Cover Image: The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

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Member Reviews

As usual in my reviews I will not spoil things by rehashing the plot (there are plenty of other reviews like that out there already!); instead I recommend that you read the book for yourselves!

This is the second of Sophie Hannah's "New Hercule Poirot Mysteries" series that I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author has woven many aspects of Poirot's character into a new series, with original cleverly crafted plots whilst still retaining the flavour of Agatha Christie's world.

This was an intriguing plot with some interesting new characters. I didn't guess the twist until right near the end. Definitely an enjoyable read!

I'm already looking forward to the next in the series.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC. All opinions my own.
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Although this is a well written book I struggled to get into it.  I can understand that to write a Poirot sequel is not an easy task.  But I found this book hard going, almost trying too hard.  The plot was convoluted and confusing and as a result it didn't hold my attention.
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Taking on the task of writing a Hercule Poirot book is an immense challenge. Not only are you bring back to life a beloved fictional character. But you are also aiming to write in the Queen of Crime Fiction's style, and I am not sure Sophie Hannah got the style right. 

Richard Devonport approaches Poirot to help prove his fiancée's innocence, as she has confessed to killing Devenport's brother, and she is currently in jail. Poirot and Inspector Catchpool embark on a coach journey to Kingfisher Hill Estate to investigate. (Catchpool is a new sidekick for Poirot, created by Hannah). The story has a few plot twists and a ton of red herrings to keep the reader guessing. But ultimately does live up to Christie's writing style.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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First things first, I am a huge fan of crime and detective fiction and have read many of the original Poirot stories by Agatha Christie. When I heard that Ms Hannah was writing the first in a new series of adventures starting the Belgian detective with his 'little grey cells' I was intrigued. I read the first book The Monogram Murders a few years ago and really enjoyed it. If I am brutally honest though it did take a little while for the story to really grip me and I was missing Miss Lemon, Japp, and of course Hastings. But nevertheless, it was good to see Poirot back and it was an interesting read. Since then I have read some of the other stories and this The Killings at Kingfisher Hill is the latest. It is a great whodunit, as Poirot reasons his way to catching the culprit of the murder ably assisted by Catchpole the Scotland Yard detective. I was not sure I would warm to a new character like him, especially one who is paired closely with Poirot but it works well enough. However I feel the relationship lacks the warmth that Poirot had with Hastings or even Japp.  However Ms Hannah captures Poirot's spirit well and the story is well paced and is full of interesting characters. In typical Agatha Christie fashion there are the threads of evidence intermingled with the occasional red herrings. A great read.
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Thanks to #NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a fair review. 

Sophie Hannah writes in the style of Agatha Christie, with our old friend Hercule Poirot exercising his little grey cells. An array of unlikeable characters, a house in the country and a murder to solve are all standard fare. Except someone has already been convicted of the murder, and instead Poirot must establish whether they are actually the guilty party before they are hanged. 

Once the many mysteries are solved I found myself a little disappointed. 
For me there was too weak a motive, I found the mysteries too convoluted and unconvincing. However, who could ever hope to compare with Agatha Christie! Sophie Hannah does a solid job of resurrecting Poirot & Catchpool.
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Thank you to HarperCollins UK for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

This was another engaging Poirot continuation that had a number of twist and turns that I just wasn’t expecting! I’m loving that we still get more Hercule content!

Poirot has been summoned to the luxury Kingfisher Hill estate by Richard Devonport to prove his fiancé is innocent of the murder of his brother. However, no one else must know Poirot's true reason for being at Little Key.

His luxury train is forced to stop when a woman says she has to get off and that if she stays in her sear she will be murdered. No one, however, is harmed for the rest of the journey but Poirot's curiosity is aroused and confirmed when a body appears with a note attached.

Can Poirot solve both of these murders as well as the mystery upon the railway line?

I feel that Sophie Hannah has once again captured Poirot so, so brilliantly and I am very grateful that Agatha Christie's world gets to live on still and expand.
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An enjoyable addition to Sophie Hannah’s Poirot continuations.   Catchpole is an interesting narrator and I enjoyed his occasional friction with Poirot.  I also liked the insight into the world of board game development, which I don’t think I have come across in fiction before.
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A real joy for Poirot fans. An investigative journey looking into the lives of two families joined by murder and as ever secrets and hidden clues. There is a plethora of unpleasant characters, too many confessions and alibis but, as ever, Poirot, assisted by the lovely Hastings, puts the jigsaw together and lays it out between us,
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Sophie Hannah's latest outing for Agatha Christie's famous Belgian sleuth is her best yet. The inhabitants of the titular Kingfisher Hill are the usual mix of well-to-do sorts, their ne'er-do-well offspring and assorted servants and hangers-on, each with a suitable motive for murder. And Poirot has to strain his little grey cells to the limit to unveil the guilty party.

