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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary raines
If I were to have a bucket list, solving one of Ms. Christie's mysteries using all the clues she placed in the story would be on it. It's beginning to feel I have a better chance of discharging solid-gold goose eggs from my backside. I've been reading her Hercule Poirot mysteries in the order they were published. 'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe' is the author's twenty-third Hercule Poirot novel. It was published in 1941. There is no actual profanity in the story if you happen to be sensitive about that sort of thing. In fact when one of the characters starts swearing, Ms. Christie simply writes, "... tailed off into furious profanity." However, the lack of "colorful adjectives" does not detract from the well-constructed whodunit.

An unassuming dentist is found dead in his office between appointments. What, at first, seems like a suicide, turns into a tale about possible blackmail, political power, and jealousy. As usual Ms. Christie sprinkles her story with plenty of clues and red herrings. Poirot states he is "... methodical, orderly and logical." True. The clues are obvious once the little Belgian explains his reasoning. There are less than a dozen suspects and some of them are such objectionable people I was hoping at least one of them did it. Unlike a few of her other works, there was no need to bone up on early twentieth-century practices. I also liked that the conclusion wrestles with a moral quandary. The story is almost eight-decades old and it still holds up very well. It's a quick fun read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
berit
Let me start by saying that I have read as many Agatha Christie books as I possibly could. Sad Cypress started out extremely well and held my interest throughout, providing wonderful insights to human nature and feelings, with a slew of possibilities for suspects. I couldn't put the book down! Why am I not recommending this book? The actual culprit was not just a surprise, but seemed to come out of nowhere and really had no connecting motive to the story. I think I would have given this book a rave review if I just didn't read the ending.
Sorry.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
beth p
Since I adored the movie version, I thought that I'd give this book a try. The style and flow of this book is dreadful and lackluster. As a fan of Agatha Christie, I was taken aback by the drab performance of this book.
The Agatha Christie Book Club :: The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple Mysteries) :: Autobiography, An :: The Sittaford Mystery (Agatha Christie Mysteries Collection (Paperback)) :: A Miss Marple Mystery (Miss Marple Mysteries) - The Body in the Library
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
larry wood
In my further quest to read all the Christies, I picked up Sparkling Cyanide. As it happens this publication has a great cover so that pulled me in as well. The situation here is that Rosemary Barton is a year dead and her husband George is sure (after a series of letters) that she did not commit suicide as the inquest determined, but was murdered. He gathers together the people who were in attendance at her birthday dinner the night of her death to find the killer. It goes terribly and now it's up to Colonel Race to solve a murder (or two) and possibly a third if he's not quick about it.

The characters are introduced and the story gets off the ground quickly enough but I could not help but feel that I knew this story. And not only knew it but knew it with Hercule Poirot as the detective who needs to solve it. It was driving me to read quickly and see if I happened to be correct. Suffice it to say I found surprises here that differed from what I thought I was recalling and I enjoyed this story overall. This was my first reading of Colonel Race and I liked him but I was constantly comparing him to Hercule in what I was sure was a similar... okay, near identical, story.

When I had finished reading, I did do a quick check and found that I was indeed recalling correctly that Hercule Poirot solves a cyanide-in-the-champers murder as well in Yellow Iris. I'd read that short story and seen a dramatisation of it but did not know that Christie had expanded the story and brought in a different detective along with a different and very well done, suspenseful denouement. So, I do recommend this but do take note if you've already read Yellow Iris, so the similarities don't drive you batty as you read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nissa
The thing is – if Hercule Poirot ever threatens to visit you, make an excuse and then flee to the other side of the world because no one is safe around that man! In this book he visits his dentist, Mr Morley, for a routine check-up. By the end of the morning, Mr Morley is dead. Later, one of his patients is found dead and another has gone missing. Let's hope Poirot didn't have a doctor's appointment that afternoon!

At first, Inspector Japp thinks Mr Morley, who was found shot dead with a gun beside him, has been murdered, but when one of his patients dies later that day of an overdose of the Procaine used to numb his mouth, it's assumed Mr Morley made a mistake and then in a fit of remorse killed himself. So the police investigation stops, but Poirot isn't convinced and continues with his own investigation.

There had been quite a collection of notable patients at Mr Morley's surgery that day. Mr Amberiotis is a Greek gentleman with a dubious reputation. Mr Barnes is retired from the Secret Services. Miss Sainsbury Seale has a chequered past, having been an actress in her youth and then having shockingly married a Hindu in India (well, it was shocking in 1940 when the book was written), before deserting him and returning home to England. Mr Blunt is a banker and pillar of the Establishment – the kind of man who is seen as giving stability to the country at a time when other European countries are falling into the hands of various flavours of dictatorships. There are also a couple of young men there – one the boyfriend of Mr Morley's secretary, and the other the would-be boyfriend of Mr Blunt's niece. Poirot begins by talking to each of these people about what they remember of that morning.

This one has a nicely convoluted plot which touches on some of the anxieties of a country facing war. Christie never gets overly political but she often works current concerns into her stories and it gives an interesting insight into the time of writing. Here, there's a clear divide between the deep conservatism of the old guard in Britain, fighting to keep the old systems of politics and finance in place, and the younger people, some of whom have been affected by the socialist and revolutionary fervour churning through large parts of the world. While Christie appears to be firmly on the side of the old guard, she intriguingly recognises through her characters that this may be age related and that things may change whatever the Establishment does. She also neatly addresses the question of how far ethics may be bent in pursuance of a noble aim.

But of course that's all just a side dish – the main course is a beautifully plotted murder mystery in which all the clues are given to make it possible to solve, if only the reader's little grey cells operated as efficiently as Poirot's. This reader's didn't. It was so long ago since I last read this one I couldn't remember the solution, and found I was baffled all over again. Not only are the clues sprinkled throughout, but towards the end Poirot lists all the important ones in his thoughts – and yet still I couldn't work it out. But when Poirot explains it all in one of his typical denouements, it all fits together perfectly and undoubtedly falls into the fair play category.

It's a very thoughtful denouement, this one, where Poirot considers the future and finds it worrying – I suspect it would have resonated strongly with the concerns of the readers of the time. And frankly, given the current political situation around the world, it resonates just as strongly again now. As always, I get annoyed at how dismissive people sometimes are about the Golden Age writers in general and Christie in particular – they knew how to entertain but the best of them also reflected their society back to itself, just as the best crime writers continue to do today.

I listened to the Audible audiobook read by Hugh Fraser, who gives another excellent narration. I've mentioned in the past how good he is at bringing out the humour in some of Christie's books. In this one, he does just as good a job of bringing out the slightly darker, more pensive tone of certain parts of the book. These audiobooks are a great way to freshen the books up for old fans – I'm thoroughly enjoying listening to them and look forward to revisiting the Christie/Fraser partnership again soon. 4½ stars for me, so rounded up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tiaan kleyn
This was my eight Agatha Christie novel and so far I have enjoyed all of them. They are so fun to read and also very addicting. Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors because she manages to entertain me with each book and she makes me question a lot of things, which is the point of a mystery novel.

Let’s begin this review by talking about the setting of the story – the place that the tragedy happens at. It takes place on an island that can only be reached by a dam or by boat. I loved the fact that it was a place where only the guests of the hotel (which is on the island) had access to. It also sounds as a beautiful place, one where I would gladly spend my vacation.

Now about the characters. Of course, the first one I have to mention is Hercule Poirot, as he is the main character. Poirot was as amazing and intelligent as he always is. I adore him as a character, he is so much fun to read about. I especially love his little quirks that not everyone understands and most find very weird. I love reading books about him.

The other characters I won’t go much into, because I feel as if I could spoil a lot of things. I am just going to say that there were quiet a few characters that I liked, but there were also those ones that I didn’t and that were annoying – but all of them were very interesting, which is more important than liking them in my opinion.

The mystery was very fascinating. I don’t know how to write about it without spoiling anything so I will keep this one short. As with each mystery novel I try to figure out who did it and such, this was no exception. Was I right? Absolutely not. Not even close. Which is great, as I love being surprised about who did it – it makes it more interesting.

So why did I give it 4 instead of 5 stars? I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending. I felt as if there were a few questions that didn’t get answered, and I would have loved to know the answers to them.

All in all it was a very good book. I enjoyed myself and I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a good mystery. Now I plan to read another Agatha Christie novel, as I am in a really big mystery mood.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matt johnson
“That is what I mean. A bath! The receptacle of porcelain, one turns the taps and fills it, one gets in, one gets out and ghoosh - ghoosh - ghoosh, the water goes down the waste pipe!"
"M. Poirot are you quite mad?"
"No, I am extremely sane.”

This radio play of the book by Agatha Christie was a great listen. The actors were all top notch and I liked the way everyone had a different accent in order to distinguish between all of the characters.

The story puts Hercule Poirot at a resort on an island in Great Britain where the usual cast of characters are visiting. A man and his actress wife and his daughter from a previous marriage are having a tough time of melding together. The actress seems to be having an affair with another married man whose wife is not taking it well at all. Then there is the clergyman, who lost his place for being fixated on “the whore of Babylon” and the elderly woman who is afraid of heights. The police are never very good at these small towns and are eager to turn things over to Scotland Yard, when they discover drugs may be involved.

Soon there is a murder and we are left guessing who, how and why it was done.

All in all, it is a typical Poirot mystery and the denouement is very satisfying. I love how his little grey cells keep you guessing and he explains it so easily to us all. I always fall for the red herrings and I was way off on this one.

This was a little over two hours of listening and it was a wonderful way to pass an afternoon in the garden. I highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jenny france
This is a collection of short stories written in 1926.

The Underdog

A lady sends her companion to go to Poirot and she tells him that
her lady has a feeling that her husband was killed by his secretary.
Poirot takes the case and finds out that there is something to her
intuition.

The Plymouth Express

A woman is found murdered on the train and her father seeks out Poirot
to solve the crime.

Affair at the Victory ball

Who killed Lord Cronshaw? That is the murder that Poirot must solve
and what secrets does the masked ball hold?

Market Basing Mystery

A man has been shot and his murderer a mystery. Hidden secrets reveal
to Poirot the true killer.

Lemesurier Inheritance

Tragedy strikes several male members of a family. Is it fate or simple murder?

Cornish Mystery

Mrs. Pengelley comes to Poirot and tells him that she believes that her husband
is poisoning her. When Poirot comes to visit her a day later, she is dead and her
husband accused.

King of Clubs

Mr. Reedburn has been murdered and a Prince sends for Poirot for help since his
fiancee is implicated to have killed Reedburn. Why did she go to a family and
what secrets to they hide?

The Submarine Plans

Some top secret Submarine plans are missing and Poirot is asked to retrieve
and find them. He has four suspects. Which one did it?

Adventures of the Clapham Cook

Mrs. Todd seek out Poirot to help find her cook who has gone missing. When
they find her, it leads them to a hidden murder.

A must read for Dame Agatha and mystery lovers!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lorna collier
The Under Dog

This book has nine short stories that were written in the 1920s. Agatha Christie is “the most popular mystery writer of all time” and the world’s best-selling author. Christie’s books tell about early 20th century England by using that era for its background. The quality of these stories varies. In the last decades there have been many books that used the “Sherlock Holmes” character, will anyone use the character “Hercule Poirot” in the future? These stories compare unfavorably to Conan Doyle’s stories. They are good but not great. Most of Christie’s work were novels not short stories. She gained fame with “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”.

The Under Dog. An old wealthy man is found murdered. His nephew and heir was the last person seen with him. Are there any doubts? Will a trick reveal the real murderer?
The Plymouth Express. A young woman is found murdered, her body placed in a train compartment. Who killed this wealthy heiress? The man describes the man she saw with her. [Was there a trick in this story?]
The Affair at the Victory Ball. Lord Cronshaw gave a fancy-dress ball. At the end he was found dead! His actress girlfriend died the next day of a drug overdose. Will the reconstruction of the crime lead to a solution?

The Market Basing Mystery. A man is found shot dead in a locked room. The doctor says it could not be a suicide, he was dead for twelve hours. Would the wrong man be accused? Is there a clue in the air?
The Lemesurier Inheritance. There is a legend about the family Lemesurier, a curse that says the first born son of this family would never inherit. Will it strike again? Is it of supernatural origin? Poirot solves this mystery. There is a surprise at the end.
The Cornish Mystery. A married woman is worried about a possible poisoning. When Poirot arrives he learns his client is dead! He learns more. The exhumation shows arsenic. There is a surprise solution!

The King of Clubs. A impresario has been murdered. The actress who was with him said a tramp did it. Did Poirot detect a problem in her story? That tramp was never found by anyone. Was Justice served?
The Submarine Plans. Poirot is summoned in the middle of the night to investigate the disappearance of the new submarine plans at the Minister of Defence’s country mansion. He had just stepped out of the room for a minute and then they were gone. An inside job? [This story is too contrived and implausible?]
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook. A woman asks Poirot to find her missing cook. Was she lured away as part of a criminal scheme? What could it be? Poirot explains his theory, which is later confirmed. [The mention of “the dole” and a boarder says this was in the Great Depression.]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
east bay j
The Under Dog

This book has nine short stories that were written in the 1920s. Agatha Christie is “the most popular mystery writer of all time” and the world’s best-selling author. Christie’s books tell about early 20th century England by using that era for its background. The quality of these stories varies. In the last decades there have been many books that used the “Sherlock Holmes” character, will anyone use the character “Hercule Poirot” in the future? These stories compare unfavorably to Conan Doyle’s stories. They are good but not great. Most of Christie’s work were novels not short stories. She gained fame with “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”.

The Under Dog. An old wealthy man is found murdered. His nephew and heir was the last person seen with him. Are there any doubts? Will a trick reveal the real murderer?
The Plymouth Express. A young woman is found murdered, her body placed in a train compartment. Who killed this wealthy heiress? The man describes the man she saw with her. [Was there a trick in this story?]
The Affair at the Victory Ball. Lord Cronshaw gave a fancy-dress ball. At the end he was found dead! His actress girlfriend died the next day of a drug overdose. Will the reconstruction of the crime lead to a solution?

The Market Basing Mystery. A man is found shot dead in a locked room. The doctor says it could not be a suicide, he was dead for twelve hours. Would the wrong man be accused? Is there a clue in the air?
The Lemesurier Inheritance. There is a legend about the family Lemesurier, a curse that says the first born son of this family would never inherit. Will it strike again? Is it of supernatural origin? Poirot solves this mystery. There is a surprise at the end.
The Cornish Mystery. A married woman is worried about a possible poisoning. When Poirot arrives he learns his client is dead! He learns more. The exhumation shows arsenic. There is a surprise solution!

The King of Clubs. A impresario has been murdered. The actress who was with him said a tramp did it. Did Poirot detect a problem in her story? That tramp was never found by anyone. Was Justice served?
The Submarine Plans. Poirot is summoned in the middle of the night to investigate the disappearance of the new submarine plans at the Minister of Defence’s country mansion. He had just stepped out of the room for a minute and then they were gone. An inside job? [This story is too contrived and implausible?]
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook. A woman asks Poirot to find her missing cook. Was she lured away as part of a criminal scheme? What could it be? Poirot explains his theory, which is later confirmed. [The mention of “the dole” and a boarder says this was in the Great Depression.]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dbierspoke
The Under Dog

This book has nine short stories that were written in the 1920s. Agatha Christie is “the most popular mystery writer of all time” and the world’s best-selling author. Christie’s books tell about early 20th century England by using that era for its background. The quality of these stories varies. In the last decades there have been many books that used the “Sherlock Holmes” character, will anyone use the character “Hercule Poirot” in the future? These stories compare unfavorably to Conan Doyle’s stories. They are good but not great. Most of Christie’s work were novels not short stories. She gained fame with “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”.

The Under Dog. An old wealthy man is found murdered. His nephew and heir was the last person seen with him. Are there any doubts? Will a trick reveal the real murderer?
The Plymouth Express. A young woman is found murdered, her body placed in a train compartment. Who killed this wealthy heiress? The man describes the man she saw with her. [Was there a trick in this story?]
The Affair at the Victory Ball. Lord Cronshaw gave a fancy-dress ball. At the end he was found dead! His actress girlfriend died the next day of a drug overdose. Will the reconstruction of the crime lead to a solution?

The Market Basing Mystery. A man is found shot dead in a locked room. The doctor says it could not be a suicide, he was dead for twelve hours. Would the wrong man be accused? Is there a clue in the air?
The Lemesurier Inheritance. There is a legend about the family Lemesurier, a curse that says the first born son of this family would never inherit. Will it strike again? Is it of supernatural origin? Poirot solves this mystery. There is a surprise at the end.
The Cornish Mystery. A married woman is worried about a possible poisoning. When Poirot arrives he learns his client is dead! He learns more. The exhumation shows arsenic. There is a surprise solution!

The King of Clubs. A impresario has been murdered. The actress who was with him said a tramp did it. Did Poirot detect a problem in her story? That tramp was never found by anyone. Was Justice served?
The Submarine Plans. Poirot is summoned in the middle of the night to investigate the disappearance of the new submarine plans at the Minister of Defence’s country mansion. He had just stepped out of the room for a minute and then they were gone. An inside job? [This story is too contrived and implausible?]
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook. A woman asks Poirot to find her missing cook. Was she lured away as part of a criminal scheme? What could it be? Poirot explains his theory, which is later confirmed. [The mention of “the dole” and a boarder says this was in the Great Depression.]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ambicashri
The Under Dog

This book has nine short stories that were written in the 1920s. Agatha Christie is “the most popular mystery writer of all time” and the world’s best-selling author. Christie’s books tell about early 20th century England by using that era for its background. The quality of these stories varies. In the last decades there have been many books that used the “Sherlock Holmes” character, will anyone use the character “Hercule Poirot” in the future? These stories compare unfavorably to Conan Doyle’s stories. They are good but not great. Most of Christie’s work were novels not short stories. She gained fame with “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”.

