Agatha Christie: The Mystery of the Three Quarters ★★
Sophie Hannah, HarperCollins, R320
If this is a homage to the Queen of Mystery then Hannah has somewhat failed. This is tedious, with an enormously pompous, arrogant and twirling mustachioed Poirot that is very much like Kenneth Branagh’s bombastic creation in his film Murder on
the Orient Express. Four letters accusing four people of murdering Barnabas Pandy are sent to them by someone pretending to be Poirot. The detective is at once insulted and intrigued. Who sent these letters? Who is Pandy? And was he murdered? It’s a dry read. There is a lack of pacing and Hannah’s normally clever plotting becomes obvious.