Hercule Poirot is traveling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned the renowned detective to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. Poirot will have only days to investigate before Helen is hanged, but there is one strange condition attached: he must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.
The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached . . .
Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?
I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie so was both excited yet apprehensive about reading one of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries. Excited because I love Hercule Poirot and was so happy to read more stories featuring him. I had previously read one book by Sophie Hannah and gave it 5 stars so I knew they were a brilliant author. I was a little apprehensive because it’s an existing series written 100 years after the series began. I was worried about a modern author conveying the atmosphere of the original Agatha Christie novels. I really enjoyed this book and I gave it 4 stars.
I was hooked from the first chapter. The book featured a coach trip and travel is something that has featured so many times in Agatha Christie books that it felt authentic. The rest of the book took place in a grand home in an affluent housing estate, grand homes are such a setting for my favourite Agatha Christie books. The estate setting sort of made the book feel a little more modern.
I thought that Hannah captured the character of Poirot just perfectly. I absolutely love Poirot and I feel like the Poirot in this book was the Poirot that I knew and loved. Poirot has a new sidekick who was a little bit timid for a police detective but other than that he was alright. I was a little sad not to have any of the existing Poirot sidekicks but I’m happy that Poirot was captured so well. The rest of the characters were pretty terrible, for various reasons, they just were not likeable at all. This felt a little out of sorts for a Poirot as usually there are some likeable or sympathetic suspects. This book was different though as I would have been ok with any of them being found to be guilty.
I really enjoyed the plot of this book. It was a classic whodunnit which was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t guess the ending or see any of the twists coming. It did feel different to an Agatha Christie book but it felt like a very excellent homage. This was the fourth of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries but I’ve found out that my library has the first three books in this series so I fully intend on reading those too!