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Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie
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Sparkling Cyanide (original 1943; edition 1971)

by Agatha Christie

Series: Colonel Race (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,356444,562 (3.64)79
"Six people sit down to a sumptuous meal at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary-"rosemary for remembrance." A strange sentiment considering no one is likely to forget the night, exactly a year ago, that Rosemary Barton died at exactly the same table, her beautiful face unrecognizable, convulsed with pain and horror. But then Rosemary had always been memorable-she had the ability to arouse strong passions in most people she met. In one case, strong enough to kill..."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)
Member:evareads
Title:Sparkling Cyanide
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Fontana (1971), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:crime

Work details

Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie (1943)

  1. 00
    Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories by Agatha Christie (MissBrangwen)
    MissBrangwen: This novel was developed from one of the short stories featured in the collection, "Yellow Iris". It is interesting to compare the two.
  2. 00
    The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories by Agatha Christie (MissBrangwen)
    MissBrangwen: The collection of short stories by Agatha Christie features "Yellow Iris", the short story from which "Sparkling Cyanide" was developed. Well worth the comparison, as there are many differences as well as similarities.
  3. 00
    Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (MissBrangwen)
    MissBrangwen: Both of these Christie mysteries feature an elegant dinner party - and for each of them, the number of guests and a missing one are significant.
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» See also 79 mentions

English (38)  Spanish (4)  Danish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
In which a party of seven is reduced to six after an uncomfortable dinner; and, a year, later, six becomes five…

"Sparkling Cyanide" (or "Remembered Death", as it was released in the US, leading me to assume that the publishers’ mandate was just to get the word “Murder” or “Death” into every title) is an expanded retelling of "Yellow Iris", a Poirot short story, which was effectively adapted for the David Suchet series in the early ’90s. It’s a lovely idea, and told damn well, featuring a detective – Colonel Johnnie Race – who had previously appeared in "The Man in the Brown Suit", and would return to Christie’s world twice, as a friend of Poirot’s. (It’s lovely that – while Christie remained staunchly opposed to ‘uniting’ Poirot and Marple – nearly all of her books tie in to an overarching ‘Universe’ [yes, I apologise for sounding like an anorak], with St. Mary Mead referenced in a Poirot novel, for example)

Race is an adept, if stoic, detective, and the story is well told – with a beautiful premise and a clever title. For me, the solution is a little too… unlikely, but – while that’s obviously a major element of the story – it doesn’t really detract from the rest. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
This is considered the fourth book in the Colonel Race, Agatha Christie mysteries. I of course am reading these books out of order. I already read "Cards on the Table" (5 stars) and "Death on the Nile (ditto 5 stars) so apparently my streak continues with Race and I gave "Sparkling Cyanide" 5 stars as well.

This book had a great cast of characters with plenty of people who had a motive. I loved the why and the how in this story and I definitely did not catch on until the very end when all is revealed.

"Sparkling Cyanide" has the family/friends/others who have known Rosemary Barton getting together a year later on the anniversary of her death. Rosemary many believed committed suicide, but her husband George has been receiving notes saying that Rosemary was murdered. He decides to bring everyone back together in order to flush the murderer out.

We have the sister (Iris), the loyal secretary (Ruth) , the former lover (Anthony), the other former lover (Stephen), the lover's steadfast wife (Alexandra) and the widower (George). Then we follow up with these people on the day of the party, follow up on the aftermath of the party with Colonel Race becoming involved with this whodunit as well.

I honestly suspected each and everyone of the above at one point (except for Race) since they all had wonderful motives for wanting to get Rosemary out of the way.

The writing was very good and I loved that Christie paid attention to all of the potential suspects in individual sections. There is that subtle/not so subtle racism at play in Christie works (slur word against Italians and the less said about the Negro music, the better). Easy enough to ignore though due to the story-line.

The setting of the world of the rich and not so rich was interesting to see play out. I would love to see what happened with some of the characters (too bad) just because there was enough there to definitely want to see some of them in other Christie works. We know Race shows up again in the Hercule Poirot stories, but technically, this one is the last book that he shows up in since the other stories take place before the events shown in this book.

I did love the ending since of course when Christie spells out who did what and why it all makes sense. I did go back and re-read a few parts with that in mind. Very clever. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Another Agatha Christie chalked off, only about 80 more to go.

In this a young girl dies at a dinner party 6 other guests are present. All had one reason or another to have committed murder, but was it suicide?

A year later the husband recreates the same dinner party. Same guests, same table. He is poisoned in the same way. Who was it...?

Plot sounds quite thin but I enjoyed it well enough.

4 stars. ( )
  mick745 | Apr 8, 2020 |
Sparkling Cyanide - Christie
Audio performance by Hugh Fraser
3 stars

Dinner parties are dangerous. Be careful what you drink. The detective in this one is the obscure Colonel Race (and cohorts). I miss Poirot, but I always enjoy Hugh Fraser’s performance. The identity of the murderer is over-obvious. The tricky question is, how was it done? ( )
  msjudy | Mar 11, 2020 |
aka Remembered Death

Not Christie's best. I'm not sure that the clues were adequately explained to the reader. Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Aug 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahmavaara, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anthony, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, RobinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berni, OlivieroCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bihl, AgnieszkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enniko, JuhanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grimaldi, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hipkiss, Guillermo LopezTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunstein, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Αλεξάκης, ΒαγγέληςTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kährik, KajaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Houbie, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAfee, MaraCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyquist, GunvorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Picard, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snorrason, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tedeschi, AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Venske, Regulasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vicens, AntoniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volpatti, LiaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Six people were thinking of

Rosemary Barton

who had died nearly a year ago...
Dedication
[None]
First words
Iris Marle was thinking about her sister, Rosemary.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This book was published as Remembered Death in the US and Sparkling Cyanide in the UK. It is based on a short story Yellow Iris, which featured Hercule Poirot as the detective.
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"Six people sit down to a sumptuous meal at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary-"rosemary for remembrance." A strange sentiment considering no one is likely to forget the night, exactly a year ago, that Rosemary Barton died at exactly the same table, her beautiful face unrecognizable, convulsed with pain and horror. But then Rosemary had always been memorable-she had the ability to arouse strong passions in most people she met. In one case, strong enough to kill..."--P. [4] of cover.

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