever series they may be, and her Hercule Poirot books are no different. This new offering feels very Christie-like, with its setting in the countryside, centred around the death of Barnabas Pandy, who drowned in the bath - but was it an accident, or in fact murder? Poirot feels, to me, close to the original character in Agatha Christie's novels - he's entertaining, odd at times, and as excellent at sleuth Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com I eagerly await any new releases from Sophie Hannah, whatever series they may be, and her Hercule Poirot books are no different. This new offering feels very Christie-like, with its setting in the countryside, centred around the death of Barnabas Pandy, who drowned in the bath - but was it an accident, or in fact murder? Poirot feels, to me, close to the original character in Agatha Christie's novels - he's entertaining, odd at times, and as excellent at sleuthing as ever - but with Sophie Hannah's own excellent twist. The story is clever and intriguing (though you need to pay attention properly at the start, as there are lots of different characters and names across multiple families who are related in different ways). I'd definitely recommend this for anyone missing the original series - it doesn't feel like a direct fit, as Sophie Hannah has injected her own style into these Poirot novels, but it strikes the perfect balance between intrigue and light-hearted entertainment, as Christie always did so well. Highly recommended! Many thanks to HarperCollins UK for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I was amazed when I found this book. "A new Agatha Christie? How can this be?" I thought. This isn't the first time someone has taken over the reins in writing a popular series when the original author is unable to continue writing it themselves (Douglas Adams and Steig Larsson are both examples of such revered authors who are no longer with us). However, it's always a scary prospect and the results do vary. When I came across this book by Sophie Hannah, I was immediately excited and trepidatiou I was amazed when I found this book. "A new Agatha Christie? How can this be?" I thought. This isn't the first time someone has taken over the reins in writing a popular series when the original author is unable to continue writing it themselves (Douglas Adams and Steig Larsson are both examples of such revered authors who are no longer with us). However, it's always a scary prospect and the results do vary. When I came across this book by Sophie Hannah, I was immediately excited and trepidatious at the same time; I love Agatha Christie's novels, particularly the Hercule Poirot mysteries. Would I be overjoyed or disappointed at reading what this new, unheard of (to me, at least) author would do with such an iconic character? Well, as you can imagine, I absolutely had to find out. In the book, four individuals are sent letters signed in the name of Poirot, and accusing them of murder. They all approach Poirot and plead their innocence, only to discover that Poirot did not actually send the letters. And therein lies the mystery that Poirot must solve; who sent the letters and why? Who is the real murderer? Or has there even been a murder at all? All in all, this was an okay book. The mystery was okay, the writing was okay, the character of Poirot was...okay. You can tell I'm disappointed, slightly. It started off well, but in the end I didn't feel like the mystery was clever enough for a Christie book. There was far too much assumption and not enough proof for my liking. It certainly wasn't up to the high standard of ingenuity I expect from this series. I think if it was a standalone mystery with a different character, I would have enjoyed it more. I have probably judged harshly because I think it's nigh on impossible to live up to such legends as Agatha and Hercule. But that's the task Sophie Hannah had been set, and it didn't quite get there for me. It was a little bit too twee and not elegant enough. If I was to recommend this book, it would be to someone who hadn't read much (or any) Agatha Christie, and certainly not a die hard fan because I think, like me, they might be slightly disappointed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marc Bougharios