The Under Dog. An old wealthy man is found murdered. His nephew and heir was the last person seen with him. Are there any doubts? Will a trick reveal the real murderer?
The Plymouth Express. A young woman is found murdered, her body placed in a train compartment. Who killed this wealthy heiress? The man describes the man she saw with her. [Was there a trick in this story?]
The Affair at the Victory Ball. Lord Cronshaw gave a fancy-dress ball. At the end he was found dead! His actress girlfriend died the next day of a drug overdose. Will the reconstruction of the crime lead to a solution?

The Market Basing Mystery. A man is found shot dead in a locked room. The doctor says it could not be a suicide, he was dead for twelve hours. Would the wrong man be accused? Is there a clue in the air?
The Lemesurier Inheritance. There is a legend about the family Lemesurier, a curse that says the first born son of this family would never inherit. Will it strike again? Is it of supernatural origin? Poirot solves this mystery. There is a surprise at the end.
The Cornish Mystery. A married woman is worried about a possible poisoning. When Poirot arrives he learns his client is dead! He learns more. The exhumation shows arsenic. There is a surprise solution!

The King of Clubs. A impresario has been murdered. The actress who was with him said a tramp did it. Did Poirot detect a problem in her story? That tramp was never found by anyone. Was Justice served?
The Submarine Plans. Poirot is summoned in the middle of the night to investigate the disappearance of the new submarine plans at the Minister of Defence’s country mansion. He had just stepped out of the room for a minute and then they were gone. An inside job? [This story is too contrived and implausible?]
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook. A woman asks Poirot to find her missing cook. Was she lured away as part of a criminal scheme? What could it be? Poirot explains his theory, which is later confirmed. [The mention of “the dole” and a boarder says this was in the Great Depression.]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amy anthony
The Under Dog

This book has nine short stories that were written in the 1920s. Agatha Christie is “the most popular mystery writer of all time” and the world’s best-selling author. Christie’s books tell about early 20th century England by using that era for its background. The quality of these stories varies. In the last decades there have been many books that used the “Sherlock Holmes” character, will anyone use the character “Hercule Poirot” in the future? These stories compare unfavorably to Conan Doyle’s stories. They are good but not great. Most of Christie’s work were novels not short stories. She gained fame with “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”.

The Under Dog. An old wealthy man is found murdered. His nephew and heir was the last person seen with him. Are there any doubts? Will a trick reveal the real murderer?
The Plymouth Express. A young woman is found murdered, her body placed in a train compartment. Who killed this wealthy heiress? The man describes the man she saw with her. [Was there a trick in this story?]
The Affair at the Victory Ball. Lord Cronshaw gave a fancy-dress ball. At the end he was found dead! His actress girlfriend died the next day of a drug overdose. Will the reconstruction of the crime lead to a solution?

The Market Basing Mystery. A man is found shot dead in a locked room. The doctor says it could not be a suicide, he was dead for twelve hours. Would the wrong man be accused? Is there a clue in the air?
The Lemesurier Inheritance. There is a legend about the family Lemesurier, a curse that says the first born son of this family would never inherit. Will it strike again? Is it of supernatural origin? Poirot solves this mystery. There is a surprise at the end.
The Cornish Mystery. A married woman is worried about a possible poisoning. When Poirot arrives he learns his client is dead! He learns more. The exhumation shows arsenic. There is a surprise solution!

The King of Clubs. A impresario has been murdered. The actress who was with him said a tramp did it. Did Poirot detect a problem in her story? That tramp was never found by anyone. Was Justice served?
The Submarine Plans. Poirot is summoned in the middle of the night to investigate the disappearance of the new submarine plans at the Minister of Defence’s country mansion. He had just stepped out of the room for a minute and then they were gone. An inside job? [This story is too contrived and implausible?]
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook. A woman asks Poirot to find her missing cook. Was she lured away as part of a criminal scheme? What could it be? Poirot explains his theory, which is later confirmed. [The mention of “the dole” and a boarder says this was in the Great Depression.]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elise thanasouras
"The Under Dog and Other Stories" is a collection of nine mysteries featuring Hercule Poirot. The title story is the longest and by far the best of the collection. Some have simplistic solutions while others have supremely ingenious resolutions, yet each is intricate and almost impossible to guess, as one would expect with any Christie mystery.

"The Under Dog" centers around the death of a wealthy man, with his nephew the most likely suspect. Yet his wife knows that her nephew is in the clear, because she is certain (because of feminine intuition) that her husband's secretary is to blame. When Poirot takes the case he uncovers quite a slew of secrets and strange behaviors that point the finger of blame in multiple directions. Yet by some nifty handiwork Poirot makes the guilty party condemn themselves. A few of the mysteries are remarkably short, like "The Market Basing Mystery" and "The Lemesurier Inheritance" but they are still jolly devilish reads. A couple of the stories stop and "invite" the reader to consider their own understanding of the case before proceeding to the end. As if one could actually solve a case like Poirot could. The final mystery is unique in that it is a case that Poirot initially thumbs his nose at, thinking it beneath him, but he manages to ferret out quite an odd mystery involving a missing cook.

This collection of Poirot short stories is a fast, enjoyable read. Readers will love the thrill of trying to solve the cases laid out in these nine stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pavel
I'm an Agatha Christie Junkie. I'm in the process of reading all of her books - this is a personal goal of mine! Well, I am starting with the good ones first. I define good as those with above a 4.5 rating on the store and also mentioned frequently on the top best lists. This is definitely an overlooked gem! It often gets neglected due to the fame of "Ten Little Indians" and "Murder on the Orient Express". While this book may not have as big of a 'twist' as some of her other works, like "Who Murdered Rodger Ackroyd" this book "Sad Cypress" is definitely one of her best written. The dialogue flows so smoothly. All of the characters are really fleshed out and interesting, if not likeable. You want to turn the page and learn more about them!

As it stands, this is by far one of my favorites. The romance is intriguing. The main characters are very unique. The descriptions are very believable. At the end, you will probably say to yourself that you can see how this all happened. It is definitely something where all the pieces fit together. It is also quite different from the style of the other Agatha Christie works, so it stands out just a little bit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
minakshi
Hercule Poirot is hoping for a relaxing vacation at the beach but unfortunately he does not get one. The seductive Arlena Stuart is staying there and, even though she is married, she has attracted the attention of one of the guests there who is also married. No one is terribly surprised when Arlena is murdered but, even if some considered her evil, the police need to solve her murder. The murderer is fiendishly clever but then again so is Hercule Poirot.

I have been on an Agatha Christie kick lately - rereading many of her books. “Evil Under the Sun” has always been one of my favorite Christie books and I was happy to reread it again. I love Poirot in this book – he is vain, egotistical, and so very clever – a delight character to read about! The beach setting is a nice one and offers the reader plenty of suspects. The characters in this book are memorable - especially Mrs. Gardner and her husband, Rosamund Darnley, Christine Redfern and her husband Patrick, and of course the murder victim, her husband, and his young daughter. This is a rather short novel but the characters are perfectly described and completely complex. Christie is a master at making seemingly inconsequential characters and actions turn out to be quite important in the end. As is usual with Christie, the murder the book is extremely well plotted with plenty of twists and turns. In the end, the way the murder was committed could never happen in real life (at least I hope not!) but Christie somehow makes it believable.

“Evil Under the Sun” is another great mystery by the incomparable Agatha Christie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tdini
Review of Evil Under the Sun
Hot Toasty Rag, May 20, 2017

Agatha Christie has written another wonderfully entertaining classic mystery in Evil Under the Sun. The famous Belgium detective Hercule Poirot finds himself at what is supposed to be a relaxing elegant resort, but of course, one of the unfortunate patrons at the hotel winds up murdered. As is usual in a Poirot story—and an Agatha Christie novel at that—there are a multitude of characters, all hiding secrets and all becoming suspects at some point. I consider this novel one of her three greatest, with And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express as her other two best mysteries. Hercule Poirot comes to the conclusion no one else can—including the reader—and strings together the tiniest clues to find the murderer. This book will definitely keep you guessing!

If you’re fans of Ms. Christie or her mustached hero, don’t miss this one!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alecsa
One Two Buckle My Shoe (also published under the title The Patriotic Murders) begins with the murder of a dentist, no doubt a piece of vicarious wish fulfillment for some readers.

Although initially treated by the police as suicide, master detective Hercule Poirot, one of the dentist's last patients, has his suspicions from the beginning, and we eventually run through a cavalcade of suspects and red herrings before coming to a rather convoluted resolution to the mystery. But to me the most interesting thing about the book is not the Rube Goldberg solution but how the usually apolitical Agatha Christie gives us a glimpse of her politics, which seems to lean toward favoring conservative fiscal policy and established traditions over radical change to achieve some vision of social justice. Or at least that is what her hero Poirot seems to favor.

It's interesting to contrast Christie with contemporaries like George Orwell and John Steinbeck, who were very much in favor of radical change and made no bones about it. Curiously, Christie's "coming out" is almost anachronistic, since One Two Buckle My Shoe was published (and I assume written) after World War II was well underway in Europe, effectively ending the period of the 20s and 30s when the direction of domestic policy could be debated in England and elsewhere with no outside distractions. With the start of war, those arguments were put on the back burner as simple national survival became the overriding consideration. In fact, the book was first serialized in America and published in book form in England just as the Blitz was raining bombs on English cities and the threat of Nazi invasion from across the Channel was a very real possibility. Under those circumstances, even Orwell was willing to put domestic squabbles aside in favor of defending the Homeland, as articulated in his contemporaneous essay My Country Right or Left.

The other fascinating thing about One Two Buckle My Shoe is the continued evolution of Poirot. It has been my impression, as I am reading Christie's Poirot novels in chronological order, that Christie was starting to get tired of him at this point. In the three Poirot novels preceding One Two Buckle My Shoe (Appointment With Death, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Sad Cypress) the little Belgian is somewhat minimized as Christie spends extra time on the other characters. In Christmas, despite getting title billing for the first time, Poirot is really little more than a plot device for solving the case rather than the focus of the narrative.

But in One Two Buckle My Shoe, Poirot is clearly back in the forefront, and he is an especially forceful presence driving the story. He also ends up as the moral center. Christie also spends extra time rounding and humanizing him, humorously with his anxiety about visiting the dentist and almost poignantly with his "Am I getting too old?" questioning of himself at one point in the investigation. Well, turns out he isn't, or at least not took old to solve an intricate mystery, as this novel shows.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie christensen
From start to finish, this story was nothing more nor less, than I have come to expect from the pen of Agatha Christie, together with the deduction and crime solving expertise of the pernickety Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, the product of her vivid imagination.

I find that Agatha Christie’s characters always carry a certain amount of predictability, which is quite comforting to know and almost look forward to, when I pick up one of her books that I have not read before. That is not to say that the characters are in any way not well developed and have grown in stature and confidence, to fill the role she has created for them.

The Christie plot building and storytelling skills are legendary, with every detail carefully thought through and catalogued. Written in the language of a bygone time, this complete package offers me, the reader, a totally immersive experience.

On this occasion, Piorot is taking a much needed holiday, but of course, wherever he travels, murder always seems to sniff him out and follow him.

The plot of ‘Evil Under The Sun’, is not particularly deep, although there are several twists and turns, in what I wrongly thought was a case to be quickly solved. I became embroiled in amateur witchcraft and drug smuggling, as well as the inevitable femme fatale, lured and deceived by the unscrupulous cad, with murder the only possible outcome.

Every one of the suspects has an alibi, that either seems to protect themselves, or someone else and I suspect that Poirot has worked out the probable identity of the killer long before he lets it be known, only prolonging the investigation further to confirm his suspicions, by watching the way that the suspects interact with one another and the manner in which his chosen perpetrator keeps up their own role of pretense, both within their own adopted personality and with the other group members.

As with most murders, there always has to be someone suspected of the crime, who turns out to be an innocent party, although in this case, the third party, really believes themselves to be guilty of the crime, thereby throwing Poirot slightly off the scent of the true killer, for a few short moments. Happily, this third party is made to realise that their actions are not those of a murderer and thus there is something of a happy ending in the offing for them.

If, like me, you are already an Agatha Christie fan, this is a great story, full of some real twists and turns in the plot, with the usual great, in depth characterizations of all the suspects, and the expected final flourish as the unexpected perpetrator is revealed.

Of course, I cannot read a Poirot case, without visualising the face and hearing the precise tones of the character, as so eloquently portrayed in the UK television series, by David Suchet. I fear that the poor man will be forever typecast, but he does fit the Christie brief of the character so well, that when I then read one of his casebook stories, it is almost as if I know him personally and I am there, looking over his shoulder, as he makes his deductions and unmasks the criminal.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dionne delli gatti
As an avid fan of Agatha Christie's mysteries, I am always delighted to read the ones that do not feature her famous sleuths. "Remembered Death" (originally published in Britain under the title "Sparkling Cyanide") is an intricately woven mystery that features two murders both made to look like suicides. And in a case where appearances are everything, the detectives and the reader will have a maddening time trying to uncover fact from fiction.

Rosemary Barton was an extremely beatiful, wealthy woman. Married to the older George Barton, she was known to have love affairs, and after a terrible bout of the flu, it wasn't a surprise when she killed herself by drinking cyanide in her champagne at her birthday celebration. Everyone accepted that she killed herself, until her husband received letters stating the contrary. Now, a year later, everyone is forced to confront Rosemary's death a second time, no matter how much they want to put it behind them. Several people had motives for murdering her. Her younger sister, Iris Marle, inherited her fortune if her sister died childless. Her ex-lover, Stephen Farraday, needed her silence to save his political career and his marriage. Farraday's wife, Alexandra, was a coldly passionate woman devoted to her husband and his political prospects. Rosemary knew a secret about young Anthony Browne that he did not want to be made known. And George Barton's efficient secretary, Ruth Lessing, was in love with George and hated his dithering wife. With so many motives, it should be easy to find the murderer, but not until George Barton is killed in the same manner as his wife. The evidence points to none of the above, but it must be one of the five.

"Remembered Death" is a quick paced read, especially for the last forty pages when the evidence finally begins to click into place and various stronger motives are given for some of the more definite subjects. The solution may seem to come out of left field for some, but hints are there all along the way for those who pay careful attention. It is definitely a dated book now, but the mystery is still as fresh as ever, a testament to the sheer genius of the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marley
“Six people were thinking of Rosemary Barton who had died nearly a year ago...”

Rosemary Barton, a most beautiful, charming albeit wool headed wealthy woman dies mysteriously by cyanide poisoning on her birthday. Police determine her death to be suicide and the case is closed but did Rosemary committed suicide or was she killed?

Supposedly always around, Rosemary is dead but not forgotten and when her husband starts to doubt the police verdict, it's like everything is happening all over again. Secrets are revealed, new revelations made to shock everyone and then people start dying all over again!

It is just like Agatha Christie to go and make a simple suicide into a murder mystery that will keep your eyes glued to the book and your mouth open in astonishment. Initially published as a short story named Yellow Iris, I have read Sparkling Cyanide numerous times but the jolt that comes when the mystery is solved is still there even after so many readings. The intense human study and the shocking revelations that she makes in her book about people is enlightening and definitely an eye opener.

Do we really know anyone? Even the people we love and whose presence we take for granted like our parents, siblings etc.?

“How little you might know of a person after living in the same house with them!” is so true. Just like the new revelations about Rosemary after her death shocked Iris, her younger sister, I was also hard pressed to re-evaluate how much I really know about my loved ones or even myself!

The mystery is expertly sketched to keep the reader biting his nails and stressing his mind to determine the solution. I did get a hint about the killer but then was skillfully thrown off track by the author. Proving that she is indeed the Queen of Crime, this murder mystery is one of my favourites and a must-read.

The characters take the story forward. Not the events, not the settings but the people. Different personas are sketched and developed and the author shows a varied personality set in this book. Each has a motive to kill and a secret to hide but ultimately who did kill is left for the reader to determine.

Colonel Race makes an appearance in this book and while not the only man to solve the case, his assuring presence and intuitive mind had me reliving my adventure with him in The Man In The Brown Suit mystery by Agatha Christie where he made his first appearance. Here the Colonel is mostly in the background but still an important part in solving the case.

Rosemary Barton is dead but her character is brought alive by the various narratives by the characters in the book and a new glimpse shed on her character through the clues that come to light. A certain supernatural element is associated with her which is handled so beautifully that it made this murder mystery a step above the other mystery classics.

All in all, I absolutely love Sparkling Cyanide and can re-read it any number of times. A full 5 on 5 from me and strongly recommended to everyone. Go read this book. It is not to be missed!

This review is also available on my blog Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kurniati rahmadini
This classic Poirot novel started life as a short story, “Triangle at Rhodes,” which was published in 1936. Four years later, in 1940, the plot had been re-worked into this excellent novel – one of the best featuring Poirot in my opinion. The beginning of this novel sees Poirot on holiday at The Jolly Roger Hotel, Smuggler’s Island. It is a wonderful location for a mystery; an enclosed community at the seaside. Of course, seaside holidays had been popular in the 1920’s and, with foreign travel only available to the very rich, most people holidayed at home. However, we are aware immediately that this is a very exclusive location – not only because Poirot would certainly be very careful about where he stayed, but because other guests include a wealthy American couple, the Gardeners, and the beautiful actress, Arlena Stuart (now Marshall). A young couple, Christine and Patrick Redfern, are also staying at the hotel, and it is soon clear that Patrick Redfern is smitten with Arlena Marshall something which she does nothing to discourage...

