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The Monogram Murders Audiobook

The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

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Publisher's Summary

The new Hercule Poirot novel - another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.

The best-selling novelist of all time.

The world's most famous detective.

The literary event of the year.

Since the publication of her first book, in 1920, Agatha Christie wrote 33 novels, two plays, and more than 50 short stories featuring Hercule Poirot. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand-new novel featuring Dame Agatha's most beloved creation.

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one's mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim....

In the hands of internationally best-selling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London - a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.

©2014 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

"Sophie's idea for a plot line was so compelling and her passion for my grandmother's work so strong, that we felt that the time was right for a new Christie to be written." (Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Limited and grandson of Agatha Christie)

"We Agatha Christie fans read her stories - and particularly her Poirot novels - because the mysteries are invariably equal parts charming and ingenious, dark and quirky and utterly engaging. Sophie Hannah had a massive challenge in reviving the beloved Poirot, and she met it with heart and no small amount of little gray cells. I was thrilled to see the Belgian detective in such very, very good hands. Reading The Monogram Murders was like returning to a favorite room of a long-lost home." (Gillian Flynn)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (429 )
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3.7 (404 )
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4.2 (401 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rhona 17/09/2014
    Rhona 17/09/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "There's a good plot here…somewhere"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sadly only parts of this book grabbed my attention and I was relieved when the narration finished. It seemed to go on for ever, and even the denouement lasted for more than three hours. Not good use of my time.


    Would you recommend The Monogram Murders to your friends? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't recommend this book to ardent Christie fans. Although parts were reminiscent of Christie's excellent Poirot stories The Monogram Murders was overlong, over-complicated and had too many characters, many of whom served no real purpose.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt?

    Julian Rhind-Tutt had a difficult task in trying to make so many characters sound unique. By and large he managed and produced a credible Hercule Poirot voice. On this basis I'd listen to other books narrated by him.


    Could you see The Monogram Murders being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    With very heavy editing this might make a half decent 'made-for-TV' film, but who could be cast as Poirot if David Suchet turns the part down?


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 19/09/2014
    mary 19/09/2014

    Be sure you spend your time listening to something worthwhile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Poirot travesty"
    What disappointed you about The Monogram Murders?

    Every single aspect. The many non-English accents used by the narrator were grating on the ear, The plot was- frankly - awful. Fiction requires the 'willing suspension of disbelief' and while some lack of realism is acceptable, this book was too ridiculously unrealistic for comfort. A Scotland Yard detective who leaves corpses in an unguarded crime-scene overnight and goes home to mope.... one of the many badly written scenarios presented in the first hour of listening, Characterisation was shallow and anyone with a concept of Poirot needs to avoid this book at all costs because in this book, the weak and inconsistent character presented jars on the listener. Every scene is drawn out to beyond tedium - so much so that summoning enthusiasm and commitment to the story is impossible, and the elaboration so extensive that you forget what the original premise of the scene was supposed to be.


    What could Sophie Hannah have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not written it.

    It was dire - the worst book I've encountered in a long time.

    How a publishing house editorial team allowed something with such glaring weaknesses to reach publication, is quite beyond me.One example, taken from several I could quote: the mysterious sherry is referred to as 'Harveys Bristol Cream'. That phrase jarred on the ear - would it have been known as such in the 1930s (or whenever this farago was apparently set)? Quick online research suggested that this marketing phrase to describe the product was developed in the 1960s. Before mass-media advertising, products would rarely have been referred to in this way.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Although Rind-Tutt has a pleasant voice, it does lack variety in tone. In his defence, he had long boring, dull passages to read so it was an uphill task to enliven the text.. Many actors have dismally failed to deliver Poirot in a realistic, non-caricatured way, and Rind -Tutt has now joined their ranks (Only David Suchet and John Moffatt have succeeded.) However, the accents of the boiler maker and restaurant staff were equally caricatured and I found them unpleasant to hear. The boiler maker mocking Poirot's accent was particularly grim.


    What character would you cut from The Monogram Murders?

    All of them. The only interesting character was Fee, the waitress, who showed some insights and made some telling statements which - exasperatingly - were not followed up by Poirot. You had the feeling that if she had only stated what she knew, she could have solved the mystery without troubling Poirot or poor pitifully drawn Catchpole.


