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The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

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This is the first time I have given a mixed review of a book on netgalley as I have always been fortunate enough to have unreservedly enjoyed the books I am reviewing. However, I didn’t enjoy reading this book - I have read the previous 3 in the Poirot series and whilst I had some reservations, I felt they were worth reading. As a devoted Christie fan I knew my expectations were possibly too high, I wanted to give the author a fair chance to fill sizeable shoes and I really wanted to like the series as having reread all of Christie’s books about 4 or 5 times I would welcome getting another chance to see Poirot in new settings but this book just disappointed. Apart from Poirot’s green eyes glowing emerald as the answers to the puzzle click into place and reference to the little grey cells which even non Christie fans would be familiar with - the essence of Poirot as an individual is missing.

 Catchpool is irritating and implausible and the other characters seem one dimensional. Neither Daisy nor Helen ring true and the nicknames applied to Daisy by Poirot and Catchpool seem pointless. The plot is convoluted and unconvincing and I struggled to finish the book. 

Aunt Hester was an intriguing character and the concept of Kingfisher Hill was a good one but it didn’t fulfil its potential. I apologise for this negative review which I will not publish online. I am not sure if the etiquette in such a situation is to simply not give feedback but I felt having been given the opportunity to read the book by the publisher that I should fulfil my part of the bargain.
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Another Sophie Hannah book I loved. I love Poirot, so I don't miss these books when they come out. Great plot, characters and such a fun read. 

Thanks a lot to the publisher and NG for this copy.
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As good as any Agatha Christie novel if not better. I couldn't wait to get to the end but also didn't want the book to finish. Cannot wait for the next one.
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EXCERPT: 'Hold on,' I said. 'Three mysteries?'

'Oui, mon cher. There is the betrothed of Richard Devonport, Mademoiselle Helen. Did she or did she not kill his brother Frank? If she did not, then why has she confessed? That is Mystery Number One. Then we have Number Two: the strange affair of Joan Blythe who speaks of mysterious warnings of her own future murder and is assuredly deeply afraid of something.'

And Number Three?'

ABOUT THE KILLINGS AT KINGFISHER HILL BY SOPHIE HANNAH: Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. There is one strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.

On the coach, a distressed woman leaps up, demanding to disembark. She insists that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. A seat-swap is arranged, and the rest of the journey passes without incident. But Poirot has a bad feeling about it, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered in the Devonports' home with a note that refers to "the seat that you shouldn’t have sat in."

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And can Poirot find the real murderer in time to save an innocent woman from the gallows?

MY THOUGHTS: Well done Sophie Hannah! I could hear the Belgian detective's voice clearly throughout this book. The plotting is perhaps a little more complex and ingenious than in Christie's works, but that is in no way a criticism.

I was gripped almost from the very start and continued to be so to the very end. Sophie Hannah had me putting my little grey cells to work, not particularly effectively I may add. I thought that I had it all figured out, the who and the motive, reasonably early on, but by three quarters of the way through I knew that I was wrong, unless someone was lying . . . but, unfortunately, in this instance they weren't! In fact, I got a lot of things wrong, but had great fun doing so.

I thought the solution rather ingenious and was satisfied with the way it was all wound up. There are some despicable characters amongst the cast, and some that I grew quite fond of. It matters not in the least that there's very little character development, and that there's a huge amount of dialogue, two things that I normally complain about. It is what it is, and it works.

Hannah has done a great job of carrying on Poirot in almost Christiesque style. It's a marvellous read, and although one of a series, is easily read as a stand-alone. I have another of her Poirot titles that I recently purchased on my shelf, and I will be pulling that out to go on the pile on my bedside table. And I will be purchasing the others. I enjoyed this romp!

⭐⭐⭐⭐.2

#TheKillingsAtKingfisherHill #NetGalley @HarperCollins

THE AUTHOR: Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.
She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Collins UK, Harper Fiction, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and I am tentatively becoming a Big Sophie Hannah fan,

I love Poirot and I love Hannah’s version too. This is a great mystery and left me stumped a few times. As ever Hercule works it out in such an elaborate and elegant way.

This book stays true to the original follies and foibles of an original Poirot story while bringing a unique new mystery.