Agatha Christie really builds the tension in this novel, as the relationships between the various characters make the holiday atmosphere uncomfortable for those residents at the hotel, who are all too aware of Christine Redfern’s embarrassing situation. To add more intrigue, one of the guests – and a favourite of Poirot’s – is the successful dress designer Rosamund Darnley, who is in love with Arlena’s husband, widowed Kenneth Marshall. Also on the holiday is Kenneth’s daughter, sixteen year old Linda Marshall, who has a very difficult relationship with her stepmother. Of course, Poirot’s holiday is disturbed by a murder and, although Christie’s novels are always exquisitely plotted, this is a particularly interesting puzzle, with a great ending. I will not give the plot away – if you are lucky enough not to know how this novel ends, then it is an excellent introduction to Poirot and one of Christie’s best mysteries. Utterly enjoyable and full of great characters, this would make the ideal holiday read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
drew conley
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
patty
If you have read her famous works, you may already figure out the ending. The book has a great title, but the characters are hard to like in this tale. I found myself not very sympathetic to many or any of them. This made it harder for me to read the book. I do like however Agatha Christie twists. Someday, I hope to write my own mystery book! I think she makes up interesting plots though and conclusions. This book had a nice little wrap up. There were many red herrings.

I think that the book could have been strengthened if there were less characters or more background given to flesh out individual characters. Compared to Sad Cypress, there was less story telling and more narration. I felt like I was just getting a lot of facts as opposed to really learning about the individual characters. The characters didn't seem very complex. But, I could be biased because Sad Cypress is my favorite so far.

I also think that those who have read previous Agatha Christie works, especially the famous ones (Orient Express, Ten Little Indians, Death on the Nile) may have the ending figured out. I kind of had an idea of what had happened. It's still a good book, but I do think if you are trying to figure out if you'd like Agatha Christie, you might want to start with a stronger work.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alison downs
In Sad Cypress Agatha Christie sets up her mystery a bit differently than in most of her other books. That is, it begins in a courtroom scene where a young woman is standing trial for murder. The story begins from the point of view of the accused young woman and remains there through most of the book, as the story then goes back in time to the beginning of the drama.

This "inside view" is a bit unique to Agatha Christie and added to the puzzle. That is, the reader is made sympathetic to the murder suspect because the story is told from her vantage point, even though the evidence accumulates against her from the beginning, and yet the reader somehow knows from the very beginning that she isn't guilty.

All of this makes for a great set-up that caused me to anticipate a stunning ending. Alas, I found the ending very disappointing. Hercule Poirot is consulted by a young man who loves the accused woman and who wants her freed, whether she is guilty or not. Poirot agrees to take the case, which was puzzling in itself since he hadn't even a thread of doubt as to her guilt and so there seemed to be no reason for him to get involved. But get involved he does and, of course, he gradually begins to ferret out facts that raise doubts and questions. However, when the truth is revealed it is not by Poirot at all but by the defense attorney in the courtroom. How in the world did he come to be in possession of the facts? This hole in the plot, and the fact that the facts were presented in such a dry, mater-of-fact way made the ending very flat, anti-climatic and disappointing.

David Suchet does a good job of narration. I don't care for his style quite as much as that of Hugh Fraser, but still it is enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mauricio
I read this long, long ago when it was titled AN OVERDOSE OF DEATH. I recall that on the cover, a subtitle text was "Who drilled the dentist?" That was my first hint that mysteries could include humor. So I took up the thin paperback and was not disappointed in the first several chapters. Nice to see that Monsieur Poirot is as reluctant to visit the dentist as the rest of us! The first third to first half of the book is pure, excellent AC:vivid characters, tight plot, humor and charm and insight into human nature and the fragility of all human relationships. Perhaps because there is such a strong political and moralistic element to the book, it loses its pace as you get to the end. For the book does not have much of Poirot's warm and kindly "Papa Poirot" sentiments to it. Our beloved detective is just as kind and good, but he is addressing British class struggles, and the story itself revolves around high stakes wealth and big name families. Of course he solves it by the end, but all the same, even with the clever twist at the end, it was not as fully satisfying as other Poirot stories, perhaps because our Belgian detective himself was not satisfied at the greed and power struggles that he realizes will continue in governments and among the population.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
k l ogden
Evil Under the Sun was written and published in the dark days of 1941, when Britain stood alone against the Axis powers (or did until Hitler got the bright idea to invade Russia that June). The book makes no allusion to the war, no doubt by design as the last thing Britons wanted from their escapist reading was a reminder that there was a war on.

Instead, we get a highly engaging murder mystery with a set of colorful characters, an interesting setting (a resort hotel located on a promontory that is cut off from the mainland at high tide) and a fully engaged Hercule Poirot, who just happens to be vacationing there. Unlike in her most recent previous Poirot books (Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Sad Cypress, The Patriotic Murders), author Agatha Christie makes her detective a main character right off the bat in this one instead of bringing him in after the murder had been committed.

There is much less time spent at the start filling in the back stories of the supporting characters than in the previous books and no real romantic subplot. What is familiar is the idea of having sympathetic characters as suspects and an unsympathetic character as the murder victim. Christie had played with this dynamic in Appointment With Death and Death on the Nile several years earlier.

It is quite effective here as we feel our emotions put through the ringer as clues emerge and red herrings are introduced. You find yourself constantly thinking, "Oh no, I hope it isn't him/her who did it!" The resolution is rather convoluted and a bit "unfair" in that it introduces new evidence to support the conclusion. Still, there is a very active Poirot and that is always supremely entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jonathan grisham
"Sad Cypress" is unique among Agatha Christie's works in that the reader gets to see a vast amount of story from a narrator who has been accused of murder. And what is even more interesting, is that all the signs point to her guilt, and she herself is not sure whether she committed the crime or not. But when another character is certain of her innocence, Hercule Poirot is called in to find evidence that could clear her name; that is, if any exists.

Elinor Carlisle always expected to marry Rodrick Welman and both expected to inherit when their aunt, the invalid, widowed Mrs. Welman, died. When Mrs. Welman suffers a second stroke and dies, it is discovered that she had never created a will and all of her money passes to her next of kin, her niece Elinor. However, Elinor has become extremely jealous of Mary Gerrard, the daughter of the lodge keeper, with whom Roddy has fallen in love. When Mary dies of morhpine poisoning, Elinor is the only suspect who had opportunity and motive, especially when one of the nurses who had assisted Mrs. Welman discovers a tube of morphine is missing. Did Elinor also do away with her aunt? Does her calm, composed exterior hid a riot of emotions that would lead her to murder? It seems a certainty, but once Hercule Poirot starts making his rounds, he uncovers some clues that could point to other numerous hands being involved in the murder, and also makes a case that Mary Gerrard was not the intended victim, but that Elinor Carlisle could have been the target.

"Sad Cypress" has plot elements that are easy to guess, but the ending is a satisfying and classic Christie twist. Elinor is a sympathetic character led astray by her emotions and trying to act a part that is expected of her. Poirot is practically sidelined in this story in favor of other characters narrating and Christie has most of the evidence and twists unfold within the courtroom. This is a welcome change from having Poirot tell everything like a master magician explaining a trick.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alvin khaled
Though certainly not one of Agatha Christie's best or most memorable mysteries, I enjoyed "Sparkling Cyanide" as a lightweight read on a rainy night. Much like The Hollow, Christie takes the time to explore and develop the main players, resulting in a fascinating character study that delves into the secrets and lies that exist between husbands and wives, mothers and sons, lovers and sisters. Carefully plotted and flowing easily back and forth between the points of view of each suspect and the ongoing police investigation, "Sparkling Cyanide" is classic Christie, despite its rather abrupt resolution.

Beautiful Rosemary Barton has been dead for nearly a year before the start of the story, but still weighs heavily on the minds of those who were with her in the restaurant the fateful night she died of cyanide poisoning. They include Iris Marle, her younger sister, George Barton, her husband, Ruth Lessing, the family secretary, Stephan Farraday, her lover, Sandra, his wife, and Anthony Brown, her mysterious friend. Although her death was deemed suicide due to a bout of depression after influenza, each one of those present had very good reason to murder Rosemary.

Divided into three distinct parts, the first introduces the six main suspects in the case of Rosemary's death. Each one had a motive to kill, whether for financial gain, self-preservation, or to hush up an affair. George Barton in particular is convinced that his wife's death was suspicious, and his strange behavior only intensifies after receiving anonymous letters telling him that she was murdered. The second part involves the lead-up to All Soul's Day and the anniversary of Rosemary's death, in which Iris becomes convinced that her brother-in-law is planning something; something that takes all six guests back to the restaurant where she died. Emotions and suspicions are running high, not just concerning Rosemary's death, but with the relationships each person forged with her during her lifetime.

Finally, the third part concerns the fallout of the second dinner at the Luxembourg Restaurant, leading to a clever but rather hurried denouement. Most of the characters (even many of the minor ones) are intriguing and richly sketched, with two notable exceptions: Colonel Race - the inevitable detective figure who has appeared in several Christie mysteries - and Iris Marle, who makes for a rather bland heroine.

Despite a rather dark tone and more romantic entanglements than is usual for a typical Christie mystery, "Sparkling Cyanide" (also titled "Remembered Death") is a great read, as well as one that is slender enough to be read in one sitting.

Also: great cover!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bjeans
"Evil Under the Sun" is a fast-paced enjoyable mystery set at an almost hidden seaside resort. One would think that vacationing with the inimitable Hercule Poirot would be motive enough to curb a murderer, but such is not the case. This is a classic Christie mystery - a closed setting, too many likely suspects, and a unique twist at the end.

Arlena Marshall was an extremely beautiful woman - the kind that men fell instantly in love with and women fell instantly into hate with. While vacationing at the Jolly Roger, she fans the flames of rumor with the attention she pays to Patrick Redfern, a handsome and married young man. So when Arlena's body is discovered strangled on the beach of a secluded cove, Patrick is the most obvious suspect, but he was no where near the scene of the crime when it happened. Therefore, it must be Arlena's husband, the almost unemotional Captain Marshall, who was well aware of his wife's proclivities toward other men. Yet he has a rock solid alibi (perhaps one that is too rock solid for Poirot's liking). It seems obvious that Arlena was killed by a male, but there are plenty of women on the island - Patrick Redfern's scorned wife, Captain Marshall's daughter from a previous marriage and an old friend from his youth - who would've also liked to see her dead. Hercule Poirot must separate the facts from the fictions and the true clues from the false, all while guaranteeing that another death does not occur.

"Evil Under the Sun" is a delightful mystery with enough puzzling clues to keep readers guessing. Anyone familiar with Christie's works, especially some of her short stories featuring Poirot, may find the general plot a little too similar to other works. Although aspects of the plot are familiar the ending offers a completely fresh twist to a common story of apparent jealousy, for looks can be very deceiving indeed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie reeve
As with many of Agatha Christie's mysteries, "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" is known by various titles, but this is perhaps the most fitting, being one of her works that focuses on nursery rhymes. Elements of the plot and certain clues fit the title rhyme quite nicely, all adding up to the ever present, classic Christie twist. This is an enjoyable, hard to figure out Hercule Poirot mystery.

Readers are given a treat at the beginning of the novel, an image of the erudite and arrogant Poirot in a state of trepidation. Over some big case? No, because he must pay a visit to the dentist. When his dentist is discovered dead later on that same day, Poirot is not satisfied with the ruling of suicide. There is no way that Dr. Morley would have killed himself, but who had means and motive to do so? Could it have been one of his high-profile clients, or more likely someone who wanted him out of the way? Could this possibly be a case featuring international discontent aimed at an important man in England? What about the female patient who suddenly disappears soon after Morley's death? Poirot takes it upon himself to search out the answers, but too many clues begin to add up all too quickly, with several red herrings throwing him far afield. But, as usual, by arranging his little grey cells, he comes to the astonishing, and correct, conclusion.

"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" is a delightful Poirot mystery, fast-paced wtih just enough to always keep the reader guessing. Sometimes a Christie mystery can feel too dated for today's world, and while this one is definitively placed (I loved a character talking about seeing the "new Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film"), the story rings timely, and therefore these elements fade into the background. Readers will be just as stumped and fluxomed as Poirot for much of the read - this is certainly not one that I figured out, which makes me like it all the more. It is a fine example of why Christie was and still is the queen of mystery.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tim kleist
Sad Cypress was published in 1940. It's author is Dame Agatha Christie. It is one of the famous cases handled with genius by Hercule Poirot the egg head shaped former member of the Belgian Police.
The Plot: Elinor Carlisle is a rich young thing from London. She is madly in love with Roddy Welman whom she has known since childhood. The two pay a visit to Mrs Laura Welman the moribund widow of Roddy's uncle. Laura is found dead; it is learned she died from a morphine injection. Suicide? A mercy killing? Murder? Elinor and Roddy's will bequest is in danger of being altered.
Meanwhile, Roddy has falled in love with Mary Gerrard the fetching blonde daughter of old Ephraim Gerrard who works on the estate where Aunt Laura lived. Mary is found dead of poison. Elinor is arrested. Other chief characters include Nurses O'Brien and Hopkins. The key to the case is the past lives of the characters. Dr. Peter Lord is a character who loves Elinor and seeks to free her from a hangman's noose.
The title of the novel is culled from a line in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. I like this book considering it a good novel to begin for someone who has not yet read Christie. The reasons for this are:
a. The book does not have an abundance of suspects to try and keep straight.
b. Elinor views the courtroom in London from the perspective of a prisoner giving immediacy to the proceedings.
c. The book consists largely of dialogue between the characters. Dialogue was a forte of Christie.
A fun read for fans of Christie and British murder mysteries!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
landen
good Agatha Christie, while not one of her best books it was still a decent mystery. I liked the characters and enjoyed the mystery; although it was one of the few of her novels that I figured out who the murderer was halfway through the book. That being said it is still better than some of the murder mysteries that are out there now and it is a nice look into a by gone era.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carole polney marinello
The classic British mystery tradition's doyen of death is Dame Agatha Christie. Evil Under the Sun is a Poirot novel written in 1941. The book is able to hold its own and is a fine representative of Christie's brilliant work.
The Plot: the loci of the action is the Jolly Roger Hotel a resort area on the Devon coast. Hercule Poirot, the retired little Belgian detective, is taking a much needed holiday. However, in Christie's universe there is no escape from murder! The murder victim is the lovely "man-killer" Arlena Marshall. Her husband is Captain Kenneth Marshall. He had earlier been married to a deceased woman who was acquitted of a heinous murder. Living with the Marshalls is Linda the daughter Captain Marshall had with his first wife. Stepdaughter and stepmother do not like one another! Christine Redfern is also believed to be angry at Arlena for seducing her husband Patrick Redfern. Rosamund Darley is a former flame of Captain Marshall. When Arlena is found strangled and found dead on a secluded beach there is no shortage of suspects. Several of the guests at the Jolly Roger Hotel had reason to wish the beautiful woman out of the picture. Whodunit?
As in so many Christie novels,the key to solving who murdered the victim is to examine the past lives of the chief suspects. The book is a fine way to spend a few hours with Hercule Poirot as the reader seeks to match wits with the crime detecting whiz! Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dayna bickham
It's interesting that this anthology of Agatha Christie's early Hercule Poirot short stories has remained unadulterated through several reprints over the years. A prolific writer's shorter works are often shuffled and reshuffled for successive anthologies. I just read a crumbling Dell edition from the late 1950s/early 1960s (the price on the cover is 45¢), and the table of contents is consistent with other editions under this title. Together, this particular set of stories collects early markers of Poirot style and themes. It would be ripe for a critical introduction, because the stories are apparently plunked unedited from their original appearance. The novella length title story, "The Under Dog," is narrated in the 3rd person, but the rest are narrated by Poirot's friend Hastings--if you are not familiar with other Poirot stories narrated by Hastings, you may be at a loss for wondering to whom the voice belongs at first. There is a pause about three-quarters of the way through in one of the stories with an insert signed "the editors" that suggests the reader stop right there, formulate a guess as to the solution and then read on to see if it pans out. None of the others do that, so I'm assuming that is a leftover device from the magazine in which it originally appeared.

The stories are mostly fine, vintage Christie. She was obviously enjoying herself. I did not fully appreciate the debt Christie owed Sherlock Holmes for Hercule Poirot until I read this group together, the confident, eccentric detective and the play along friend/narrator. And one of the stories, "The Lemesurier Inheritance" has a Sherlock Gothicism going for it. That said, you can see Poirot and Christie bursting out on their own, creating a measurable distance from Holmes and the 19th century.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abigail thomas king
With the obvious exception of Miss Marple, Agatha Christie seldom used female characters as her protagonists, which is a pity since she was perfectly capable of creating a range of vivid and likeable young heroines. In this case, her main female character may also be a murderess...or a victim...it's up to Hercule Poirot to find out.

Elinor Carlisle is perfectly content with her lot in life - reasonably well off, young and attractive, and engaged to the love of her life: Roddy Welman. Her only concern is that she not demonstrate *too* much affection for him, as he dislikes excessive devotion, and so she maintains a cool, controlled exterior to hide just how passionately she adores him. Yet there's trouble on the horizon: after receiving an anonymous letter that warns her someone might be after her great-aunt's money, Elinor and Roddy travel down to Hunterbury to visit their invalid relative, Laura Welman. Though they are fond of her, they are also relying on her inheritance to continue their comfortable life after matrimony.

Everything seems relatively normal there. Laura has recently suffered from a stroke, but is being cared for by two competent nurses and a young girl who was raised on the property: Mary Gerrard. But Roddy takes one look at the beautiful blonde girl and falls head over heels for her. Dignified but heartbroken, Elinor breaks off the engagement. With her aunt's passing, she finds that without the existence of any will the entirely of the estate passes to her as her only blood relative, and invites Mary Gerrard and Nurse Hopkins to the house in order to help her sort out the household possessions.

