The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

Morrow. (Hercule Poirot). Sept. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780062792372. $27.99. M
In 1931, Hercule Poirot and his friend, story narrator Inspector Edward Catchpool, board a luxury coach heading for Kingfisher Hill country estate in Surrey. Although Poirot understands why they are going, Catchpool only knows there are 28 strangers on the bus, including two women who behave oddly. One woman becomes distraught when she learns Catchpool is a Scotland Yard inspector. The other is rude to Catchpool but confesses to Poirot that she killed someone. Both leave the bus, not wanting to reveal their final destinations to the two detectives. Poirot and Catchpool arrive at Kingfisher Hill, the Devonport family estate. Richard Devonport hired Poirot to investigate the murder of Frank, his older brother. Helen Acton, who was engaged to Frank, confessed to killing him and is to be hanged. She is now Richard’s fiancée, and he doesn’t believe her confession. Then, an unknown woman is found dead in the Devonport house. Daisy Devonport claims she killed her brother, which means Helen can be released from prison. While Poirot’s visit with a neighbor leaves him convinced he knows who killed the victims, Catchpool remains as clueless as the reader.
VERDICT Hannah follows The Mystery of Three Quarters with a drawn-out story. Only Poirot’s fans and the author’s readers will appreciate this intricate, slow-moving book.

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