A thoroughly entertaining whodunit!
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A man has been murdered, his fiancée has confessed but his brother doesn’t believe she is telling the truth. So he invites Poirot and Inspector Catchpool to solve the murder and find the real culprit.

Told from the point of view of Catchpool this is a modern novel based on Agatha Christie’s renowned Belgian detective. It’s a diverting enough story, which many questions left unanswered until the final gathering of suspects. Plenty of red herrings and misdirection are thrown in. As a fan of Christie it’s nice to revisit the world of of her famous character but there is something slightly lacking, I can’t quite explain what. As a mystery novel it works well enough and I would read more of these Poirot stories.
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Having read and enjoyed previous books by Sophie Hannah and loving Agatha Christie, I was really looking forward to reading this book.  I was then disappointed to find the pace slow, the characters unlikeable and the storyline dull.   I stuck with it but did not find it an enjoyable read.
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Ah, I wanted to like this more but I teetered between a 2 and a 3 star.  I've gone for 3 in the end since there were bits that were good, and I didn't ever throw the book in frustration!

Unfortunately, I just didn't really believe in Poirot.  The story is narrated by Inspector Catchpool (who is a blithering idiot, if ever there was one) and so I found myself frustrated by having to understand everything from Catchpool's point of view.  He gets so confused that I spent most of the book feeling confused and as if I stood no chance whatsoever of figuring anything out!  And that left me feeling like I was reading Sherlock Holmes, who always makes me feel like an idiot.

Anyway, Poirot.  Yes, he talks like Poirot, and yes sometimes he seems like Poirot, but I did have a few issues...firstly, Poirot goes on a coach?  (A bus).  Hmmm.  I'm really not sure about that.
Secondly, there's a whole scene where Catchpool is swimming in an open air pool whilst Poirot walks up and down the poolside, and it just didn't feel right.  Poirot keeps him waiting in the water over all the too-ing and fro-ing of who found out what and what's going on, and poor Catchpool is freezing, and I didn't really believe it was Poirot.
Finally, because it's Catchpool narrating, the Poirot bits end up feeling weirdly shoe-horned we hear that Poirot has so beautifully described what he'd uncovered in Catchpool's absence, that Catchpool can then write about it.  Hmmm again.

It's very elaborately plotted, though there's a bit of a 'wait, what?' feeling at the end.  So, I certainly had no idea what was going on, and felt my head spinning as much as poor Catchpool's.

Lots of people really love these stories, so don't let a grumpy librarian put you off!  It's just that I was really in the mood for a really good Poirot, and so I felt disappointed.  The elderly lady who appears to tell Poirot a thing or two towards the end (and who gives him hard stares if he dares to interrupt her) was what pushed it to 3 stars for me in the end!  She was great.
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I am a huge Agatha Christie fan, Hercule Poirot is one of my all time favourite characters so with this in mind I was a bit unsure of how I would feel about Sophie Hannah’s interpretation of him but I found she did him justice, it felt just like him as he and his new sidekick Catchpool got their little grey cells going in this classic Murder mystery. My only negative would be the ending, I found the reasons for the murders to be very weak however I enjoyed this and would definitely read Ms Hannah’s other Poirot books. 
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the proof copy of this book.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and Sophie Hannah for the eARC, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

I’ve been a huge fan of Agatha Christie’s work for as long as I can remember - Hercule Poirot being one of my favourite characters. Needless to say, I was thrilled at the opportunity to read and review, The Killings At Kingfisher Hill.

This is the first Poirot novel I’ve read with Sophie Hannah at the helm, so I was intrigued (and admittedly a little apprehensive) to see how the author would interpret the famous Belgian detective. 

Would he be altered beyond recognition? Would he have the same quirky characteristics?

Mes amis! I’m delighted to say, Hannah has remained faithful to Christie’s portrayal of Poirot - keeping his unique, trademark traits, fully intact. 

The story is narrated from the perspective of Police Inspector Catchpool, of Scotland Yard. Initially, I missed the voice and wit of Hastings (Poirot’s regular sidekick), but as the story progressed, I warmed to Catchpool and the real sense of camaraderie between the two men.

From the first page of this good, old-fashioned murder mystery, my little grey cells were put through their paces and exercised right to the very end. Featuring multiple red herrings and more twists and turns than a sommelier’s corkscrew; I tried, but ultimately failed to guess the identity of the killer.

In the big reveal, all the pieces of the puzzle dovetail neatly together. For me, the motive for the killings felt a little weak, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story in any way. 

Overall, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, is a fabulous, entertaining read, that works perfectly as a standalone. If you’re partial to a good, old-fashioned murder mystery, and fancy a brief escape to a bygone era, then voilà, this is the book for you - just don’t forget to pack your little grey cells! 

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Can an author, other than Agatha Christie, catch the essence of Poirot in their writing? Yes, they most definitely can. Sophie Hannah has Poirot down to a T in ‘The Killings at Kingfisher Hill’. 
When Poirot is called in to investigate a death that the police and authorities have closed the case on, he enters into the lives of a very disfunctional family. With the help of Inspector Catchpool, he has to work out who to believe. And that is not easy. Are any of them to be trusted? Some of the group are the most awful individuals, and anyone with any sense would run a mile in the other direction. Not Poirot. 