    This novel was by far my favourite from the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries. I don’t know why, but I seemed to enjoy this one a little more than the rest. Hannah never disappoints with her writing style. To take on Agatha Christie, and succeed in doing so, is a big accomplishment within itself. For me, this novel was hooking right from the start. Accusing Hercule Poirot of writing accusatory letters? Don’t mind if I do! At first I thought Catchpool wouldn’t be in this one but he is and I was so hap This novel was by far my favourite from the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries. I don’t know why, but I seemed to enjoy this one a little more than the rest. Hannah never disappoints with her writing style. To take on Agatha Christie, and succeed in doing so, is a big accomplishment within itself. For me, this novel was hooking right from the start. Accusing Hercule Poirot of writing accusatory letters? Don’t mind if I do! At first I thought Catchpool wouldn’t be in this one but he is and I was so happy to see that him and Poirot are back together! The plot of this book was just so original and I loved everything about it from characters, to plot. I don’t know know how Hannah does it but she manages to top every novel she writes with the next one. Of every Poirot novel, I love the endings especially when we get a whole section dedicated to the murder being solved. It’s so interesting to watch it all unravel in a way only Poirot can do. I have to say that I haven’t figured out the past three mysteries and it does sort of make the novel a lot more enjoyable once you don’t know who the killer is. This one had many surprising twists that I didn’t see coming but I’m not one to complain. The more the better! The characters were so fishy, and it’s clear that everyone one had something to hide and everyone was connected with each other in one way or another. I cannot wait for the next novel, please keep them coming!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

    Another wonderful Poirot story... ai am reallu enjoying these new books

  14. 5 out of 5

    Resh (The Book Satchel)

    Loved it! My favourite among Sophie Hannah's spin offs still remain her first, The Monogram murders. But this was a great read. The suspense kept me till the end and I loved how the new twists kept comming along. If there is something that irked me, it was Poirot trying too hard to be Poirot; like the author was really trying hard to tell you "Look it is Poirot; It really is". But this happened just a few times and felt minor enough to be ignored. A nice, cozy, typical Agatha Christie mystery. D Loved it! My favourite among Sophie Hannah's spin offs still remain her first, The Monogram murders. But this was a great read. The suspense kept me till the end and I loved how the new twists kept comming along. If there is something that irked me, it was Poirot trying too hard to be Poirot; like the author was really trying hard to tell you "Look it is Poirot; It really is". But this happened just a few times and felt minor enough to be ignored. A nice, cozy, typical Agatha Christie mystery. Disclaimer : Much thanks to Harper Collins for a copy of the novel. All opinions are my own. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    If you come to this expecting the resurrection of Christie and her Poirot then this might disappoint – instead, Hannah offers a homage to Christie/Poirot but with her own overlay of irony and humour. This isn’t as twisted as Hannah’s own books but offers a convoluted case that only Poirot could solve. The characterisation is zany in parts (the housemaster!) but the story comes together in a satisfying way. Light and exuberant entertainment. Thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC via NetGalley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I liked the premise and I had fun reading the first 30-50% of the book (which is why I audiobooked The Murder of Roger Ackroyd & And Then There Were None) but the second half felt too complicated and lost that fun. It felt, up to a point, like it was trying too hard to be Poirot mystery. Review coming soon once I have my thoughts in order, but 2.5-3 stars. * Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf & eProof was given by UK publisher, HarperCollins, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. P I liked the premise and I had fun reading the first 30-50% of the book (which is why I audiobooked The Murder of Roger Ackroyd & And Then There Were None) but the second half felt too complicated and lost that fun. It felt, up to a point, like it was trying too hard to be Poirot mystery. Review coming soon once I have my thoughts in order, but 2.5-3 stars. * Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf & eProof was given by UK publisher, HarperCollins, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Poirot comes home from lunch to find an angry woman standing in his doorstep. Here, she demands to know why he sent her a letter, accusing her of murder. Poirot has not sent any letter, has no idea who she is nor the person who was murdered. The woman doesn’t believe him and, shaken, Poirot goes into his house, only to come face to face with a man who’s son has received the same letter from Poirot. Over the next 48 hours, two more people comes to Poirot, saying he has written these letters to him, accusing him of murder. But Poirot doesn’t understand why these four unrelated people are accused of murder by someone pretending to be him… Who is Barnabas Pandy who these four are meant to have murdered? Was he murdered? Who is the poison letter writer? And can Poirot find the answers before more lives are put in danger? Where do I start with this? Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that no-one can write an Agatha Christie mystery expect Agatha Christie. She has her own quality, so I can’t compare Sophie Hannah to Agatha Christie as these are two very different crime writers. Plus, half way through Three Quarters, I did audiobook The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and And Then There Were None and I saw instantly how different these two authors are. Now, the Three Quarters. The best way to tackle this is splitting the book in two halves. I had such fun with the first half. The premise was intriguing and I had a blast with Poirot, Catchpool and trying to figure out if this was a murder or a poison pen letter, something we haven’t really seen Poirot tackle (though I think this was touch upon in a Miss Marple - The Moving Finger?). I whizzed through the first half of the story and it was because I had such fun, I audiobooked Roger Ackroyd and And Then There Were None. But the second half… this is where the story fell flat to me. It became a struggle to read. It lost the fun of the first half and became an overly complicated crime novel. It didn’t feel like a Poirot mystery. It felt like the story was trying too hard to be too smart. And because it became so complex, I wondered “if we removed Poirot, I don’t think anyone would noticed. It doesn’t have that special Poirot-ness to it anymore.” Plus, there were several occasions where the chapters flipped from being third person to first person (with Catchpool narrating) and this was jarring. I didn’t like this and wished it would stick to one style or another. So, how do I talk about this? It didn’t blow me away like I hoped. Because of the ending and how it dragged/messy it became, I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy it. But I don’t want to abandon this series completely. I do want to try another Sophie Hannah story with Poirot or maybe one of her own novels. I am leaning towards Closed Casket, but am more wary of it now. But I do want to try one more time… but I think I might dive into another Christie before I do and, when I do, give myself distance so I’m not trying to compare…

