The Monogram Murders

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This is a new book. Notice the name at the bottom of the cover. Sophie Hannah, herself a successful mystery writer, received permission from Christie’s estate to write this novel using both Poirot and the Christie name.

Hannah has done a good job living up to the 41 book standard, even as I felt the earth vibrate under me with a few scenes. Hannah’s sense of the 1920’s is a bit weak and Poirot does not shuffle with the same swagger. Still, it was a good read.

In all fairness, this book should only be compared with The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Christie’s first book; a first book showdown. I will at some point read Closed Casket, Hannah’s second effort.

Mike Lawrence

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Neverhome

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Laird Hunt is an outstanding writer.

In the opening pages, Ash Thompson is walking from Indiana to Ohio to join the Union army. We readers suspect early on, and are finally told, that Ash is really Constance Thompson who left her husband to run the farm. Constance, made of wire, Bartholomew of wool.

While Ash is telling the story years later, Hunt has cleverly left both Ash and we readers in the dark about where she is most of the time. Battles occur somewhere in the woods. Guns sound in all directions, but Ash can only see her regiment, and often little of it. She never knows who wins the battles, nor does she care.

Camp life presents different dangers for her, but she is tough enough that most men give Ash a wide berth.

Her story does not have a happy ending.

I don’t care. Mr. Hunt is a true wordsmith. Every sentence a polished gem.

Five Stars

Mike Lawrence