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The story concerns a physicist named Sir Claude Amory who has come up with a formula for an atom bomb (Black Coffee was written in 1934!). In the first act, Sir Claude is poisoned (in his coffee, naturally) and Hercule Poirot is called in to solve the case. He does so after many wonderful twists and turns in true Christie tradition.


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The story concerns a physicist named Sir Claude Amory who has come up with a formula for an atom bomb (Black Coffee was written in 1934!). In the first act, Sir Claude is poisoned (in his coffee, naturally) and Hercule Poirot is called in to solve the case. He does so after many wonderful twists and turns in true Christie tradition.

30 review for Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    Originally Black Coffee was a play by Agatha Christie. Later on it was rewritten as a novel by Charles Osborne. This is where the confusion started. Practically everybody who read the novel was of the opinion that it was mediocre. Not the fault of Charles Osborne as The Dame of Mystery was an act tough to follow. So I wanted the play. Everywhere I looked: Amazon, other online bookstores, brick-and-mortar bookstores, libraries, WorldCat, and anything else I could think of offered the novel despit Originally Black Coffee was a play by Agatha Christie. Later on it was rewritten as a novel by Charles Osborne. This is where the confusion started. Practically everybody who read the novel was of the opinion that it was mediocre. Not the fault of Charles Osborne as The Dame of Mystery was an act tough to follow. So I wanted the play. Everywhere I looked: Amazon, other online bookstores, brick-and-mortar bookstores, libraries, WorldCat, and anything else I could think of offered the novel despite me specifically asking for a play. Finally I bought it directly from the publisher (Samuel French, Inc.) thinking they would send me the novel as well and getting ready to send it back. To my surprise I received exactly what I wanted. Back to the plot. Sir Claud Amory was a brilliant scientist, but quite a despot when it came to his relatives. Considering he had lots of them and none bothered to do this pesky thing called work preferring to live off Sir Claud Amory, I cannot pretend I did not understand where his despotism came from. In any way, the guy developed an explosive with destruction power greater than that of an atomic bomb (I think we can overlook some scientific inaccuracies from The Dame of Mystery). Needless to say every single international spy was interested in the formula. One fateful day the inventor announced that somebody managed to steal it from his safe and that he invited a famous detective Hercule Poirot (accompanied by his faithful sidekick Capt. Hastings) to investigate. Poirot arrived a little late as the papers with the formula were restores to their place. However he was just in time to investigate the resulting murder. It is hard to judge this as a regular book. After all, it is a play meaning all the information is given entirely through the dialogs with bare-bone descriptions of people, places, rooms, etc. For the same reason it is pointless to speak about any characterization as well as the play is relatively short. What matters is that I lost some sleep trying to finish reading; all Poirot books have this influence on me (The Big Four is the only exception; this one is a great insomnia cure). All the expected from the series twists, red herrings, brilliant Poirot's deduction skills were present. I can only complain that one of the twist came straight from another Poirot novel (and I am not spoiling it by revealing the title!) Also it was possible to reduce the number of suspects to only two very early in the story if you force you "gray cells" to work a little. The final rating is 3.5 stars rounded up because I am a big fan of the series and will round up any rating (almost; see above for exception) of a book belonging to it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot uses his little grey cells to solve another mystery in this highly entertaining play from 1930. It's fast paced & a lot of fun, although the build up to the denouement is perhaps better than the solution itself. Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot uses his little grey cells to solve another mystery in this highly entertaining play from 1930. It's fast paced & a lot of fun, although the build up to the denouement is perhaps better than the solution itself.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tras