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chitra Iyer

    The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah is the new Poirot mystery after Closed Casket. I had pre-ordered the book as soon as I heard it was due its release and, of course, got down to reading it immediately once it arrived. Being an ardent Poirot and Christie fan, I just find any opportunity to lap up any book there is. And I am especially enjoying my reading schedule these days, since it has been two Christie’s back to back now! Okay, so without wasting another moment, let’s get down to w The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah is the new Poirot mystery after Closed Casket. I had pre-ordered the book as soon as I heard it was due its release and, of course, got down to reading it immediately once it arrived. Being an ardent Poirot and Christie fan, I just find any opportunity to lap up any book there is. And I am especially enjoying my reading schedule these days, since it has been two Christie’s back to back now! Okay, so without wasting another moment, let’s get down to what you are here for, the review. Summary Four people receive a letter signed by Hercule Poirot, the great detective, accusing them all of murdering a certain Barnabas Pandy. When they all turn up one by one to prove their innocence, Poirot is stunned because, obviously, he has not sent those letters. But now since his name has been purposely dragged into this business, Poirot makes it his duty to find out who has sent those letters in his name and why, especially when it has been proved by the court of law that Barnabas Pandy had died of accidental drowning. Or hadn’t he? What I Liked I loved the book! I would describe it as an emotionally layered story line with secrets and inhibitions inside the crevices of a family. The writing style is superb, almost felt like I was reading Agatha Christie herself. Yes, I know, there’s no one quite like her but Sophie’s the next best thing, trust me! I absolutely loved the character description. Each one was sophisticatedly designed and brought forward. Well thought out and secretive, some characters had just the right amount of mystery around them to stimulate the reader’s minds. Another thing that had my attention from the start, was the cover! It is beautiful, enigmatic and I especially loved Poirot’s golden moustache on it! What I Did Not Like I wouldn’t say this as a down right negative but Sophie’s books (the Poirot ones) are a bit longer than the regular Christies. The author takes pleasure weaving intricate details and leaving clues that we readers most often don’t notice, and hence the length can be justified. Some readers might find themselves a bit anxious when Poirot takes his time to disclose the murderer. Other Details Although Sophie Hannah officially writes Poirot, Agatha Christie is also given author credit because, come on, it is her turf after all. I enjoy her writing and appreciate that Sophie’s narrative is very close to that of Christie’s. She follows a similar pattern of rendition and revelation. If you didn’t know already, Sophie Hannah is an award winning crime fiction writer. You can check out her website here: https://sophiehannah.com/books/ Would I Recommend It? Yes, definitely! As are all Agatha Christie books, this one too is not action based but probes into the intricacies of the human mind and how Poirot, the keen observer that he is, is always successful in reading minds and finding the culprit. So, yeah, grab it!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

