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Sad Cypress (Poirot) Paperback – 18 Aug 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have a repro of the first edition of this book. The quality of the typesetting was a revelation. Agatha Christie used unusual but very evocative punctuation, especially in conversation: italics, ellipses and em dashes. I delighted to say that all these features have made it to the Kindle edition. Here's an example: (You will have imagine the first word italicised ans well as the second 'dear' because of the restrictions Amazon imposes on reviewer's text)

Felt… ? A little blur—a slight sense of shock… Roddy’s face—his dear, dear face with its long nose, sensitive mouth… Roddy!

If you want to learn about punctuation to convey the subtleties of conversation and thought processes, this is the book you need.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have watched the Poirot Episode of this then there are not many bits that will come as a surprise to you, but it's just all don so cleverly. AG was a genius, the story is gripping, it has just enough clues to keep you cheering in M Poirot even though things look rather bleak for a long time. The denouement isn't the same as in the to episode, this takes place more in the courtroom, get the hook and enjoy it. A real p,ensure to read.
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