Blog Book Tour | “The Monogram Murders” by Sophie Hannah, the next #Poirot #cosy authorised by the Christie estate!

Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

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Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Official Authors Websites: Agatha Christie: Site@QueenOfCrime | Facebook
Sophie Hannah: Site@sophiehannahCB1 

Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook

Official Page from the Christie Estate: The Monogram Murders

Converse via: #MonogramMurders, #AgathaChristie, #Poirot, & #CosyMystery

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Monogram Murders” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. This is the first blog tour whereupon a book I was scheduled to review underwent an ’embargo’ and this led me to realising something about the book industry I hadn’t  yet known about beforehand! Certain books have a high expectation of popularity by readers around the time of release, and this is when publishers initiate an ’embargo’ on the book, to hug the reviews & criticisms of a release closer to or shortly after the release date. My journey as a book blogger is constantly expanding my understanding & knowledge of the inter-workings of the publishing industry; for which I am keenly aware and always full of gratitude. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Passionately & Affectionately an Admirer of Agatha Christie:

It is quite curious re-entering a world of Agatha Christie after spending a near full-life away from the pages of her collective works, as I recollect the first time I had sat down with her stories I was quite a young girl. I always was piqued with a rapt fascination for sociological suspense and the mystery of crime. I spent a considerable amount of my elementary years wrapped up in the pages of a mystery of some shape or form; yet whilst I was still consuming Nancy Drew & Hardy Boy mysteries, I had a curious notion of expanding my world view of the genre. I was always a bit open with my leanings in literature with my parents, and imagine my plumb surprise in finding hardback editions of Agatha Christie as gifts the very same year I brought it to their attention I wanted something ‘a bit more I could chew on’ than the regular Nancy Drew? Nothing too mature mind you, but something with a bit more depth? Not that my parents would have given me anything overly brutal to read (as murder, wells, murder is murder you see!) but they knew the time had come along for me to read Christie all the same.

Curling into The Monogram Murders felt as though time had stopped and picked up where I had left off during those curious years where my mind furrowed itself around the angst of the human psyche and the methodologies of investigators who elicited themselves fanciful to understand the criminal mind. I loved the intellectualism of the Christie’s novels and how her main characters were always rather charmingly observant. Keenly aware of their surroundings and picking up on the slightest detail —  it is no wonder at all I would come to belove the mysteries of Columbo! I cut my teeth on this formative style of the craft by warming myself to Miss Marple; Poirot was always the odd duck out to me, as it would take a longer expanse of time for me to entertain his genius.

I think perhaps it was due to the fact I had a close attachment to my great-grandmother and a healthy connection to my grandparents; Miss Marple simply fit into my family as though she were always meant to be there. Decades would go past before I would meet Mr. Monk (of the series Monk), Detective Goren (of the series Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Jesse Stone (of the series Jesse Stone), and Sherlock (of the BBC serial Sherlock) whose attributes extend out of my love of how Doyle and Christie curate their mysteries for the enlightenment of the reader. No, I had Columbo, Jessica Fletcher (of the series Murder, She Wrote) and the Harts (of the series Hart to Hart) to keep me satisfied outside of my Miss Marple stories. There are a heap of other television detectives and mysteries I have enjoyed over the years, but I was attempting to reveal the origins of my love for them rather than chronicle the entire circle of what I have admired.

The electric excitement of being given a new collection of Marple stories or wondering what will befall next for all the lovely characters per each story I was beginning to read – there was a developed passion for Christie’s innate ability to draw out a measure of joy for psychological suspense that parlayed on the human condition and the joy of seeing justice win out over crime.

Blog Book Tour | “The Monogram Murders” by Sophie Hannah, the next #Poirot #cosy authorised by the Christie estate!The Monogram Murders

The bestselling novelist of all time.
The world’s most famous detective.
The literary event of the year—an all-new mystery featuring Agatha Christie’s legendary hero Hercule Poirot.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot.

‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’

Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…

Places to find the book:

Series: ,

on 9th September, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 320

The Monogram Cover Reveal via HarperFiction

Inspired to Share: The music alone makes me feel as giddy as a Cheshire cat who has a secret needing to be shared as joy is always doubled when given freely to another! The graphic designer alone should be commended for giving us such a special treat! Oh, I dare not spoilt it for you, dear heart, you must ‘click!’ play & see for yourself! Yes, click – now! Before you read my ruminations of the story itself – champion the moment! Click!

Note to Self: I must secure a British edition of this novel! I fancy the cover art to much not to find a way to acquire a hardback edition that sports it in all it’s glory! Lovely, most lovely I think! And, most decidedly ‘wicked’!

 Authors Biographies:

Dame Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.

