Closed Casket

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Title: Closed Casket
Author: Sophie Hannah
Genre: Fiction, Murder mystery
Pages: 320
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN-13: 978-0062458827

Rating: 3.6/5

Closed Casket is the latest Hercule Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah. I wasn't impressed by the first book by the same author, The Monogram Murders, but had hopes for this one. To the review then, shall we?

Lady Athelinda Playford, a popular children's mystery writer, is hosting a party and Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool are invited. Lady Playford doesn't give any reason for inviting a detective and an inspector to her house but when she makes the announcement of her new will at the dining table, Poirot is confused and his grey cells, agile. Lady Playford has changed her will to leave everything she owns to Joseph Scotcher, her secretary, who has only a few weeks to live. Her children are to get absolutely nothing. The mystery further causes confusion when Joseph is brutally murdered on the very same night. As Poirot and Catchpool set about to solve this particular mystery, a lot is revealed that is both shocking and unexpected.

Sophie Hannah returns with her second Poirot book. I found this one to be far better than her previous Poirot mystery. The plot is interesting and since the book begins with an intriguing mystery, it sets the pace for the rest of the story. An array of interesting characters and ample twists and turns (with a bit of humor thrown in) ensure that the reader is hooked on to it. As the story progresses, one finds that there are smaller stories inside the original one, but those only add to the essence of the story line.

Usually, I don't try to solve Poirot mysteries myself. I eagerly await the climax when Poirot invites everyone and reveals all and I rather enjoy the theatrics of it all. But in this book, there are many instances where one could figure out the who's and why's. Catchpool is not a dull character this time, thankfully. Nevertheless, it is a more sophisticated effort than the previous book.

I would recommend Closed Casket over Monogram Murders any day. A good read.


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