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Sad Cypress (1940)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hercule Poirot (20)

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2,768593,886 (3.66)119
An elderly stroke victim dies without having arranged a will... 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...… (more)
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» See also 119 mentions

English (54)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Elinor Carlisle is on trial for the murder of Mary Gerrard. There doesn't seem to be anybody else with a motive or who could have done it. But the local doctor asks Poirot for help proving her innocence.

I must admit I fell for the red herring and thought I'd done well to guess who it was early on. But of course I was wrong and Poirot's little grey cells were more than a match for mine. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Mar 23, 2021 |
This is my second Agatha Christie novel, but my first one featuring Poirot. My first one was with Miss Marple and I found it an ok mystery with nice cozy elements to it. But this one was surprisingly good as I was expecting more or less the same.

The characters here had more personality and more depth to them, the plot itself was much more involved and definitely had more tension. I enjoyed the courtroom scenes especially (haha you can definitely picture the audience with audible gasps during these scenes)

My guess was completely wrong in this mystery, but the little twist and how it all came together was well thought out. You didn't really know what Poirot was thinking as he was putting the pieces together and you can feel just as exasperated as the characters felt when Poirot tries to explain his methods of thinking (he likes to draw out his conclusions)

My next Christie book for the ReadChristie2021 challenge will feature Poirot again, so I hope I will enjoy it as much as this one! ( )
  sensitivemuse | Feb 25, 2021 |
Christie doesn't have a lot of courtroom dramas in her repertoire and I was surprised to see lawyers in this one! It didn't feel as compelling as her other books: Poirot is invited later in the tale and is slow to uncover clues readers already know about. The ending rests on a information that the reader had no way of knowing. While this is not a new technique, it seemed particularly poorly used in this case.
The book still had its usual Christie charm but not the cleverness. This would explain why it's not as well-known as others. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Feb 15, 2021 |
Elinor is accused of murdering her love rival. Poirot to the rescue. I thought I had sussed this early on and was enjoying the red herrings. And I was completely wrong. Christie can still fox me. Great.

Then listened to radio play in 2021, and sometimes it pays to have a dreadful memory. Again, I thought I had cleverly sussed it, and again I was foxed. Begins with Elinor’s court case, then the events to the case are revealed. A wealthy woman is dying, hasn’t made a will but asks Elinor to financially take care of her young companion.

The solution to the puzzle needed some suspension of belief! ( )
  LARA335 | Jan 21, 2021 |
It's incredible really how [a:Agatha Christie|123715|Agatha Christie|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1321738793p2/123715.jpg] keeps on coming up with new structures for presenting murder mysteries. This time, we start at the trial, see the murder happening in a flashback, rather late in the story, and then return to the trial for the finale.

The books is nicely written and a pleasant read, but I was disappointed at the end to read that there was almost no way I could have found out who to actual murderer was. That was a bit of a let down for me. ( )
1 vote bbbart | Dec 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brinchmann, JacobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suchet, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.

—Shakespeare
Dedication
To Peter and Peggy McLeod
First words
"Elinor Katharine Carlisle."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

An elderly stroke victim dies without having arranged a will... 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...

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Book description
Haiku summary
Open-and-shut case
Guilty till proved innocent
Poirot asks questions
(passion4reading)

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