Sophie Hannah

Internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah breathes new life into the incomparable detective. In this thrilling tale, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London—a diabolically clever puzzle that will test his brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time. Authorized by Christie’s family, and featuring the most iconic detective of all time, this instant Christie classic is sure to be celebrated by mystery lovers the world over.

Listen to an Excerpt of Chapter 1:

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah via HarperAudio_US

Note on the Narrator: I found the rhythmic manner of voicing Poirot to be quite bang-on brilliant in this particular clip from Chapter 1! The manner in which I associated Poirot to ‘sound’ in my own mind’s eye comes across quite smashing as he is fully explored through the narrator’s voice and inclination towards bringing him forward through sound. I even liked how he elected to voice the secondary characters, and etched into this audiobook a tone of story that I felt myself was present all along in the print edition! How wicked it shall be one day to listen to the audiobook whilst re-reading the novel at the very same time! How electric! Champion! I hope you find the same felicity of joy in listening to this excerpt as I had myself!

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On the continuance of Hercules Poirot & the legacy of Agatha Christie therein:

There is a signature of tradition with Agatha Christie novels, as they are the monarch butterfly of eloquence and excellence inside the Cosy Mystery genre – inflecting such a deeply etched prominence as to become beloved by each reader who soaks into her collective works. I, for one, have already revealed how much I am deeply attached to her canon, yet if I were to draw any measure of concern about this after canon prior to reading it, it would have been the same concern I voiced on behalf of Sherlock Holmes. I only wanted to seek out a writer who not only understood the full scope of the written voice of the original writer but could carry forward the principle character in such a way as to be a mirror of reflection infused with new insight, curiosity, and probable continuity.

I am a particular reader of ‘after canons’ as I soak inside certain authors tomes of creative voice outside the original texts yet I shirk away from others. To me, it is simply a question of how I feel whilst I alight in the next continuance of the story that has already formulated such a stronghold in my conscience and heart. There are story-tellers who endear us at such a young age (for me this echoes my passion for Christie) they transform our reasoning to attach ourselves to someone who comes along next. Reading is such a unique sensory experience – we become tangibly connected through the book held in our hands, we viscerally insert ourselves into the footprints of the characters, and we envision the writer’s legacy as the words lift off the page and play out through our imaginations. To me to be passionately connected to the craft of stories and to be open as a reader to encourage new voices to step forward from a generation outside of the original era of the canon, is what endeavours me forward as I wander through literature as a whole.

The little instances of knowing your wrapped inside the comfy cosy world of a Christie novel came thundering back to me as I reached page 2 of The Monogram Murders, as Christie has such a knack for giving us a level of suspense and sense of place that bespoke to a different era. I loved curling inside her stories for this one particular reason because she was lamenting her observational narratives in such a traditional voice of fiction, it begged to become an addiction.

My Review of The Monogram Murders:

Poirot was always a bit of a curious mystery to me – as far as his personality and person were to me, as I warmed more readily to Marple than Poirot. The years between my last readings of his cases and now have erased the needling thoughts that vexed me at the time I had first become acquainted with him but I think it ran partial to his style of deducing the truth out of the mystery that might have been a strong aversion of appreciation for me. I am speculating I assure you, as how can a thirty-something remember precisely what the mind of a nine year old would conceive as ill begotten on behalf of a fictional detective? Even more curious than my first impression as a child is how delighted I found him on the page as an adult! He has such an ease of manner about him, yet a bit detached and removed from society as well. He perceives things on a different level than most, his eyes keenly aware of where he is whilst being observant to the smallest of details as he processes what he knows and what he must yet uncover to be known.

I think part of why I did not gravitate towards him as a child is he felt a bit ‘too old’ for me then, but now that I’m fully grown myself, in my own maturity I find him smashingly brilliant! All the years I wandered through televised portrayals of detectives I always counted amongst my most favourites the quirky intellectuals and the consummate investigators who knew how to worm out the truth from even the most despondent of suspects! One aspect of his countenance I can fully appreciate is how he is most adamant about making up his own mind on things rather than being told outright which way he is meant to believe or perceive them to be.

The Monogram Murders is writ out as a conveyance of Catchpool’s journalling of the incident in which brought the case to Poirot and of course, in how his path in life crosscut with Poirot. Catchpool is very much an introverted and introspective member of Scotland Yard; he is affable yet he doesn’t have any clarity of confidence. He impulsively always believes he is in the wrong and yet, Poirot finds him most agreeable when he is not second guessing his intelligence. Catchpool is re-telling the story as if we have the full benefit of reading his case diary, as he finds it most unsettling to even broach the topic of the case; he wants to commit it to paper as a method of cathartic release. Catchpool’s mind is a beehive of intensive reflection on memories which flash inside his mind at whim whilst grieving his heart with a haunting remembrance.