By the end of the afternoon Mary Gerrard will be dead, and Elinor arrested for her murder. All the evidence points directly at Elinor: she had the opportunity, the motive and the means, and only the desperate pleas of the family doctor brings Hercule Poirot onto the scene to prove her innocence - if indeed she *is* innocent.

With the title taken from a mournful passage in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," the novel is divided into three distinct parts. The first are Elinor's recollections of events up until Mary's death as she stands in the dock, the second is Poirot's investigation, and the third is a courtroom drama as new evidence comes to light, conveyed mostly through dialogue.

This is one of Christie's most underrated mysteries. Much like The Hollow it is quite character-driven, and due to the presence of what she often called "the eternal triangle," it's more emotional than usual. It's hard not to invest yourself in the remote-yet-vulnerable Elinor who is a fascinating blend of passion and coldness, and the mystery that surrounds her: *did* she killed Mary Gerrard?

Christie provides a wrap-up with a difference considering the truth comes out in a court of law (instead of Poirot assembling everyone in the library), and a plethora of intriguing clues that can be as minute as an off-handed comment about roses. It is perhaps a little slow-paced, but the tension builds gradually right to the denouncement, making it one of my favorite Christie mysteries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sukyna
With an exception of one Miss Marple mystery, all of my other reads from Christie had Hercule Poirot in them so I was amused to find that this was the last novel for Colonel Race who does the sleuthing in this book, apparently he's been in a few of other works penned by the infamous queen of crime. All I can say is better late than never! This was such a fun read, the characters were all so absolutely over the top that it made them memorable yet flawed enough to all be guilty, some were snobs, other socially inept, few unsavory and perhaps questionable and others supposingly pure but with an air of fakeness about them..Needless to say this was as entertaining to read as it was to solve and whether the reader guesses or not, there this is a satisfying mystery to read. It's a tricky story, one that almost had no explanation but with so many motives there had to be a thread of truth somewhere, the journey begins and manages to hit many peaks before it's wonderful ending, and it's a good one...

The tale opens with the death of Rosemary Barton, a rich and glamorous bombshell who has celebrated her last birthday at the super posh "Luxembourg" restaurant. Upon drinking her celebratory glass of champagne she is suddenly struck dead, her gloriously shiny mane covers the plate upon which she hits her face, her life on this Earth has come to an end, but is it by her own choice or did someone else decide for her? Some speculate suicide stating she had a cold on top of her latest outburst with depression while others think of foul play, sadly time is unable to bring an answer but the case is stirred once again at the one year anniversary of Rosemary's death. Her husband Geroge gets some hand written notes saying that her death was not suicide, that his wife was in fact murdered in cold blood. Deep interest spiked with anger propels him on a quest to recreate her last birthday dinner to catch the killer, it's only fitting that someone present at the time of her death was the one who has done the deed and someone else has seen it but couldn't come out in the open. The dinner is scheduled, the guests nervous for different reasons, the reader gets to see more of the relationships between Rosemary and each guest, some positive and some quite surprising, the ending is like a snow ball, it rolls of that cliff and only gets larger as it gets to the bottom, demolishing everything on its path. I adored the story and where it was going, the guilt was like a pet rabbit, jumping on everyone and giving me a reason to suspect them. This was a rich and well crafted read, hard to figure out at times and later obvious in other spots and it's something that I want to re-read again to get maximum enjoyment from the story and it's well crafted corridors, this was quite an adventure, one that will stay with me for a while.

- Kasia S.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
genichka
"Evil Under the Sun" is one of Agatha Christie's best mysteries, right up there with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None . To my knowledge, it's been filmed twice, a rather melodramatic feature film starring Peter Ustinov as the famous Belgian detective, and then more sedately with David Suchet as part of the ongoing television series. It's also been adapted as a video game!

At first glance, it's a typical mystery set-up: a group of colorful characters are gathered together in an isolated area, a murder is committed, everyone has motivation, but not all have opportunity. Throw in your usual red herrings, obscure clues, false leads, and a detective that can successfully puzzle it all out, and you have a perfect whodunit.

Hercule Poirot is enjoying a sunny holiday at the Jolly Roger Hotel, built on the idyllic Smuggler's Island. Around him the talkative guests sunbathe, gossip, knit, swim and watch each other. An observer of human nature, Poirot is in his element, and it's with interest (but little surprise) that everyone's attention is on Arlena Marshall, a retired but beautiful film actress, who revels in the attention. Tall, slender and bronzed, with curly red hair and oozing sex appeal, all the men are left dumbstruck in Arlena's presence, whilst the women gnash their teeth in disapproval. Not even Poirot is left unaffected by her beauty, but he's amply aware of the chaos that the woman is causing.

The man-eating Arlena enjoys toying with men, and currently has her hooks into Patrick Redfern, a young man who seems completely under her spell. The fact Arlena is a married woman and that Patrick's young, distressed wife is watching her husband engage in an affair right before her eyes, seems of little importance to Arlena.

Naturally, she ends up dead, and having already engaged in conversation with a rather fanatical reverent in which both men acknowledge that there is evil everywhere under the sun, Poirot is not hugely surprised to hear that Arlena has been strangled on an isolated beach on the island known as Pixy Cove. The only access to the island is via a causeway, though the police can't rule out someone coming by boat to the isolated Pixy Cove, Poirot instinctively suspects that one of the guests is the culprit. As the last one to see Arlena alive, pushing a dingy out to sea and clearly on her way to meet somebody, Poirot begins his investigation.

Who's the murderer? Everyone seemed to have a motive to kill her, from a resentful stepdaughter, a cuckolded husband, a jilted lover, a jealous wife, a romantic rival with designs on Arlena's husband...or was it something less personal? Was she the target of a religious fanatic? Did she disturb drug-dealers using Pixy Cove as a drop-off point? Was she being blackmailed? The possibilities keep piling up, as do the obscure clues scattered about: a bottle thrown out of a window, a pair of scissors on a beach, a bath drawn in the middle of the day - it all means something only to Poirot.

The atmosphere of "Evil Under the Sun" is brilliant; after first introducing the island as the home of a reclusive captain who never had a family, the story starts some years later after his house has been renovated into a resort (and most copies of the book even come with a map of the island). Despite the warm sunshine and sandy beaches, Christie infuses the book with a clammy sense of foreboding, danger, and even - evil. The characterization is vivid and as always, the twists and turns keep you guessing right till the end.

If you've never read Christie before, then this is a perfect place to start.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dandra
Agatha Christie is Agatha Christie and she is a delight to read, not only for her puzzles, but more important is her writing style and ruminations about life, psychology and how to understand people. Hence examples such as this: “You do not comprehend, Captain Marshall. There is no such thing as a plain fact of murder. Murder springs, nine times out of ten, out of the character and circumstances of the murdered person. Because the victim was the kind of person he or she was, therefore was he or she murdered! Until we can understand fully and completely exactly what kind of a person Arlena Marshall was, we shall not be able to see exactly the kind of person who murdered her. From that springs the necessity of our questions.”

And to have such read by David Suchet is icing on the cake.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mrfromage
"Evil Under the Sun" is one of Agatha Christie's best mysteries, right up there with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None . To my knowledge, it's been filmed twice, a rather melodramatic feature film starring Peter Ustinov as the famous Belgian detective, and then more sedately with David Suchet as part of the ongoing television series. It's also been adapted as a video game!

At first glance, it's a typical mystery set-up: a group of colorful characters are gathered together in an isolated area, a murder is committed, everyone has motivation, but not all have opportunity. Throw in your usual red herrings, obscure clues, false leads, and a detective that can successfully puzzle it all out, and you have a perfect whodunit.

Hercule Poirot is enjoying a sunny holiday at the Jolly Roger Hotel, built on the idyllic Smuggler's Island. Around him the talkative guests sunbathe, gossip, knit, swim and watch each other. An observer of human nature, Poirot is in his element, and it's with interest (but little surprise) that everyone's attention is on Arlena Marshall, a retired but beautiful film actress, who revels in the attention. Tall, slender and bronzed, with curly red hair and oozing sex appeal, all the men are left dumbstruck in Arlena's presence, whilst the women gnash their teeth in disapproval. Not even Poirot is left unaffected by her beauty, but he's amply aware of the chaos that the woman is causing.

The man-eating Arlena enjoys toying with men, and currently has her hooks into Patrick Redfern, a young man who seems completely under her spell. The fact Arlena is a married woman and that Patrick's young, distressed wife is watching her husband engage in an affair right before her eyes, seems of little importance to Arlena.

Naturally, she ends up dead, and having already engaged in conversation with a rather fanatical reverent in which both men acknowledge that there is evil everywhere under the sun, Poirot is not hugely surprised to hear that Arlena has been strangled on an isolated beach on the island known as Pixy Cove. The only access to the island is via a causeway, though the police can't rule out someone coming by boat to the isolated Pixy Cove, Poirot instinctively suspects that one of the guests is the culprit. As the last one to see Arlena alive, pushing a dingy out to sea and clearly on her way to meet somebody, Poirot begins his investigation.

Who's the murderer? Everyone seemed to have a motive to kill her, from a resentful stepdaughter, a cuckolded husband, a jilted lover, a jealous wife, a romantic rival with designs on Arlena's husband...or was it something less personal? Was she the target of a religious fanatic? Did she disturb drug-dealers using Pixy Cove as a drop-off point? Was she being blackmailed? The possibilities keep piling up, as do the obscure clues scattered about: a bottle thrown out of a window, a pair of scissors on a beach, a bath drawn in the middle of the day - it all means something only to Poirot.

The atmosphere of "Evil Under the Sun" is brilliant; after first introducing the island as the home of a reclusive captain who never had a family, the story starts some years later after his house has been renovated into a resort (and most copies of the book even come with a map of the island). Despite the warm sunshine and sandy beaches, Christie infuses the book with a clammy sense of foreboding, danger, and even - evil. The characterization is vivid and as always, the twists and turns keep you guessing right till the end.

If you've never read Christie before, then this is a perfect place to start.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kimmah
An elderly, dying aunt, her considerable estate to be bequeathed, a classic love triangle, and a murder, or is it two? You'll find all this and more in Sad Cyrpress by Agatha Christie. This story actually starts on the first day of the trial of the accused, Elinor Carlisle. After that brief introduction, Christie then takes you back to the beginning of the story, where she devotes pages and pages leading up to the murder for which Elinor stands trial: Mary Gerrard, who was found dead from an overdose of morphine. And what would we do without our love triangle? Elinor became affianced to Roderick Welman before the pair went to visit their Aunt Laura, who had suffered a stroke. But everything changes when Roderick sees Mary for the first time... After the crime's been committed, there's at least one person who doesn't think (or doesn't want to think) Elinor is guilty--the good doctor who was treating Aunt Laura! And so he brings that famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, to bring the facts to light.

I enjoyed this mystery--for me, Agatha Christie is an easier read, but also enjoyable because of her portrayal of her characters, and most particularly her detectives. She also has a tendency to be very subtle when leaving her clues. I often find myself pausing over the most trivial bits of information, wondering if there's more to them than the first glance would suggest. And then you have the famous Hercule Poirot, of the egg-shaped head and abundant "little gray cells," who is always an amusing character. In this story, the evidence is so stacked against Elinor, that you really wonder how in the world Poirot will find anything that suggests she might indeed be innocent. Christie has a knack of making you feel that way in most of her mysteries--all the evidence will point towards one person and then before you know it Hercule Poirot discovers the truth! This was one of those mysteries where I actually did figure out who it was, but even then Christie manages to throw in a twist to the story.

If you're looking for a relatively quick read and an engaging mystery, this is a good one to pick up!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
darla wegener
Also known as REMEMBERED DEATH, this 1943 Christie novel is not among the author's most memorable work, nor is it among her most celebrated--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 previously 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 (the store Reviewer)--
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thara nagaraj
Agatha Christie continued her winning streak with Evil Under the Sun, a masterpiece of misdirection. If in subsequent years EUTS has seemed a bit inferior to the earlier Death on the Nile, it is possibly because, well, for one thing it is the same story just told from a different angle; and for another, it just misses creating a character as mesmerizingly passionate as Jacqueline de Bellefort in Nile. The focus here, and the best character study, is on the "evil" woman of the title, Arlena Stuart. Arlena is a startlingly physical presence on the beach of the Jolly Roger Hotel, the kind of woman who puts others in the shade. No man can resist her for long, but that's her tragedy too as well as her claim to fame. I will say that the Pixy's Cave seems like a perfect place for Arlena and I'm sure that Freudian-minded Agatha Christie must have had a ball devising this chamber for her.

The story from which she disappears is also a bittersweet, heartwarming tale about how a group of damaged people reconstitutes family life after the death of the mother. Community is much on Christie's mind in this book. There's another extraordinary scene in which Poirot manages to get all the available suspects to accompany him on a picnic, which goes completely the opposite of how you'd think it would go: i.e, it makes the characters loveable, the meanest of the bunch revealing unexpected strengths and charms.

Maybe in retrospect it's hard to believe that the killer could count on his witness to respond exactly as she does. I can't make up my mind whether or not the whole plot would have collapsed had she decided to read a book instead. Well, Christie makes it plain she wasn't the bookish type.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
july
Summary: Arlena Stuart-Marshall is found strangled at a seaside resort. Who did it-her possibly cuckolded husband; smitten Patrick Redfern; the displeased Mrs. Redfern; or someone else? Luckily Hercule Poirot is on the case.

*No spoilers*

Thoughts: Poirot was not annoying in this book! I think it's because she'd been writing him for a while and then the involvement of the English police diluted his presence, which made me very grateful.

I did not figure out the murder and to be honest I think one of the clues the reader would be unable to use because it was based on physical description and there is a lack of it. I wonder if for my next AC I should make up a table and just input all of the information I receive. For example, physical description, likes/dislikes, alibi, possible motive, etc. Yet I still don't think I'd solve it. I did think the murder was committed in a very clever way. I was afraid this was going to end, like another one of Christies, in a manner which irked me the first time I read it but it's doesn't! I realize that doesn't mean much to you because of course I'm writing around the plot point which references the murder but I was very happy!

I loved the Gardeners; Mrs. Gardener talks and talks and talks while Mr. Gardener nods his head and obeys. They were good comic characters to include in a murder mystery which is rather dark by nature.

Overall: 4/5. Another good entry in the Poriot category.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rahul basra
When I read Agatha Christie, I have to remind myself that the twists in her works of fiction are too fantastic to happen in reality. For those who seek the solution before finishing the book, clues abound for the observant. It is only a matter of determining fact from fiction.

Mr. Morley, Poirot's personal dentist, seems to have committed suicide. It seems a cut and dry case to everybody but Poirot. The death of Morley's final patient, an accidental overdose of anesthetic, gives reason for the suicide. Few can foresee where the case goes from here.

A clue of wardrobe gives a hint to the killer, but it only seem that the picture becomes clear as the choices are weaned away. Overall, this is among Christie's more clever works, even if the length the killer goes seem preposterous.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mlombardi
After the sad suicide of Rosemary Barton, life went on. Her sister, Iris, got used to her absence. Her husband mourned her, but began to pick up his life again. Suicide is difficult to recover from, but it appeared that recovery was in sight for the family. That is, it was until some mysterious notes make a terrible accusation: Rosemary Barton, they claimed, was murdered. Murder, not suicide.

With that suspicion, everything changes.

Remembered Death (also published as Sparkling Cyanide) is loosely linked to The Man in the Brown Suit through the character of Colonel Race. The plot also has some similarities in terms of the romances between the respective leading ladies and their suspicious men. The Man in the Brown Suit is much earlier and somehow stronger. The rollicking romance of the first book gave way to the claustrophobia and cynicism of the second.

It certainly is not one of the weakest Christie novels, and for the period in which it was released, it stands quite firmly in its shoes. I enjoyed it, as I nearly always do when AC is involved. This was a first time read for me, which was delightful. I had honestly thought that I had read every Christie at one point or another. Nice to discover that I was wrong.

Recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
beate
Among the subtlest and "deepest" of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot stories, ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE is a murder mystery that comments on the British class system. That the story is essentially about class is clear from the widely differing social stations of its cast of characters. Take, for example, the three victims: first, a respected dentist named Mr. Morley is found shot to death in his office; then one of Morley's patients, a wealthy Greek immigrant, dies while another patient, a nondescript charity worker with the "pompous" name of Mabelle Sainsbury Seale, vanishes. Hercule Poirot and Chief Inspector Japp must find the common link between these three occurrences. The matter is complicated further by the fact that Alistair Blunt, a financier who gained his status by marrying into an Anglo-Jewish banking family (one obviously based on the Rothschilds) was also a patient in Morley's office on the day of his death; Japp believes that Blunt himself was intended to be the victim. But for the ever-observant Poirot, the case really begins with something quite mundane: that is, a shoe...a woman's black patent leather shoe with a large, ornate buckle...

Also highly recommended, for those who have finished the novel: the superb made-for-TV version of ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE, starring David Suchet as Poirot and Philip Jackson as Japp, and available on DVD from the store.com.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
helene
Sad Cypress closely resembles the Poirot book that preceded it, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, but is I think a much better work. Just as in HP's Christmas, author Agatha Christie provides a rather elaborate and extended setup to the crime in which a series of fairly sympathetic characters are Implicated as possible suspects. Then she brings in Poirot on a consulting basis (to the local police in HP's Christmas and to the defense team in Cypress) and the resolution turns on a case of hidden identity. But Poirot seems more engaged emotionally with the case in Cypress, and the solution is much more plausible than the ridiculous Rube Goldberg scenario Christie constructed for HP's Christmas. I don't think Sad Cypress is a great Agatha Christie book, but it is a very good one, which means a very good mystery novel over all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
islandhopper
Audible.com released this short story -- long enough for a novella, actually -- from Dame Agatha Christie's 1951 short story collection, eponymously titled The Under Dog and Other Stories Featuring Hercule Poirot. Read as usual by Hugh Fraser, the story deals with the murder of Sir Reuben Astwell for which his ne'er-do-well nephew Charles Leverson has been arrested. Despite overwhelming evidence, Sir Reuben's widow, Lady Astwell, a great believer in intuition, is certain that her nephew by marriage is innocent and summons detective Hercule Poirot.

