Book Review:​ The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

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From Instagram @Book_rambler

Synopsis: Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage.

Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man called John McCrodden who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?


Review: This is the third book written by Sophie Hannah using Hercule Poirot and I can’t say I was disappointed.

Set in the 1930s England, we see Hercule Poirot in all his glory as he arrives home only to be confronted by a furious woman. The woman, Sylvia Rule, accuses Poirot of sending her a letter, in which he accuses her of murdering a Barnabas Pandy and urges her to confess.

Sooner than later, Poirot faces the same accusation from Annabel Treadway, John McCrodden, and Hugo Dockerill. When Poirot asks each of them for the letter, it has either been destroyed or lost. Poirot can’t resist a good mystery, and this is a good one as any, so he dives into this complex mystery to clear his name and to find out who really killed Pandy.

This murder mystery is narrated by a Scotland Yard Inspector named Edward Catchpool, who also assists Poirot in solving this mystery. On the other hand, we also see a waitress Euphemia Spring bakes a cake called the four square Church Window Cake according to a secret family recipe and asks for Poirot’s help when she finds out her cake has been replicated by another waitress without her permission.

The four quarters of the cake is symbolic because it represents the four people accused of the murder of Pandy. In the beginning, it appears as though none of them are related to the alleged murder victim, but as the story unravels, Poirot begins to discover that somehow-directly and indirectly- all are connected. There are more suspects and a couple of revelations: a typewriter with a dysfunctional ‘e’, a boarding school and a nonagenarian(Pandy) who according to his family has accidentally drowned while falling asleep in his bath.

The questions are: Who wrote the letter? Was there really a murder that needs solving?

I would recommend this book if you like murder mysteries and Agatha Christie books. This was a book that I found very entertaining and a perfect companion for a cold winter day.

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5

Author: Connect with Author Sophie Hannah on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Publication Date: August 2018
  • Paperback: 400 Pages

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Buy The Mystery of three Quarters on Amazon or on BookDepository.

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Author: Book Rambler

Hi! I'm Shalini. I am an avid reader, daydreamer, future scientist. In order to ramble about books with you, I created this blog. You can find me here and on any of my social media channels.

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