Fiction Agatha Christie Black Coffee (Poirot)

ISBN 13: 9780007121113

Black Coffee (Poirot)

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9780007121113: Black Coffee (Poirot)

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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Review:

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

From 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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