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Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah


‘Do come in Michael!’ Lady Athelinda Playford sounded as ebullient as ever. She was seventy years ols, with a voice as strong and clear as a polished bell….’Now, about my will…I want you to make a new one for me.’ Gathercole as surprised. According to the terms of Lady Playford’s existing will, her substantial estate was to be divided equally upon her death, between her two surviving children….’I want to leave everything to my secretary….’

And thus begins the brand new Hercule Poirot mystery, Closed Casket, written by Sophie Hannah. Her first Poirot mystery, The Monogram Murders was published in 2014. It is the first official novel authorised by the Christie estate to feature Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, and his first literary appearance in 38 years. With Closed Casket, in classic Agatha Christie style, Sophie Hannah brings back the famous Belgian to the scene of an impending crime. Joining Poirot is Scotland Yard’s Edward Catchpool, who is still reeling from the aftermath of previous case, which was solved ingeniously by Poirot, where he had been subjected to some unfortunate publicity, ‘Newspapermen had accused me of bring inadequate as a detective and relying too much on Poirot to get me out of a tight spot. Naively, I had made some remarks when interviewed that were a little too honest….’

And so, when Hercule Poirot and Edward Catchpool are invited by the famous writer to her estate in County Cork, Poirot knows something is about to happen. Catchpool on the other hand, thinks that Athelinda Playford invited him to ask about police matters, so as to make her stories more realistic. The truth is far from what Catchpool believes, and both are taken by surprise as the celebrated writer makes a lavish announcement. The other guests also find themselves reeling under the sassiness of Lady Playford. Words and accusations fly back and forth, and within hours of the sensational announcement, the murderer strikes.

Sophie Hannah’s new Hercule Poirot mystery is a delightful read. Each character adds to the intrigue and as in any classic Whodunnit, the convoluted plot makes the readers use their ‘little grey cells’ to solve the mystery. A welcome change from analyzing situations and characters in today’s modernistic literature.



About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

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This entry was posted on December 1, 2016 by in Book Reviews, Fiction, Mystery and tagged , , , .
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