Cover Image: The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

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I enjoyed this take on Poirot. It was slightly different from Christie's take, but obviously Hannah is a master in her own right and is giving us her take on the well known mysteries. Some characters weren't explored in much detail but I loved Daisy Devonport. I love too how Hannah  randomly let snippets of clues drop here and there as the plot progressed. I enjoyed this read. It was light and entertaining and kept me guessing until the end.
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Red herrings, twists and turns, lots of lies, confusing motivations and a long list of characters make ‘The Killings at Kingfisher Hill’ by crime writer Sophie Hannah the type of book you need to read when fully alert. Fourth in Hannah’s series of continuation Hercule Poirot mysteries, I finished it with mixed feelings. 
Direct comparisons of Hannah and Christie seem unfair as these are continuation novels. Christie was a highly accomplished author who balanced likeable characters with dense but ultimately solveable crimes, while at the same time making the novels appealingly comfortable to read. If ‘The Killings at Kingfisher Hill’ were a standalone novel featuring an unknown detective, it would be free of these comparisons. I enjoyed ‘The Mystery of Three Quarters’, third of Hannah’s Poirot novels, and will continue to read this series. It has also given me renewed impetus to re-read the Christie originals. 
The complications start at the beginning. Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool are about to board a char-a-banc for Surrey and the exclusive Kingfisher Hill development, when they encounter not one but two women passengers behave strangely. One fears she is about to be murdered on the bus if she sits in a specific seat. The second woman confesses she has killed someone. Christie’s novels always have options – for victim, and murderer – but the options here did seem rather full-on with numerous characters introduced or mentioned in quick succession with none fully-formed in my mind. At one point I felt as Inspector Catchpool does, ‘My mind blurred, then went blank.’ So many possibilities in quick succession made me long for Christie’s more leisurely pace. True to character, Poirot is totally in charge of his investigation. He tells Catchpool, ‘Once one has a point of focus, all of the other details start to arrange themselves around it.’
Throughout I felt two steps away from the action because the murder has happened before the book begins. We are told the story of Poirot’s investigation by Catchpool and hear much of the necessary information as told to Poirot by third parties. Hearsay. I longed to be in the moment as it actually happened, or at the very least immediately afterwards – I think here of Poirot in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, ‘Evil Under the Sun’ and ‘Death on the Nile’.
‘The Killings at Kingfisher Hill’ wasn’t quite what I expected.
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This is the fourth installment in the much celebrated "New Hercule Poirot Mysteries", written by Sophie Hannah, an English author known for her psychological thrillers and poetry collections which have been shortlisted for some of the most prestigious awards in the literary world. Hannah is Agatha Christie's successor in Hercule Poirot's legacy, one of the most iconic characters in crime fiction and perhaps the most popular fictitious character in the genre. Readers throughout the world have been raised with the stories created by Christie, the most emblematic representative of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, an "era of classic murder mystery novels of similar patterns and styles, predominantly in the 1920s and 1930s". It is a bold endeavor that few authors would accept to take on, but the final outcome vindicates the choice made by the Christie estate and proves that there are contemporary crime writers who can cope with similar challenges. I've enjoyed all the three previous books in the series, though I firmly believe that The Killings at Kingfisher Hill is the best and most well-rounded novel of the four as it features a complex, puzzling plot that makes the reader keep guessing until the final pages, and Poirot has to put his little grey cells into action in order to solve a manifold of mysteries connected to a wealthy family, the Devonports, residing at the posh Kingfisher Hill estate. The story is narrated by Poirot's sidekick, Scotland Yard's Inspector Edward Catchpool, Sophie Hannah's substitute for Colonel Arthur Hastings.

The book begins with Poirot and Catchpool ready to embark on a bus that will drive them to Kingfisher Hill estate for reasons unknown to the reader. As they are waiting in the freezing wind to get on the Kingfisher Hill coach, Catchpoll spots an obviously upset lady, Joan Blythe, who seems to be on edge and has a strong reaction when the Inspector approaches her and asks if everything is in order. When the woman boards the bus, she exclaims that she shouldn't be sitting in a particular seat as an unknown man warned her that if she were to sit there, she would be murdered. When she shares her dreadful experience with Poirot, the Belgian renowned detective offers himself to sit in the aforementioned seat in order to calm her down. The woman sitting next to Poirot is a young, stunningly beautiful woman who tells him a bizarre story in which she confesses that she has committed a murder of a person that she loved for reasons that she is not willing to disclose. Poirot is stricken by the woman's confession and he doesn't know how to react as he is not even sure that she is telling the truth. After a stop in Cobham, the woman vanishes and Poirot is convinced that her disappearance is proof of her guilt.

