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Sparkling Cyanide [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1982
Six people sit down to dinner at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary - in solemn memory of Rosemary Barton who died at the same table exactly one year previously.


Product details

  • Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana; (Reissue) edition (1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006162630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006162636
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,683,137 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

“The denoument will probably come as a surprise to nine readers out of ten”
New York Times

“SPARKLING CYANIDE is the one … which I should take with me to a desert island; for I find in it a seriousness and a psychological insight unparalleled in the author’s other works.’ Times Literary Supplement

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

Book Description

Six people sit down to dinner at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary – in solemn memory of Rosemary Barton who died at the same table exactly one year previously.

No one present on that fateful night would ever forget the woman’s face, contorted beyond recognition – or what they remembered about her astonishing life.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Character-driven plot has disappointing ending 26 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Sparkling Cyanide" has all the elements of Christie's best books: well-drawn characters which are introduced in a clever, unusual way (each relates his or her memories of the dead Rosemary in a separate chapter), a strong plot, and more motive than usual. Unfortunately the mystery's solution is so completely contrived and unrealistic that it ruins the rest of the book. Definitely a must-read for the Christie style, but don't be surprised at the hokey solution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie 25 Feb 2009
Format:Audio Cassette|Verified Purchase
Sometimes quoted as not one of Agatha Christie's greatest efforts but I enjoyed the familiarity of it all (being a Christie fan) and although I discovered a few rather far-fetched threads, I still found it a pleasurable story. Perhaps recommended to dedicated Christie fans only but worth a try.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder Comes Out of the Past 18 Nov 2003
Format:Paperback
Also known as REMEMBERED DEATH, this 1943 Christie novel is not among the author's most celebrated work--but it is a solid piece of work all the same, and one that shows Christie toying with a favorite theme: a curious death in the past arouses suspicion that erupts into the present tense. A year earlier, London beauty Rosemary Barton unexpectedly dropped dead at dinner in an exclusive London restaurant--and when cyanide was found in both her champagne glass and in her evening bag, her death is ruled a suicide. But with the passage of time her surviving husband becomes suspicious and determines to restage the dinner party with an eye toward uncovering the truth. The result is yet another death--and once more cyanide is in the champagne glass.
As in many of her novels, Christie carefully limits the field of suspects to those actually at the table, and it soon transpires that virtually every one present had a motive for Rosemary's murder--and would have a motive to kill again. Is it Rosemary's sister Iris, who inherited a fortune upon her older sister's death? Rosemary's illicit lover, whose career could be ruined by scandal? Or perhaps his wife, who might have killed to save her marriage? Or is there a darker criminal element at work?
Although this novel reached the screen with David Suchet playing Hercule Poriot, fans of Suchet's performances should not be misled: Poriot does not appear in this particular novel, and the detective of note is Col. Race, who pursues the killer through an emotional interest in Rosemary's sister Iris. And indeed, this is one of Christie's more romantically-laced tales, with the story hinging on the various romantic and sexual entanglements of the various characters. The writing is solid and unexpectedly moody for a Christie novel, and while a few hardcore Christie fans may be able to spot the killer before the book's conclusion, most readers will be taken considerably by surprise. A fun, enjoyable read.
--GFT (Amazon Reviewer)--
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary for Remembrance 3 Jan 2008
By Jane Baker VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has all the hallmarks of a Christie classic and is perfect entertainment for a wintry afternoon. So 1930s with dress and gay vocabulary, it speaks of another and very handsome era. Wonderfully entertaining with the requisite number of characters for a Christie drama. Always impossible to work out the murderer with Christie's "signature" of retaining some clue which when divulged fits and finishes the jig-saw. If you're looking for a light read which is also gripping and demands nothing more from you than sitting back to be entertained then this is it - and you will close the book as you finish it and sigh deeply with nostalgia and time well spent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn 20 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback
Just what you'd expect from AG - easy to read with plenty of finely drawn characters. I didn't guess who the killer was, but that's perhaps because the ending is rather contrived and unlikely. Extremely unlikely, in fact. But that didn't dampen the joy of reading a good page-turner of a story.
On the downside I found the two detectives (well, one detective, one amateur), a little difficult to distinguish one from another - both middle-aged, conservative guys, so I had to keep checking who was talking. Note that neither Hercule nor Miss M feature in this particular novel.
On the plus side, as well as the taut, intriguing plot, I really enjoyed the cut-glass, period English being spoken by the characters - Lord Kidderminster especially. It sparkles, like the novel's title, and is delightful to read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT TOO BAD 29 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an okay book. I guess I missed my fave detective, Poirot, but otherwise it's not too bad. The way the mystery is solved, by just a chance occurance, is so realistic that those who hated "The Big Four" for it's lack of realism will appreciate this edition from Dame Agatha.
In fact, the whole book is full of realism, excepting how the murderer chose to claim its victims. I guess the realism is the deciding factor for this book. Did you like "The Big Four", or do you prefer the who-dun-its? This isn't the best, but it's far from the worst!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 4 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant as all agatha Christies are nice for a change when it's not Miss Marple or Poirot makes a nice change and a very good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 18 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Christie t her best. Superb plot and every page interesting. Recommended to all Kindle readers and a fully deserved five stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very readable book with an interesting insight upon life ...
A very readable book with an interesting insight upon life as it was lived in the upper echelons of high society of that time, the solution to the mystery is also a surprise, a... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Clara Wieck
5.0 out of 5 stars very good Christie
Agatha Christie at her best. I have read most if not all of Christies thrillers and this is definitely one of the best
Published 10 months ago by kaye stamford
4.0 out of 5 stars Light read
I enjoyed the book. You know what to expect with Agatha Christie and it did not disappoint. I guessed the murderer half way through.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Motive alone doesn't make a murderer
With the notable exception of the finale seeming a bit rushed, this book was meticulous in its creation and didn't need the extra dimension of a celebrity sleuth. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Moonlight Shadow
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing Read
This is a very relaxing read and one I've read a few times and enjoyed. To begin with you wonder where this story is going as it describes the character of Rosemary Barton from... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. A. L. Maddocks
4.0 out of 5 stars not Poirot or Marple (nor yet Tommy and Tuppence) but a good read
This is holiday reading - sufficient plot and puzzle to keep me engaged without taxing my brain to much. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kangerew
5.0 out of 5 stars One of best of Agatha Christi books
Again one of the best of Agatha Christi stories, I play this one again and again its
such a good listen.
Published 12 months ago by Ronald George MacCormick
2.0 out of 5 stars clunky
radio drama used to be quite compelling and had good actors. This unfortunately doesnt flow at all with a very pedestrian reading of it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. Storer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling Cyanide
Another of Agatha Christie's gripping thrillers, which held my interest from beginning to end. The true murderer came as a complete surprise.
Published 14 months ago by Marilyn Carne
3.0 out of 5 stars fun and easy to read
a good story and as always an Agatha Christie is easy too read and doesnt take too much concentration - ideal on a train or where things are not that quiet
Published 17 months ago by Megan Ibbetson
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