    Note: I read Charles Osborne's novelisation of this play. Note: I read Charles Osborne's novelisation of this play.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    Well, well.. I came back to the Hercule Series. Not sure why I ever walked away from it but now I'm determined to see this to the end. Black Coffee was okay. I think it has to deal with how much time has passed from the last book that I read until this one. I also someone ended up skipping book #7 which is really odd. So, yeah.. lot's of weirdness going on with my life. Just like all the Hercule Poirot books, the mystery is always addicting. Plus the bantering is always on point. Since I'm horribl Well, well.. I came back to the Hercule Series. Not sure why I ever walked away from it but now I'm determined to see this to the end. Black Coffee was okay. I think it has to deal with how much time has passed from the last book that I read until this one. I also someone ended up skipping book #7 which is really odd. So, yeah.. lot's of weirdness going on with my life. Just like all the Hercule Poirot books, the mystery is always addicting. Plus the bantering is always on point. Since I'm horrible at being a detective, I was horrible at guessing who the killer was. Now I know I wont quit my day job. In the end, I still feel like I need to finish this series. Hoping for the best!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Le Chat

    A scientist summons Poirot to help him deliver a sensitive document that would weaponize the atomic bomb in a way never seen before. Once Poirot arrives the delivery errand has turned into a murder. The problem is several people seem not to be who they are and there is more than one motive for murder. With Hastings in tow and the little grey cells, Poirot must figure out who killed the scientist and why? An enjoyable read, Hastings was thankfully not annoying here although, I wonder what his wife A scientist summons Poirot to help him deliver a sensitive document that would weaponize the atomic bomb in a way never seen before. Once Poirot arrives the delivery errand has turned into a murder. The problem is several people seem not to be who they are and there is more than one motive for murder. With Hastings in tow and the little grey cells, Poirot must figure out who killed the scientist and why? An enjoyable read, Hastings was thankfully not annoying here although, I wonder what his wife would think about how he behaved with a certain young lady in this one. The mysterious Italians were an interesting touch, one was easy to identify but the other was a bit of a surprise to me. The culprit was not who I had pegged as a main suspect so that was nice, as is usually the case, money is the motive. 3.5 (rounded down)/5 – A solid, enjoyable read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Mild Disclaimer: I read the novelization instead, and have no intention of reading the drama, but it honestly bugs me too much when the series listing for the Poirot novels has this version rather than the one I read (of the same book, essentially) so that it looks as though I skipped this one. So there. Oh, what fun. Maybe it's because I went into this fully expecting a stinker—I mean, it's a novelization of a drama, come on!—but I thought this was just a delightful little Poirot story. I li Mild Disclaimer: I read the novelization instead, and have no intention of reading the drama, but it honestly bugs me too much when the series listing for the Poirot novels has this version rather than the one I read (of the same book, essentially) so that it looks as though I skipped this one. So there. Oh, what fun. Maybe it's because I went into this fully expecting a stinker—I mean, it's a novelization of a drama, come on!—but I thought this was just a delightful little Poirot story. I liked it as much as, if not more than, the previous installment of the collection, The Mystery of the Blue Train. Clearly, I am waiting with bated breath to make it up to Murder on the Orient Express, and I don't expect anything nearly as good as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (which is sensational, by the way), but these last two have been fun and easy reads. Surely (Shirley :: Don't call me Shirley!), the very definition of a cozy mystery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    catherine ♡

    This is a review of the novelization: I actually really enjoyed this one! It started out kind of slow but the premise and story got really interesting when Poirot entered. The only part that kind of meh part was towards the end — I was pleasantly surprised when someone actually managed to (view spoiler)[outsmart Poirot. But it all turned out to be a set-up and Poirot knowing everything (hide spoiler)] just felt predictable again. This is a review of the novelization: I actually really enjoyed this one! It started out kind of slow but the premise and story got really interesting when Poirot entered. The only part that kind of meh part was towards the end — I was pleasantly surprised when someone actually managed to (view spoiler)[outsmart Poirot. But it all turned out to be a set-up and Poirot knowing everything (hide spoiler)] just felt predictable again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lexy

    I thought that this book was okay

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Burton

    I started this book forever ago and was just instantly bored. I absolutely love Agatha Christie but my disappointment was through the roof with this one☠️

