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The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (340 ratings)

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Summary

The world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot - legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile - returns to solve a fiendish new mystery. 

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. There is one strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family. 

On the coach, a distressed woman leaps up, demanding to disembark. She insists that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. A seat-swap is arranged and the rest of the journey passes without incident. But Poirot has a bad feeling about it, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered in the Devonports' home with a note that refers to ‘the seat that you shouldn’t have sat in’. 

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And can Poirot find the real murderer in time to save an innocent woman from the gallows? 

©2020 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"What Sophie and Agatha have in common is a rare talent for fiendish unpredictability. They make you see how the impossible might be possible after all." (Sunday Telegraph)

“I was thrilled to see Poirot in such very, very good hands.” (Gillian Flynn, best-selling author of Gone Girl)

"Perfect...a pure treat for Agatha Christie fans.” (Tana French)

What listeners say about The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Is that it?

Sadly this new Poirot tale is decidedly mediocre, and actually rather dull. The opening scene goes into tortuous repetitive detail that doesn’t have much to do with the central mystery. Unfortunately the story it hinted at was far more interesting than the one that gradually unfurled. The ‘mystery’ gets so bogged down in endless lists and a vast cast of indistinguishable characters, that I lost track of who had died, and had little interest in why. And any Christie fan knows that a good red herring is not a flagrant lie or laboured yet inconsequential plot lines. A generous 3 stars overall as I loved the narrator and wanted to like the book.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Rather disappointing

I have listened to all the Sophie Hannah Poirots and enjoyed them, until I reached this one. I found it to be overly convoluted and drawn out with a disappointing story and a weak ending, sadly i feel it is the weakest in the series thus far.

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

8 hours of my life I won’t get back

One of the most tedious 8 hour audiobooks I’ve listened to in a long time....and I’ve been looking forward to it since March so in a word it’s a let down. The story was overly complicated and rambling for no apparent reason other than to stretch it out. I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for the story or the characters. Agatha Christie would NOT be impressed. I’m tempted to return the book.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Narrator

The story is pretty good, however, it is performed by a fabulous narrator who is always brilliant ....

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Quite a contrived story- but that’s only in line with AC’s work.

Story is quite contrived and balanced on the usual Christie style red herrings but listenable. Perhaps the flimsiest plot of these so far. Julian Rhind Tutt makes it more bearable. His Poirot is excellent and consistent, I also like the fact that he doesn’t do this ridiculous thing of doing female characters in a high pitched voice with odd intonation. Readers can make or break an audio book all too often I find myself wondering what females the reader must know to think all women speak in squeaky voices or wondering if their accent is supposed to be Brummie or Scouse! Detracts from the story. Worth a listen.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great story until Dénouement - insipid

I have loved the first four books in this new series by Sophie Hanah and eagerly looked forward to book five but sadly although I enjoyed the book all the way until that is the final chapter and my enjoyment was taken from me leaving me with a feeling of something unfinished. The narrator was perfect all the way through but I felt even they seemed let down by the Dénouement The complex story is written and woven well, so many threads all muddled which keeps you so interested but then the untangling and reasons for them - the actual murders and why they were done - left me so disappointed. The murders to me felt just so insipid - yes its exactly the right word - for a Hercule Poirot or indeed any Agatha Christie murder. Now I can understand Hercules's reasoning and his fears about who committed them in the future but still, they were, to me personally not the right type for an AC type book. It was as if this time the author spent so much time weaving such a wonderful storyline that when it came to the end she did not quite know exactly who did what or why so just fitted them in the best she could in a rush. I admit and enjoy Sophie Hannah's work be it Hercule Poirot stories or others but sadly just not this one. It will not stop me from listening to the next one if there is one in the hope it will be as good as the first three. I cannot even bring myself to relisten as I have no problem with the rest of the book just the why and who committed the murders - if the rest of the book could be kept the same and a new ending was put on the book that is more AC style that would be perfect.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Great Poirot

This is a superb story. it travels through an exciting scenario with many twists and turns. Both Poirot and Inspector Catchpul make a wonderful duo. This is the best story in the series and Dame Agatha would I am sure have been proud to have written it herself. Thank you

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A curious amalgam

True to period but unlike originals rather jarring to modern views on justice and punishment

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit slow paced but worthwhile

As with other books by the same author, don't expect an Agatha Christie pace or ingenuity of plot. But a worthwhile listen, especially with the superb narration, which makes this worth the time.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Unfortunately I found this book disappointing. It was quite confusing and failed to make me ‘care’ about any of the characters. I had to keep going back and listening again, I kept getting lost. It’s a shame as I enjoyed the first two books and have waited eagerly for this one. I’m a pretty big Agatha Fan, so I was initially cautious then pleasantly surprised! Not this time though. Sorry.

2 people found this helpful