The second Poirot novel written by Sophie Hannah, I was really excited to read Closed Casket as I loved Hannah’s first work taking on one of Agatha Christie’s most well-loved characters. I love Agatha Christie and was impressed by the continuation of Poirot’s mysteries. Hannah manages to maintain Poirots character, while having an originality of tone, this is very much her work rather than an attempt simply to copy Christie.
For Closed Casket we return to the narrative at the end of The Monogram Murders, with the ending having an impact on the characters of Closed Casket and particularly Poirot and his detective friend who narrates. I did find the opening chapters a little disorientating, moving straight into a dinner party and with a large cast of characters to get to know. I chose to listen to the audiobook and while Julian Rhind-Tutt did an excellent job of acting the novel, I did have to listen to several chapters more than once to take in all of the details and complexities.
I really enjoyed the characters although Hannah did fall slightly into cliches, although this could be seen as part of emulating Christies writing style. I enjoyed the twists and turns – this is not a straight forward murder mystery. I also really enjoyed the ending, it was unusual and surprising and I didn’t guess all of the details of the mystery.
Overall this is a highly enjoyable read. Perhaps not as good as The Monogram Murders but still a great story and a piece I think Agatha Christie would be happy with!