🎧 The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah @sophiehannahCB1 #JulianRhind-Tutt @HarperAudio #LoveAudiobooks @sophiarose1816

Posted May 22, 2024 by Sophia in Book Review / 16 Comments

🎧 The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah @sophiehannahCB1 #JulianRhind-Tutt @HarperAudio #LoveAudiobooks  @sophiarose1816The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah
Narrator: Julian Rhind-Tutt
Series: New Hercules Poirot Mysteries #3
Published by HarperAudio on August 28, 2018
Genres: Historical Mystery
Length: 9 hours, 58 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused, and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage.

Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him -- a man called John McCrodden who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy...

Arriving at the third installment in the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries series, I’ve settled in for a comfy listen and a visit with Sophie Hannah’s Hercule Poirot and her engaging original detective creation, Scotland Yard detective, Edward Catchpool.  A blend of historical, cozy mystery, and a nod to Agatha Christie’s detective creation, the light humor and clever twists blend for a delightful listening experience.

Mystery of the Three Quarters is the third standalone mystery in the series.  The story opens with an outraged Poirot confronted by four diverse people who received letters purportedly from him where he accuses them of murder.  Two are angry, one thinks he’s in error, and the fourth is dripping misery and took him at his word he had not sent any letters nor heard of the people or the man they were accused of murdering.

I just love how Sophie Hannah whacks the reader-listener upside the head with the oddest mysteries.  In this case, Poirot must not only figure out if a murder happened, but why those letters were written and sent to those people in the first place.  He learns the man mentioned was an old man who did indeed die, but not under mysterious circumstances.  Nothing much seems to be connected.  At first.  But Poirot and Catchpool interview the interested parties, learn of others who might know something, track down evidence, and eventually arrive at a surprise ending.

Mystery of the Three Quarters was nice and I was happy to listen as I went about other activities.  The characters were quirky enough, but the case didn’t have a feel of urgency so once introductory matters were over, I felt the gentle pace across the middle and Poirot and Catchpool pieced together the picture.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was bored, but I wasn’t captivated, either.  Until the end.  Now, there were some good surprise reveals and a fascinating ending.

I love the interaction between Poirot and Catchpool.  Catchpool is the one narrating and his opinions and observations about Poirot are funny at times.  Poor Catchpool gets reamed out by his boss when Poirot upsets the man’s friend and Poirot gives him the thankless assignments on the case.  But, Catchpool is game and respects Poirot’s skill even if half the time he has no idea what Poirot is thinking or why he does what he does.

All in all, a moderately good historical cozy with a good amount of suspects, motives, and a surprise finish that I can recommend to others who want more Poirot or a lighter historical mystery.

Narration:

Julian Rhind-Tutt has been an adjustment for me over the course of the series, but finally, I’ve arrived at the point where I had no quibbles and was well-satisfied with his narration work.  In fact, his narration work carried the story over the slower sections.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Listen to the clip: HERE

 

About Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling writer of crime fiction, published in forty-nine languages and fifty-one territories. Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide. In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries. She has since published three more Poirot novels: Closed CasketThe Mystery of Three Quarters and The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, all of which were instant Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. Her next Poirot novel will be published in October 2023.

Sophie’s murder mystery musical, The Mystery of Mr E – co-written with her friend and composer Annette Armitage – is currently being filmed and will be released as a movie in 2023. The film is directed by Martyn Tott and produced/made by Landrigan Entertainment Ltd. In 2013, Sophie’s novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. She has also published two short story collections and five collections of poetry – the fifth of which, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A Level and degree level across the UK. She has published a self-help book called How to Hold a Grudge: From Resentment to Contentment – The Power of Grudges to Transform Your Life.

Sophie has recently helped to create a Master’s Degree in Crime and Thriller Writing at the University of Cambridge, for which she is the main teacher and Course Director. She is also the founder of the DREAM AUTHOR coaching programme for writers. She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.

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Posted May 22, 2024 by Sophia in Book Review / 16 Comments


16 responses to “🎧 The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

    • You have a treat in store for you, Robin. 🙂 Some are better than others. I think her best writing was done earlier to mid-career for her.

  1. I haven’t read any Poirot books – only seen a few in movie format. I do enjoy a quirky mystery that makes me think, but I don’t love odd evidence/clues that are red herrings or just tossed in for fun.

    • You could enjoy these as separate from Christie’s Poirot books because they don’t connect to Poirot’s earlier history at all. Yeah, some of the oddest things do at least make sense once all the facts are on the table at the end.

  2. I think this was one of my very favorite Hannah/Poirot books. I think I’ve missed one or two books in this series and need to catch up.

    • There is a slight adjustment, but not much. The biggest change is, of course, the writing style and the style of the mysteries. Both take some getting used to, but I’ve ended up enjoying this series.

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