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Sparkling Cyanide (Agatha Christie Signature Edition) Paperback – 18 Aug 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Masterpiece Ed edition (18 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007136854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007136858
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A year ago Rosemary dies of cyanide poisoning at a fashionable restaurant. Now George, her widower, wants to stage the party again with the same guests and an empty place for Rosemary. He is advised by an old friend - Colonel Race - not to do it and Race himself refuses to attend the party. George has been prompted to restage it because he has received anonymous letters saying his wife was murdered. Instead of going to the police he wants to frighten the murderer into revealing themselves.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Isn't she wonderful, the most widely published author in the English language after the Bible and Shakespeare! She isn't called the Queen of Mystery for nothing. Imagine having this fantastic storyteller as your grandmother. Bedtime stories sure would be something else! I haven't read Agatha Chrisite for years and years, and ambling through the library one day recently, waiting for something to pop out at me, this did! Like so many of her stories, this murder involves just a small group of people, intimately linked to the deceased, with more than likely one of the remainings to no longer alive at the end of it all. So as well as pondering over who did it, you are also left pondering who isn't going to make it.

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.
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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first Agatha Christie I ever read, in the 1960s. It hooked me into the writer's world and I wanted to see how I felt about it now, 50 years later. Of course the period detail is amusing and interesting, but the cunning plot stands up well. Christie is a genius. She creates a thoroughly believable world in which her characters live, and her puzzles are masterly. This is comfort reading for me - a crossword puzzle in prose.
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