Black Coffee: A Hercule Poirot Novel by Agatha Christie

The grand dame of the golden age of mysteries, Christie's characters capture the minds of young readers with each new generation.

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Black Coffee: A Hercule Poirot Novel by Agatha Christie


Features

  • Mass Market Paperback: 290 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 6.89 x 4.29
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur; 3rd edition (September 1999)
  • ISBN: 0312970072


    Amazon.com
    Subtitled A Hercule Poirot Novel, Black Coffee is actually an
    Agatha Christie play recrafted as a book meant to be read rather than seen on the stage. The story was first produced in 1930, and Charles Osborne has done little to it except string the dialogue and stage directions together in paragraph form. Christie loyalists will welcome and applaud his dedication to the original, but it does seem as though he could have given it a bit more flair. Still, Poirot himself, bumbling Captain Hastings, and obsequious George are all in good form and it is amusing to find them engaged in another adventure, with an interesting assortment of possible murderers, blackmailers, and innocent (if suspicious) bystanders.

    The novel opens as Poirot receives a summons at his breakfast table from England's premier physicist, Sir Claud Amory. Busy working on a new formula necessary for England's defense in the Second World War, Amory suspects a member of his household of espionage. Of course, by the time Poirot and sidekick Hastings arrive at the scientist's country house, he is suddenly and mysteriously dead. Amory himself turns out to have been not quite nice, and his family, regardless of his scientific efforts, is pretty pleased with the new state of affairs. Still, Poirot manages both to save the more amiable members of the household from themselves and to protect the secrets of the British Empire. The novel is warmly evocative of another time and place and a welcome reminder of vintage Christie. --K.A. Crouch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.



    Reader Reviews
    A great Christie audiobook!, June 3, 2003 Reviewer: manna1 from Anniston, AL USA This is a great Christie story and the final Poirot tale (despite the fact that it obviously takes place before "Curtain" it was published afterward). Despite the fact that it was originally a play and is therefore limited in location (most of it takes place in one room), it still comes across as good. The major complaint I have is that the murderer is revealed in the first cassette by telling what they do. On the stage as this was originally intended to be presented, the action would have been subtle amongst the other things happening on stage at the time and most folks probably would have missed it, but presented as this audiobook the action is trumpeted loudly and the rest of the time you're just waiting for the ending to come. The cat and mouse game Poirot plays with the killer is good and I can just imagine the theatre-goers holding their breath at that final exchange, but the rest of the book just doesn't cut it. Still, if you keep in mind that it was originally intended for the stage (and I think Ms. Christie would have omitted that telling detail if SHE had written it as a book) you can see where it would have been a smash hit. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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