    This is the first of Sophie Hannah’s takes on Agatha Christie that I’ve read and I did really enjoy it. My favourite thing about Christie is the puzzle element, her novels don’t always feel grounded in reality for me but the puzzle is always brilliant and I think Hannah did a good job with this. This book’s mystery was one that I managed to figure out elements of but not the whole thing, something that’s rare for me with Poirot but I liked feeling like I had a chance of solving the crime. I’ll d This is the first of Sophie Hannah’s takes on Agatha Christie that I’ve read and I did really enjoy it. My favourite thing about Christie is the puzzle element, her novels don’t always feel grounded in reality for me but the puzzle is always brilliant and I think Hannah did a good job with this. This book’s mystery was one that I managed to figure out elements of but not the whole thing, something that’s rare for me with Poirot but I liked feeling like I had a chance of solving the crime. I’ll definitely be picking up more of Sophie Hannah’s Poirot books and I’m really looking forward to reading them. This review was originally posted on my blog https://rathertoofondofbooks.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    not bad, but of course not as good as the original Poirot - nevertheless, it's as good as the second book, and much better than the first one - the plot is rather complicated, but in the end, Poirot rounds everyone up, and all is explained, just as in the original books - I'm a bit wondering if it was such a necessity to start wrting hercule poirot's investigations again - and edward catchpool really gets on my nerves

  20. 5 out of 5

    Raimondo

    I remember being disappointed by Sophie Hannah's freshman effort to revive Agatha Christie's beloved character, M. Poirot. Fortunately, it seems like she has learned from her missteps because this book is an appreciably better outing compared to The Monogram Murders. The structure of the mystery has definitely improved, from being overwrought and inaccessible to something approaching Christie's trademark elegance and deceptive simplicity. I certainly fancy the plot, and although it flags at certa I remember being disappointed by Sophie Hannah's freshman effort to revive Agatha Christie's beloved character, M. Poirot. Fortunately, it seems like she has learned from her missteps because this book is an appreciably better outing compared to The Monogram Murders. The structure of the mystery has definitely improved, from being overwrought and inaccessible to something approaching Christie's trademark elegance and deceptive simplicity. I certainly fancy the plot, and although it flags at certain points, taken as a whole it works rather swimmingly. Another stark improvement is in Poirot's characterization. With his current idiosyncrasies, manner of speech, behavior, reactions, etc. he now more fully resembles the original instead of being the poor, sorry facsimile that the series started with. I'm not saying that it has fully captured the cozy and slightly nostalgic Interwar atmosphere that Christie mysteries are renowned for since that seems well-nigh impossible. It does veer tantalizingly close though, and even if it betrays flashes of a modern sensibilty, the way it hearkens back to an earlier, more gentle time is more than enough. The author still has some ways to go, but she's on the right trajectory and should not hesitate to write more Poirots. I'm just glad that after her uninspired maiden release, I gave this one a chance. I'll be looking out for her future novels. I'm rating this one 7/10 or 3 evocative stars out of 5.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Four different people receive letters accusing them of having murdered a man. To make matters worse, the letters are signed by Hercule Poirot. However, when confronted with these mysterious letter, the Belgian detective is confused. Because he did not write, nor sent, those letters. Poirot decides to investigate. Obviously. I have some mixed feelings about this story. I enjoyed it, for most part, especially as I tried to make sense of it all. The revelation moment, however, was kind of a let down. Four different people receive letters accusing them of having murdered a man. To make matters worse, the letters are signed by Hercule Poirot. However, when confronted with these mysterious letter, the Belgian detective is confused. Because he did not write, nor sent, those letters. Poirot decides to investigate. Obviously. I have some mixed feelings about this story. I enjoyed it, for most part, especially as I tried to make sense of it all. The revelation moment, however, was kind of a let down. I think I was expecting something more spectacular. 3,5 stars, really.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)