The reason for which Poirot is travelling to Kingfisher Hill is none other than a letter which he received, written by Richard Devonport, son of Sidney and Lillian Devonport, where the young man tells Poirot that his brother, Frank, has been murdered and that his fiance, Helen Acton, is accused of the crime. Richard is adamant that Helen is innocent and wants Poirot to investigate Frank's killing in order to prove that Helen had nothing to do with this murder. Unfortunately, Helen has confessed to the crime and that makes Poirot's job even harder. Furthermore, Poirot and Catchpool will have to enter the Devonport's residence under false pretenses as Richard has warned them that they shouldn't reveal to his parents the true reasons behind their visit. Thus, they pretend that they are ardent fans of a board game called Peepers, created by Sidney Devonport. Nevertheless, a few hours after they set foot in the Devonport's household, our two protagonists will meet again the lady from the bus who has confessed a murder. Is she the person responsible for Frank's death or is there something more sinister taking place at Kingfisher Hill?

It may seem that I've disclosed a great deal of the novel's plot, but I assure you that this is only the beginning of a delightful cozy murder mystery that will keep you on your toes from the beginning until the end. I liked the way in which the characters are presented and each one of them is outlined in great detail by the author who knows how to build the suspense through the gradual revelation of crucial plot points. I have to admit that I wasn't able to guess the perpetrator's identity and this is a success for Sophie Hannah who muddles the waters and hints to the guilt of several characters before the final explanation by Poirot. The Killings at Kingfisher Hill is a dialogue-based crime novel, reminiscent of the best Agatha Christie's works that mainly unraveled through the interrogations made by Poirot and his ingenious remarks on the suspects' stories and shaky alibis. I dare to say that this is one of the best Poirot novels that I've ever read, along with some of the classics such as The Mysterious Affairs at Styles, Evil Under the Sun, and Murder on the Orient Express. I hope that the fifth installment in this great new series will exceed the already high expectations created by Sophie Hannah's take on the notorious Belgian detective.
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I received a free ARC of this from NetGalley and the publishers, in return for an unbiased review. This is the first of the “new Poirot”s that I’ve read, and I was curious how they’d stand up to the originals. Happily they stand up *very* well - the tone, the characterisation, the plots, are all very true to Christie and the originals, and that’s no mean feat to achieve. Well done!
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*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hadn’t read an Agatha Christie novel for a few years before picking this one up and I ended up flying through it! Sophie Hannah has perfectly captured the writing style and essence of Christie’s infamous Hercule Poirot, and the plot of this novel was intricate and intriguing.

I found that the book took a while to start and lulled slightly in the middle, but overall the pacing kept me hooked and the ending was satisfying. I predicted incorrectly throughout the book and the author really kept me guessing until the end.

Overall, this was such an enjoyable read and made me realise how few mysteries I actually read. I would highly recommend this if you want a cosy mystery that will keep you on your toes.

4 out of 5 stars!
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Another fabulous tale from Sophie Hannah with Poirot and Catchpool. 

The plot was well written and followed the Christie pattern for her mysteries
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I love all of the original Poirot stories by Agatha Christie and I truly do believe that this book felt very similar in style and tone. The mystery itself was also one that I thoroughly enjoyed. 
The Killings at Kingfisher Hill was the first of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries that I have read, and although I went in a little dubious, I was pleasantly surprised. 

The voice given to Poirot by Sophie Hannah is her own, but you can feel the essence of the beloved Belgian Detective in every word and gesture. 
The only small downside for me was the narrator, Catchpool, as I found him a very confusing mind to keep up with. I kept having to go back pages to make sure that I had read the previous paragraphs correctly as he changed his inner narrative more than once. Which I understand as he’s an unreliable narrator, but for me, it got a little tiresome. 

Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the ARC copy they provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Poirot is on his way to investigate the death of Frank Devonport at the behest of Richard Devonport. He is travelling with his companion and police detective, who is a really good sidekick by the way. Their attention is drawn by the antics of a young woman who seems particularly distressed and also convinced that someone is intent on killing her.

Her behaviour and insistence on swapping seats sets a series of events in motion that garners Poirot's attention and gets the little grey cells bouncing, however he isn't quite prepared for the surprises awaiting him at the esteemed Kingfisher Hill residence. A mystery on the way to solve a mystery - only Poirot can find himself in such a complex situation.

I have to say the more Hannah writes Poirot the more her voice sounds like Christie. Listening to the audiobook actually gives the listener or reader a better feel for said voice, because the narrator has the characters down to a fine art, especially Poirot. Julian Rhind-Tutt is an excellent choice.

I look forward to reading the next in the series and can only hope that eventually someone will revive the series in film or tv format featuring the stories of Christie's famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot with Hannah at the helm of the ship. I miss Suchet and this gives me Suchet-Poirot vibes.
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Another fabulous tale from Sophie Hannah with Poirot and Catchpool. 