Catchpool is the narrator of the story and this works well. He gets given tasks by Poirot, and in these the reader finds out what the important questions are. It works perfectly. It is a proper Poirot with red herrings, twists and turns and a solution I did not see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that Ms Hannah continues to keep my favourite Belgian detective alive for many more years. 

I was given this ARC to review.
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This Hercule Poirot mystery starts with a coach journey to the Kingfisher Hill estate where he has  been summoned by Richard Devonport to solve the murder of his brother. Richard’s fiancé has been arrested for the murder and has only days to live. He takes his friend Inspector Catchpool on the journey but they have two more mysteries involving women on route which muddy the waters.
There will be many twists and confessions before Poirot does his usual reveal.
I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading The Killings at Kingfisher Hill is just like snuggling up with a glass of wine and watching a Poirot mystery on TV. The story has all the hallmarks of classic Poirot and the narrative, led by Inspector Catchpool, is completely in tune with originals. It's a real delight to read and you feel like you're right there in the book, interrogating the suspects along with the erstwhile detective.

My only complaint is that it's taken me so long to discover Sophie Hannah!
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Sophie Hannah is right on the mark with Poirot - you'd never know this wasn't a classic Christie.

This time Poirot and his sidekick Inspector Catchpool (how do these people get into the police?!) find themselves caught up in strange goings on as they approach Kingfisher Hill by bus. Summoned to solve a murder, where someone has already confessed, Poirot's little grey cells are of course ticking away immediately.

Great fun read.
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Having only read a handful of Poirot books, I can’t claim to be an authority on Agatha Christie. My mum, on the other hand, probably could. She’s been reading Christie most of her life. She’s read them all, several times over. She’s even been on a pilgrimage to Christie’s house at Greenway. So, my childhood Sunday evenings revolved around Suchet as Poirot and Hickson as Miss Marple and these characters are very close to my heart. 

When I heard that Sophie Hannah had picked up the Poirot baton, I couldn’t wait to tell my mum. To my surprise, she declared it to be sacrilege. So, until now I’ve shied away from the series too. 

When I was offered the chance to read the new novel #TheKillingsatKingfisherHill, I couldn’t resist any longer. Look at that gorgeous cover for a start! 😍

I’m so glad I took the plunge! Hannah’s characterisation of Poirot is spot on! She seamlessly works all of his idiosyncrasies into the narrative to create a throughly believable portrayal. I could clearly picture Suchet delivering every one of his lines. I also loved the narration by Inspector Catchpool, the diligent officer assigned to the case, who is resigned to the fact that Poirot is really the one in charge! 

Our duo are called to the grand home of the Devonport family, typical 1930s upper class characters that are the hallmark of Christie’s mysteries. A murder has been committed, a woman has confessed, but is she really the guilty party? Add a terrified young woman who is convinced she’ll be murdered and we have the ideal set up for a classic murder mystery. 

The story was intriguing and well plotted. In perfect whodunnit style, there were several puzzles to solve, a variety of motives at play and nice array of red herrings to keep me guessing. The mystery itself kept my little grey cells working right until the very end. 

When the suspects are finally gathered and the murderer revealed, I would have liked a slightly stronger motive but the ending was well resolved, with all the loose ends tied neatly in knots, in true Christie fashion. 

This is the 4th book in Hannah’s Poirot series but can easily be read as a standalone.  I’m now working my way through the earlier books, and what’s more, so is my mum! If it gets her seal of approval, it must be worth a read. 

A must read for fans of Christie or cosy crime.
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Anything written by Sophie Hannah is worth reading – she has produced poetry that even features on the GCSE syllabus, short stories, and a variety of thrillers. In this novel, she carries on the Agatha Christie tradition of summoning flamboyant detective Hercule Poirot to the scene of a murder peopled with a big cast of diverse characters, who all have something to hide. The setting of this reimagined Poirot mystery is the fictional Kingfisher Hall estate in Surrey, and the year is 1922. Hercule Poirot travels here by coach, accompanied by a new colleague, Scotland Yard DI Edward Catchpool, and even the journey is eventful, with two women’s bizarre behaviour occupying Poirot’s thoughts. Might they be linked to the dysfunctional family who inhabit Kingfisher Hall? And will Catchpool, wo recounts the story, be able to follow Poirot’s line of enquiry?
Whilst I felt this novel (the fourth of Hannah’s Poirot mysteries) relied a little too much on dialogue at times (a little more description of the surroundings and atmosphere would have been helpful), overall it was  good read that will no doubt be enjoyed by the legions of Poirot fans who have read their way through Agatha Christie’s legacy. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the free ARC I was sent to be able to produce this honest and unbiased review.
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