I loved it
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Hmm .. I was looking forward to this .. I've loved others of Hannah's Poirot novels .. for a long way into this one , the tedium of the detective's questions got me down .. however I've given it a good rating despite that flaw and one other: the utter complexity of plotting and people which lost me at times;  ..however the victimized family was very interesting. :the Devenports and their  dysfunctional relations with each other .. and a marvellous set of female characters from the sculpture to Jon and then Poirot's companion police man really grabbed me .. I was eager find out who did what to who .. very adept despite initial tedium . Worth varying on which lucky i did.
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I would like to thank #NetGalley and #HarperCollins for an advanced reader copy of #TheKillingsatKingfisherHill in exchange for an open and honest review.  This audiobook is fourth in the series of New Hercules Poirot Mysteries.. I love the way the author has kept Poirot as originally written and not altered his personality and Inspector Catchpole is so likeable.  I loved the plot of this but was surprised to find Poirot taking  the coach.  I have read the first in this series and will soon be buying the books/audiobooks I have missed. This book comes highly recommended and I hope there are more in this series.
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Hercule Poirot and his friend, Inspector Catchpool, are summoned to Kingfisher Hill by Richard Devonport who asked for Poirot's help proving that is fiance is innocent of murdering his brother. While traveling to the estate, a very distraught woman claims that she will be murdered if she sits on a particular spot, while another woman confesses to Poirot that she has committed murder. All these strange occurrences come to a head when another murder happens in Kingfisher Hill.

This was an interesting Poirot story, and Sophie Hannah manages to catch Christie's style almost perfectly. It was a good mystery, though a little overdramatic.  

I want to thank NetGalley for giving me this opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the fourth book in the Sophie Hannah’s Agatha Christie series and in my opinion the best so far. I listened to the book via Audible, as I have with all of this series and I really love how the narrator Julian Rhind-Tutt captures Poirot perfectly.

Poirot is invited to investigate the murder of Frank Devonport by his brother Richard. Frank’s fiancé Helen Acton has been convicted of his murder and is awaiting death by hanging.

Inspector Catchpool and Poirot embark on their journey to Kingfisher Hill via Alfred Bixby’s coaches. On this journey they meet two women, one who says she has committed a murder and another who says that she has been told by a stranger that she will die if she sits in a particular seat on the coach. The second woman is hysterical when she boards the coach and Poirot intervenes to find out more. She tells him that she is called Joan Blythe and she is going home to her Aunt in Cobham. Poirot gives up his seat and instructs Catchpool to sit beside the woman to ensure she comes to no harm. As they make their way to Cobham they both find out more about the women.

On the seat on the coach is a book called Midnight Gathering which one of the woman collect. This book is significant but neither Poirot or Catchpool know why. The pair leave the coach with more questions than answers.

I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and like many I was nervous about the books being written by another author. However, the author has always said she writes in her own style and does not try to write as Agatha Christie and they are really good stories and I love them. The relationship between Catchpole and Poirot develops with each book and like Hastings Catchpool makes a great sidekick for Poirot.

This book is the story of the Devonport family and as the plot progresses you uncover more and more about the family dynamics but also the dynamics with their friends. Poirot and Catchpool are visiting Kingfisher Hill under the pretence of finding out more about a board game ‘Peepers’ (a rival to Monopoly or the landlords game) that Sidney Devonport and his friend Godfrey Laviolette have invented.

Sidney and Lillian are two of the most unpleasant characters, Sidney is a bully and Lillian is dying but she has allowed Sidney to disown their son and treat his other children with contempt and fear. We are also introduced to Daisy, Frank and Richards sister who has secrets of her own. There is a subsequent death at Kingfisher Hill and Poirot has to engage his little grey cells once more, to not only solve one murder, but two.

This is such a great story, it is cleverly plotted and leaves clues along by the way, that make you think you know who the killer is but I was completely shocked when the twist in the tale comes at Poirot’s ever famous denouement. I think it is one of the cleverest plots I have read in a long time.

Poirot is my favourite detective and I love that I am able to read new stories about him alongside my favourite original Agatha Christie stories.

This gets a huge recommendation from me if you like Poirot or not it is a great story.
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Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Catchpole have been invited to Kingfisher Hill under the pretence of having an almost obsessive love of a new game which is set to rival Monopoly.  The reality is that they have been asked by Richard Davenport to investigate the murder of his brother Frank.  From the moment Poirot and Catchpole arrive to catch the coach which is to take them to the Estate there are mysterious women, red herrings and seemingly impossible situations to navigate.  All leading to the classic Poirot reveal at the end.

This is my first continuation Poirot by Sophie Hannah and I absolutely loved it. This is a perfect comfort, escapist novel and is a must read for fans of Agatha Christie. I will definitely be adding the other Poirot novels by Sophie Hannah to my TBR pile.  I predict they will become my comfort read over the winter period.

