Sparkling Cyanide (Agatha Christie Signature Edition) Paperback – 18 Aug 2008
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“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
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. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A lot of the book is made up of the back story and what led up to the fatal party a year ago but it makes interesting reading and the reader gets plenty of information on which to form their own judgement of who is the murderer. A little unfortunately the introduction to the e-book edition I read contains an introduction which says who the murderer is so if you read this edition and don't want to know then read the introduction last.
As ever the book is well written and well plotted and the characters are interesting and believable.
The title refers to the means of death - cyanide in a glass of French champagne. Rosemary Barton is the first deceased, whose death at the dinner table, with previously mentioned small group of people, opens the story. The remaining characters are her older husband George, her younger sister Iris, her husband's personal assistant Ruth, her lover Stephen Farraday, another male 'friend' Anthony Browne and lastly Sandra, the wife of Stephen Farraday. All with their intriguing back stories, and their motives, but do they have the means? And who else won't be left standing by the end?
Brilliant stuff, such insight and understanding into the human condition, what motivates us, and why we behave in certain ways. And she writes so easily, making her novels very readable and compelling. With the last of the Hercule Poirot TV movies starring David Suchet being made this year, hopefully interest will be revived in the marvellous and timeless books written by Agatha Christie.
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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