    Any additional comments?

    I live in Holland and had an unexpected day of driving ahead of me so swiftly downloaded an audiobook to keep me engaged and chose this one because of misleading ratings. I've asked Audible to restore my credit under the Great Read Guarantee as this was far from that. I endured 5 hours of it because I had no alternative - but deleted it from my device at the end of the journey. I very rarely give up on a book, feeling that you have to judge it as a whole - but my life is too precious to waste another moment listening to such tosh.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KEITH 16/09/2014
    KEITH 16/09/2014 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    4
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    "Far Too Long Winded!"
    What would have made The Monogram Murders better?

    A more straightforward plot to follow, I dont remember many of Agatha Christie's books being this complex.


    What was most disappointing about Sophie Hannah’s story?

    Extremely good author, just too long!


    Have you listened to any of Julian Rhind-Tutt’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Ive always like this narrator, not a Sean Barrett, but very good nevertheless.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Monogram Murders?

    The third act seemed to go on and on.


    Any additional comments?

    I think with some historic authors, the works should just be left and not reinvented. I realise this is a personal view but after reading House of Silk (sherlock holmes)too, I have reached this conclusion

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ulla 7400 Herning, Denmark 18/09/2014
    Ulla 7400 Herning, Denmark 18/09/2014 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    Story
    "The Boring Monogram Murders"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Some one who is not an Agatha Christie fan, even then, maybe not.


    What will your next listen be?

    Any other Agatha Christie to get the mood back.


    What three words best describe Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performance?

    Sorry, too much over the top as Hercule Poirot


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story could have been OK if it had been a good deal shorter


    Any additional comments?

    I found it long winding and boring. At one point I thought the conclusion was drawing near i noticed there were over three hours left. It just goes on, and on, and on.
    In no way would Agatha Christie have written this book.
    I am really disappointed as one critic said that Agatha Christie fans would nor be disappointed, well, the critic was wrong.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    linda abbiss 07/01/2015
    linda abbiss 07/01/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Disappointed"

    The only connection to Agatha Christie in this book is the name Poirot together with references to his well known personal habits. The rest is a long drawn out improbable murder plot which was endured and not enjoyed.
    Can't imagine how the Christie Estate went along with it.
    Linda Abbiss

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Besterman Jersey, Channel Islands United Kingdom 14/09/2014
    Jill Besterman Jersey, Channel Islands United Kingdom 14/09/2014 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    213
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    86
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    "Not the Poirot I knew and loved"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Very rarely can any modern author catch the flavour and elegance of stories written in the past (the exception being Jill Paton Walsh's Lord Peter Wimsey stories) and so it is with this attempt to write a new Poirot. There is no feeling for the period in which it was supposed to take place. Catchpool, the detective who acts as Poirot's new companion, is no Hastings not even a Japp! The story needs a lot of editing, it rambles uninterestingly, through a tale which never catches fire and there is far too much Catchpool and not nearly enough Poirot. I gave up out of boredom about half-way through, unusual for me.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stafford Steve Heart of England 23/11/2015
    Stafford Steve Heart of England 23/11/2015 Member Since 2014

    Retired landscape historian who wrote a few books and articles in his time but now concentrates upon the garden, the family, and travelling.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great disappointment"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who hasn't read the originals.


    Has The Monogram Murders put you off other books in this genre?

    No, but would hesitate to read this writer's other books.


    Which character – as performed by Julian Rhind-Tutt – was your favourite?

    None - all dreary


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Monogram Murders?

    last third - rewrite the massive exposition as to what had happened


    Any additional comments?