Thank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for my ARC
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My previous encounters with Sophie Hannah's Poirot have been via audiobook and I have loved them. They were perfect company to keep on my commute to work. So this is my first written Poirot book. I have to confess I didn't love it as much as the audiobooks to begin with.

The story begins with Poirot and Catchpool heading to Surrey on a bus. Poirot has yet to tell his companion the purpose of his visit - Catchpool's frustration at bounces off the page. It turns out they are off to a private estate to investigate a murder - a murder that someone has already confessed to.

I felt that there was a lot going on in the opening few chapters. Added to the mystery of why they were travelling are the odd little events happening around them, concerning a few of the other passengers. There just seemed a little too much being thrown at Catchpool (and the reader) and he wasn't happy about it. He was getting irritated at Poirot and, in turn, so was I!

Once the pair arrive at the house where the murder occurred, the story starts to move forward much better, and the events on the bus been to find their proper place in the story. From here on, the story proved to be thoroughly enjoyable with a few twists and turns, and with a very satisfactory ending.

I may have to revisit the previous stories though. I hadn't realised quite how much of a foil Catchpool is to Poirot's superior little grey cells.
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This is my first book in Sophie Hannah’s ‘new Poirot’ series. It’s always tricky when you take on an iconic character but Hannah has done a fine job of capturing Poirots unique character and quirks. 

The murder mystery, in particular its conclusion, isn’t quite to Christie’s standard but that would be a tall ask. It certainly had all the right ingredients, an intriguing set up, an interesting cast of characters and an appealing setting. I didn’t expect Hannah to mimic Christie and was looking forward to seeing how she was able to put her own stamp on the series. As the plot unraveled there were some good red herrings and revelations but it did become rather confusing at times. I also felt Poirot’s big conclusion scene had less of an impact than it should have done as the motives for murder seemed rather unlikely. Christie’s murder mystery’s always felt a little fantastical but very often there was a realness to them and that’s what made them so good. 

That said, it really is a confident take on the character and series with much to like. I would certainly pick up another of Hannah’s Poirot books to explore her portrayal further.
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I admire Sophie Hannah for taking on the Poirot stories. It's great to be back in the Agatha Christie world again and this mystery is a good one. Poirot and Catchpole are taking a coach to the posh Kingfisher Hill Estate. to investigate a murder. Frank Devonport is the victim and someone is already in jail for the crime however Richard, the dead man's brother explains that it's his own fiancee accused of the crime but he knows she's innocent.

That's just the start of these mysteries......Poirot has a lot on his hands! There's  a lot of alibis, clues to solve and the mystery keeps getting deeper and deeper. A fun puzzle to work out!
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Having recently read The Monogram Murders I was really looking forward to The Killings at Kingfisher Hill. It was a classic Poirot murder mystery but the reveal fell a little flat for me. It was still a great read and just as good as Agatha Christie's novels.
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I've really enjoyed Sophie Hannah's take on Poirot and always find that I can picture David Suchet (the well-known actor that played Poirot for many years) perfectly whenever I read her books. This mystery is just as confusing and just as interesting as all the others and I really enjoyed it.
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Sophie Hannah writers these new Poirot novels brilliantly, and I’m a real fan of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries series in general. I found The Killings at Kingfisher Hill (number four) to be a worthy addition, though not my favourite in this brilliant series (the standard from Sophie Hannah is, after all, already rather high!)

The book was very enjoyable to read, but the storyline itself didn’t draw me in as much as usual. It’s as twisty as we come to expect from a Sophie Hannah novel, but it felt to me like it didn’t properly get going until about half way in – I guess partly because the start of the story takes place on the coach where Poirot and Inspector Catchpool are travelling to attend to a case in the Kingfisher Hill estate. I felt like I was impatiently waiting for it to get going, when of course we find out that seemingly unconnected events are, of course, connected.

Once it does, though, the plot is fun to read, as we try and guess what Poirot has figured out long before Catchpool himself. There are lots of characters and relationships with eachother to get your head around, but it’s still a light-hearted, pleasureable read and, as always, the interactions between our main characters are very entertaining. Definitely still worth a read, but it just didn’t wow me. I am, however, very excited for future releases in this series.
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Up until a couple of years ago I had never read a Poirot novel. The reason being, my heart belonged to Miss Marple and her amazing sleuthing abilities.  Then I was dragged to the cinema to see Murder on the Orient Express.  I went home and downloaded my first Poirot and then another and another.  His mysteries made for great reading and I kicked myself for not starting on his books earlier.

