Hercule Poirot's Silent Night by Sophie Hannah
Hercule Poirot, recreated by Sophie Hannah, faces a perplexing task, using his little grey cells to solve a Christmas mystery. With his friend Inspector Edward Catchpool, he is called to a mansion sitting on the edge of a crumbling cliff in Norfolk to investigate the murder of a man in a hospital ward. There is no apparent reason for the man’s death; he was well liked and had no enemies. Catchpool’s mother, Cynthia, is determined that Poirot solve the case, as her friend is convinced that her husband Arnold who is due to enter the hospital, will be the next to die. It is up to Poirot, using his extraordinary methods, to work out what is going on. Assisted by Catchpool, who interviews the household members and listens in on conversations, Hercule puts his mighty brain to work probing motives and eliminating suspects.
This was the first book in Sophie Hannah's Hercule Poirot series that I have read, and many years since I have read any books by Agatha Christie. I enjoyed the trope of the large country mansion, with the added dimension that it could fall into the sea, and the characters were all clearly described if mostly unlikeable. I did not guess who committed the murders which added to my enjoyment of the book and the threads that had appeared throughout the book were drawn together in a most satisfactory way.
Fans of Sophie Hannah’s previous books are sure to enjoy this one, and readers who like cosy mysteries will be pleased to have another series to baffle and entertain them.
Themes: Mystery, Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot.