One of Agatha Christie’s most famous characters, Hercule Poirot, has a new story. The “Belgian upstart,” famous for using his “little grey cells” to solve crimes, was last seen in the novel Curtain. She wrote the novel in the early 1940s, during World War II. Christie had the novel locked away in a bank vault for over thirty years. She authorized it’s release in 1975. It was the last of her novels to be published during her lifetime.
Now, 38 years later, a new Poirot novel is out by author Sophie Hanna, after Christie’s family granted permission. It is the first Christie-continuation novel, and the 34th featuring Hercule.
Hannah, who is the author of novels including The Carrier and Kind of Cruel, is a long-time Christie fan.
“Agatha Christie was the writer who made me fall in love with mystery fiction, at the age of 13. I read and collected all her novels within a year, and have been a passionately – some might even say obsessively – devoted fan ever since. It was Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple who, between them, made me want to devote my working life to crime fiction, and it was Christie’s brilliant plotting and deep understanding of the human psyche that shaped my identity as a crime writer. Therefore, it is almost impossible to put into words how honoured I am to have been entrusted with this amazing project — in fact, I still can’t quite believe that this is really happening. I hope to create a puzzle that will confound and frustrate the incomparable Hercule Poirot for at least a good few chapters.”
Christie, who died in 1976, has sold more than two billion books. The new Poirot novel by Hanna is called The Monogram Murders.
Of course, Agatha Christie killed off Hercule Poirot with a heart attack in Curtain. But never mind, we’ll consider this a “prequel.”