No need to doubt that the Belgian detective will apply his little gray cells to the problem and come up with the truth. It even has a finale in which Poirot gathers all of the suspects into the Tower for a dramatic reveal! "The Under Dog" is a great way to while away a few hours.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
savana
The name Agatha Christie firmly entrenched in the world of detective fiction. Her unique genius mind, has created two bright detectives. They are known to us as Hercule Poirot and miss Marple. In this novel, which takes place at one of the spas of England, the reader is offered together with Poirot to investigate a murder adventurous beauties Arlena Stuart. So, the circle of suspects is narrowed and the reader is left in no doubt who might be a murderer. This would seem so simple! But it is here that the genius Christie deftly leads the reader in another direction and only at the end of the novel, we learn the name of the real killer. This is a brilliant detective, created outstanding by Agatha Christie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
theresa g marone
This 1939 novel has been compared to the 1930 STRONG POISON by Dorothy Sayers. Both novels begin with the courtroom observations of a young woman accused of murder by poisoning. Both young women are befriended by a young man who sets out to clear her of the crime and fall in love with her in the process. Christie's rescuer is named Peter Lord while Sayers' is, of course, Lord Peter. Even with these similarities the two stories, although both excellent, are vastly different.
Elinor Carlisle had an understanding with her cousin-by-marriage Roderick Welman, that one day they would wed, live happily in their mutual Aunt Laura's country house with her considerable fortune somehow split between them. The plan suited them all, Elinor, Roddy and Aunt Laura. Aunt Laura was now in failing health and was being cared for by nurses, her servants, a doctor and Mary, a young woman who had grown up on the estate and of whom Aunt Laura had always been quite fond...perhaps too fond for Elinor and Roddy's own good.
Aunt Laura died, not to anyone's surprise but had left no will, much to everyone's surprise. As her only living blood relative Elinor inherited everything - lucky Elinor! Except Mary was so lovely, and Roddy so smitten with her that the engagement was called off. Then Mary died, of poison and Elinor was the only one of could have committed the crime.
Dr. Lord made an impassioned plea to Hercule Poirot to prove Elinor innocent - if she was in fact innocent. Poirot reluctantly agrees and begins to sort through motives, love affairs and long buried secrets to arrive at the truth.
The opening is dramatic altough it causes the problem of making the most sympathetic character, Mary, known to the read as the victim. The questions remain, however, of who did it, why, and how for the reader to try to puzzle through before Poirot reveals all.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
blake boldt
I completely and utterly enjoyed this Christie book. It was good in every way.

There weren't a huge number of characters to keep track of like the other Christie books I have read. The characters were an interesting bunch as well, even though they did fall into the categories of A) Rich and snobby or B) Poor and meddling.

This has been the first Christie book in which I didn't either already know or correctly guess the ending. So I was very pleased by this.

I was glad that the man who helps Poirot solve the mystery wasn't annoying, but kind of likeable. In the last Christie book I read (Death on the Nile) the partner was just the most aggravating twit.

Something I thought interesting is that Poirot seemed calm during the investigation. Usually, in the books I have read, Poirot seems a little anxious but not in this one. Maybe it was the beach setting? lol.

Go ahead and read this one. Very fun and enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alex kuhl
The beautiful and flirtatious Arlena Stewart is holidaying in the South West Coast of England with her husband, Captain Marshall and her stepdaughter Linda, staying at the Jolly Roger Hotel on an exclusive island. There she carries out a not too discreet affair with the handsome Patrick Redfern, husband of poor quiet Christine Redfern. Amongst the hotel guests are an American couple, a retired priest, a longwinded army chap, a spinster, a female friend of Captain Marshall and Hercule Poirot.

One bright sunny morning, Arlena is found dead, strangled at Pixy Cove. Hercule Poirot and the local police are called in to investigate the matter. Could the jealous husband have murdered her or perhaps it was the long suffering wife. Could it be that Arlena was blackmailed by some unscrupulous cad? Could she have stumbled across a smuggling operation at the cove? Hercule Poirot fits the pieces of the puzzle together. Amongst the clues are a pair of scissors found at the scene of the crime, pieces of a green calendar and wax in the fire grate in one of the guests rooms, an empty bottle thrown out of a window, the sound of bath water draining from a tub at midday.

This is classic Agatha Christie at her best. The scene is set, the characters introduced, the clues planted. As always the reader wil be left wondering right up to the end of the book as to who comitted the crime. As with all Agatha Christie novels, there are as many twists and turn in the plot to keep you changing your mind as to the identity of the killer. Agatha Christie is always a joy to read and this is no exception.

Lea Ling Tsang
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
janet dickson
Hard to believe, with all the books I read, that I've never read an Agatha Christie before, but indeed, I have not. This was my first, and I can certainly see why Christie is the world's most-published novelist. If there's one thing Christie can do, it's tell a good story. And that's precisely what she does in Evil under the Sun. I can see why readers find Christie's work compelling; she draws her readers in quickly, with a large cast of thickly-described characters and a vivid sense of surroundings. Evil under the Sun brings us to a seaside resort, where a group of holiday-makers, including Christie's famous Inspector Poirot, find themselves attempting to deal with a broad range of personalities. Likely the most abrasive of all is the beautiful and capricious socialite Arlena Marshall. When she turns up dead in a remote part of the beach, it becomes Poirot's calling to determine her murderer. The resort's island location makes it unlikely that anyone outside the hotel could be responsible. Thus, Poirot must discover the murderer in his midst. Everyone, it seems, had a motive. Yet everyone too had an alibi. The answer turns out to be far more complicated than anyone had anticipated. Christie's gift is clearly to tell a gripping story. While there are no great lessons on morality or statements on the human condition within this it is certainly entertaining, enjoyable, and just a bit scary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hermione laake
Agatha Christie goes back in time to solve a murder. The victim was Rosemary Barton who died the year before the story begins. She was celebrating her birthday with husband and friends at a fashionable restaurant when she apparently took her own life. Because no one present had any desire to kill her and cyanide was found in the depressed woman's purse, suicide was accepted as the cause of death. Nine months later, her husband George begins receiving anonymous letters saying the death was not what it appeared. These hints of murder lead George to suspect that one guest at the dinner party did indeed kill his wife. The killer strikes again a year later when an almost identical party is held at the same restaurant to celebrate the birthday of Rosemary's younger sister Iris.
Who was the beautiful heiress Rosemary Barton? Through the words of each of the characters, the reader gets various versions of Rosemary---her personality, her lovers, her love affairs, her marriage, her death.
Once again, Christie gives us memorable characters: Iris, the younger sister who failed to inherit but would receive all on Rosemary's death; George, the husband who just might be resenting her philandering ways; Ruth Lessing, George's faithful secretary; Anthony Browne, her gentleman friend with a notorious past; Stephen Faraday, one of her lovers; and Sandra Faraday, Stephen's wife.
Colonel Race, a recurring character in Christie novels, appears in this one as a family friend of the Bartons who is called in by George to find the killer.
In 1983 this novel was adapted to television. Unfortunately, by moving the setting from England to California and updating the plot, much of Christie's excellent novel suffered.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grant
Agatha Christie is reknowned for creating apparently simple murder mysteries that unexpectedly twist for completely unexpected conclusions--and no where is this better seen than in SAD CYPRESS, a cleanly written tale about a romantic triangle that leads to murder with only one possible suspect.
The novel opens with Elinor Carlisle actually in the dock, accused of double murder in an effort to hold the affections of her distant cousin and fiance Roderick Welman. When called into the case by a local doctor, Hercule Poirot discovers that Elinor behaves exactly as if she is guilty of the crime. Nonetheless, he agrees to investigate... and as Poirot works to uncover the truth, he finds that virtually everything about the crime indicates that Elinor did indeed commit the crimes--a circumstance which, almost perversely, makes him begin to question the guilt others have taken for granted.
This is one of Christie's least known but most effective novels, a work that deserves to be ranked with the likes of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, THE ABC MURDERS, and A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED. The characters are among her most vivid, the story has an unpretentious atmosphere, and the solution is both absolutely reasonable and absolutely unexpected. Christie writes with considerable clarity, and the simplicity of her approach makes the story all the more effective. An impressive work, sure to please both old fans and newcomers alike; recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shalini
Evil Under the Sun takes place at a secluded seaside resort in England. Arlena Stuart Marshall, is young and beautiful and one of those Agatha Christie characters who seems to inspire all she meets to wish her dead. So it is small surprise when she is killed and none other than Hercule Poirot is called upon to solve the case using little more than his famous little grey cells.

This is a very typical Christie novel in many ways. It happens in a "bottle" environment where no one else comes and goes, it has an eclectic cast of characters almost all of whom seem to have a motive, and the crime seems impossible to solve. It is, however, different from many of Dame Agatha's works in the sense that it is executed so very well. Not to say that most of her novels are poor, but this one really shines. The suspects are both interesting and entertaining. Poirot is at his best as he works through things in his fashion with his little remarks raining dry humor at just the right moments. And the mystery itself definitely kept me engaged from start to finish.

I've read a number of Hercule Poirot novels, and found some very good and a few not so good. Evil Under the Sun is an excellent mystery novel that I would recommend as a great starting point to readers new to Agatha Christie as well as established fans of her work. It's both funny and compelling and features one of the great fictional detectives at his very best.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vivalarobot
Agatha Christie's EVIL UNDER THE SUN was immensely respected when it debuted in the 1940s. Today it pales a bit alongside the truly great Christie novels of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s--but it is still a tremendously entertaining read that will appeal to both new and long-established fans.
The novel is cast in a "classic English mystery" mold: a group of vacationers at an exclusive resort with limited public access fall under suspicion when a beautiful femme fatale is found strangled to death on an isolated beach. Is the killer a jealous husband, a jealous wife, an unstable step-daughter--or is it connected with the occult, a possible serial killer, an unknown blackmailer, or a member of a drug distribution ring? The plot complications come tumbling one on top of another, but fortunately for the innocent the island resort is host to a private detective on vacation: the celebrated Hercule Poirot.
The novel is particularly memorable for the way in which Christie requires readers to interpret the personality of her characters... and in the process leads you completely astray. Long time fans may recognize the plot device on which the solution rests, for Christie used it earlier in a number of celebrated short stories and would repeat it in a number of later works as well--but to give the Queen of Crime her due, she so neatly works the story that even the most astute reader is unlikely to arrive at the full truth until Poirot deigns to expose it. Tremendous fun, and well recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mike narducci
Set at an English seaside summer resort, EVIL UNDER THE SUN is one of several Hercule Poirot mysteries involving a "love triangle" that is not quite what it appears to be (DEATH ON THE NILE is another and the most famous). In EVIL UNDER THE SUN, beautiful but brainless Arlena Marshall is strangled on a beach, and the most obvious suspect appears to be Captain Marshall, her husband, who was jealous of her relationship with young, handsome Patrick Redfern. While the police are eager to convict Marshall, Poirot (as usual) concerns himself with the case's psychological aspect, asking himself who at the resort is the true focus of evil: Arlena (as everyone else assumes) or somebody else? When Poirot finds the answer to this question, then he will have found Arlena's killer. As always, Poirot's logic is brilliant; in fact, the dialogue contains a very funny line about Poirot's eternal competition with the dim-witted "local police." Agatha Christie's one flaw is neglecting to explain the drug-smuggling thread of the mystery in tying up the loose ends of the plot in the novel's final pages. Two bits of trivia: EVIL UNDER THE SUN was filmed in 1982, with Peter Ustinov as Poirot, and the more recent TV adaptation of "Triangle at Rhodes" - another "love triangle" story - starring David Suchet as Poirot, borrows some dialogue from EVIL UNDER THE SUN.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kerrie d ercole
After the sad suicide of Rosemary Barton, life went on. Her sister, Iris, got used to her absence. Her husband mourned her, but began to pick up his life again. Suicide is difficult to recover from, but it appeared that recovery was in sight for the family. That is, it was until some mysterious notes make a terrible accusation: Rosemary Barton, they claimed, was murdered. Murder, not suicide.

With that suspicion, everything changes.

Sparkling Cyanide is loosely linked to The Man in the Brown Suit through the character of Colonel Race. The plot also has some similarities in terms of the romances between the respective leading ladies and their suspicious men. The Man in the Brown Suit is much earlier and somehow stronger. The rollicking romance of the first book gave way to the claustrophobia and cynicism of the second.

It certainly is not one of the weakest Christie novels, and for the period in which it was released, it stands quite firmly in its shoes. I enjoyed it, as I nearly always do when AC is involved. This was a first time read for me, which was delightful. I had honestly thought that I had read every Christie at one point or another. Nice to discover that I was wrong.

Recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
norbert tran
Dr. Lord loves Elinor, who loves Roderick, who loves Mary. Aunt Laura Wellman loves them all. They all appear to love Aunt Laura's money. When Aunt Laura dies intestate, the question of who inherits seems simple indeed. The characters occasionally appear shallow, but they can also display depth of character. Elinor (who got Aunt Laura's estate) could be very likeable if she didn't hate Mary so. Despite her hatred, Elinor honors Aunt Laura's dying wish and settles a tidy sum on Mary. Mary behaves nobly throughout. Roderick acts like a dunce throughout, but is capable of occasional sparks of nobility. Dr. Lord stands on the sidelines and makes moon eyes at Elinor. Is this a murder mystery or a soap opera? Where is Hercule Poirot? Doesn't the cover say this is a Poirot mystery? That's the only reason I bought the radio play. I'm at the end of tape one, and no Poirot in sight.
Mary dies and an autopsy reveals poisoning by morphine. Aunt Laura is exhumed and found to have died from morphine poisoning also. Elinor, who has motive and opportunity in spades for both deaths also appears to have the means. Finally Dr. Lord shakes off his inactivity and calls in Hercule Poirot to save the woman he loves.
Poirot engages in the usual snooping and deduction, catches everyone lying, reveals all the dark secrets, and guides Elinor's barrister in the defense of the case. He also figures out whodunnit. At least he amasses enough evidence to . . . but I don't want to give away the story. I'd hate to destroy your enjoyment when you figure it out for yourself.
When the time comes for Mary to die, you will have grown to like her so much that you will truly regret her killing. You will also share Dr. Lord's forlorn faith in Elinor's innocence. This novel has a much smaller cast of suspects than most Poirot novels, but the murderer's identity should remain opaque at least until the commencement of Elinor's trial.
The BBC radio play is very well done, as are all the BBC plays of Christie's Poirot stories, but the cover gives too great a hint as to the murderer's identity. Luckily, I pay more attention to the writing on the back of a book cover than I do to the picture on the front. I thus noticed the cover's significance only after I finished the play.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
denise huffman
This is definitely one of Christie's more entertaining mysteries. Poirot's dentist winds up dead shortly after the great detective's visit. This is followed by the death of a Greek aristocrat and an unidentified woman, all of whom visited the dentist that day. We add to this a whiff of communist conspiracy and a banking magnate whose life is in danger. Poirot has to chase down multiple murders and multiple unclear identities. I figured out the culprit, but not the how or the why. As the best mysteries do, this one kept me riveted, and had numerous twists and turns. One of Christie's best.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ismail elmeligy
"Sad Cypress" deals with the eternal triangle which always ends with sadness for someone. In this case, Elinor Carlisle is the odd girl out as her fiance and distant cousin Roderick Welman falls madly in love with his and Elinor's childhood friend, Mary Gerrard, after Mary returns from years abroad. The three of them had been great friends at Hunterbury, the lavish estate of Mary's aunt Mrs. Laura Welman. Mrs. Welman had hoped Elinor and Roderick would marry one day and live at Hunterbury. Mrs. Welman dies suddenly without leaving a will. As her next of kin, Elinor inherits all. Although Mrs. Welman had spoken frequently of providing for Roderick and Mary, the lack of a will leaves them without recourse. In the midst of all this upheaval, Elinor prepares lunch for Mary one day, and Mary dies of morphine poisoning. With suspicion falling heavily on Elinor, the body of Mrs. Welman is exhumed and found to also contain morphine poisoning. All fingers point to Elinor for having killed Mary out of jealousy and her aunt in order to get the full estate. Only one person, Dr. Peter Lord, believes in Elinor's innocence and he calls in the inimitable Hercule Poirot to investigate.
An excellent courtroom sequence and outstanding characters make this one of Christie's best, in my opinion.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alonso
When Poirot's dentist turned up shot in the head less within hours of treating the Belgian detective, Poirot was not satisfied with the apparent lack of motive, and got even more curious when the motive was helpfully provided later in the form of another patient of the dentist dying of malpractice.
Amidst the array of witnesses; those who had been present on the scene at some time or other on the same day, Poirot tried to piece together a puzzling picture; who was, or is, the intended victim ? How were the persons of Blunt, a most influential figure in the world of British finance who remained largely in the background ? Or the rebellious Raikes who was in love with the niece of Blunt ? Or the retired civil servant Barnes ? Or the mysterious missionary lady Seale who inexplicable went missing soon after?
Red herrings abound in this story, with numerous twists and turns. The time interval was long, with weeks or more passing between chapters, making one marvel at how Poirot managed to keep the right focus on the murder even though he must have attended to numerous other affairs in the meantime.
Unhappily, when all was revealed, what the book lacked was a credible motive for the murder of the dentist. Given the resources available to and the intellect of the culprit, the killing seemed most unnecessary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jesselyn
Though not one of Christie's more famous novels, this is one of her darkest because the murderer is among the three or four most reprehensible in the Christie canon. ('The Body in the Library', 'Mrs. McGinty's Dead', and 'The ABC Murders' also feature particularly loathsome killers.) In Christie stories as in most murder mysteries killers are rarely sympathetic characters, though sometimes a murderer's crime is mitigated by his motive, such as fear of financial ruin, to silence a blackmailer, to prevent exposure of some secret, or even love.

In 'Sad Cypress', however, the murderer's motive is entirely venal and his diabolical, near-perfect scheme to evade discovery earns him a place among Christie's most notorious villains, despite the fact that he succeeds in murdering 'only' two people.

Indeed, the killer is so clever that no hint of suspicion touches him until Poirot -- in one of his more challenging cases -- unmasks him. Also, as in 'The ABC Murders' the reader cannot help but be aware of how close the murderer comes to getting an innocent person hanged in his place.

Readers can also enjoy the superb British TV adaptation of 'Sad Cypress' featuring David Suchet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ahmed m
Charming socialite Rosemary Barton had committed suicide during her birthday party. Or had she been murdered? She had been a bit depressed after a prolonged bout of the flu but Rosemary had everything to live for, she was young, rich, had both a devoted husband and a lover. And why choose a busy glamorous restaurant during a dinner party held in her honor? Over the next few months doubts began to surface over Rosemary's death, but if she had been murdered then who could have done it but a guest at her party - her husband, adoring younger sister, loyal secretary, friend, her lover or his unsuspecting wife? Then the second murder happened.....

This 1943 mystery (also published as REMEMBERED DEATH) is told from the points of view of starting with Iris, Rosemary's younger sister, shifting to the other members of the ill-fated dinner party. The detective called in here to solve the crime is the mysterious Col. Race.

As always with a Christie novel the clues are all fairly laid out for the reader to follow, the mystery is clever with some interesting twists and turns along the way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
archana ramanathan
In this novel, Agatha Christie does what she does best: assembles a group of diverse characters on holiday, has one of them murdered, and provides the rest with plenty of opportunity and motive to have committed the crime.
Arlena Marshall is a beautiful woman known for her affairs with men, both before and during her marriage. While on holiday at the Jolly Roger Hotel on England's South Coast, she openly cavorts with Patrick Redfern while her husband and his wife watch helplessly. Tragedy is inevitable and few are surprised when Arlena is murdered.
What sets Christie apart from other mystery writers is the wonderful skill she exhibits with characterizations. This novel, one of her best in my opinion, is complete with many well-developed ones which make for a believable crime. Miss Rosamund Darnley, a talented dress designer, and Mr. and Mrs. Odell Gardener, the outspoken American woman and her long-suffering husband, are just a few of the many who fill this story. And of course, the famous detective Hercule Poirot also happens to be on holiday here at the time of the murder. Everybody is a suspect as voodoo practices, drug-smuggling, religious mania, and two murders from the past add intrigue.
The book was adapted to the big screen in 1982 with Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, Dianna Rigg as Arlena Marshall, and Maggie Smith, Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Colin Blakely, and Jane Birkin also starring. A new made-for-tv version will air in 2001 with David Suchet as Poirot and Hugh Fraser as Arthur Hastings.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ivonne penunuri
Evil Under the Sun threw me through a loop. I wasn't even close when it came to figuring out what was going on. So many tiny details mixed with an abundance of obvious possibilities made this book a wonderful mystery from beginning to end.

Poirot wasn't the least bit annoying in Evil Under the Sun. You know how he can get with his "little gray cells." This was one of the times when he's on vacation and actually seems to mean it for the majority of the trip.

I wasn't thrilled with the way the victim was blamed for her own death due to the way she lived her life. I was equally unhappy with the defense that she was not the brightest girl in the world, so she shouldn't be held responsible for her actions. I'll admit to strongly disliking the victim, but the concept of "she was asking for it" was insulting. It was also stereotypical of the time and must be viewed as such.

Evil Under the Sun was a great mystery with an ending you'll never see coming. This was definitely one of the better Poirot novels.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
essie hicks
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe includes many of the ingredients of Agatha Christie's best novels -- a plot that is believable and not convoluted, and characters that are realistic and not ridiculous (except for some overly melodramatic dialogue). Even the villain, when finally revealed, is creepy in his/her coldly unemotional, almost rational belief that murdering three people was for the good of England.

And yet, in spite of all that, for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on this books fails to rise above the forgettable. It plods along until its anti-climatic, ho-hum ending. Even Hugh Fraser's always-excellent narration didn't infuse the story with any spark.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rocke
Evil Under The Sun is my favorite of the Peter Ustinov Poirot movies. I thoroughly enjoyed the David Suchet movie as well. Finally, I went to the original.

Styles of story telling have changed since Christie wrote this book. This misses the flashback scene that starts both movie versions. But Christie is known for her mysteries, not her suspense.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. One reviewer who didn't like this mentioned other mysteries by Christie that were better, and I agree. But this still is good. Yes, I knew who did it (having watched two movie versions), but I think she did a good job of hiding her clues as usual.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa kindig
As an example of how ingeniously a whodunit might be plotted, and how expertly an audio book might be read, this package could hardly be bettered.
Agatha Christie wrote "Evil Under the Sun" in the early 1940s. It was a time when the second world war had brought widespread misery, pain and austerity. A welcome antidote, therefore was to devise a little budget-priced escapism, to depict a group of guests at a sea-side holiday resort relaxing and exchanging gossip and tittle-tattle as they overlook a beach and the bathers who are using it.
The inane gossip and the lack of suspense in the opening pages might wear your patience, but keep alert! Many significant clues are scattered here.
The subsequent murder and the possible motivation relate mainly to a context of human relationships. A drug smuggling racket is occasionally suggested. Hercule Poirot is present, of course, to lead police, readers, and everybody else to the solution of the mystery, even if he needs to ruin a good pair of shoes and risk seasickness during the hunt.
Addictive and ingenious as her books can be, Agatha Christie's prose and dialogue are not renowned for literary merit. All the more remarkable, therefore, is the contribution of David Suchet. Such is the reading of the great British actor that the banal is transformed into the brilliant, the commonplace into the courtly, and the mediocre into the memorable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
yoppy obot
This book's quite well written, but i could guess the ending much earlier than the last few pages, so i can't really give it five stars.
The story : Elinor Carlisle is accused of poisoning Mary Gerrard, with the case against her apparently watertight. But Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective, is not at all convinced. He undertakes the commission of finding out the truth, as opposed to defending Elinor ..........
What's unusual about this as a Hercule Poirot story is that he doesn't dominate the book, and other characters have equally big roles to play. He's more like the 'usual' detective in that he comes every now and then to make inquiries - but of course in his powers of reasoning and analysis he's far from 'usual'.
The various characters are well-etched, and the mystery unfolds nicely. However, it's possible for even the slightly alert reader to guess the ending well in advance, which to me is a drawback in this sort of a book.
All in all, a very well written murder mystery, well worth a read - but Agatha Christie (even if not many others!) has done better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sally bozzuto
Unfortunately for we readers there was and always will be just one dame Agatha. Fortunately for we readers Christie was a prolific writer and she wrote enough books in her writing life to keep a person going for quite some time. Along those same lines is the fact that if you don't particularly like one or another of her novels you can move on and most certainly will be able to find one you do like. I smiled when I read the reviews here. Some feel (and I am one of them) that this (Evil Under the Sun) was one of her better works; others felt it was her worse. It is interesting to note that on each and every one of her mysteries we have this divide. What is a person to do? Well in my opinion, for what it is worth, is to completely ignore all the review; both good and bad, and read the thing for yourself. Christie is the sort of writer that turns out work that hit people on a personal level and not everyone has the same reading tastes - what is great for one is wretched for another.

In this short novel we have a typical Christie setting and group of individual. It is located on a somewhat isolated resort Island...sort of an island, and electric bunches have gather there for the holidays. A beautiful, manipulative, and not so nice actress happens to be there with her rich and stoic British husband and her stepdaughter. This is one very unpopular lady, especially among the other women at the resort. Of course the actress is found murdered - strangled on a rather lonely beach.

Who done it? There are few characters in the group of vacationers who do not have some motive; some old grudge or have been "done wrong" by this not so nice actress - suspects are aplenty and there is plenty of motivation. On the other hand alibis are just as plentiful. How will this complicated and complex case be solved? Well it just so happens that the man with the hard working little grey brain cells is present on vacation himself and quickly is drawn into the case. Yes, we meet again the colorful detective Hercule Poirot! Is there any doubt that he villain or villains will be identified?

Christie has done a wonderful job is introducing the characters to the reader and by the end of the book you feel you know them pretty well. The plot has enough twists to keep in moving ergo, the pages keep turning to the end. This novel was written in 1940 and the author has done a wonderful job of capturing the feel and essence of the time. I must tell you that I was fascinated with the characters in this work; more so than the plot, which was good, but I simple liked the characters and what Christie did with them better.

Now at least two movies have been made from this work...a T.V. movie and a big screen event. It is not the purpose of this review to compare the movies with the book...always a silly and fruitless effort as far as I am concerned, but I will say I enjoyed both movies equally but did not enjoy either of them as much as I have enjoyed reading this book over the years.

This review is from a hard back edition and was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
fred finn
2 issues with this book: the prevailing characters and the way the plot was resolved.Normally, all my sympathies lie with the characters that Agatha Christie intends them to. I've read many of her books, and the end always felt like justice was dealt and the characters got what they deserved. This time though, the ending was just- NO. Without giving away details, let me describe how much I disliked the obvious "golden couple" of this story. I didn't like the girl. Despite various verbose passages describing her gray eyes and wonderful white forehead and pretty innocence, her actions and dialogue made her strike me as smug, immature, and somewhat full of herself while simultaneously rather stupid. This is a difficult combination to pull off and yet she did it.
She is dismissive and condescending of the one old person in the household. I don't now why that makes me so mad but it does. She's a teenager who's willing to enter into a sketchy relationship right away, right after a major family death, and believes she's above anyone's advice for it. She was weak and wishy washy and never, at ANY point in the novel seemed to express any kind of passion or just something she *really wants* despite the fact that she's a major character, maybe arguably the MAIN character. Everyone treats her as a kid and in my opinion she behaves like one. Except when she's making blind, puffed-up and self righteous decisions about what love means and what kind of guy she deserves. The guy in question was also a bad idea because he was Sketchy Character Numero Uno, with a LOT of bad history under his belt that is explained away in one paragraph near the very end of the book. You spend so much time doubting him and feeling disgusted at his previous behavior, convinced he'll turn out to be no good and then bam, he's a hero??? Seriously?

And man, if the "golden couple" was going to be so unerringly lame, why make the bad guys the ones we're rooting for?? The murderess in question was my absolute favorite character, I had such high hopes for her. She was clever, passionate, complex and very perceptive, making her actions towards the very end of the book even more incomprehensible. It is so difficult to explain this without spoilers. Suffice it to say that for someone characterized by levelheadedness but at the same time a cunning, pitiless, ruthless mindset, the decisions she made to be the villain were so out of character and pointless. It was like...She did that? She believed that? Seriously, that makes no sense. Not even from a "Overcome by blind passion!" perspective. It just didn't make sense and I hated that she was the black sheep at the end.
The plot resolution itself was also very unimpressive. the characters spend a lot of time sitting around and discussing who the murderer could possibly be, and the solution turned out to be something so far fetched and involving a distant third party that we never meet in the novel. It felt sloppy.

Iris, I seriously don't like you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mirto
Sad Cypress 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.
The words above are sung on the tape, giving it an eerie old fashion feel. It also had an actor for each part, along with sound effects.
It begins with Elinor and Roddy receiving an anonymous letter telling them another person has moved in on their aunt's affections and they could lose their inheritance if they don't come visit soon. First auntie comes up dead while they are visiting. And later another person is murdered when Elinor comes to visit a second time. Elinor is charged with murder. And Hercule Poirt is hired to find out the truth. With a little investigating and even some courtroom drama, Hercule solves the case of whodunit. I have always enjoyed how Poirt explains the solved mystery at the end. It has helped me as a reader to pay more attention when reading a mystery.
The BBC is known for their ability to produce a good audio mystery. I would recommend any you should come across as entertaining. They can break the monotony of those long walks or drives.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
francisco
Having already read the excellent MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD, and being slapped in the face with one of the biggest twists I've ever read in any novel, I was really looking forward to another good mystery from this legendary author, and featuring the underrated and entertaining Inspector Hercule Poirot. Sadly, however, I was actually disappointed with this one, and as a result, I was disappointed - disappointed that I was actually disappointed with an Agatha Christie novel. How did--how *could*--THAT happen??

The mystery took so long to really start dropping clues, and by the time I was nearly done with it, things started to actually getting mysterIOUS. A major (though false) lead appeared halfway through, and while there was speculation as to how it tied in to everything, there was no real resolution to it. And when the revelation happened, it was done in a sort of offbeat way, and the last chapter was just a giant, lengthy explanation from Poirot as to what actually happened and why, which was interesting...until the last page and a half were taken up by a conversation between two characters that really could have been a lot shorter.

Why am I even breaking down the book into the reasons I didn't like it?? How could I have this much negative stuff to say about an Agatha Christie novel? She's AGATHA CHRISTIE!

Hopefully this was, much like Poirot's vacation in the novel, a sort of temporary lull in the bigger adventures. I'll still read other novels, but sadly, my second Christie read left much to be desired.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
donna bossert
Agatha Christie seems fascinated with the eternal love triangle plot (usually a husband, a wife, and a mistress); she uses it again and again in her books. Here we have a devoted couple; the husband is distracted by a grasping beauty, and murder ensues. Christie's handling of this theme is always sure-footed (possibly due to the breakup of her own first marriage due to a philandering husband); here she takes these commonplace elements and twists them to produce an end result that will lift the reader out of his chair. There are, perhaps, more exciting Christies, but this is quite satisfying and interesting. After all, the lady wrote a tremendous number of books and short stories; they can't all be her "best." See how many different variations on this theme Christie was capable of in "Five Little Pigs," "Death On the Nile," "Towards Zero," and "The Hollow," in which the triangle is more of a square, with four sides instead of three.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
suzanne benson
Why read: Reading all of Agatha Christie's mysteries.

What impressed me: As per usual, Christie delivers an unexpected mystery that will keep readers guessing until the very end. I also liked that the romantic plot lines were relatable even today - a woman whose fiance leaves her for another woman, did she kill said other woman because of her broken heart?

What disappointed me: Poirot wasn't involved until the very end of the case, when Elinor was already on trial. Elinor was also a tough character to believe in, simply because she kept her emotions so tightly under wraps.

Recommended: Yes. Not as well known as Christie's more famous mysteries, Sad Cypress will definitely entertain.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
robert matheson
It seems rather odd to me as I sift through dozens and dozens of reviews of each and every detection book Agatha Christie ever wrote that there is always a group of folks to right off the bat claim that "This is not one of Agatha Christie's best novels." There is not exception to this. If you do not believe me...read them yourself.

Be that as it may....I personally have never read a detection novel by Christie that I did not like and I would be hard pressed to name my favorite or least favorite. On one level or another, I like them all. This book is no exception. The story line here is pretty simple. You have a love triangle...two women and one man and you have a very large inheritance at stake. One of the women is murdered along with the old women who has all the money and only one person has anything to gain. ALL the evidence points to this one surviving woman. It is almost an open and shut case...there is no doubt! Or is there?

Enter the wonderful little Hercule Poirot who is hired by a local physician to try to prove that the young accused lady did not really commit the horrible crimes by poison. As Poirot investigates even he must admit that the accused lady must have done it but he pushes on.

There is a mellow love story here folded in mystery after mystery. Agatha Christie was a master of twisted and surprising endings and she does not let us down here. Now it has been stated that the ending here was too twisted and surprising to be realistic; that Christie misled readers by not proving enough information. For those that claim this, they need to set down and give this book a second or third reading. Dame Christies has done everything buy beat us over the head with hints and clues but done it in such a subtle way that the reader must be on guard line after line, page after page.

I will say that this is one of the most mellow of this author's works. For those that enjoy the cozy mystery genera they need look no further than this book to see where these wonderful book sprung from. Most of Christie's books can indeed by classified as "cozy" by modern day readers, but this is one of the more cozy of the cozies.

This is unfortunately an often times overlooked novel and most certainly has not gotten the respect it deserves. But I will admit...for the life of me I cannot figure out where she came up with the title for this one. If anyone knows...let me know.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
anne marie
I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie, I have also seen the movies based from her books. My favorite is the Hercule Poirot books. Although the charactors way of speaking is sometimes hard to follow, I like him best. The book differs because of the court room aspect, whereas the others that I've read, don't have that aspect. Poirot is a very intelligent man and always figures things out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alden conner
The author takes Hercule Poirot on a much needed vacation to a resort destination..but alas soon things take on a dark side. One of her more intriguing mysteries with her usual assortment of very creative characters. Well written and enjoyable...as ever Christie is a master at penning a mystery.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kim haithcock
"Evil Under the Sun" is a historical mystery set in 1941 in England (though it was a contemporary mystery when it was written). It's a clue-based puzzle mystery, and there were plenty of clues. There were enough clues that whodunit was on my suspect list. The critical clues that narrowed that list down to whodunit and how weren't reveled by Poirot until the very end. Still, it was interesting to read and puzzle over. The characters were interesting and varied.