Poirot can tie together three presumably unconnected people through circumstantial evidence that not only points to a deepening motive for murder, but an unravelling of a deep seeded secret that knitted them together in the first place! There is a fervent undercurrent of psychological suspense involved in the plot, as what is first believed to be the truth is not quite the fullest of where the picture of the crime is leading you to tread. There are hidden corridors of where the logical mind must walk in order to fully understand the circumstances that brought everyone together; especially considering the fact the circumstances might not have been entirely grounded in reality. I liked the slow progression of each clue that gave way to a new avenue of thought and an approach into the nexus of where the heart of the plot was leading us to walk. Needling out a heaviness of anguish and the certainty that even the smallest seed of discontempt can encourage a person to condemn their soul.

I had a mirth of a smile upon my face whilst reading that Poirot made the same observation on behalf of Catchpool that I had first seen in the opening bits of the story; Poirot however did not reveal this until page 173! Perhaps he was hoping the reader would have come to rights and realise it for themselves, too? I like his cheeky behaviour towards guiding rather than telling, to assert a calm fluidity to stepping into your mind and evoking out a plausible deduction. Ah, alas I am finding myself quite keen on Monsieur Poirot! 

I think what helped me alight most assuredly in favour of Poirot and Catchpool is my newfound joy in watching Inspector Morse & Inspector Lewis mysteries; I had to curtail my viewings of Morse, but Lewis, ah! There is a series that gives a nice rounded mystery without the density of gutting emotional story-lines! Even the newly attached partner to Lewis DS Hathaway is quite the curious addition to the cast! I was noodling out this connection of partners and methodology of crime investigating as I was reading my first impressions of Catchpool and Poirot. For me they are a matched set; two pairs of complimentary minds bent on sleuthing and assessing puzzles that need a bit more imagination than logic to understand. In this, I had my memories of seeing Lewis & Hathaway in the back of my mind as I read The Monogram Murders! Not that the four characters are composites of each other, but the manner in which they interact and aide one another as they work their cases – in this I found a comparison that befit them.

The Monogram Murders is a most delightful exploration of how far the human mind can spiral inward into an abyss of darkness to where no light can flicker through nor re-align the spirit behind the soul’s actions. A heart spilt in half by desolation and a loss of a beloved of whom was never meant to be betrothed is the stirring root of this mystery – yet only by half. There are far more sinister things happening than merely unrequited love and the assurance of a well-lived life in a small idyllic towne. This mystery carves it’s way into your conscience, but what stays behind is your joy in keeping step with Catchpool and Poirot! At least, for me, this was the greater joy outside of seeing where an after canon could take a Poirot mystery in the full essence of Christie’s vision!

On how a bonefide reader & appreciator finds Sophie Hannah a champion of Christie’s legacy:

Earlier I shared quite a heap about my passion for Agatha Christie in order to speak to the heart of what I appreciated seeing Hannah knit into her installment of a mystery Poirot uncovers whilst in the midst of his retirement. Even that wrinkle of his affairs bemused me, as it reminded me how I came to love Holmes as seen as a retired detective in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series. Hannah infused her own writing voice into step with Christie; she kept the pace, the subtlety, and the curious observational clues fully intact. There was an unspoken rhythm of grace to this story, from the moment I first opened the page to the near devouring of it’s contents, I felt as though I had recaptured the joy of being a young girl wrapped up in ‘a big girl’s mystery’ of an infamous British author who was quite literally the grandmother of murder!

I had it in mind to read portions of the “Suggested Reading of Poirot List” provided by the Agatha Christie website, going as far as earmarking which stories were contained in my local library catalogue and which had to become ILL’d into my branch! I felt for sure that if I were to sample a bit of Poirot ahead of time it would help me re-align into his voice and his approach to deduction! Much to my chagrin, a fourth reading of the list had one story illuminate rather brightly off the page: Mrs McGinty’s Dead! The only story of his that I even remember having read as a child eclipsed everything inside my memories! For some strange reason, this one title brought back a faint glimpse of who I had envisioned of him in the past and of whom I had hoped he would be as well! Poirot was always slightly undefined to me — yet even without the ability to read of his previous works once more, I can honestly say the fullness of his essence is re-envisioned by Sophie Hannah!

She has bottled the best bits of what made Christie my most happily addictive writer to absorb at lightning fast speed and gave me back a piece of my own childhood in realising that this particular after canon is a compliment to the original narratives I first discovered with such a happy glow of awe and admiration! I lost sleep staying up into the wee hours of the morn to finish this tale — I simply did not want to part with it until I knew what Poirot knew as much as to understand how he solved the most bewildering of crimes!

