Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts

Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts

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Title:Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts
Author:Agatha Christie
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts Reviews

  • Deanna

    The format of

    by Agatha Christie available at my library is a play featuring the brilliant deductive abilities of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot and his friend Hastings are summoned to the home of Sir Claud Amory to determine the identity of the thief responsible for stealing the formula for a new explosive from the scientist's safe. Upon arrival Poirot discovers that not only is the formula still missing but Sir Claud has been poisoned.

    While a play is not my preferred re

    The format of

    by Agatha Christie available at my library is a play featuring the brilliant deductive abilities of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot and his friend Hastings are summoned to the home of Sir Claud Amory to determine the identity of the thief responsible for stealing the formula for a new explosive from the scientist's safe. Upon arrival Poirot discovers that not only is the formula still missing but Sir Claud has been poisoned.

    While a play is not my preferred reading style, I found the mystery to be quite entertaining. 4 stars

  • Tras

    Note: I read Charles Osborne's novelisation of this play.

  • Evgeny

    Originally Black Coffee was a play by Agatha Christie. Later on it was rewritten as a novel by Charles Osborne. This is where the confusion started. Practically everybody who read the novel was of the opinion that it was mediocre. Not the fault of Charles Osborne as The Dame of Mystery was an act tough to follow. So I wanted the play.

    Everywhere I looked: Amazon, other online bookstores, brick-and-mortar bookstores, libraries, WorldCat, and anything else I could think of offered the novel despit

    Originally Black Coffee was a play by Agatha Christie. Later on it was rewritten as a novel by Charles Osborne. This is where the confusion started. Practically everybody who read the novel was of the opinion that it was mediocre. Not the fault of Charles Osborne as The Dame of Mystery was an act tough to follow. So I wanted the play.

    Everywhere I looked: Amazon, other online bookstores, brick-and-mortar bookstores, libraries, WorldCat, and anything else I could think of offered the novel despite me specifically asking for a play. Finally I bought it directly from the publisher (Samuel French, Inc.) thinking they would send me the novel as well and getting ready to send it back. To my surprise I received exactly what I wanted.

    Back to the plot. Sir Claud Amory was a brilliant scientist, but quite a despot when it came to his relatives. Considering he had lots of them and none bothered to do this pesky thing called work preferring to live off Sir Claud Amory, I cannot pretend I did not understand where his despotism came from. In any way, the guy developed an explosive with destruction power greater than that of an atomic bomb (I think we can overlook some scientific inaccuracies from The Dame of Mystery).

    Needless to say every single international spy was interested in the formula.

    One fateful day the inventor announced that somebody managed to steal it from his safe and that he invited a famous detective Hercule Poirot (accompanied by his faithful sidekick Capt. Hastings) to investigate. Poirot arrived a little late as the papers with the formula were restores to their place. However he was just in time to investigate the resulting murder.

    It is hard to judge this as a regular book. After all, it is a play meaning all the information is given entirely through the dialogs with bare-bone descriptions of people, places, rooms, etc. For the same reason it is pointless to speak about any characterization as well as the play is relatively short. What matters is that I lost some sleep trying to finish reading; all Poirot books have this influence on me (The Big Four is the only exception; this one is a great insomnia cure).

    All the expected from the series twists, red herrings, brilliant Poirot's deduction skills were present. I can only complain that one of the twist came straight from another Poirot novel (and I am not spoiling it by revealing the title!) Also it was possible to reduce the number of suspects to only two very early in the story if you force you "gray cells" to work a little.

    The final rating is

    rounded up because I am a big fan of the series and will round up any rating (almost; see above for exception) of a book belonging to it.

  • Miranda

    I accidentally got the stage version of the story from the library--and it didn't occur to me that this wasn't normal or that there would be a true novel version. So now I feel that I've cheated myself of the proper experience and took a shortcut through the story. (This stage version dumbed down the story, I believe.)

    Needless to say, I will find my way to the true novel version.

  • Chrissie

    Maybe it's because I went into this fully expecting a stinker—I mean, it's a novelization of a drama, come on!—but I thought this was just a delightful little Poirot story. I like

    Maybe it's because I went into this fully expecting a stinker—I mean, it's a novelization of a drama, come on!—but I thought this was just a delightful little Poirot story. I liked it as much as, if not more than, the previous installment of the collection,

    .

