Sophie Hannah – Did You See Melody? [REVIEW]

Title: Did You See Melody?

Author: Sophie Hannah

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 330

Rating: 3/5

Here we have another one of Sophie Hannah’s thriller novels, and by this point I’m starting to wonder whether there’s actually any value for me to continue reading them. It’s not that they’re bad – in fact, far from it – but they are pretty generic. I find that that’s generally the case for most thrillers, to be honest.

Hannah’s pretty good at one specific thing, though, which is that she teases us with the back story and uses the rest of the book to slowly reveal it. In this case, we’re following a main character who’s left her husband and her kids behind to disappear for a couple of weeks at a luxury resort. We’re not sure why, but we soon find out.

Then there’s Melody, who’s a missing child that may or may not be at the resort. The protagonist has to decide whether she saw what she thought she saw and, if so, what to do about it. There are quite a few different moral dilemmas here and the protagonist definitely occupies a grey area, but that made her more interesting even if it didn’t make her particularly likeable.

With books like this, I tend to not worry too much about trying to predict what’s coming, and so I let this one just wash over me and took it as it came. That worked pretty well for me, but I can’t tell you how you’ll get on if you’re the kind of reader who looks for clues and a trail of breadcrumbs.

And so when it comes to the question of whether or not I’d recommend this one, it really depends. My friend Charlie Heathcote wouldn’t like it because he’s not much of a Hannah fan, and you’re unlikely to get on with it unless you really like reading thrillers. Not sure if that helps.

Learn more about Did You See Melody?.

 


Sophie Hannah – The Monogram Murders [REVIEW]

Title: The Monogram Murders

Author: Sophie Hannah

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 390

Rating: 3.5/5

This is the first of Sophie Hannah’s Poirot books, which are signed off by the Agatha Christie estate and which bring some new additions to the series. Not everyone likes them (I’m looking at you, Charlie Heathcote), but I’d definitely call myself a fan. But then, I also like Hannah’s non-Poirot stuff, though those are thrillers as opposed to cosy mysteries.

The plot here is pretty typical for a Christie book, and I think Hannah provided a decent homage to whatever magic it is that creates a Poirot novel. True, it doesn’t feel particularly original or innovative, but that’s not really the point here. It just reads like top tier fan fiction and exactly the kind of thing that a skilled writer would come up with if they were asked to imitate Christie’s style.

I liked the concept of the murders here, too. Basically, a bunch of people are all found dead on the same day in a hotel and with monogrammed cufflinks inside their mouths, and Poirot finds himself called upon to try to solve the mystery before someone else dies.

At the same time, he’s helped by Inspector Catchpool, who also serves as the book’s narrator. I’ve only read some of the later instalments in the series and so it was kind of fun for me to come to this one and to see him start out by mistrusting Poirot, given that he’s such a fan of the great detective later on. I’m not sure I was sold on Catchpool’s back story, though.

Still, overall, I was a pretty big fan of this one, even if I think it’s the worst of the Sophie Hannah Christie novels that I’ve read so far. I think she was still finding her feet here, but that’s to be expected when you consider that it’s the first one. She also does some pretty solid groundwork here to help to set herself up for what’s coming.

So if you’re an Agatha Christie fan and you’ve been thinking of giving this one a go, I’d recommend it. If you’re new to Poirot, though, then you’re going to want to get to the original books first. I hope that helps you to decide.

Learn more about The Monogram Murders.

 


Newsletter Signup

Get special offers, new book news, cover reveals and more!