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The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

I was an avid reader of Agatha Christie novels many years ago, so it was great fun to pick up this novel by Sophie Hannah, who is continuing Agatha Christie’s legacy. The Killings at Kingfisher Hill feature well-known detective Hercule Poirot on his latest case.

Travelling on a luxury coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, Hercule Poirot has decided to take on the case where Richard Devonport wants him to prove that his fiancée is innocent of murdering his brother, Frank. Hercule Poirot is joined by Inspector Catchpool, who narrates the story. Their investigation is made more difficult as they have been asked not to reveal their real reason for being at the estate. Instead, they are pretending they are interested in a board game that two of the suspects have invented.

But then on their journey to the estate, a distressed woman on the coach causes a scene, and she demands to be let off – she insists that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Hercule Poirot is naturally curious about this, and their journey becomes even more curious when another woman, Daisy, confesses to Hercule Poirot that she has committed a murder. But is she just showing off and lying, or is there any truth in her statements? It’s hard to know who is the most surprised when Daisy is revealed to be the sister of the murdered Frank.

As Hercule Poirot investigates Frank’s murder, it’s not long before he is called on to investigate a second murder at the Kingfisher Estate. Does this second murder link to the murder of Frank? And what of the curious incident of the woman who thought she would be murdered on the coach?

This is classic Agatha Christie, albeit now written brilliantly by Sophie Hannah. At the Kingfisher Hill estate, there are a number of suspects who could have committed both murders – the parents of Frank, their children and partners, as well as visiting friends. It’s a true whodunnit, an intellectual challenge for working out who is telling the truth and who is lying, and establishing the means and the motives. As you would imagine, there are plenty of red herrings and twists and turns, but of course, Hercule Poirot solves the case in the end. But you will need to read the book to discover the real culprits in this story!

Reviewer: Karen McMillan



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