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Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) by…

Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) (original 1934; edition 1998)

by Agatha Christie, Charles Osborne (Adapter)

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1,036308,148 (3.23)39
Title:Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)
Authors:Agatha Christie
Other authors:Charles Osborne (Adapter)
Info:St. Martin's Minotaur (1998), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:contemporary mystery, 1990-2009, bookmooch, 96-100, borrowed from mareena

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Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) by Agatha Christie (1934)



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» See also 39 mentions

English (25)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
The seventh work by Christie to feature retired Belgian detective Hercule Poirot was written as a play, after Christie had been dissatisfied with the dramatization of an earlier work and decided she would write a play herself. Some twenty years after her death, former actor Charles Osborne was hired by her heirs to novelize the work.

Hercule Poirot is asked to come to the country estate of Sir Claud Amory to unmask the traitor in his midst. Amory is a famous scientist and has been working on a formula for a new explosive for the government – a weapon that would change the course of war. He wants Poirot to come to his home, and take the formula to the Ministry of Defense. But mere minutes before Poirot’s arrival, Sir Claude is dead – was it a heart attack, or poison? And where is the missing formula?

Most of the elements of a classic Poirot “locked room” mystery are here: a country estate, a variety of characters / suspects, a mysterious secret (or two, or three), and Poirot’s amazing “little gray cells.” The dialogue is typical Christie, but the connective tissue of the novel lacks her sparkle. If anything it seems “over” dramatized.

Still, it’s a quick read, and moderately enjoyable. I didn’t figure it out much ahead of Poirot’s reveal (Poirot, of course, had it figured out long before I did).
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 14, 2016 |
Again, a nice murder mystery sprouted from Christie's imagination. However, one can tell that this one was particularly written as a theatre play, and only later transcribed into a novel.

3 stars is perhaps a bit on the low end for this little story, but it doesn't deserve 4 either, when you compare it to it's peers on the Poirot shelf. ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
This is a novel by Charles Osborne based on a play by Agatha Christie. I have not read the play, so I cannot judge how much of this is genuine Christie. The obvious assumption would be that the plot and the dialogue, at least, would be hers. ( )
  antiquary | Oct 19, 2014 |
Read in a few hours. Very entertaining. ( )
  ClarisaO | Aug 13, 2014 |
No one should ever attempt to write as Dame Christie. It's a crime that the cover of this book will lead many to think this is Christie writing. It is not Christie and it's not good. ( )
  agdbk | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Osborne, CharlesAdaptermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Moffatt, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hercule Poirot sat at breakfast in his small but agreeably cosy flat in Whitehall Mansions.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Black Coffee was originally a play by Agatha Christie published in 1934 by A. Ashley and son. It was adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne, published 1998 by St. Martin Press. Please do not merge the two records.
Black Coffee was originally a play by Agatha Christie published in 1934 by A. Ashley and son. It was adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne, published 1998 by St. Martin Press. Please do not merge the two records.
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Book description
Black Coffee is an adaptation of an Agatha Christie play. It was written into novel form posthumously by Charles Osborne.

In the book, Sir Claud Amory, who has been working on an important scientific formula, suspects that one of his family members is trying to steal his formula. Poirot is called in to discover the suspected thief and instead finds himself investigating not only a theft but a murder...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312970072, Mass Market Paperback)

Subtitled A Hercule Poirot Novel, Black Coffee is actually an Agatha Christie play recrafted as a book meant to be read rather than seen on the stage. The story was first produced in 1930, and Charles Osborne has done little to it except string the dialogue and stage directions together in paragraph form. Christie loyalists will welcome and applaud his dedication to the original, but it does seem as though he could have given it a bit more flair. Still, Poirot himself, bumbling Captain Hastings, and obsequious George are all in good form and it is amusing to find them engaged in another adventure, with an interesting assortment of possible murderers, blackmailers, and innocent (if suspicious) bystanders.

The novel opens as Poirot receives a summons at his breakfast table from England's premier physicist, Sir Claud Amory. Busy working on a new formula necessary for England's defense in the Second World War, Amory suspects a member of his household of espionage. Of course, by the time Poirot and sidekick Hastings arrive at the scientist's country house, he is suddenly and mysteriously dead. Amory himself turns out to have been not quite nice, and his family, regardless of his scientific efforts, is pretty pleased with the new state of affairs. Still, Poirot manages both to save the more amiable members of the household from themselves and to protect the secrets of the British Empire. The novel is warmly evocative of another time and place and a welcome reminder of vintage Christie. --K.A. Crouch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:07 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An urgent call from physicist Sir Claud Amory sends famed detective Hercule Poirot rushing from London to a sprawling country estate. Sir Claud fears a member of his own household wants to steal a secret formula destined for the Ministry of Defense. But Poirot arrives too late. The formula is missing. Worse, Sir Claud has been poisoned by his after-dinner coffee. Poirot soon identifies a potent brew of despair, treachery, and deception amid the mansion's occupants. Now he must find the formula and the killer...while letting no poison slip 'twix his low lips.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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