‘What I intend to say to you will come as a shock . . .’
Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will – one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live . . .
Among Lady Playford’s guests are two men she has never met – the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited . . . until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke, in the presence of a possible killer?
When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot’s best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?
Following the phenomenal global success of The Monogram Murders, which was published to critical acclaim following a co-ordinated international launch in September 2014, international best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah has been commissioned by Agatha Christie Limited to pen a second fully-authorised Poirot novel. The new book marks the centenary of the creation of Christie’s world-famous detective Hercule Poirot, introduced in her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
READING GROUP QUESTIONS
“This is a literary marriage made in heaven – Sophie Hannah and Agatha Christie. The plot and setting are pure Christie, but with an extra layer of bamboozlement and a superbly mysterious atmosphere…The comedy is never allowed to lessen an increasing sense of menace.”
“Christie explored each variable of the form and wondered how it might be surreptitiously tweaked. It is this Christie that Sophie Hannah channels so ingeniously in her second Poirot novel. The joy of this book is in the way the clues are placed in plain sight while the motivation is not.”
Times Literary Supplement
“The murder investigation proceeds both trippingly and thrillingly…Hannah is rightly proud of the fact that the ingenious solution to the murder can be conveyed in just four words. Her sense of fun is infectious. The Christie conventions are observed but given a playful tweak.”
London Evening Standard
“Sparkling second outing for Hannah’s reimagined Poirot. The setting (posh Irish country house), the characters (country lawyers, creepy male secretary, stroppy flapper, etc) and the period vocabulary are all spot on, but it’s the utter fiendish unpredictability of the plot that makes Sophie the new Agatha.”
“Sophie Hannah has proved herself as fiendishly astute as Agatha Christie when it comes to the innermost (read: darkest) workings of human psychology. She also shares with Christie a dry, wry comedic touch that rises to the surface when least expected. Closed Casket, Hannah’s second sophisticated take on Christie’s Hercule Poirot, is both entertaining and clever – a canny ode to the great Christie, and a formidable showcasing of Hannah’s own crime-writing skills.”
Seattle Review of Books, US
“Closed Casket conceals its shocks within neat layers. Exciting, mysterious and ingenious, this continuation novel feels like the real deal.”
“The ingenious solution to the mystery of Closed Casket represents another satisfying addition to the Agatha Christie canon.”
Woman and Home
“Closed Casket is deviously plotted, deeply satisfying and does the grande dame of crime proud.”
“Hannah, as she did in 2014’s The Monogram Murders — an excellent read that Closed Casket manages to surpass in quality — fashions a puzzle worthy of Christie. Hannah rivals Christie in her ability to concoct a complex but plausible plot. Christie’s fans will open Closed Casket — which Hannah stamps with her own imagination while honoring Christie’s work — with enthusiasm, and close it with satisfaction.”
Richmond Times Dispatch, US