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?
Sophie Hannah writers these new Poirot novels brilliantly, and I’m a real fan of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries series in general. I found The Killings at Kingfisher Hill (number four) to be a worthy addition, though not my favourite in this brilliant series (the standard from Sophie Hannah is, after all, already rather high!)
The book was very enjoyable to read, but the storyline itself didn’t draw me in as much as usual. It’s as twisty as we come to expect from a Sophie Hannah novel, but it felt to me like it didn’t properly get going until about half way in – I guess partly because the start of the story takes place on the coach where Poirot and Inspector Catchpool are travelling to attend to a case in the Kingfisher Hill estate. I felt like I was impatiently waiting for it to get going, when of course we find out that seemingly unconnected events are, of course, connected.
Once it does, though, the plot is fun to read, as we try and guess what Poirot has figured out long before Catchpool himself. There are lots of characters and relationships with eachother to get your head around, but it’s still a light-hearted, pleasureable read and, as always, the interactions between our main characters are very entertaining.
Definitely still worth a read, but it just didn’t wow me. I am, however, very excited for future releases in this series!
Many thanks to the publisher, HarperFiction, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.