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    The format of Black Coffee by Agatha Christie available at my library is a play featuring the brilliant deductive abilities of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot and his friend Hastings are summoned to the home of Sir Claud Amory to determine the identity of the thief responsible for stealing the formula for a new explosive from the scientist's safe. Upon arrival Poirot discovers that not only is the formula still missing but Sir Claud has been poisoned. While a play is not my preferred re The format of Black Coffee by Agatha Christie available at my library is a play featuring the brilliant deductive abilities of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot and his friend Hastings are summoned to the home of Sir Claud Amory to determine the identity of the thief responsible for stealing the formula for a new explosive from the scientist's safe. Upon arrival Poirot discovers that not only is the formula still missing but Sir Claud has been poisoned. While a play is not my preferred reading style, I found the mystery to be quite entertaining. 4 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    I accidentally got the stage version of the story from the library--and it didn't occur to me that this wasn't normal or that there would be a true novel version. So now I feel that I've cheated myself of the proper experience and took a shortcut through the story. (This stage version dumbed down the story, I believe.) Needless to say, I will find my way to the true novel version. I accidentally got the stage version of the story from the library--and it didn't occur to me that this wasn't normal or that there would be a true novel version. So now I feel that I've cheated myself of the proper experience and took a shortcut through the story. (This stage version dumbed down the story, I believe.) Needless to say, I will find my way to the true novel version.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie Miller

    One item on my bucket list is to read all of Agatha Christie's works, so when I found out about this script (which I had never heard of, so I was delighted when a friend suggested it to me!), I was excited to read it. It's a beautifully written British drawing-room mystery. And Hercule Poirot is in fine form when he's called to Sir Claud Amory's estate to solve a murder... before it happens. Interesting premise. Of course, Sir Claud does end up being murdered (someone poisons his coffee, hence th One item on my bucket list is to read all of Agatha Christie's works, so when I found out about this script (which I had never heard of, so I was delighted when a friend suggested it to me!), I was excited to read it. It's a beautifully written British drawing-room mystery. And Hercule Poirot is in fine form when he's called to Sir Claud Amory's estate to solve a murder... before it happens. Interesting premise. Of course, Sir Claud does end up being murdered (someone poisons his coffee, hence the title). But storywise, I felt it was slow-moving. Clever banter alone can't make up for a lack of action onstage. I didn't figure out who the killer was, sadly, I'm afraid, because plotwise, it was kind of meh for me--and I had a hard time paying close attention to pick up all the clues. For a true Agatha Christie fan, it's a must-read. But I enjoyed And Then There Were None and The Mousetrap a lot more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Midori

    I have read the novelized version of the play as composed by C. Osborne. The plot has clearly elements from other AC’s detective fiction. AC’s great fans will not fail to notice it straight from the beginning making the reading process a strange deja vu. I cannot classify Black Coffee among AC’s memorable works; it is acceptable and it will keep you good company during a cold winter weekend. As a footnote, I will add that though C. Osborne tries consciously to recreate AC’s style and wording, Da I have read the novelized version of the play as composed by C. Osborne. The plot has clearly elements from other AC’s detective fiction. AC’s great fans will not fail to notice it straight from the beginning making the reading process a strange deja vu. I cannot classify Black Coffee among AC’s memorable works; it is acceptable and it will keep you good company during a cold winter weekend. As a footnote, I will add that though C. Osborne tries consciously to recreate AC’s style and wording, Dame Agatha is unique and inimitable.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sasan

