Title: Closed Casket
Author: Sophie Hannah
Publication Date: 6th September 2016
About the book:
“Hercule Poirot returns in another brilliant murder mystery that can be solved only by the eponymous Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’.
‘What I intend to say to you will come as a shock….’
Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will – one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live….
Among Lady Playford’s guests are two men she has never met – the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited…until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke in the presence of a possible killer?
When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot’s best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?”
What I Thought:
Having finished listening to Ian Rankin’s Rather Be The Devil on the 3rd I tweeted that I was about to start Closed Casket, to get a reply from him stating his wife was currently reading it – I considered myself to be in good company.
Firstly to be completely open and honest I love a good crime/mystery book I have done ever since I was a little girl reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories. So I knew this would very much be within my usual reading comfort zone.
Secondly, and I know there’s some debate about this, I have no problem with current authors creating new stories using well-known characters. I’ve read the first Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah, as well as both Sherlock books by Anthony Horowitz, and enjoyed them. If the original author’s estate is happy to authorise a new tale then I’m happy to give it a go.
Closed Casket is a good length, the hardback version I have ran to 371 pages but was a relatively large print, I managed to finish it in a couple of days, although I was still on holiday for one of them.
I found the characters enjoyable – Hercule Poirot is obviously present, and Edward Catchpole, the Scotland Yard inspector from The Monogram Murders returns. They are joined at Lillieoak by the mansion’s owner Lady Playford, her family, staff and lawyers. Claudia, Lady Playford’s daughter, is delightfully abrasive, as is her significant other.
I found the plot as a whole enjoyable, it was an interesting premise, and I felt there were enough clues to begin to speculate on the murderer and the motive without the answer being too obvious too soon.
Would I recommend it:
Yes, I think it’s a great easy read, perfect for a few evenings curled up on the sofa this January.
Other books available in the series via Goodreads
If you’ve read it let me know what you think below