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Sad Cypress (Poirot) Paperback – 18 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Masterpiece Ed edition (18 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007120710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007120710
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

Product Description

Review

“Poirot solves another exciting case”
Daily Mail

From the Back Cover

Beautiful young Elinor Carlisle stood serenely in the dock, accused of the murder of Mary Gerrard, her rival in love. The evidence was damning: only Elinor had the motive, the opportunity and the means to administer the fatal poison.

Yet, inside the hostile courtroom, only one man still presumed Elinor was innocent until proven guilty: Hercule Poirot was all that stood between Elinor and the gallows…

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By v on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sad Cypress is one of Christie's books which stand out in my memory, and that now and then I fancy reading again. The twist at the end, which is surprising and quite prosaic, the magic of the Christie atmosphere, in between style and tension is there, and the implied importance of heredity and class are almost Victorian!

But the most interesting feature as far as I'm concerned is in the character of Elinore Carlisle. Her skilfully repressed passion and devotion echo a side of the British character that often goes untold, and very possibly hints to the passionate side of Agatha Christie herself, who wrote romantic novels under the name of Mary Westmacott, and loved her first husband Archie Christie so intensely as to actually lose her mind temporarily when he left her for another woman (she experienced a brief "fugue" where she lost her memory and signed into a hotel with the name of her husband's new flame).

As for plot, narration does feel somewhat disjointed as the story is narrated in retrospective, and in parts through letters, but it really does work, and the ending doesn't disappoint.
Poirot joins the story quite late, which makes for a change.

Elinor Carlisle remains one of my favourite Christie women.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Knowles VINE VOICE on 10 April 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is cited as a favourite perhaps more than any other by hardcore Christie fans, and with good reason. It's outstanding in the Christie catalogue. Beautifully written (for this type of book anyway!) and the most emotionally engaging and affecting of all her work, it's an absolute gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 April 2011
Format: Paperback
With a beautiful title taken from Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night', 'Sad Cypress' is one of my favourite Agatha Christie books, and also one of the best to feature Poirot. It doesn't have the sheer audacity of, say, 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', but as one of her more emotionally engaging books it's at least up there with 'Five Little Pigs' (another underrated story), or the beautiful 'A Murder is Announced'.

As the book opens, the main character Elinor Carlisle is on trial for her life. The courtroom setting doesn't really mean much one way or the other, it's merely Christie experimenting with a new kind of plot framing device. No, it is the mystery of Elinor's personality and her true motivations which keep the reader guessing continually throughout the book, and hungry to learn who really killed the poisoning victim, Mary Gerrard.

Agatha Christie is usually ignored by literary critics or dismissed as 'genre fiction', but she was actually a master at portraying a wide range of psychological types, and that (along with her cunning solutions) is probably the reason that she's still the bestselling novelist of all time. Although her psychological types can occasionally be a little unbelievable as flesh and blood characters, that certainly isn't the case here - 'Sad Cypress' contains some of her most memorable and vivid figures. It will definitely stick in your head for some time after you have read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By daisyrock on 6 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Christies novels vary, for me, in how well they've stood the test of time. Also, though the crime is always convoluted, sometimes things go just a little bit too far! I think Sad Cypress is a winner judged on both these criteria and I'm surprised it's not more famous than it is. There's real atmosphere and tension and the characters are more vividly drawn than in some other Poirot adventures (Dead Man's Folly, for example). Elinore Carlisle is one of Christie's better characters I think. Her repressed passion and unrequited love lead her to the edge of madness and make her actions seem believable when they're actually quite odd. I liked the narration style, which includes excerpts from letters, and felt this kept me 'on my toes' looking for clues. The ending is particularly mature and thoughtful for Christie, who often ends novels as if she ran out of ink. Poirot is a joy, as ever - the main reason for reading any of these novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Published in 1940, this is one of Poirot’s most intriguing cases. Elinor Carlisle stands accused of the murder of Mary Gerrard and the first part of this book looks at her looking back at the events which led her there. It begins with Elinor receiving an anonymous letter, warning her that someone has been trying to take her place in her Aunt Laura’s affections. Her aunt is an invalid, having had a stroke, and is cared for at her house by two nurses and Dr Peter Lord. Mary Gerrard is the daughter of servants, but Elinor’s aunt has always taken an interest in the girl and paid for her education and the young girl acts almost as a companion to the older woman in return.

Elinor comes across as a slightly cold and controlled young woman, but she is passionately in love with Roddy Welman, who she has known since they were young children and who are both related to Aunt Laura. The couple plan to marry and expect that Aunt Laura will leave one or the other of them the house and money in her will. However, Elinor’s future is suddenly changed forever, when Roddy falls head over heels in love with Mary. Before long, Aunt Laura has died and her lack of a will means that Elinor inherits. However, when Mary is poisoned, Elinor’s is accused of killing her out of jealousy.

This is an unusual Poirot novel, in that there is a possible miscarriage of justice, which is something hardly ever suggested in an Agatha Christie book. The evidence all seems to point to Elinor as the murderer, but Poirot is never wrong – as he himself assures us - and he promises to get to the truth. With interesting characters, a complex plot and some great courtroom scenes, this is a wonderful mystery. It is said most murders happen because of love or money and this has greed, jealousy and repressed emotions in abundance.
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