Today it is my pleasure to welcome to my blog Sophie Hannah who has published two novels featuring Hercule Poirot. First was The Monogram Murders and more recently The Closed Casket. Sophie will be appearing at First Monday Crime on September 5th. The details can be found here
Had Poirot interested you as a character before it came about that you got to recreate him?
I’ve always loved Poirot because he’s a brilliant detective. The way he solves the most complex and challenging mysteries has always seemed like magic to me! Underneath the quirks and foibles, he’s a sensitive, loyal and lovely man. Like a lot of people, I grew up with Agatha Christie and her books have had a profound influence on me and my writing.
Did you have any worries or concerns about taking on such a classic character?
Not as many as you might think, because I knew Poirot so well by the time I was asked to write about him. It’s a bit like writing about a very old friend whom you know inside out. He has always been a huge presence in my life and, via writing about him, I’ve got to know and like him even more. The main thing is making sure that everything I write him into is up to his very high standards – so I had to make certain that the cases I created for him to solve were fiendishly puzzling enough for the great man!
Which other detectives from that era could be recreated and indeed which ones might you be interested in writing?
I’d feel slightly disloyal turning my hand to any other character, even one created by Agatha Christie, while I’m writing Poirot. I feel I have enough on my plate providing cases for Poirot as well as my own detectives, Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer. I don’t think I’d be able to work on more than one series character that I didn’t create at a time.