There was occasional use of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this book to Christie fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
celi
ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE has not, I think, topped anyone's list of favorite Agatha Christies for many years. Re-reading it again after many years, it seems to me to share some similarities to CURTAIN, Poirot's last case. Both of them are sort of bloodless, intellectual thrillers that play with ideas in a modernist way. BUCKLE is all about the cult of the superman, in this case the sacred financier Alistair Blunt, the Bernard Baruch type moneymind whom Britain "needs" and whose wellbeing is necessary to prevent the collapse of the UK economy. The attitude of the police and the secret service is, He may have his peccadilloes, but by Jove we need him in this country. In CURTAIN, which must have been written about the same time, the superman takes a darker turn, he is the man who can inspire others to commit murder for him, by the power of suggestion, but anyone who finishes ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE will know why I linked these two books on this one point.

I was surprised and shocked by the ending. Only Poirot could have figured out all the ramifications of the case, as well as to pull out the identity of the killer's accomplice out of thin air. I don't feel that Christie was using "fair play" in this novel, but it is so baffling that I don't even care! I love reading about her tormented, independent young women who cab't stand their own lives and yearn for something better--in this case. Jane Oliveira, the financier's niece. I wonder if elements of this novel didn't find their way into Ben Hecht's screenplay for Hitchcock's film NOTORIOUS. It's all about how you live with yourself when you're doing something wrong if it is for the public good, or if you can persuade yourself that it is while you're committing the crime (or sin, to be moral about it).

BUCKLE, like CURTAIN, is a little vague about--is there a war going on or not? Maybe it is set in an alternate universe in which others are fighting the war so we don't have to talk about it. In today's political climate, that kind of aesthetic amnesia rings a bell. Back then, it was a remarkably daring feat for the always experimental Agatha Christie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
keshia thompson
This book is one of Christie's less well-known ones. I know that I had not read it until now, and I thought I had gotten through all of Agatha Christie's Poirot books. But it is a wonderful mystery story, and written in the true Christie fashion. There are more twists and turns in a seemingly simple murder case than a small country road. This book starts with the premise that only one person could possibly have killed the young girl, and Hercule Poirot is brought in to at the very least, not have the murderer's sentence extend to capital punishment. But in true Hercule Poirot fashion, he finds out that even though it looks like only one person could have done it, there were in fact more options than that. As I reread some of the Agatha Christie classics, I am overwhelmed by her craftsmanship. She is the true queen of crime, and no one has taken over that mantel yet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
meena pious
I haven't read Agatha Christie since junior high or so, and I recall her writing as equal parts frustration -- tying my brain in a knot -- and exhilaration -- even if I didn't scry the mystery, I felt smarter for having read Christie. Not wanting to jump back into her writing with what I was sure was going to be a convoluted, complex, and complicated full-length novel, I wanted to reintroduce myself to the world of Hercule Poirot with some shorter-form fiction. Hence, "The Under Dog and Other Stories."

Christie's writing isn't as tangled as I remembered -- and while I still feel smarter having read her, I'm just as frustrated by my inability to be one step ahead of the Belgian detective. There are nine stories here, ranging between 12 and 70 pages in length. And they're all satisfying. My favorites include "The Under Dog" and "The Plymouth Express," but they all have their charm.

One major irritation: In this Berkley paperback edition, the editors opted to insert little text bits before the end of several stories that state something akin to, "It is suggested that the reader pause in his perusal of the story at this point, make his own solution of the mystery -- and then see how close he comes to that of the author."

Christie isn't a juvenile writer, and her work deserves less juvenile treatment. Thoughtful readers will take pause regardless of the editors recommendation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chaya
I don't know why this book is as popular as Murder on the Orient and And Then There Were None.Maybe it's because it doesn't really have the fantastic surprises and suspense.It is by no means predictable, but I feel like Agatha really made her characters come to life...I actually started feverishly hoping that certain characters wouldn't turn out to be he murderer/murderess. The only con is that Poirot wasnt as involves as heis usually.

This may just be the only Agatha book that left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside with a smile on my face :) One of the best who-dun its I've read.Maybe I'll even buy it!

P.s Is British food any better nowadays? I mean really....Fish paste?Ugh!Blegh!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
seth manual
With the obvious exception of Miss Marple, Agatha Christie seldom used female characters as her protagonists, which is a pity since she was perfectly capable of creating a range of vivid and likeable young heroines. In this case, her main female character may also be a murderess...or a victim...it's up to Hercule Poirot to find out.

Elinor Carlisle is perfectly content with her lot in life - reasonably well off, young and attractive, and engaged to the love of her life: Roddy Welman. Her only concern is that she not demonstrate *too* much affection for him, as he dislikes excessive devotion, and so she maintains a cool, controlled exterior to hide just how passionately she adores him. Yet there's trouble on the horizon: after receiving an anonymous letter that warns her someone might be after her great-aunt's money, Elinor and Roddy travel down to Hunterbury to visit their invalid relative, Laura Welman. Though they are fond of her, they are also relying on her inheritance to continue their comfortable life after matrimony.

Everything seems relatively normal there. Laura has recently suffered from a stroke, but is being cared for by two competent nurses and a young girl who was raised on the property: Mary Gerrard. But Roddy takes one look at the beautiful blonde girl and falls head over heels for her. Dignified but heartbroken, Elinor breaks off the engagement. With her aunt's passing, she finds that without the existence of any will the entirely of the estate passes to her as her only blood relative, and invites Mary Gerrard and Nurse Hopkins to the house in order to help her sort out the household possessions.

By the end of the afternoon Mary Gerrard will be dead, and Elinor arrested for her murder. All the evidence points directly at Elinor: she had the opportunity, the motive and the means, and only the desperate pleas of the family doctor brings Hercule Poirot onto the scene to prove her innocence - if indeed she *is* innocent.

With the title taken from a mournful passage in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," the novel is divided into three distinct parts. The first are Elinor's recollections of events up until Mary's death as she stands in the dock, the second is Poirot's investigation, and the third is a courtroom drama as new evidence comes to light, conveyed mostly through dialogue.

This is one of Christie's most underrated mysteries. Much like The Hollow it is quite character-driven, and due to the presence of what she often called "the eternal triangle," it's more emotional than usual. It's hard not to invest yourself in the remote-yet-vulnerable Elinor who is a fascinating blend of passion and coldness, and the mystery that surrounds her: *did* she killed Mary Gerrard?

Christie provides a wrap-up with a difference considering the truth comes out in a court of law (instead of Poirot assembling everyone in the library), and a plethora of intriguing clues that can be as minute as an off-handed comment about roses. It is perhaps a little slow-paced, but the tension builds gradually right to the denouncement, making it one of my favorite Christie mysteries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
e ku
I love mysteries, but I also love courtroom dramas, and this book had a lot of both. While the mystery in he first part isn't particularly up to par with most of Christie's other works (there are very few suspects, and they're not as interesting as save for Elinor and her love triangle), it's still interesting to read. The ending reveals who the true killer was, and I have to admit that though I did suspect that that person was going to be the killer all along, his/her motive for the crime was what I hadn't expected, so in that sense it really did take me by surprise. Overall, I'd have to say that this is a very good book and would highly recommend it to anyone. Although my review may not have sounded so extolling, it really was a great read, and though the killer may have been predictable, his/her motive and how he/she did it was DEFINITELY unpredictable and fascinating.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lillestern
I enjoyed this book which i read in a day of travel - certainly made time go by unnoticed !!
The story begins with the 'murder' of the dentist of Hercule Poirot (soon after Poirot visits him), with apparently no motive whatsoever. Apparent motive soon arrives in form of 'suicide' to avoid loss of face after professional bungling.
Poirot undertakes to find out the truth. Pretty soon, posible motives and suspects begins piling up, and it all gets very complicated.
Unlike most of Agatha Christie's stories, this could've had several possible conclusions, even if 'read backwards' - which means the ending, though easy to guess, is almost impossible to deduce.
This means that the (highly interesting) journey through the book doesn't have a very satisfying conclusion.
However, it's very well written and i read it in no time at all - recommended !!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amani bahy
Once again, Agatha Christie has written a tale that challenges the reader to solve a murder mystery.
This time, the place is a hotel on an isolated island, and the victim a beautiful ex-actress that is a part of a relationship triangle.
Christie has written a bunch of interesting characters, and manages to convey the atmosphere of the era (1940) and the sunny island and even if the plot is very simple by Christie standards, she has done a good job in constructing the story and writing the character of Hercule Poirot, the most interesting detective in the history of criminal literature.
"Evil Under the Sun" is an entertaining and fun piece of mystery I recommend as a holiday reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
meril
(part of the Lost Literary Reference Marathon) Agatha Christie is always good for a character-driven murder mystery. Sure, it's all the typical stuff: a lone hotel on the sea, a dead body strangled on the beach. But it's the characters and psychology--especially of the sleuth Hercule Poirot--that sets her apart. Arlena Marshall is a rich, pretty woman that attracts the scorn of women and the attention of all the men--except her husband. She is found strangled, and her stepdaughter's room contains relics of witchcraft. The setting and the theme of evil and its definition, as well as the mysterious characters, make it perfect for a Lost reference. Grade: B+
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sara zaske
Agatha Christie's ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE begins with considerable interest: it finds the usually unflappable Hercule Poirot unnerved by the necessity of a visit to the dentist! But no sooner does Poirot walk out of the office than death walks in--and the result is a complicated tale of possible suicide, certain murder, missing suspects, and political intrigue.
Christie is always at her best when working a tightly structured plot, but although enjoyable (how can you resist Poirot at the dentist?) SHOE is not among her best efforts. The novel begins as very tightly-plotted, then suddenly flies in a dozen different directions at midpoint. Christie has considerable difficulty recapturing the different strands for her conclusion--and for once her solution fails to impress. Worth reading, certainly, but old fans and newcomers alike may be a bit disappointed with the end result.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
astrid paramita
I have to say that this audio book accomplishes a very great deal for being only 2 CDs long, worth mentioning. I also wanted to remark on how perfectly David Suchet captures the wide variety of characters involved. I also find reviewers noting the visual acuity of this area, with its craggy bays, caves and cliffs: Christie does very well in capturing the allure of the area in this work. I was less pleased with what felt like a somewhat forced resolution, which felt insufficiently developed. Still, predictability is to be avoided in all matters mysterious, and so I can give it 4 stars of 5.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gavin mcdonnell
Sparkling Cyanide is a very will written mystery with interesting well developed characters. The story line has more twist and turns and back again before coming to an unexpected conclusion. I would recommend this mystery to anyone who enjoys will written mysteries. Enjoy reading
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
saber ali nazari
Entertaining little collection including the very funny title story; one of Poirot's most hilarious cases. As stated in another review, the Cornish Mystery is identical to another tale in the Labors of Hercules (with a few slim changes)while the Plymouth Express is a very close prelude to Christie's longer story (in novel form) The Mystery of the Blue Train (again with almost identical similarities.) Some of the tales are in third person then abruptly turn to first person when Col. Hastings takes over to round out the remaining adventures. Overall: a nice, diverting addition to the Christie library, if only to compare the stories to their different versions. P.S> The Submarine Plans was also published in Murder on the Mews under the title the Incredible Theft; again with some slight modifications.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
victoria lovell
This book represents Agatha Christie at her absolute best. But then, it's so hard for her not to be at her best...Anyway, I read this book over the summer in a day. I just couldn't put it down. No one can. Besides having a brilliant mind that can create these fascinating plots, Agatha Christie also had that way of writing that keeps the reader hooked. I will not go into the plot because that would be spoiling it, but I will say that this book is set at a high class beach resort in the early twentieth century, and of course, involves a murder (maybe more!). There is nothing more I can say without spoiling the book for you, so, now, after reading my brilliant and insightful review, leave a comment saying it was helpful and order or check this book out of a library immediately!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brian weeks
Wow I was WAY OFF on this one. So I have a policy when reading Christie's books. I read around thirty pages and then decide who committed the crime. I try not to deviate from my conviction. One may think that this method is folly of the greatest kind. But I've read too many of these, guessed right, then changed my guess to the detriment of my ego. At SOME point I'll get it right. Sigh. (grumbles, it was a legitimate guess though)

Sad Cypress, more so than many other of these works, sucks you in right from the start. Occasionally, when reading a Poirot book I have to muscle through the beginning until the thrill of the chase takes over and I am once again zooming toward the much awaited reveal. In this book however, I didn't want the beginning to end. Elinor and Mary are characters that I could read all day long and the first third of the book revolves around the two of them in the months leading up to the crime. Elinor, a girl possessed with so much feeling for those around her, duty, and love-sickness for her childhood sweetheart, is pretty much just Frozen's Elsa. Mary is a girl educated above her station and knows it. She is unassuming and genuine. She's essentially Anna.

Poirot doesn't show up till much later. And though he investigates the case thoroughly his personality seems to take a back seat to the goings on and emotional upheavals of the other main characters. So much the better. I know what Poirot is like. I'm glad I get to spend more time with other people.

All in all this is a fast paced mystery with fun characters and a great twist.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amran gaye
This is Agatha Christie's only courtroom drama, and the mystery that unfolds is bracketed by scenes in court. She even presents evidence as if it were meant to appear in court, and Poirot is hired to help the defense prove that the one woman who could have committed the crime (or crimeS) in question didn't do it.

The courtroom drama aspect of this novel isn't nearly as compelling as the mystery itself. Overall, it's not one of Christie's best, but loyal readers will still be kept guessing right up until the end. As for me, I am still guessing about what the heck the title could mean. The book offers no hint whatsoever, so any clues to THAT lingering mystery would be most welcome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
linzi kelsey
Poirot has traveled to a seaside resort seeking a vacation. Naturally a murder soon occurs and Poirot is quickly doing what he does best, sorting through suspects to track down the murderer. The search leads him through drug dealing, adulteries, family conflicts, blackmail and witchcraft.
The descriptions of the people at the resort are wonderful, the interactions among them are delightful. The crime is done in a clever manner, the motives are plausible and, as always, Christie plays fairly with the reader. All the clues are there among the red herrings for the reader to sort out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maggie ward
The case seems cut and dried against Elinor. Can Poirot prove her innocence? But then if she did not do the murder, who did it? This one starts slow. Takes a third of the book before Poirot even makes an appearance. Something about it is intriguing, though, and once I got into it, I could not put the book down. By the end of the book you lose your trust in people. Everyone is a suspect, and the outcome surprised me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andy hoekenga
Sad Cypress is a Hercule Poirot story that even many Christie fans don't remember which is a pity because it contains two unusual features. First, you have a woman who loves so intently that it's unhealthy. Second, you have a victim who is perfectly blameless and is far more loveable than Poirot's client. Christie turns this into a psychological drama full of passion, envy, sadness. Poirot steps into the scene almost in mid book but it works. He's the laser sharp light that clears up the mess Elinor, Roddy and the killer have made. Seek this one out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
linne
Sparkling Cyanide is definitely one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels. I love the setting in which the big bang of the story takes place: in a fancy restaurant with the lights out after a big musical number. Just imagine the setting as being in those 1950s night clubs, like in the I Love Lucy episodes. The murder takes place during a birthday bash, when the lights are turned off to bring in the cake. Cyanide is dropped into the birthday girl's champagne. Once the lights are turned back on, the birthday girl is found dead, slumped over the table.

You'll have to find out how the story revolves around this murder scene. I thought the pacing was really nice. The characters were very interesting, and if memory serves me right, the novel is narrated from the perspectives of several of the members present at the birthday party. In the end, the husband, of the woman murdered, tries to reenact the murder scene by holding a "birthday" reunion at the same restaurant a year later hoping that he'll be able to catch the murderer the second time around.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessica baetjer
Although intriguing and stumping, it was also a little lacking in clues, and somewhat disappointing that the killer is someone who seems to come out of no where. How could anyone guess it was ... I challenge anyone to correctly guess the murder without cheating and reading the last page.

