When a rich, eccentric authoress Lady Athelinda Playford, names her dying secretary Joseph Scotcher as the new heir, pandemonium erupts. The same night, Scotcher is bludgeoned to death and who should be invited to solve the murder but the inimitable Hercule Poirot? In Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie’s beloved sleuth is assisted by Scotland Yard detective Edward Catchpool to single out the murderer from a pool of suspects, each of whom has motive and is equally suspicious.
What I liked:
- It’s no mean feat to step into Christie’s shoes a second time, but Hannah does it with ease, as far as the plot goes. The characters are fleshed out with painstaking detail and she does a tremendous job of evoking the reader’s reaction towards each of them — whether it’s disgust for the Athie’s daughter Claudia, disdain for the son, Harry or pity for poor old Scotcher.
- Despite the graveness of it all, Poirot’s humour, peppered here and there, keeps one entertained.
What I didn’t like:
- In spite of piquing the reader’s curiosity to find out the murderer, the motive of the culprit leaves one feeling a bit ho-hum, even though the act itself is quite brilliant.
Is it face-paced? Yes. Intriguing? Definitely. Does it leave you sated? Not really. If you’re reading this for Poirot, it’ll most probably leave you wanting for a little more of the delightful, self-deprecating, trademark Poirot wit. Still, the acclaim Hannah’s received for this book is much-deserved.
Title: Closed Casket: A New Hercule Poirot Mystery
Author: Sophie Hannah
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: INR 200.00