    Probably one of the shorter selection of my reviews. I have my own blog now, so please do give it a visit if you're interested in my other reviews :) ────────────────── I read the novelization of the play, and although I do think it's best to "watch" plays instead of read them, I opted for what's available for me instead. I do plan to watch a lot of adaptations of Poirot's cases at some point, but not before I finish the novel series first. The mystery in itself follows the usual Poirot motif, wit Probably one of the shorter selection of my reviews. I have my own blog now, so please do give it a visit if you're interested in my other reviews :) ────────────────── I read the novelization of the play, and although I do think it's best to "watch" plays instead of read them, I opted for what's available for me instead. I do plan to watch a lot of adaptations of Poirot's cases at some point, but not before I finish the novel series first. The mystery in itself follows the usual Poirot motif, with the usage of red herrings to make me question every single one of the characters before the very end where he wows me with his deduction and the usage of the grey cells. Now this one is a little bit different on the narrative style, since despite having Hastings around, he's not the one narrating the entirety of the scenes, instead it moves through the characters with scenes that don't even involve Poirot before I come back to the deduction. I didn't dislike that as it was one of the main reasons of why I liked reading through The Mystery of the Blue Train earlier this month. Being around the characters in a bigger view than simple narration makes it easier to get a feel of everyone before the solving begins which I can safely say, is never a disappointing affair with Hercule Poirot as this mystery as well was an interesting one. I also managed to narrow down my possible suspects to two people, where I, at the last minute, ended up choosing the wrong one. So once again, you win Agatha Christie, you win. But I'm getting better at this overall, and I can't wait to see what the tally ends up like at the end as I have a very proud one victory over her in the 8 works I read of hers so far. Yeah... Moving on! The main thing that I felt was different here is the way or rather, feel of writing. Agatha Christie's writing of Hercule Poirot has always been amusing to me, I literally have a smile on my face with the occasional chuckle whenever I read a novel by her that I felt was missing here. There is only one line later on when Hastings is being Hastings, but overall, I felt that it's just different and while not the bad different, it wasn't the good different either for me. So I'm a bit conflicted. Anyway, I do think it's interesting in the end, but I'm more excited to get back to her usual style a little bit more. I do hope to get to read one more in May, if not then I'm reading the usual two a month in June.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This Agatha Christie book had me thinking of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson but are leading men this time are Hercule Poirot and Cap. Hasting with Inspector Japp in place of Inspector Lestrade. A family comes under suspicion of murder when the head of the house dies in a lock room with his family and guest. This was an easy read with lots of twists and turns if you like a good old fashioned mystery I would recommend any book by Agatha Christie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kara Gemian

    A quick and lovely Poirot tale.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vijaya Chikermane

    Classic Christie mystery. I rhyme my reviews now:)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nikhil Patel

    As usual what I think is that Christie's mysteries with Poirot don't seem to stand the test of time. They are not good mysteries by standard of today. But, what I like about Christie's stories, as always, the atmosphere it creates and gets you in the story even if it's not that interesting. As usual what I think is that Christie's mysteries with Poirot don't seem to stand the test of time. They are not good mysteries by standard of today. But, what I like about Christie's stories, as always, the atmosphere it creates and gets you in the story even if it's not that interesting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Well, reading a story in script form is not my favorite. Typical Poirot story. A couple of things I don’t understand: this is listed as #7 in the series, which would mean it fits here chronologically. If so, Hastings is married, but he certainly doesn’t act it here. And there was an event that was important in Poirot’s solving of the crime; it was the same event that occurred in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Book #1. It makes me think this wasn’t supposed to be included in the novel series. I Well, reading a story in script form is not my favorite. Typical Poirot story. A couple of things I don’t understand: this is listed as #7 in the series, which would mean it fits here chronologically. If so, Hastings is married, but he certainly doesn’t act it here. And there was an event that was important in Poirot’s solving of the crime; it was the same event that occurred in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Book #1. It makes me think this wasn’t supposed to be included in the novel series. I bought this book on eBay because I am reading them in order until at least #10, Murder on the Orient Express, and my library didn’t have it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Book collector