A quandary of a small ‘fly in the ointment’: There is only one curious observation I made about this particular story: the entire novel is written in American English without even a handful of British words included. As far as the way in which common words are spelt – there are of course, time period specific words being expressed. I am quite curious — was this translated and edited for American readers? I would have much preferred the British words to remain inclusive. Although there are an equal amount of British expressions and turnt phrases, I used far more spellings of British words on this review than you would dare find in the novel itself! A bit curious and befuddling to be sure for me! Especially as I was unable to draw out of my memory how the original canons were written, where they inclusive or non-exclusive? Such a paradox! Of course, I have become fully spoilt on my readings of ChocLit novels which are delightfully overflowing in British spellings & expressions!

A note of praise: On the level of the French words being included, I find for the first time in a long while the definitions were writ into the next words of the sentences – not as a direct reference of what they were defined as but as far as being able to deduce their meanings by the next words being spoken, thought, or acted upon. I found this most comforting and I truly appreciated that Poirot was able to speak out certain words and short phrases that added to his character’s authenticity.

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The Monogram Murders – Hangout with author Sophie Hannah and Mark Lawson

via HarperCollinsUK

Inspired to Share: I do regret that due to falling ill and having more medical emergencies befall my family in such a short distance of time ahead of the arrival of my tour stop, I had to let go of the idea of turning in an Author Q&A to Ms. Hannah prior to publishing my book review for the blog tour! In lieu of the questions I might have been able to compose and send in for her response, I decided to see if there was an interview with her posted online and that is how I came to discover this most splendid and informative one that I am sharing with you now! I do hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did — perhaps I shall have a chance to interview her at a later date. At least she knows I appreciated her Poirot and I felt blessed to meet her version of him inside this novel!

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This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:
{ click-through to follow the blogosphere tour }

TLC Book Tours | Tour Host

Mark your calendars for my upcoming Bookish Events this year & in 2015!

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MASTERPIECE | Hercule Poirot: A Scene from The Big Four | PBS via PBS

Inspired to Share: I had great hopes of not only reading Poirot ahead of my tour stop date but of seeing this particular episode of ‘the new’ Poirot on Masterpiece Theater! I am at a proper loss to remember if the 18+ blackout occurred whilst it was airing or if it was the week of another personal life emergency erupted out of nowhere and thus prevented me from watching this most intriguing episode! I realised it was quite advanced in the serial itself as far as where it falls in sequence; perhaps whichever event kept me from tuning in was meant to be as now I have the supreme joy of not only ‘reading Poirot’ as if for the first time but I get the chance to borrow the dvds of the series from my library as I make earnest progress on my Poirot Reading List!

I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and happily CommentLuv only requires Email to leave a note for me! Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

I will be soaking back into the novels by Agatha Christie and other Cosy Mystery Authors now that I have found myself happily excited for being back into the game of ‘sleuthing’ and observing the craft behind solving a murder and/or the suspense behind the mystery itself. One dear friend of mine, Christine took up reading Agatha Christie around the time I was attempting to read Poirot ahead of this tour stop. She even gifted me a Christie novel I have never read entitled: “Parker Pyne Investigates” of which will be my next Christie book of choice. From there, I am going to be consoling my Poirot Reading List (as forementioned) and garnishing a newfound interest in the curious French detective from Belgium! Ho hey! Quite brillo, eh?!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Monogram Murders”, authors photographs for Sophie Hannah & Agatha Christie as well as their author biographies, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. The Cover Reveal video by Harper Fiction, the Interview with Sophie Hannah by HarperCollinsUK, the Trailer for Masterpiece Theater’s Poirot on PBS, as well as the Book Excerpt by HarperAudio_US had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Cross-post on Riffle badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “The Monogram Murders”:

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 10 October, 2014 by jorielov in After the Canon, Audiobook Excerpt, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Classic Mystery, Classical Literature, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut in United States, Detective Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Library Love, London, Sequel Authors, Sociological Behavior, Soundcloud, Story in Diary-Style Format, TLC Book Tours, Writing Style & Voice

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “The Monogram Murders” by Sophie Hannah, the next #Poirot #cosy authorised by the Christie estate!

    • Hallo Ms. Heather,

      Ooh, my yes! I hadn’t fully realised how quirky Poirot truly is until after I read this novel! I am most esteemed to hear you say this about wanting to read his character from a new perspective! I was hoping others might warm to Hannah’s rendition! :) I was most honoured to be the tour! Such a smashing wicked event to participate in! :)

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