I am a great fan of mystery novels and, despite its shortcomings, this was one of the better who-done-its I have read for a long time. It's easy to see why the woman is rated one of the best writers of her genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heather clark
Christie's novels where poison is the murder weapon are the most fun. Christie, who worked in a dispensary during World War I, had a certain amount of technical knowledge of various poisons; thus her fondness for it as a weapon in her books. Poison can be used by anyone; it is therefore the perfect weapon for Christie. This one is a particularly jolly romp complete with illicit affairs and mistaken identities. Light in tone, this is not one of her more serious books, but it is extremely clever and, as always, entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
leila
Written in 1941 this is not Agatha Christie's best book, but it is right up there at the top. I highly recommend this as a book to take on your next beach vacation! It follows a theme also found in A Caribbean Mystery, that you don't really know the people you meet on holiday. (It really gets you thinking about that couple you had dinner with last night.) Set on the English coast outside Devon, Evil takes place in an island resort and is filled with such typically British characters you'll find yourself reaching for the suntan lotion and craving tea and cakes as you read it. Even if you're not on vacation, Evil Under the Sun is a bright spot for any day.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tanya ellington
Agatha Christie's ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE begins with considerable interest: it finds the usually unflappable Hercule Poirot unnerved by the necessity of a visit to the dentist! But no sooner does Poirot walk out of the office than death walks in--and the result is a complicated tale of possible suicide, certain murder, missing suspects, and political intrigue.
Christie is always at her best when working a tightly structured plot, but although enjoyable (how can you resist Poirot at the dentist?) SHOE is not among her best efforts. The novel begins as very tightly-plotted, then suddenly flies in a dozen different directions at midpoint. Christie has considerable difficulty recapturing the different strands for her conclusion--and for once her solution fails to impress. Worth reading, certainly, but old fans and newcomers alike may be a bit disappointed with the end result.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
adam spivey
I have to say that this audio book accomplishes a very great deal for being only 2 CDs long, worth mentioning. I also wanted to remark on how perfectly David Suchet captures the wide variety of characters involved. I also find reviewers noting the visual acuity of this area, with its craggy bays, caves and cliffs: Christie does very well in capturing the allure of the area in this work. I was less pleased with what felt like a somewhat forced resolution, which felt insufficiently developed. Still, predictability is to be avoided in all matters mysterious, and so I can give it 4 stars of 5.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarageist
Sparkling Cyanide is a very will written mystery with interesting well developed characters. The story line has more twist and turns and back again before coming to an unexpected conclusion. I would recommend this mystery to anyone who enjoys will written mysteries. Enjoy reading
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jenthevideogirl
Entertaining little collection including the very funny title story; one of Poirot's most hilarious cases. As stated in another review, the Cornish Mystery is identical to another tale in the Labors of Hercules (with a few slim changes)while the Plymouth Express is a very close prelude to Christie's longer story (in novel form) The Mystery of the Blue Train (again with almost identical similarities.) Some of the tales are in third person then abruptly turn to first person when Col. Hastings takes over to round out the remaining adventures. Overall: a nice, diverting addition to the Christie library, if only to compare the stories to their different versions. P.S> The Submarine Plans was also published in Murder on the Mews under the title the Incredible Theft; again with some slight modifications.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
disneyducky
This book represents Agatha Christie at her absolute best. But then, it's so hard for her not to be at her best...Anyway, I read this book over the summer in a day. I just couldn't put it down. No one can. Besides having a brilliant mind that can create these fascinating plots, Agatha Christie also had that way of writing that keeps the reader hooked. I will not go into the plot because that would be spoiling it, but I will say that this book is set at a high class beach resort in the early twentieth century, and of course, involves a murder (maybe more!). There is nothing more I can say without spoiling the book for you, so, now, after reading my brilliant and insightful review, leave a comment saying it was helpful and order or check this book out of a library immediately!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gwen hardin
Wow I was WAY OFF on this one. So I have a policy when reading Christie's books. I read around thirty pages and then decide who committed the crime. I try not to deviate from my conviction. One may think that this method is folly of the greatest kind. But I've read too many of these, guessed right, then changed my guess to the detriment of my ego. At SOME point I'll get it right. Sigh. (grumbles, it was a legitimate guess though)

Sad Cypress, more so than many other of these works, sucks you in right from the start. Occasionally, when reading a Poirot book I have to muscle through the beginning until the thrill of the chase takes over and I am once again zooming toward the much awaited reveal. In this book however, I didn't want the beginning to end. Elinor and Mary are characters that I could read all day long and the first third of the book revolves around the two of them in the months leading up to the crime. Elinor, a girl possessed with so much feeling for those around her, duty, and love-sickness for her childhood sweetheart, is pretty much just Frozen's Elsa. Mary is a girl educated above her station and knows it. She is unassuming and genuine. She's essentially Anna.

Poirot doesn't show up till much later. And though he investigates the case thoroughly his personality seems to take a back seat to the goings on and emotional upheavals of the other main characters. So much the better. I know what Poirot is like. I'm glad I get to spend more time with other people.

All in all this is a fast paced mystery with fun characters and a great twist.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
melissa rob
This is Agatha Christie's only courtroom drama, and the mystery that unfolds is bracketed by scenes in court. She even presents evidence as if it were meant to appear in court, and Poirot is hired to help the defense prove that the one woman who could have committed the crime (or crimeS) in question didn't do it.

The courtroom drama aspect of this novel isn't nearly as compelling as the mystery itself. Overall, it's not one of Christie's best, but loyal readers will still be kept guessing right up until the end. As for me, I am still guessing about what the heck the title could mean. The book offers no hint whatsoever, so any clues to THAT lingering mystery would be most welcome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elmoz
Poirot has traveled to a seaside resort seeking a vacation. Naturally a murder soon occurs and Poirot is quickly doing what he does best, sorting through suspects to track down the murderer. The search leads him through drug dealing, adulteries, family conflicts, blackmail and witchcraft.
The descriptions of the people at the resort are wonderful, the interactions among them are delightful. The crime is done in a clever manner, the motives are plausible and, as always, Christie plays fairly with the reader. All the clues are there among the red herrings for the reader to sort out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tristy
The case seems cut and dried against Elinor. Can Poirot prove her innocence? But then if she did not do the murder, who did it? This one starts slow. Takes a third of the book before Poirot even makes an appearance. Something about it is intriguing, though, and once I got into it, I could not put the book down. By the end of the book you lose your trust in people. Everyone is a suspect, and the outcome surprised me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anna edwards
Sad Cypress is a Hercule Poirot story that even many Christie fans don't remember which is a pity because it contains two unusual features. First, you have a woman who loves so intently that it's unhealthy. Second, you have a victim who is perfectly blameless and is far more loveable than Poirot's client. Christie turns this into a psychological drama full of passion, envy, sadness. Poirot steps into the scene almost in mid book but it works. He's the laser sharp light that clears up the mess Elinor, Roddy and the killer have made. Seek this one out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
peggy jagoe
Sparkling Cyanide is definitely one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels. I love the setting in which the big bang of the story takes place: in a fancy restaurant with the lights out after a big musical number. Just imagine the setting as being in those 1950s night clubs, like in the I Love Lucy episodes. The murder takes place during a birthday bash, when the lights are turned off to bring in the cake. Cyanide is dropped into the birthday girl's champagne. Once the lights are turned back on, the birthday girl is found dead, slumped over the table.

You'll have to find out how the story revolves around this murder scene. I thought the pacing was really nice. The characters were very interesting, and if memory serves me right, the novel is narrated from the perspectives of several of the members present at the birthday party. In the end, the husband, of the woman murdered, tries to reenact the murder scene by holding a "birthday" reunion at the same restaurant a year later hoping that he'll be able to catch the murderer the second time around.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
taisin
Although intriguing and stumping, it was also a little lacking in clues, and somewhat disappointing that the killer is someone who seems to come out of no where. How could anyone guess it was ... I challenge anyone to correctly guess the murder without cheating and reading the last page.

I am a great fan of mystery novels and, despite its shortcomings, this was one of the better who-done-its I have read for a long time. It's easy to see why the woman is rated one of the best writers of her genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarah flynn
Christie's novels where poison is the murder weapon are the most fun. Christie, who worked in a dispensary during World War I, had a certain amount of technical knowledge of various poisons; thus her fondness for it as a weapon in her books. Poison can be used by anyone; it is therefore the perfect weapon for Christie. This one is a particularly jolly romp complete with illicit affairs and mistaken identities. Light in tone, this is not one of her more serious books, but it is extremely clever and, as always, entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
beth thompson
Written in 1941 this is not Agatha Christie's best book, but it is right up there at the top. I highly recommend this as a book to take on your next beach vacation! It follows a theme also found in A Caribbean Mystery, that you don't really know the people you meet on holiday. (It really gets you thinking about that couple you had dinner with last night.) Set on the English coast outside Devon, Evil takes place in an island resort and is filled with such typically British characters you'll find yourself reaching for the suntan lotion and craving tea and cakes as you read it. Even if you're not on vacation, Evil Under the Sun is a bright spot for any day.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
chris fish
Young and beautiful Rosemary Barton died while dining at a fine restaurant. Her death was purportedly caused by Rosemary's spiking of her own champagne with cyanide. A year having passed, Rosemary's grieving husband and younger sister are coming to believe that Rosemary's death was not by her own hand. There are, as one might expect, several good suspects and little good evidence. Rosemary's husband has a plan to flush out the killer, a recreation of the fatal dinner. Will the killer be given away or will death be again on the menu?

Remembered Death (or Sparkling Cyanide) has lots of the elements that make a Christie novel identifiably a Christie novel. There are the idle rich, a suspicious death with few and vague clues, a group of people all with good reason to want the murdered person dead and a subtle detective plodding to a revelatory denouement. This book, however, is clearly not one of Ms. Christie's better efforts. The plot lacks forward momentum, the characters are flat and non-compelling and, perhaps worst, the solution isn't entirely persuasive. Go ahead and read this if you're a Christie completist. If not, you're best off picking another.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
claudine baldwin
A year after Rosemary's apparent suicide, her friends and family remember her - and why they hated her. But her widower's plans to stage a surprise at a re-creation of her last dinner go tragically awry.

Knowing more than 20 years elapsed between Christie's publication of the first Race book (which was awful) and this one, I hoped it would be a stronger storyline. This at least kept me reading, although none of the characters was truly believable and most were not likable either. Christie's sleight of hand was impressive; all the information is there but I was completely fooled as to whodunit. The title was relevant to the story. Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting were fine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marilyn barton
The outcome of the whodunit pales next to the very well drawn characters although it's best to remember that everyone Poirot interviews is, in their own way, lying to him. Christie writes nicely during the court room sequences and the story moves briskly, but Poirot is almost an after thought here. He's not in a great chunk of the plot. Admire for the people dotting the landscape. Agatha has had much better resolutions in her long career. I was hoping for a much different ending.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lee arng
All mysteries leave a little to be desired with the twists and turns before the ending, but Agatha Christie sets such great scenes with her characters dialogues. Her books are truly theaters of the mind.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
umachan lovchik
A reasonably interesting mystery. In classic fashion it turns a simple "suicide" into a case which could implicate and one of a number of suspects. However, it is less straightforward and easy to follow than most of Agatha Christie's novels with the role of various characters not fully explained.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
saki
This one was just so so. Ending was somewhat predictable and a little far fetched. It did keep me engrossed for most of the book. Also, not all facts that could help solve crime are made known to the reader, which is a drawback for a whodunit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brigette
Another master piece by Agatha. While Poirot is on a vacation,a woman hated by most of her gender, is found dead on a beach. Since all the hotel members think her husband did it, Poirot sets out to prove them wrong. This is another well-written mystery that will shock you when you read the ending.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bitchie
This book is good for a quick jump into the realm of good murder mysteries. The stories can be read in 15 to 25 minutes, for those of us without enough time to fully appreciate a full length novel. They are however engaging, fun, and nicely thought out. The title story (The Under Dog) is the longest and in my mind the best, as Mrs. Christie had more pages for charater development and story twists. Our favorite detective, Hercule Poirot is featured in all of the stories with multiple appearances of Captain Hastings. Each story had me wondering until the last page. Definately recomended as a before bed reading.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah napoline
The story first started off alright- all the characters were introuduced, and everything sounded interesting.
however, the story goes on and on and it became a bit complicated. without paying close attention, one could be easily wandered off somewhere and got lost in the plot.
but it isnt a bad one. recommanded to skillful readers / experienced Christie's readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mikelle
I have read all of Christie's mysteries along time ago. I only remembered some of this one so I was pleased that there were so many actual suspects. It could have gone in several directions and yet all the clues were there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
xin cai
Finished this book a few days ago. I loved it. I'm just a fan of Agatha Christie and I love her books. But this book was like, OH MY GAWD at some points. I don't wanna give spoilers so. It's just good in my opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
trevor mccue
Don't go by the movie (which is not bad!)- the book is much better! Its definately in the league of her other masterpiece- Death on the Nile; those who enjoyed Death on the Nile would definately like this one (and vice- versa). I would strongly recommend this one to those who enjoy a murder in an exotic setting!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate treatman clark
because i read plethora of AC books,i know her style.i f you are a devotee of AC books,you know her style too.and generally guess right killer .this time i found out killer.but this book is well-written suspense book.you will like it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ladybug1919
I AM A 15 YEAR OLD GIRL .I OWN 22 BOOKS OF AGATHA CHRISTIE .I LOVED THIS BOOK CUZ UNTIL PORIOT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING ONE DOESNT GET THE TRUTH EVEN BY THINKING HARD.I LOVE THE CHARACTER OF POIROT .THIS STORY IS ABOUT A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO COME TO A BEACH HOTEL AND A BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IS MURDERED.THEN ITS UPTO POIROT TO FIND THE MURDERER.WELL I WONT SAY MORE AND SPOIL THE FUN 4 THE READERS.THERE IS NO ONE MORE FASCINATING WRITER THAN AGATHA CHRISTIE.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
daniel bergey
I read this on a vacation and thoroughly enjoyed the mystery Christie creates. This is a mystery with interesting characters, a compelling crime, and a fantastic setting. One of Christie's finest creations!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
raabia
I saw this story as an episode of Poirot on TV and there was one quote I wanted to use in a lecture. I bought the book in order to check the quote and found to my dismay that the line is not in the original. It seems quite clear that a lot of additional material, including some dialogue has been added in order to make the TV episode long enough. Who wrote the additionl material? It is difficult to attribute this to Agatha Christie when the material was obviously written after her death.
I was very glad to be able to get hold of the original at a very good price but the purpose of my purchase was frustrated.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dyani
I loved this book. I had absoluty no idea who was the murderer. This book had many twists and turns. I had a new main suspect for each chapter. I think that Christie oudid heself in this book. I could not put this book down; it kept me on the edge of my seat through-out the whole story. I highly recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jan byar
This book is a must read for mystery lovers. It is a great book with a lot of suspense. The case is very clever what with everybody having a motive. This novel will keep you on your toes wondering who is the murderer and the reader suspects everybody... except the murdered!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeff zentner
This novel was fantastic. A thrilling plot, fascinating characters, and a suprise twist at the end combine to make this book a wonderful read for Christie fans and others who like to read a good mystery.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jimerea
Honestly, I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as "Ordeal by Innocence" or "Crooked House," but it was still an enjoyable read. Even when she's not at her best, Christie is better than most mystery authors. The book starts off kind of slow and I didn't really feel so enraptured with any of the characters save for the MP and his wife. However, the crime is interesting enough. Occasionally, the story kind of sidetracked, but for the most part it's a fairly good read for a long plane ride or a rainy afternoon.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katelynn ward koenen
WOW ! What more can I say except that Agatha Christie is the worlds GREATEST mystery writer and with "Hercule Poirot" put in the story ,how could it possibly get any better.These stories absolutely "ROCK" !!! Pat Simmons
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shivani
“That is what I mean. A bath! The receptacle of porcelain, one turns the taps and fills it, one gets in, one gets out and ghoosh - ghoosh - ghoosh, the water goes down the waste pipe!"
"M. Poirot are you quite mad?"
"No, I am extremely sane.”

This radio play of the book by Agatha Christie was a great listen. The actors were all top notch and I liked the way everyone had a different accent in order to distinguish between all of the characters.

The story puts Hercule Poirot at a resort on an island in Great Britain where the usual cast of characters are visiting. A man and his actress wife and his daughter from a previous marriage are having a tough time of melding together. The actress seems to be having an affair with another married man whose wife is not taking it well at all. Then there is the clergyman, who lost his place for being fixated on “the whore of Babylon” and the elderly woman who is afraid of heights. The police are never very good at these small towns and are eager to turn things over to Scotland Yard, when they discover drugs may be involved.

Soon there is a murder and we are left guessing who, how and why it was done.

All in all, it is a typical Poirot mystery and the denouement is very satisfying. I love how his little grey cells keep you guessing and he explains it so easily to us all. I always fall for the red herrings and I was way off on this one.

This was a little over two hours of listening and it was a wonderful way to pass an afternoon in the garden. I highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hundeschlitten
I'm an Agatha Christie Junkie. I'm in the process of reading all of her books - this is a personal goal of mine! Well, I am starting with the good ones first. I define good as those with above a 4.5 rating on the store and also mentioned frequently on the top best lists. This is definitely an overlooked gem! It often gets neglected due to the fame of "Ten Little Indians" and "Murder on the Orient Express". While this book may not have as big of a 'twist' as some of her other works, like "Who Murdered Rodger Ackroyd" this book "Sad Cypress" is definitely one of her best written. The dialogue flows so smoothly. All of the characters are really fleshed out and interesting, if not likeable. You want to turn the page and learn more about them!

As it stands, this is by far one of my favorites. The romance is intriguing. The main characters are very unique. The descriptions are very believable. At the end, you will probably say to yourself that you can see how this all happened. It is definitely something where all the pieces fit together. It is also quite different from the style of the other Agatha Christie works, so it stands out just a little bit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
casia courtier
If you have read her famous works, you may already figure out the ending. The book has a great title, but the characters are hard to like in this tale. I found myself not very sympathetic to many or any of them. This made it harder for me to read the book. I do like however Agatha Christie twists. Someday, I hope to write my own mystery book! I think she makes up interesting plots though and conclusions. This book had a nice little wrap up. There were many red herrings.

I think that the book could have been strengthened if there were less characters or more background given to flesh out individual characters. Compared to Sad Cypress, there was less story telling and more narration. I felt like I was just getting a lot of facts as opposed to really learning about the individual characters. The characters didn't seem very complex. But, I could be biased because Sad Cypress is my favorite so far.

I also think that those who have read previous Agatha Christie works, especially the famous ones (Orient Express, Ten Little Indians, Death on the Nile) may have the ending figured out. I kind of had an idea of what had happened. It's still a good book, but I do think if you are trying to figure out if you'd like Agatha Christie, you might want to start with a stronger work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
linda keesing
The name Agatha Christie firmly entrenched in the world of detective fiction. Her unique genius mind, has created two bright detectives. They are known to us as Hercule Poirot and miss Marple. In this novel, which takes place at one of the spas of England, the reader is offered together with Poirot to investigate a murder adventurous beauties Arlena Stuart. So, the circle of suspects is narrowed and the reader is left in no doubt who might be a murderer. This would seem so simple! But it is here that the genius Christie deftly leads the reader in another direction and only at the end of the novel, we learn the name of the real killer. This is a brilliant detective, created outstanding by Agatha Christie.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
silvermist
Same old plot as my review at

https://www.the store.co.uk/review/R38ISDBGH58EHT/ref=pe_1572281_66412651_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

except here the actress is a woman pretending to be another woman. All her plots are the same reworked in different scenarios. At the end Poirot spoke to a theatrical agent just as he did in the Blue Train story. It is not bad till the end when her reuse of the same old plot become clear.
And it is very imsulting to those seen as the 'lower classes' whose place in life seems to have been more or less slaves to the judgemental bourgeois. The dentist's sister thought it was her place to tell his secretary her 'young man' was unsuitable.
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