    There are too many Agatha Christie books to review individually. Some which don't fit the following author review will be done as individual reviews but most will have this review added. I'm going to split this into sections. It will cover the main categories of Christie's work. First though I have to say I love Christie's books. Even when one is a poorer story the writing still makes me happy to read it. Christie's ability to craft good characters shines throughout all of her work and it's char There are too many Agatha Christie books to review individually. Some which don't fit the following author review will be done as individual reviews but most will have this review added. I'm going to split this into sections. It will cover the main categories of Christie's work. First though I have to say I love Christie's books. Even when one is a poorer story the writing still makes me happy to read it. Christie's ability to craft good characters shines throughout all of her work and it's character that drives the stories. Her plots on the whole are intriguing mysteries. Some work better than others but considering the length of time she wrote for, over 50 years, it's hardly surprising. One thing I enjoy is the humour. The books have a lightness of touch that brings the quirks out in characters such as Poirot. Her books aren't blood-soaked horror fests but death is still the constant character that sidles throughout picking off victims as required. I've enjoyed the vast majority of her books. From her detective novels through her short story collections, her plays, her standalone crime/thrillers novels to her biographical books and her "romance" dramas I've found very few I disliked and certainly none I thought were terrible. The rating on the books is an indication of whether I think it's good or decent. You won't find anything under 3 though. Not for me. Ok a bit more about the various groups. Hercule Poirot. Probably her most famous creation. Poirot is an interesting character. Fussy, self important, arrogant at times but brilliant and determined. The stories are among her best with classics to numerous to mention. Think the murder of roger ackroyd, murder on the orient Express, death on the Nile, evil under the sun, appointment with death and then add many more. The Poirot books are comprised of novels and short story collections. Most I thoroughly enjoyed. The plots are good on the whole and the characters are uniformly well drawn. Poirot's books are international going from England, France on to the middle east which gives a variety to the stories. One little note here. There are two versions of the novel the big four. One, the first published, has a framing structure that combined what were originally 12 short stories into a novel. This is one of the weaker Poirot books. Written at a trying time for Christie it has more in common with the likes of sax rohmer than her normal material. A new version, comprising of just the short stories as originally published was printed a few years ago. Its essentially the same book but without the framing material. It doesn't really mention that though! But that's the publisher not Christie's fault. Back to the books. Several of the later books feature what would now be referred to as cold case stories. Poirot investigates old crimes from the golden age of crime era which of course Christie is undoubtedly expert at. From the first to the surprising final book and bar very few the Poirot books are one of the best detective series in print. Miss Marple There are surprisingly few marple books. 12 novels and 2 short story collections. The are very good though. Miss marple is an example of the armchair detective. Although she's not a strict example as she does have stories set both around England and abroad. Its more in the way her character works. She takes in information and her own observations of the suspects then uses her knowledge of people to work it all out. She's a great character and the books are strong ones for me. As with Poirot some of the the later books are cold cases. Christie's final book, published posthumously was a marple case and one I loved. Tommy & Tuppence beresford Just four novel and a short story collection for these two memorable characters. I enjoyed these books. The lightness of touch, that subtle humour is in evidence in their short run of books. Great fun and great stories. Short story collections Christie wrote a large amount of short stories. There are 50 odd Poirot stories alone. Miss marple and Tommy and Tuppence also have short story collections. But there are many more. I like her collections. Books such as the hound of death, the listerdale mystery and the the later collections featuring rarer stories and alternative versions are all of good examples of short story writing. One to look out for though is an American publication. Due to Christie's wishes a novella, three blind mice is no longer available in print in the UK. Three blind mice of course is the novella Christie adapted into the record breaking play the mousetrap. Look out for it as it's a favourite story of mine. Both in its original form and the play version. Other novels There are lots of standalone novels and a few which do feature some recurring characters, such as the detective, battle. Some are brilliant (and then there were none, one of my all time favourite novels) some are good (death comes as the end) and some are weak. One of the weakest for me is they came to Baghdad but despite its weaker story I still enjoyed the writing. From the ancient Egyptian setting of death comes as the end, via the creepy pale horse to the more traditional crime novels Christie's general novels are as entertaining as her more famous characters books. By Mary westmacott The six novels published under this name are very good. They are well written, character dramas. Some have said they are romance but I found them darker than that in places. If you just like crime then don't read them but if you like good characters going through personal dramas then try them. Not my normal genre but I enjoyed them. The plays I enjoy reading scripts, film, TV and theatre but they aren't to everyone's taste. Christie wrote more plays than people might think. Obviously the mousetrap is the most famous and it is a great story. But there are others that are very good as well. The Poirot plays are good, black coffee being one I enjoyed. Then you have various plays adapted from novels. Often these differ from the novel. And then there were none is a good example. The play has a different ending and it's good but I personally prefer the novel's ending. There are plays written for television and theatre that are exclusive to those media. Some plays were actually written before the novel. The recently printed a daughter's a daughter play is very well written and predates the novel by some years. If you like reading plays then Christie wrote some very good ones. The Charles Osborne adaptations (plus one other) Charles Osborne adapted three of Christie's plays into prose form. Black coffee is a good Poirot story. Then there were two others, spider's web and the rather funny the unexpected guest. I enjoyed the opportunity to read "new" Christie novels and the books are decently written. One thing to note is that Osborne does have to place some vital stage directions into the prose. Now remember that a live audience could see what was happening whereas in prose these stage directions can seem a little clumsy. There is another adaptation. A novelisation of the first motion picture from 1928 based on an Agatha Christie story. Loosely based on the first Harley quin story it's an interesting if over melodramatic novel by G. Roy McRae called the passing of Mr Quinn. Non-fiction Apart from Christie's very enjoyable autobiography there are only two other non-fiction books. One, come tell me how you live is a humorous account of an archeological dig with her second husband max mallowen. The other is an interesting account of the British empire expedition of 1922. So that's it. A fairly basic overview of a favourite writer. Not just mine but one of my father's favourites as well. A final note on the attitudes and language used. Remember when the books were written. Attitudes were very different. What was acceptable then has to be looked at in the historical context of the times. The times they are written works in other ways as well. The love story elements are fascinating as authors were restricted in what they could write. So you often get a situation of characters that seem to barely know each getting married at the end of books! Attitudes we find wrong now were accepted blithely and may seem shocking to younger readers. Think of it this way though. If you could take a modern book from 2020 back in time, say to 1920 when the first Christie is published or to the mid 50's people would be shocked and offended at the bad language, the overt sexuality of characters and at the graphic plots. Many a modern author would have found themselves in court. It's all relative. Agatha Christie is a highly recommended author. Truly the Queen of Crime.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Belinda (TheBookBuddies)