    Not since I finished Anthony Horowitz's novel Moriaty have I felt so disappointed with an anticipated good read. But Horowitz’s novel was at least great fun until the author seemed to loose interest and resolve the plot with a sudden last minute, rushed exposition. This Poirot novel takes its final third of an overlong homage to set up both the solution and the many incorrect alternatives. Hastings, dull but endearing, is replaced by a banal and charmless Catchpool who recounts the story for much of the time, though without Dr Watson’s humanity or everyman intelligence. The village where the saga effectively starts has none of the interest of St Mary Mead, and the London hotel has none of the fascination of Bertram’s. If I hadn’t purchased this I would probably have abandoned this by half way, but determined to get my money’s worth with the vain hope that there might be a wonderful resolution I ploughed on. Convinced I must have missed a major aspect I even went back over the last third, to no avail. This is over-long, over-written (I now know that this phrase means), and far too convoluted. Poirot is a caricature with the worst aspects of his original character brought to the fore and played for all they are worth, yet with strangely anomalous aspects (he travels by London bus, writes with a finger in the mud, enjoys café coffee). The main theme seems to be that in a hotel not everything is what it seems, and those who are not chronic liars are merely pathetically naïve. This is hardly new, and was dealt with by Agatha Christie herself long ago in her exploration of the Great Train robbery. Read Miss Marple’s musings on the hotel as a simulacrum for a far more sophisticated discussion of authenticity and evil. Give this a miss, or return to your favourite original Christie novel.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan 30/04/2015
    alan 30/04/2015 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Reveal as long as the tale"

    what started as a good mystery ended in an endless reveal, and very unlikely set of deaths.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenn Harrower 24/12/2014
    Kenn Harrower 24/12/2014 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Appalling"
    What would have made The Monogram Murders better?

    Perhaps if the reader was not treated as a complete imbecile.


    Has The Monogram Murders put you off other books in this genre?

    I will not purchase any further books by this author.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Julian Rhind-Tutt?

    The narrator was great.


    What character would you cut from The Monogram Murders?

    In this book both Hercule Poirot & Catchpole


    Any additional comments?

    Very disappointing novel

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail UK 05/11/2014
    Gail UK 05/11/2014 Member Since 2009

    Buttons

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    139
    1
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    "Poor immitation"
    What disappointed you about The Monogram Murders?

    Far too convoluted and lacked the charm of Christie.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Sophie Hannah again?

    Yes but not a Poirot.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I have heard and enjoyed this narrator before but he is no substitute for Hugh Frazer.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jenny
    Woodlands, Australia
    13/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Channelling Agatha"
    What made the experience of listening to The Monogram Murders the most enjoyable?

    The story. I think that Ms Hannah has captured the essence of Agatha Christie's story telling style. There is a lot of reliance on dialogue to move the plot along, always interspersed with Poirot's egomanic claims that HIS little grey cells are superior to his offsider's!

    The only 2 comments that I make about the book, is the setting is not a classical Christie setting - elite hotel, aristocratic home or simple English country village. (Indeed the village in this story bears more relation to Midwich that St Mary Mead!) The other comment is that the writing is a bit more detailed than I am used to with Agatha Christie, making the story a bit too long.

    However, neither of these was a significant barrier to my enjoyment of the book. I congratulate Sophie Hannah on an excellent replication of a Hercule Poirot tale, and await her foray into Miss Marple's world.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not on the edge of my seat, any more than one of Agatha Christie's stories did. What it did do well was to get me to exercise my little grey cells. I thoroughly enjoyed the many and varied red herrings as they trailed across the story.


    Have you listened to any of Julian Rhind-Tutt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard Julian Rhind-Tutt previously, and I thought that his personification of Poirot was especially good. I liked his voice and the pace at which he read.

    One problem that I did have was that he varied the volume of his voice rather too much, and that even with earphones that sit inside my ear, there were times when I had to turn the volume of my iPod very high (if I had time) and then, when using hie regular voice, it was much too loud.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction - a quiet delight that there is someone who can write a good copy of Agatha Christie's style.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a Christie afficionado - read it. If you have never read Christie - read it, but then read some Christie afterwards

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • LILLIBET
    21/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "THE MONOTOMOUS MURDERS"
    Would you try another book from Sophie Hannah and/or Julian Rhind-Tutt?

    Judging by thus book, I doubt it.


    Has The Monogram Murders turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It will be a long time, before I try a pseudo Agatha Christie again.
    Can't beat the real thing.




    What didn’t you like about Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performance?

    His performance was okay. The book was too long.


    What character would you cut from The Monogram Murders?

    All of them;


    Any additional comments?

    Was bored to tears. Book was tooooooo long, did not hold my attention. Was longwinded.
    Was a waste of money. Fell asleep twice. Was surprised it was still going, when I woke up.
    Terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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