Black Coffee by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie's Black Coffee - a Hercule Poirot mysteryBlack Coffee by Agatha Christie, adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne

Miss Marple is my preferred Christie character – she amuses me in a way that Poirot does not. The additional bonus with Miss Marple is the lack of Hastings in the narrative – I’m not a big fan of his bumbling.

So, Black Coffee had some strikes against it already when it came to a Christie title – it’s Poirot, and Hastings is in it. Then when I borrowed the title I discovered that it was originally a play, written by Christie, but adapted into a novel by someone else.

Unfortunately, that adaptation shows. The action is very tightly located, and there felt like an excess of directions – someone enters the room, sits here, moves there, etc. I have no doubt it works better as a play, where the limitations that felt cramped in a novel are appropriate for a theatre setting.

I don’t regret reading it by any means, and for Poirot fans or anyone wanting to be sure to read all of Christie’s works it’s a must-read. For anyone else, it’s skippable.

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Publisher’s Description:

Inventor Sir Claude Amory feels a bitter taste in the mouth, when the new formula for explosive material stolen by someone in the household.

In order to quickly remedy the situation, Sir Claude locks the door and turns off the light, giving the thief a chance to return the formula without being detected. But darkness brings death and Hercule Poirot has to untangle family strife, love and suspicious visitors tangle in order to clarify the murderer and prevent disaster.

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Cover Love – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

I was stunned to discover just how many different covers there are for Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Stunned! There are so many that I’m limiting this post just to English-language versions. Let’s just see some of the multitude:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Covers 1

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Covers 2

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Covers 3

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Covers 4

As far as picking a favorite? It’s so hard! I did narrow it down. To five choices:
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Cover Favorites
Let’s see. #1 there is classic – the original cover from the first edition – and it’s got the lady snooping in the drawer and looking very suspicious. #2 I just like how it looks, but it doesn’t seem to relate to the story as well, so it shouldn’t be my favorite. #3 has the knife, and the letter, and the phone (or perhaps it’s not the phone, but either way it relates to the story). #4 is deceptively simple, with just the phone. I’m partial to it because that’s the cover on the Kindle version I read. #5 might be a bit gruesome, but I like the style so much.

I can’t decide which of these I like the most – as soon as I think it’s got to be this one or that, I end up second-guessing myself. Do you have a strong preference for one of them?

This new “Cover Love” series is inspired by the “Judging Books by Their Covers” series previously run at Quirky Bookworm.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger AckroydThe Murder of Roger AckroydThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) by Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie

I’ve become a real fan of Christie’s books, and of Hercule Poirot in particular. This book just reinforced those opinions – I loved it!

It’s easy to understand why this book made the impact it did upon publication, both in the mystery genre and for her reputation. It’s also easy for me to see why she claimed it as one of her favorites of all of her many books.

There are clues galore, but which ones are significant and which mere distractions? There are plenty of suspects, including the mysterious stranger. There’s a suspect who has disappeared – is that evidence of his guilt? There’s even the precursor to Miss Marple!

Hastings isn’t in this book, but he’s mentioned from time to time, and I enjoyed the contrasting narration style between him and Dr. Sheppard.

Generally with mysteries I don’t try to figure out whodunnit, and instead just try and enjoy how the story unfolds. With Christie, I do find myself trying to figure it out, and I get a lot of pleasure when I manage it. No spoilers here, don’t fear, but it’s definitely possible to deduce the murderer before it’s revealed. I won’t say when exactly I managed it as that would skirt a little too close to some spoilers, and this is not a book to have the ending revealed to you before you even begin.

Lots of fun, and definitely worth reading if you haven’t already!

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
Considered to be one of Agatha Christie’s most controversial mysteries, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd breaks all the rules of traditional mystery writing.

The peaceful English village of King’s Abbot is stunned. First, the attractive widows Ferrars dies from an overdose of veronal. Not twenty-four house later, Roger Ackroyd—the man she had planned to marry—is murdered. It is a baffling, complex case involving blackmail, suicide, and violent death, a cast that taxes Hercule Poirot’s “little grey cells” before he reaches one of the most startling conclusions of his fabled career.

Book Details

Title: The Murder of Roger AckroydThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) by Agatha Christie
Author: Agatha Christie
Category: Fiction / Mystery
My Rating: 4 Stars

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