The plot was well written and followed the Christie pattern for her mysteries - I love the mystery, the setting, and the dislikeable characters as this adds to the Christie-esqueness of the story. Hannah is amazing in her own right though! Looking forward to the next installment.
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A delightful Hercule Poirot whodunnit by Sophie Hannah which in keeping with the Agatha Christie versions I didn't guess the murderer! A brilliant cast of characters with a rapidly developing plot. A very entertaining read.
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After reading the absolute train wreck that was the Monogram Murders, I just can't in good conscience give a fair review on this one. Better just to stick with good old Agatha!
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I love Agatha Christie books and also Sophie Hannah books and this was not a let down. I am glad that Poiroit and Catchpool managed to solve it in the end. If you are a fan then I recommend this book
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I love a murder mystery.  When Harper Collins sent me a free copy of The Killings At Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah in exchange for a review it was like music to my ears.  Before picking up this novel, I had no idea that thriller writer Hannah had reprised the iconic Agatha Christie character, Belgian hero Hercule Poirot.  Four books in, however, it seems Hannah is still extremely comfortable in her role.  

Without giving any part of the plot away, The Killings At Kingfisher Hill is, on the first thumb, slightly complex and clunky to first engage with.  While its writing style is engaging, the main story itself is difficult to establish due to the many sub-plots and characters.  Despite this, however, Hannah manages to create a middle-class mystery worthy of its place in the Agatha Christie estate.  A labyrinth of possibilities, I found this novel worth the uphill struggle it first presents.
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Just didn't feel like Poirot to me and certainly didn't feel like Miss Christie at all. However I found that satisfying in a way because it reinforced my innate prejudice towards these posthumous revivals. I daresay a lot of folk will read it . But to me it feels a bit cheap and nasty.
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I'm a bit torn about this one. I always enjoy Hercule Poirot, and I do think Sophie Hannah has captured his distinct manner and way of investigating. I think for this installment of the new Poirot stories it was the mystery itself that just fell a bit... flat. Things that were being hyped as being mysterious and impossible in the end had very basic and mundane explanations, and I felt that we ended up in almost exactly the same place at the end of the book as we were at the start. I am still interested in picking up new Poirot's, as I did enjoy Hannah's previous stories featuring the detective.
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Really great read and brings the life of Poriot to life once again! great work from Sophie, and kept me guessing all the way until the end. So glad that she is bringing back this classic character to books again.
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A new Poirot mystery. Poirot and inspector Catchpool embark on a journey to the Kingfisher estate to solve a murder no one really knows about or wants to talk about. They face lies, hatred and peculiar happenings along their investigation but in the end they do catch the right killer.

I’m a huge fan of Agatha Christie and of Hercule Poirot so I was super excited to read this book and it did not disappoint. From start to finish this book kept me guessing and wondering and I in the end I was truly surprised. 

The characters are very Christie like I think, and I quite like them. I also like that the book is told in the perspective of Catchpool. The story plot is interesting and like I said it kept me guessing until the end and still surprised me. I was so sure I knew the killer, but I was wrong. 

All in all, this is a great mystery and I cannot wait to read more books in this series. 

*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley
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Hercule Poirot and Inspector Catchpool are sent to Kingfisher Hill to investigate if the person obtained for the murder of Frank Devonport did actually commit the crime as there is now another person also confessing. 
On the luxury carriage they are alarmed to encounter a strangely behaved lady who is terrified and tells them a alarming story.
Sophie Hannah is the perfect author to pay homage to Christie. She includes detail, atmospheric surroundings and settings and maintains the detailed plotting with the odd clues, as the the reader you try to work it all out alongside Poirot.
A clever storyline with injected humour.
A story I would recommend to any Christie fans.
My thanks go to the author, publisher and Netgalley in providing this arc in return for a honest review.
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My first Agatha Christie series by Sophie Hannah, and it definitely won’t be my last. Intrigue and pace, a murderous story within a tight knit group of people. An idyllic setting disturbed by lies, but who is telling them? Characters concealed, motives mysterious. 

This murder mystery is a quick read that you will struggle to put down. I did not predict the ending, 
 and the intricacies of the plot were handled with finesse. I cannot wait to read another! 

This would be a great wider reading book for students that study An Inspector Coll’s at GCSE to look at the line of enquiry and the role of an investigator/inspector.
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As I stated in my review of The Mystery of Three Quarters, I was fully prepared to hate Sophie Hannah's take on Poirot. As a long term Agatha Christie fan, I honestly just didn't think that anyone would be able to get the tone of these stories right. However, I have to concede that Sophie nails it. These stories aren't parroted copies of Christie's work (and nor should they be) but they do feel like a natural continuation of Poirot's character (admittedly with some modern twists). The mysteries themselves have all been good too, and I found this one to be no exception. I always look forward to these books coming out
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