    '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 1930’s London.’ The Mystery of Three Quarters is the latest book from Sophie Hannah as she continues to keep the spirit of Agatha Christie alive, with her take on that most famous detective, the wonderful and enigmatic Hercules Poirot. Who hasn’t heard of Hercule '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 1930’s London.’ The Mystery of Three Quarters is the latest book from Sophie Hannah as she continues to keep the spirit of Agatha Christie alive, with her take on that most famous detective, the wonderful and enigmatic Hercules Poirot. Who hasn’t heard of Hercules Poirot? Who hasn’t read a book by Agatha Christie? Not too many I would think. Agatha Christie is a household name due to her popularity as a writer and particularly a writer of crime fiction. Her characters are well known to all, with the fabulous Hercules Poirot a favourite of many. With his rather distinctive demeanor and quirky eccentricities, Hercules Poirot was brought to the screen by the wonderful actor David Suchet from 1989 to 2013, making him a familiar face in our living rooms. In 2014, crime-fiction writer Sophie Hannah picked up the baton and re-introduced us to Poirot with her novel The Monogram Murders, followed in 2016 by Closed Casket, both receiving much praise across the board. Taking up the pen of a phenomenally successful writer is always going to be a difficult job with criticisms bound to be cast on the writing. Is this a true Poirot mystery? Can Sophie Hannah fulfill the expectations of the true blue Christie fan? Well I guess that’s up to you, the reader, to decide. It might just be the perfect introduction, for those who may not wish to pick up a classic, to this idiosyncratic of characters. The Sunday Telegraph says ‘What Sophie and Agatha have in common is a rare talent for fiendish unpredictability. They make you see how the impossible might be possible after all’ In The Mystery of Three Quarters, Poirot is unexpectedly verbally assaulted on his doorstep by a woman, Sylvia Rule. She has received a letter that is signed by Hercules Poirot and in this letter she has been accused of murder!! Barnabas Pandy, a man of considerable wealth and a man she had never heard of had died. Now the cause of his death was under suspicion and apparently Poirot had written and signed this letter. Poirot, astonished, rightfully denies any knowledge of this letter or of Barnabas Pandy for that matter, but Sylvia Rule will hear none of this and is infuriated by this allegation. In the following days, Poirot receives calls from three further individuals all with the same letter and all accusing Poirot of false recriminations against their good names. All claim their innocence in this matter of murder and all are justifiably angered. It is now up to Poirot to get to the bottom of this mystery and discover the truth behind the death of Barnabas Pandy. Was he murdered or is this a personal vendetta and why? Hercules Poirot sets off to discover the truth with the assistance of his friend and confidante, Inspector Edward Catchpool from Scotland Yard. Together they attempt to solve the case of the unidentified scribe and, in typical Christie style, we are introduced to a superb cast of characters. It is quite easy to imagine the scenes as Poirot sweeps in and out, like an actor walking on and off the stage. It is a performance that is thoroughly enjoyable as each character has a unique and distinguishable persona, providing the ingredients for a wonderful and ‘diabolically clever’ mystery. The Mystery of Three Quarters is a very different read to the current crop of crime novels on the shelves. There is no extreme violence, there is scant blood and there is no great chase across a continent. It is an old-fashioned, cosy mystery, making it a the perfect book to snuggle down by the fire this Winter under a blanket with a steaming mug of hot chocolate (and, if you have one….your dog by your feet!!) Full of intrigue. Delightful. Charismatic.

