The return of Poirot

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Agatha Christie's most beloved character, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, is being called upon once more to solve a mystery in a new novel, the first one authorized by the Christie estate since the legendary author's death.

The Poirot torch will be passed on to bestselling British crime writer Sophie Hannah, who has written several novels including the popular Waterhouse and Zailer series.

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Set in 1920s London, Hannah's The Monogram Murders sees Poirot trying to solve a series of hotel guest murders. In a recent interview, Hannah said she intends not to mimic Christie's writing style, but to pay homage to his iconic character.

"I know Hercule Poirot so well," she said. "I've read all the books in which he stars, several times. I started reading him when I was 12 so, you know, he's a very familiar and much-loved character to me and I wouldn't want to change him in any particular way."

Christie, one of the most successful authors of all-time, introduced Poirot to the world in her 1920 debut novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. He would be brought back for more than 30 other novels and dozens of short stories. The cunning investigator has also been portrayed many times in television and movies by such venerable actors as Albert Finney, David Suchet and Peter Ustinov.

Christie died in 1976 at the age of 85.

The Monogram Murders is slated to be published in September by HarperCollins.

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