Of course Agatha Christie passed away many years ago and Sophie Hannah has taken up the mantle as Poirot’s puppeteer.  She has done a good job of bringing to life the Belgian and his many many quirks.

The start of the book finds Poirot on a motor coach travelling out of London with his companion, Inspector Catchpool of the fearsome Met.  Their destination?  Kingfisher Hill.  The reason?  They have been invited by Richard Devonport to look in to the murder of his brother Frank.

That sounds reasonable enough considering Poirot’s past exploits but this time the police already have their man locked up or more precisely their woman, for locked up in London’s Holloway Prison sits Frank’s fiancée Helen.  Her confession of murder has been taken at face value and she is to be hanged unless M. Poirot can prove otherwise.

The journey itself proves interest when a terrified woman makes their acquaintance along with a cool, calculating woman.  Both appear to hiding something but Poirot puts it to one side for on his arrival at Kingfisher Hill he finds a family very much in denial and determined to keep the secrets safe.

When another body turns up at the house bearing a sinister message Poirot and Catchpool work together to figure out if this murder is linked to the first and if the strange women on the coach have much more to do with these murderous goings on than they let on.

This was a good murder mystery however I did nearly give up on it at about 20% but all of a sudden it kicked it up a gear and I was more than happy to find out whodunnit.  Worthy of Christie herself the answer is nicely masked until the end and then with Poirot’s usual aplomb the murder is revealed.

Sophie Hannah has done an excellent job recreating the world of Poirot and the people that inhabit it and I think any fan of Christie should enjoy this.

Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I would like to thank the author Sophie Hannah, the publisher Harper Collins, and netgalley.com for the ARC of The Killings at Kingfisher Hill in exchange for my unbiased review.

This book is the fourth mystery featuring Agatha Christie's iconic detective Hercule Poirot, authentically - to my limited knowledge - rendered by Sophie Hannah. This time, the master detective and his sidekick who is also the narrator of the story, Inspector Catchpool, travel to an idyllic residential estate called Kingfisher Hill near London to unravel the mystery of a months-old murder which has already been confessed to by the dead man's fiancee. On the motor coach en route to the estate, the duo encounters two enigmatic women, one seemingly scared out of her wits and the other with a strange, abstract story to relate to Poirot. Things become more and more complex once the investigators reach the scene of crime and each person they come across looks to be a suspect. Another murder follows soon and who other than Poirot, declared by himself to be the best detective in the world, can untangle the layers of deceit and solve the mysteries?

Having read only a few original Poirot mysteries, I am not qualified to comment on the authenticity of this novel other than to say that the language, the descriptions and the scenarios of this one felt quite similar to those of the original ones I have read. The plot is quite complex and the reader has to pay a lot of attention in order to keep track of the multiple characters, each of whom has his / her own secrets and quirks. The author has built up the mystery cleverly, making it difficult for the reader to work it out. The interactions between Poirot and Catchpool are highly amusing, and Poirot's treatment at the hands of the old lady, Hester Semley, is just hilarious.

Just like a few of Christie's mysteries, the process of deduction by the great Poirot feels a bit too sophisticated in this novel too. The motives for the murders, and the reasons for the way they are carried out, are not as grave and convincing as I would have liked. However, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, with its charming prose and the beloved Poirot at the helm, is sure to entertain the fans of the golden age mysteries, and I would rate it 3.5 stars out of 5.
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As a lifelong fan of Agatha Christie I have been impressed with Sophie Hannah’s tales of Poirot and Catchpool but no-one will ever quite hit the giddy heights of perfection that Christie is so renowned for.

As a coach trip delivers our duo to Kingfisher Hill to investigate a murder, more tales of intrigue are told by two mysterious ladies. Who are these women and what could they possibly reveal about the murder being investigated. On arrival at their destination things become clearer but then twist after turn and a roundabout of characters makes discovering the killer more complex.

I really enjoyed this book but it seemed to get a bit confusing in parts with so many characters whose stories seemed to muddy the waters rather than provide clarity. We luckily had Catchpool to sum up our evidence at points in the book but I always feel Christie’s stories are told in a clean, precise manner whereas this seemed a bit rushed and murky.  Perhaps it is unfair for me to make the comparison and commend the author on her imaginative re invention of a well loved character.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy. Was uncertain about this novel and almost abandoned it after the first chapter but I am glad I persevered as I found it to be an enjoyable murder mystery.
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