  23. 4 out of 5

    MRIDULA

    Four people receive identical letters accusing them of murdering a Barnabas Pandy and signed by the famous detective Hercule Poirot. But the catch is, M Poirot never wrote those letters. I am usually the type who hates reading famous books carried on by other authors. But I gave The Mystery of Three Quarters a try and I am not quite sure how I feel. Here are a few observations I made. -The Story proceeds exactly the way an Agatha Christie novel would. There’s evidence collection which is quite ran Four people receive identical letters accusing them of murdering a Barnabas Pandy and signed by the famous detective Hercule Poirot. But the catch is, M Poirot never wrote those letters. I am usually the type who hates reading famous books carried on by other authors. But I gave The Mystery of Three Quarters a try and I am not quite sure how I feel. Here are a few observations I made. -The Story proceeds exactly the way an Agatha Christie novel would. There’s evidence collection which is quite random and no one is supposed to make anything out of it other than Poirot. -But Catchpool seems to be trying to steal the limelight. He tries to be witty, makes strange observations about Poirot and the case, receives strange evidence and fails to make any sort of discovery whatsoever. -The Atmosphere that is created in any Poirot novel is missing. Poirot does everything but the distinct style is missing. Even his actions are quite different, not classic Poirot. -The mystery is pretty decent throughout, and for someone who can’t handle too much information, it will be difficult to catch the killer. The dramatic ending also felt a little dull. But I would certainly recommend the book because Sophie Hannah has done a lot of justice to Agatha Christie. It is quite rare to find two people with the same thought process and either the author and Christie are alike, or she has remarkable observation skills and knows how to study her characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I really wanted to like this book. I've read the other Sophie Hannah Poirot books and they've been a respectable addition to the poirot legacy. This one however was really disappointing. I read in another review that this plot just didn't seem clever enough for a Christie novel and I completely agree. The premise is interesting, 4 people receive letters from "Poirot" accusing them of the murder of the same man. Concerned with his reputation and interested in getting to the root of the issue, Poi I really wanted to like this book. I've read the other Sophie Hannah Poirot books and they've been a respectable addition to the poirot legacy. This one however was really disappointing. I read in another review that this plot just didn't seem clever enough for a Christie novel and I completely agree. The premise is interesting, 4 people receive letters from "Poirot" accusing them of the murder of the same man. Concerned with his reputation and interested in getting to the root of the issue, Poirot investigates along with Catchpool. The plot was chugging along okay for a little while and then the end wrap up just ruined the novel for me. The motivation of the killer was questionable at best, the letters didn't seem to make a huge amount of sense, and some of the evidence Poirot reveals in the end is almost nonsensical. Usually, Christie books are well oiled machines with perfect interlocking parts. This book gave the impression of a bunch of ill-fitting parts hammered in and duct taped in order to make the plot work. Kind of spoiler but I doubt it'll make sense until you read it in the novel (view spoiler)[ The man who is the supposed victim of murder was sad not angry in a scene because he cried one tear instead of a lot of tears (one tear= sad, many tears=anger)? One character's father reacted sadly to the news of a dead disliked employee therefore the killer's callous reaction to something else meant that they were in fact the killer? (hide spoiler)] That was some of Poirot's actual evidence. I almost began to get the impression of Mrs Marple because Poirot's schtick has never been based on feelings or assumptions. He's a puzzle solver. The biggest issue however is that the ending is drawn on far too long and is over explained. Many characters barely have a purpose in the plot. There's a weird subplot about abortions. There's another ham fisted subplot about chess cake that seems to merely exist to explain the title. Obviously a good number of people disagree and I'm glad they all got enjoyment out of the novel. I feel however that this addition to the series was disappointing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Why would 4 people, supposedly unknown to each other, receive letters (purportedly from Hercule Poirot) accusing each of the murder of a man whose death was ruled accidental? An interesting premise and a complex case for Poirot and his hapless Scotland Yard friend Catchpool. Like Christie's classic versions, the story moves along relentlessly, as we hear from Poirot, Catchpool, the various suspects, and other secondary characters. Hannah, as she has in the 2 previous Poirot continuations, does a Why would 4 people, supposedly unknown to each other, receive letters (purportedly from Hercule Poirot) accusing each of the murder of a man whose death was ruled accidental? An interesting premise and a complex case for Poirot and his hapless Scotland Yard friend Catchpool. Like Christie's classic versions, the story moves along relentlessly, as we hear from Poirot, Catchpool, the various suspects, and other secondary characters. Hannah, as she has in the 2 previous Poirot continuations, does an excellent job of capturing the characters, especially Poirot. The stylish story seems almost timeless--except for the absence of cell phones and modern conveniences it could have been today, so it fits in with the previous Golden Age mysteries. Hannah's writing evokes Christies language and style--both clever and smart. The tone of the mystery is emotionally-charged, gossipy, and reflective. Christie was never my favorite Golden Age writer, but these continuations capture the best of her writing and add a slight noir tone and more modern sensibility that appeals.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sid Nuncius