    Clearly, I am waiting with bated breath to make it up to

    , and I don't expect anything nearly as good as

    (which is sensational, by the way), but these last two have been fun and easy reads. Surely (

    ), the very definition of a cozy mystery.

  • Nikhil Patel

    As usual what I think is that Christie's mysteries with Poirot don't seem to stand the test of time. They are not good mysteries by standard of today. But, what I like about Christie's stories, as always, the atmosphere it creates and gets you in the story even if it's not that interesting.

  • Suni

    La Christie è stata un’autrice di teatro, per il quale non ha solo adattato suoi racconti o romanzi ma ha scritto anche opere originali.

    è la prima (1930).

    È un piacevole giallo nella classica dimora elegante inglese, con un ristretto gruppo di personaggi (tutti sospettabili) e con un Poirot in gran forma che risolve il caso.

    Leggerlo invece che vederlo rappresentato toglie un po’ di ritmo, perché c’è pieno di indicazioni del tipo da quale porta tale personaggio entra, su quale sedia/

    La Christie è stata un’autrice di teatro, per il quale non ha solo adattato suoi racconti o romanzi ma ha scritto anche opere originali.

    è la prima (1930).

    È un piacevole giallo nella classica dimora elegante inglese, con un ristretto gruppo di personaggi (tutti sospettabili) e con un Poirot in gran forma che risolve il caso.

    Leggerlo invece che vederlo rappresentato toglie un po’ di ritmo, perché c’è pieno di indicazioni del tipo da quale porta tale personaggio entra, su quale sedia/sgabello/poltrona si siede, su quale tavolino appoggia un determinato oggetto, etc., ma è stata comunque una bella lettura.

  • Nancy

    Well, reading a story in script form is not my favorite. Typical Poirot story. A couple of things I don’t understand: this is listed as #7 in the series, which would mean it fits here chronologically. If so, Hastings is married, but he certainly doesn’t act it here. And there was an event that was important in Poirot’s solving of the crime; it was the same event that occurred in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Book #1. It makes me think this wasn’t supposed to be included in the novel series.

    I

    Well, reading a story in script form is not my favorite. Typical Poirot story. A couple of things I don’t understand: this is listed as #7 in the series, which would mean it fits here chronologically. If so, Hastings is married, but he certainly doesn’t act it here. And there was an event that was important in Poirot’s solving of the crime; it was the same event that occurred in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Book #1. It makes me think this wasn’t supposed to be included in the novel series.

    I bought this book on eBay because I am reading them in order until at least #10, Murder on the Orient Express, and my library didn’t have it.

  • Jeffrey Covey

    Woo boy. A game first try; I'm glad she chanced it and gained the confidence that led to putting better things on the stage in later years, but this is pretty thin. It would have served better for one of her short story collections. The compressed timeline deprives her of the usual devices of Poirot sitting and thinking for days and crying, "Hastings, I have been blind, but blind!", so Poirot is more than ever suspected of finding solutions by having a peek at the script. And Poirot practices Ju

    Woo boy. A game first try; I'm glad she chanced it and gained the confidence that led to putting better things on the stage in later years, but this is pretty thin. It would have served better for one of her short story collections. The compressed timeline deprives her of the usual devices of Poirot sitting and thinking for days and crying, "Hastings, I have been blind, but blind!", so Poirot is more than ever suspected of finding solutions by having a peek at the script. And Poirot practices Jujutsu? The real mystery is: Who would want to see that? Strictly for completists like me who have decided to plunge into the series entire.

  • Midori

    I have read the novelized version of the play as composed by C. Osborne. The plot has clearly elements from other AC’s detective fiction. AC’s great fans will not fail to notice it straight from the beginning making the reading process a strange deja vu. I cannot classify Black Coffee among AC’s memorable works; it is acceptable and it will keep you good company during a cold winter weekend. As a footnote, I will add that though C. Osborne tries consciously to recreate AC’s style and wording, Da

    I have read the novelized version of the play as composed by C. Osborne. The plot has clearly elements from other AC’s detective fiction. AC’s great fans will not fail to notice it straight from the beginning making the reading process a strange deja vu. I cannot classify Black Coffee among AC’s memorable works; it is acceptable and it will keep you good company during a cold winter weekend. As a footnote, I will add that though C. Osborne tries consciously to recreate AC’s style and wording, Dame Agatha is unique and inimitable.

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