The Monogram Murders
(A new Hercule Poirot novel)
Recently I received a book for my birthday. This book contained four novels by four authors. One of these novels one had the words Agatha Christie emblazoned on it, although it was written by Sophie Hannah.
Having read Agatha Christie books some forty years ago I decided to take the plunge with the new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders.
I do not remember whether I liked or disliked Agatha Christie books. May be my subconscious has blacked out all memories of these books, if they were anything like The Monogram Murders.
Harriet Sippel, Ida Gransbury and Richard Negus were the first three victims. Not a spoiler as they were never really in the story…just dead. However, it was not until nearly half way through the books that they were referred to as victims or Harriet, Ida and Richard. Prior to this point their full names were written Harriet Sippel, Ida Gransbury and Richard Negus, each time a reference was made to the murder victims.
My second grumble, and this is probably applicable to all Hercule Poirot books, is that a large portion of the of the book was devoted to Poirot explaining how he arrived at his conclusion, which had to be correct, by such things as where the word ’now’ was inserted in a conversational sentence.
My third grumble is that this novel is written, or told, as a first person account of the murders through the eyes of Edward Catchpool, a Scotland Yard detective, who was continually feeling embarrassed or made look incompetent by Poirot.
If this is Sophie Hannah’s writing style then I will avoid reading any of her other best sellers. If she has changed her style to suit Agatha Christie’s format then I think she should revert to her own style, whatever that may be. I should also state that, with few exceptions, I am generally not a fan of any book set or written about this time in history.
I have often stated that I read for enjoyment. This was not enjoyable. I did not like the style in which it was written, nor the plot or long-winded explanation at the end.
While I acknowledge my writing abilities are not good enough to write this, or any other, book as a consumer I am allowed to express an opinion about books I read.
It is not the worst novel I have read or listened to. At least I completed The Monogram Murders and for this reason I will give it a two star rating along with 16% of other Goodreads reviewers.
Goodreads readers have rated
The Monogram Murders
an average of 3.21 stars from 9,152 ratings and 1,828 reviews