    In the end I enjoyed The Mystery Of Three-Quarters, but it was hard going for a while. Sophie Hannah has done a good job of creating a Christie-style mystery, with an intriguing puzzle, odd clues, red herrings and a lengthy climactic meeting of all possible suspects in which Poirot reveals the true culprit. The first half was a bit of a struggle, as the characters and the strange mystery of the accusatory letters in Poirot’s name are introduced. It all seemed a bit laboured and disjointed, but th In the end I enjoyed The Mystery Of Three-Quarters, but it was hard going for a while. Sophie Hannah has done a good job of creating a Christie-style mystery, with an intriguing puzzle, odd clues, red herrings and a lengthy climactic meeting of all possible suspects in which Poirot reveals the true culprit. The first half was a bit of a struggle, as the characters and the strange mystery of the accusatory letters in Poirot’s name are introduced. It all seemed a bit laboured and disjointed, but things moved along much better in the second half and I ended up in that old state of ought-to-be doing-something-else-but-must-finish the-book, which is always a good sign. Part of the problem is that I found very little in the way of period setting. This mattered less as the story began to rattle along, but it was a disappointment for me. It’s not that Sophie Hannah gets it badly wrong – she’s far too good a writer for that – but somehow I never felt that we were in the 1930s. The language was generally pretty well done, but there were occasional things like an ancient family servant saying, “I’ve set up the two machines for Mr Porrott, like you asked, Mrs Lavington.” Surely he would have said something more like “I have set up the two machines as you requested...” There wasn’t too much of this but it did grate occasionally. This ended up as a four-star read for me; it’s fun but be prepared for a somewhat stodgy first half. (My thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC via Netgalley.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This book was definitely an exercise for the little gray cells. The plot was quite complex as shown by the pages of explanation from Poirot at the end. He even admitted that much he concluded was “mere supposition” and could not be proven. There were several clues along the way, however, and I liked that. But there was also much hidden so this reader had no idea how to identify the villain. It was a bit awkward that so many of the pertinent events leading up to Poirot's investigation happened lo This book was definitely an exercise for the little gray cells. The plot was quite complex as shown by the pages of explanation from Poirot at the end. He even admitted that much he concluded was “mere supposition” and could not be proven. There were several clues along the way, however, and I liked that. But there was also much hidden so this reader had no idea how to identify the villain. It was a bit awkward that so many of the pertinent events leading up to Poirot's investigation happened long in the past. And I am not so sure that the motive worked in the end. It was all a bit confusing. There was quite a bit about guilt and forgiveness and readers could glean a few lessons there. Much of Poirot's conclusions come from his self proclaimed knowledge of human behavior. He detected guilt as a motivator, for example, and we can learn some lessons from there too. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alatea

    Not bad. The story actually has Agatha Christie feeling around it. However, Puaro seems somewhat different, even though Sophie Hannah did her research - Puaro uses his famous expressions, he is as eccentric and smart as always. And yet there is something that is not "right".

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shabbeer Hassan

    To start off, I'd say that Sophie Hannah has improved immeasurably as a pastiche writer ala Christie since the first book of this series, and this book is the living proof if it. Nicely written, with a good plot structure, non-cliche dialogues, maintaining a healthy pace and finally exploring the psychology of characters as Christie sometimes used to do with Poirot/Marple. An entertaining read for folks who love Poirot! My Rating - 4/5

  30. 5 out of 5

    Renita D'Silva

    Loved this. Brilliantly plotted and executed.

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