Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date:
January 2003
ISBN: 0007121113
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Mystery / Classic Crime Reprint (1929, England)
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:

Black Coffee
Hercule Poirot
By Agatha Christie 

     Agatha Christie needs no introduction. Called "The Queen of Crime," she has entertained readers worldwide since her first novel was published in 1920, and is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Author Charles Osborne is turning several of her plays into novels, and this is his third such adaptation. Scientist Sir Claud Amory summons Poirot to a house party to find out who has stolen his formula for a new explosive. Just before he arrives, Sir Claud tells his family and guests that he is going to allow them to give it back and turns out the lights for a minute. The trouble is, when they come on again he is dead in his chair, poisoned by his cup of black coffee.

     In the inimitable Christie-style comedy and high drama mix in a world where, despite the bodies, everything is reasonably cozy, adding up to a good relaxing armchair read that is expertly paced and never flags for an instant. Osborne does his best, but I wouldn't have been fooled into thinking that Agatha actually wrote this as a novel for it still has its roots firmly in the fact it was originally a play and missing are her character asides, most of the comedy and homespun psychology. If you have read all or most of her novels, then it is wonderful to have a new one to savor and this is still a fine read and a worthy addition to anybody's Christie collection.

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