The new-look series of Hercule Poirot books for the 21st Century. Sir Claud Amory has discovered the formula for a new powerful explosive, which is stolen by one of the large household of relatives and friends. Locking everyone in the library, Sir Claud switches off the lights to allow the thief to replace the formula on the table, no questions asked. When the lights come on, however, he is dead, and Hercule Poirot -- with assistance from Hastings and Inspector Japp -- has to unravel a tangle of family feuds, old flames and suspicious foreigners to find the killer and prevent a global catastophe.
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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. CrouchFrom the Publisher:
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"A bauble for Christie buffs." --San Jose Mercury News
"A welcome addition to the Christie canon...Lively and stimulating, like a fine black coffee." --Publishers Weekly
"Intricate, knockout plotting...A fast, entertaining read." --Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Deliciously old-fashioned...For a gracious pick-me-up, it's just what the butler ordered." --People
"Lively and light-hearted." --London Sunday Telegraph
"Undeniably appealing." --The Wall Street Journal
"A brilliant rendition." --Midwest Book Review
"Great fun." --Arizona Daily Star
"A first-rate job." --Indianapolis Star
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001096944
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2002. Book Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP15827887
Book Description HarperCollins, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002725308
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Book Description HarperCollins 02/12/2002, 2002. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780007121113
Book Description HarperCollins 02/12/2002, 2002. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780007121113
Book Description Harpercollins UK, 02.12.2002., 2002. Book Condition: Gut. Auflage: New edition. 208 Seiten in gutem Zustand A472 ISBN 9780007121113 Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 117 17,4 x 11,0 x 2,0 cm, Taschenbuch. Bookseller Inventory # 2142517
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # FPS0007121113VG
Book Description Book Condition: good. 118 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00007121113-G
Book Description Harper Collins, London, 2002. Pictorial Wraps. Book Condition: Near Fine. Reprint. Adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne. Agatha Christie Signature Edition. Mass market paperback. Printed in Great Britain. A very nice clean tight solid softcover copy. 224pp. SB-256. Size: 18 x 11cm. Bookseller Inventory # 024594