    3.5 stars. Originally a play written by Christie, years after her death Charles Osborne had the idea to adapt it into a novel to give these world more of Poirot. It was a great idea. Also chronologically this does seem to be the right spot for it in the series. I liked this. It is quite short, but it works. It's a classic mystery. The one locked room all of the suspects are in, and a murder occurring wit anyone witnessing it in spite of that. You can tell from how it's written that the setting w 3.5 stars. Originally a play written by Christie, years after her death Charles Osborne had the idea to adapt it into a novel to give these world more of Poirot. It was a great idea. Also chronologically this does seem to be the right spot for it in the series. I liked this. It is quite short, but it works. It's a classic mystery. The one locked room all of the suspects are in, and a murder occurring wit anyone witnessing it in spite of that. You can tell from how it's written that the setting was made specifically for a play. A majority of it takes place in the library where the murder occurs, which of course means that was the main stage for the play. There is a great significance to where certain characters are situated in the story. Like where they were standing or sitting. It's certainly not the most complicated of Christie's mysteries, but it's still fun. There's plenty of drama and emotions. You can eliminate most of the suspects, but it's still a bit hard to deduce who the killer is. Overall this was a quick, easy read. I'm sure this was much more exciting as a play, especially for the scene where everything goes dark for a minute and you only hear the sounds. It must have been thrilling to see that in a theater. Plus it has a simple storyline that refreshed my mind and makes me eager to read the next one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just didn't care for this that much as compared to other Agatha Christie Novels. Part of it was that I don't really like ready play scripts. Reading a play doesn't immerse me in the story as well as a novel does. I feel like I'm just reading a list of sentences. The other part of why I didn't like this all that much is the way the reveal was set up. We have Poirot doing his detective work as usual, being vague about who he suspects as usual, and then in the last 5 pages or so the murderer is r I just didn't care for this that much as compared to other Agatha Christie Novels. Part of it was that I don't really like ready play scripts. Reading a play doesn't immerse me in the story as well as a novel does. I feel like I'm just reading a list of sentences. The other part of why I didn't like this all that much is the way the reveal was set up. We have Poirot doing his detective work as usual, being vague about who he suspects as usual, and then in the last 5 pages or so the murderer is revealed. A murderer who is only mentioned about a half dozen times by other characters and is only in about 4 scenes. There's no character exploration at all for this guy. Every other character has some backstory and has more scenes. All in all, I just don't know about this one. I like it because it's Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot. I'm glad I read it; I just think not preferring plays threw me off. I don't think I would recommend it but at the same time I wouldn't steer other people away from it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    This is Agatha Christie's stage play featuring Poirot, not the novel which appears to be commonly confused with it. I can't say I found it too engrossing, and referring to it as Hercule Poirot #7 as Goodreads does is a little wonky. It's not a true part of the series. The plot is reminiscent of the first Poirot book, the Mysterious Affair at Styles. You've got a dinner party poisoning, missing objects, and a cast of suspects all with their own motives. Seems like it would be pretty easy to stage, This is Agatha Christie's stage play featuring Poirot, not the novel which appears to be commonly confused with it. I can't say I found it too engrossing, and referring to it as Hercule Poirot #7 as Goodreads does is a little wonky. It's not a true part of the series. The plot is reminiscent of the first Poirot book, the Mysterious Affair at Styles. You've got a dinner party poisoning, missing objects, and a cast of suspects all with their own motives. Seems like it would be pretty easy to stage, since all the action happens within a couple of rooms in the house. If you're not familiar with Poirot, there's not a lot here to flesh out the character for you, and enjoying this play does depend on you already understanding the character. It would be a bad place to start. Given that it is somewhat of a pain to find a copy of this, I would say it is only for Poirot completists.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Covey

    Woo boy. A game first try; I'm glad she chanced it and gained the confidence that led to putting better things on the stage in later years, but this is pretty thin. It would have served better for one of her short story collections. The compressed timeline deprives her of the usual devices of Poirot sitting and thinking for days and crying, "Hastings, I have been blind, but blind!", so Poirot is more than ever suspected of finding solutions by having a peek at the script. And Poirot practices Ju Woo boy. A game first try; I'm glad she chanced it and gained the confidence that led to putting better things on the stage in later years, but this is pretty thin. It would have served better for one of her short story collections. The compressed timeline deprives her of the usual devices of Poirot sitting and thinking for days and crying, "Hastings, I have been blind, but blind!", so Poirot is more than ever suspected of finding solutions by having a peek at the script. And Poirot practices Jujutsu? The real mystery is: Who would want to see that? Strictly for completists like me who have decided to plunge into the series entire.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    The play itself was good. Typical Christie I suppose. The only thing that I might have an issue with is that there are some elements (sometimes major plot points) that are very similar to elements in her books. The biggest issue I had was with the quality of the edition that I read. This is a play after all, and it looks like Christie was very specific about character movements, etc., so you would think the formatting would be spot on for clarity. Nope. It was terrible. Stage directions were ina The play itself was good. Typical Christie I suppose. The only thing that I might have an issue with is that there are some elements (sometimes major plot points) that are very similar to elements in her books. The biggest issue I had was with the quality of the edition that I read. This is a play after all, and it looks like Christie was very specific about character movements, etc., so you would think the formatting would be spot on for clarity. Nope. It was terrible. Stage directions were inaccurate. Punctuation was missing or misplaced. Words were spelled incorrectly. Overall formatting was wrong in places. Kind of makes me wonder if parts were missing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I am generally not a fan of Christie’s espionage mysteries but the espionage aspect just supplies the setting for the tale. There are a few fantastical elements due to the “public” view of the glamor of spies, and Christie’s negative view of foreigners is on full unpleasant display. But her handling of mixed motives — both familial & scientific sabotage — due to the limited time & space of a play is very clever. Note: the transformation by Charles Osborn of the play into a book is very awkward. A I am generally not a fan of Christie’s espionage mysteries but the espionage aspect just supplies the setting for the tale. There are a few fantastical elements due to the “public” view of the glamor of spies, and Christie’s negative view of foreigners is on full unpleasant display. But her handling of mixed motives — both familial & scientific sabotage — due to the limited time & space of a play is very clever. Note: the transformation by Charles Osborn of the play into a book is very awkward. All the information is there but the skill of setting atmosphere is totally lost. One wonders at the audacity of Mr. Osborn!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Different than reading a Poirot novel. I wish it could have been a little longer. Don't really want to give it 3 stars, but not sure it deserves 4. Might change my mind after a little reflection. This is the original Christie version as opposed to the novelized version. It is extremely difficult to find. I bought my copy through a website which sells scripts and production rights (https://www.concordtheatricals.com/p/...) which was the link provided by the Agatha Christie website (https://www.aga Different than reading a Poirot novel. I wish it could have been a little longer. Don't really want to give it 3 stars, but not sure it deserves 4. Might change my mind after a little reflection. This is the original Christie version as opposed to the novelized version. It is extremely difficult to find. I bought my copy through a website which sells scripts and production rights (https://www.concordtheatricals.com/p/...) which was the link provided by the Agatha Christie website (https://www.agathachristie.com/) under the shop section of the website.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mortisha Cassavetes

    I really loved this book and I think you can guess by the title what the murder weapon of choice was... Black Coffee. Again this follows Hercule Poirot as he was summoned to take a very secret package from Sir Claud as he fears his family is trying to steal the formula. I don't want to go into the story more as to not spoil it but it is a classic Agatha Christie. I highly recommend this book as well as the series. I really loved this book and I think you can guess by the title what the murder weapon of choice was... Black Coffee. Again this follows Hercule Poirot as he was summoned to take a very secret package from Sir Claud as he fears his family is trying to steal the formula. I don't want to go into the story more as to not spoil it but it is a classic Agatha Christie. I highly recommend this book as well as the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paola Piliado

    Monsieur Poirot never disappoints. I liked this in part because it's short and to the point. I keep being amazed at how bad I am to try and guess the killer. I had predicted some part of it but the way it is written makes for unreliable facts, which is not necessarily bad. Hastings as always is a fool in love with pretty women (which I find so amusing as an easter egg for us fans of the saga) and the vanity of Poirot is as always, refreshing to read. Monsieur Poirot never disappoints. I liked this in part because it's short and to the point. I keep being amazed at how bad I am to try and guess the killer. I had predicted some part of it but the way it is written makes for unreliable facts, which is not necessarily bad. Hastings as always is a fool in love with pretty women (which I find so amusing as an easter egg for us fans of the saga) and the vanity of Poirot is as always, refreshing to read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adam Thomas

    Poirot arrives on stage to investigate a stolen secret, he ends up investigating a murder. My commitment to my Poirot readthrough means that I actually read the play script (previously owned by an actor who played Tredwell). It doesn't really rise above average, and Christie fans will recognise some recycled ideas. But I did enjoy the unique perspective you get from a play, and there was some classic Poirot dialogue. Probably only worth a read if you're a Christie obsessive. Poirot arrives on stage to investigate a stolen secret, he ends up investigating a murder. My commitment to my Poirot readthrough means that I actually read the play script (previously owned by an actor who played Tredwell). It doesn't really rise above average, and Christie fans will recognise some recycled ideas. But I did enjoy the unique perspective you get from a play, and there was some classic Poirot dialogue. Probably only worth a read if you're a Christie obsessive.

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