The Monogram Murders : Hercule Poirot

  • by Sophie Hannah
  • Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Series: Hercule Poirot
  • 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The new Hercule Poirot novel - another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.
The best-selling novelist of all time.
The world's most famous detective.
The literary event of the year.
Since the publication of her first book, in 1920, Agatha Christie wrote 33 novels, two plays, and more than 50 short stories featuring Hercule Poirot. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand-new novel featuring Dame Agatha's most beloved creation.
Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.
Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim....
In the hands of internationally best-selling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London - a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.

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What the Critics Say

"Sophie's idea for a plot line was so compelling and her passion for my grandmother's work so strong, that we felt that the time was right for a new Christie to be written." (Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and grandson of Agatha Christie)
"We Agatha Christie fans read her stories - and particularly her Poirot novels - because the mysteries are invariably equal parts charming and ingenious, dark and quirky and utterly engaging. Sophie Hannah had a massive challenge in reviving the beloved Poirot, and she met it with heart and no small amount of little gray cells. I was thrilled to see the Belgian detective in such very, very good hands. Reading The Monogram Murders was like returning to a favorite room of a long-lost home." (Gillian Flynn)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

There's a good plot here…somewhere

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Sadly only parts of this book grabbed my attention and I was relieved when the narration finished. It seemed to go on for ever, and even the denouement lasted for more than three hours. Not good use of my time.


Would you recommend The Monogram Murders to your friends? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend this book to ardent Christie fans. Although parts were reminiscent of Christie's excellent Poirot stories The Monogram Murders was overlong, over-complicated and had too many characters, many of whom served no real purpose.


Would you listen to another book narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt?

Julian Rhind-Tutt had a difficult task in trying to make so many characters sound unique. By and large he managed and produced a credible Hercule Poirot voice. On this basis I'd listen to other books narrated by him.


Could you see The Monogram Murders being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

With very heavy editing this might make a half decent 'made-for-TV' film, but who could be cast as Poirot if David Suchet turns the part down?


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- Rhona

A Poirot travesty

What disappointed you about The Monogram Murders?

Every single aspect. The many non-English accents used by the narrator were grating on the ear, The plot was- frankly - awful. Fiction requires the 'willing suspension of disbelief' and while some lack of realism is acceptable, this book was too ridiculously unrealistic for comfort. A Scotland Yard detective who leaves corpses in an unguarded crime-scene overnight and goes home to mope.... one of the many badly written scenarios presented in the first hour of listening, Characterisation was shallow and anyone with a concept of Poirot needs to avoid this book at all costs because in this book, the weak and inconsistent character presented jars on the listener. Every scene is drawn out to beyond tedium - so much so that summoning enthusiasm and commitment to the story is impossible, and the elaboration so extensive that you forget what the original premise of the scene was supposed to be.


What could Sophie Hannah have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not written it.

It was dire - the worst book I've encountered in a long time.

How a publishing house editorial team allowed something with such glaring weaknesses to reach publication, is quite beyond me.One example, taken from several I could quote: the mysterious sherry is referred to as 'Harveys Bristol Cream'. That phrase jarred on the ear - would it have been known as such in the 1930s (or whenever this farago was apparently set)? Quick online research suggested that this marketing phrase to describe the product was developed in the 1960s. Before mass-media advertising, products would rarely have been referred to in this way.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

Although Rind-Tutt has a pleasant voice, it does lack variety in tone. In his defence, he had long boring, dull passages to read so it was an uphill task to enliven the text.. Many actors have dismally failed to deliver Poirot in a realistic, non-caricatured way, and Rind -Tutt has now joined their ranks (Only David Suchet and John Moffatt have succeeded.) However, the accents of the boiler maker and restaurant staff were equally caricatured and I found them unpleasant to hear. The boiler maker mocking Poirot's accent was particularly grim.


What character would you cut from The Monogram Murders?

All of them. The only interesting character was Fee, the waitress, who showed some insights and made some telling statements which - exasperatingly - were not followed up by Poirot. You had the feeling that if she had only stated what she knew, she could have solved the mystery without troubling Poirot or poor pitifully drawn Catchpole.


Any additional comments?

I live in Holland and had an unexpected day of driving ahead of me so swiftly downloaded an audiobook to keep me engaged and chose this one because of misleading ratings. I've asked Audible to restore my credit under the Great Read Guarantee as this was far from that. I endured 5 hours of it because I had no alternative - but deleted it from my device at the end of the journey. I very rarely give up on a book, feeling that you have to judge it as a whole - but my life is too precious to waste another moment listening to such tosh.

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- mary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-09-2014
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited