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The Killings at Kingfisher Hill: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery    by Sophie Hannah order for
Killings at Kingfisher Hill
by Sophie Hannah
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I found Sophie Hannah's The Killings at Kingfisher Hill: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery rather hard to get into, but it does end up as a complex puzzle for our detecting duo to solve, with a rather surprising conclusion.

Poirot's friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Edward Cathchpool, tells the story which opens in 1931 London. Catchpool wonders what it's all about as they wait for a motor-coach to take them to the Kingfisher Hill country estate. Catchpool spots a young woman who appears to have had a dreadful shock. She's reluctant to take her seat and later makes quite a commotion, claiming that someone will kill her. Another very striking young woman is unpleasant to Catchpool. When the coach stops for a break in the Tartar Inn, she informs Poirot that she has murdered someone, but leaves the coach there.

They continue on to Kingfisher Hill, where Frank Devonport has been murdered. His fiancée Helen admitted to the killing and will soon be executed. Frank's brother Richard (now engaged to Helen) wants Poirot to prove her innocence, but keep his investigation secret from the rest of the family. He must pretend instead an interest in the game of Peepers - the truculent Devonport patriarch is obsessed with that game. When they arrive, they discover that the Devonport daughter is the unpleasant beauty from the coach trip - and she immediately claims to have been the one to push her brother Frank to his death. Another murder follows.

How does Poirot make sense of this highly dysfunctional family and the deeds of its members? You'll have to read The Killings at Kingfisher Hill to find out. Though I didn't find the story engaging, it is quite a puzzler.

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