Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot Series)

Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot Series)

by Agatha Christie, Charles Osborne

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Sir Claud Amory's formula for a powerful new explosive has been stolen, presumably by a member of his large household. Sir Claud assembles his suspects in the library and locks the door, instructing them that the when the lights go out, the formula must be replaced on the table -- and no questions will be asked. But when the lights come on, Sir Claud is dead. Now Hercule Poirot, assisted by Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp, must unravel a tangle of family feuds, old flames, and suspicious foreigners to find the killer and prevent a global catastrophe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061739323
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Series: Hercule Poirot Series
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 100
Sales rank: 185,426
File size: 452 KB

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

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Black Coffee 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
sbd1988 More than 1 year ago
If you like reading and mysteries, try reading this classic mystery Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, the dame of mysteries! Black Coffee is one of many books devoted to the mysteries solved by Hercule Poirot. In this book, the famous detective Monsieur Poirot works to uncover the mystery of the missing formula, the chilling death of the scientist, and the true identities of a few family members. He, alongside Captain Hastings, listens to his "little gray cells," which tell him that there is a rat that needs to be caught in Poirot's trap. You'll have to read in order to find out! I enjoy hearing what Captain Hastings comes up with while thinking of possible explanations, and all the while, all he would have to do is look in the cups of black coffee. I had it narrowed down to three people when I started on the next to last chapter, and before I could finish the book, I was barely catching up to Mr. Hercule's theory. While many readers might want to chase after newer mysteries, I feel that they should look at the classics first because Agatha Christie is the woman who inspired many of the newer mysteries. Her intelligence is still relevant and marvelous today. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery!
ChristieFan More than 1 year ago
As usual Poirot's little gray cells figured it all out before I could!
medicviews More than 1 year ago
The plot was very good and the characters were teasers -- you wanted to know more about the people and the subplots
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very intellegent book. It will surprise you, and you will think you know the end. But the solution will be as visable as the bottom of a cup of Black Coffee.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really entertaining and a great murder mystery. If you're looking for a good book to be read in an hour or two - pick up this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of Christie and this is one of her best! It's a classic and Very hard to figure out. I loved Pioret and Hastings
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
shirleybecky More than 1 year ago
As always, great detail is given to the characters involved. The location of the crime is layed out immediately, and then a look at each character is begun. Personal attitudes and possible character blemishes are shared to develop the characters providing a need to know more about the person. That is what makes it a great read. You know immediately that suspects are being developed. Along the way you get to enjoy descriptions of the era, the way of life, the and a trip into the past. This is expected from each and every Agatha Christie book. And it never gets old because it's what you want. Great for traveling or a quick read anytime when the objective is to relax and leave your stress behind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Black Coffee is not a bad story, but it is oh so obviously NOT Agatha's wonderful writing which fills in the spaces between the dialog. The writer said that Poirot was ever the snob and my jaw dropped. Poirot is egotistical, yes, but he is no snob - his interrogations of servants, for example, are oh so kind and gentle. He does not suffer crooks or fools, but his heart is full of kindness - all reasons why I find him so loveable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m not much of a mystery reader, but I¿ve never read Agatha Christie and I wanted to, so thus, this book. I read the first fifty pages in a flash. This is not what I¿d expected from Agatha, I thought. This is light reading. Lots of dialogue, minimal action.As I looked more carefully at the book, I found out why. Despite the enormous AGATHA CHRISTIE written on the front cover, Black Coffee, the book, was not actually written by Christie. It is derived from a play Christie wrote, but it was actually written as a book by someone else. So, have I read Christie or haven¿t I? I think not. I must still seek out a Christie for the whole experience. Black Coffee was watered down Christie.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I disapprove of authors without the creativity to come up with their own characters. But at least this adaptation doesn't claim to be new prose; it's rather based on a play that Dame Christie wrote early in her career. As such, and like most novels that are based on movies, it is a very light read and you can knock it it out in very little time. To enjoy it fully, imagine that it is a play rather than a book: visualize the stage, the actors moving across it. Imagine Poirot with all his foibles walking in front of you, interviewing the suspects, unmasking the killer at the end. But above all, don't ask for too much from this book. Just enjoy what it can give you.
jonesli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's obvious that this book is in fact based on a play. Perhaps it should have been left that way. I found this book to be a very quick effortless read, mainly to get it over with and that one did not have to pay too much attention to the detail.
storyjunkie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very quick read, this "novel" shows its origins as a stage production very clearly. As is required for a stage production, there are a limited number of players and layers available to the story, and Osborne did not embellish with any additional ones, nor should he have. Poirot is in fine style, and the mystery is intriguing with just a hint of wider-world implications.
EmScape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I kept thinking that this would make a really excellent play. Come to find out, from the afterword, that it actually was a play, adapted to novel form by the author of The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie. This is fortunate, because, really it would be better seen than read. This tale seemed quite sophomoric and the murderer was revealed to any careful reader near the beginning of the book. I kept thinking it would turn out differently in the end, or perhaps I'd read it wrong, but apparently I hadn't. Disappointing. This is actually only the second Agatha Christie novel I've read, the first being And Then There Were None, which I read after playing a computer game adapted from that novel. I've really got to read an actual Agatha Christie book without an adaptation. I'd then have a better feel for her writing, and be able to compare this better to her other work.
mstrust on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would suggest the reader of Black Coffe remind themselves repeatedly that this is not entirely her work and therefore not her fault. There is too much of a feeling of staging for this to work as a novel. Every step is presented for the reader/audience to see so that the mystery isn't a mystery at all. Most jolting to me were the theatrical gasps/screams and near faints from the fragile female characters which harken back to the olden days of theatre.
DoskoiPanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not really an original Christie, this, and it shows in the writing. Originally a play, Black Coffee has been adapted as a novel here (with permission of Christie's family) by Charles Osborne. It's a good locked room mystery, and would be great fun as a stage performance, but as a novel it isn't quite up to Christie's usual standard. Also, the font size is large, for some reason, for a paperback (it isn't meant to be a large print edition) which kept throwing me off.
lizzybeans11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great Christie mystery. Poirot is called to the house of a scientist friend who needs the impeccable detective to solve the mystery of a theft - and then murder.This was originally a play and was novelized well after Christie's death. The play had a good run but wasn't as successful as some of her other plays. Although the novelization wasn't strictly penned by her, it still fits very well within the Poirot cannon.
LorrieH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A strange experience - this book has Christie's plot & characters but there is no depth -it's a shadow of a Christie novel.
BookAngel_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frankly I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this. There, plainly, in print, the murderer was given away in the first 50 pages of the book! Maybe I wasn't supposed to figure it out, but the murderer's actions were described quite plainly. I was disappointed. But then I thought: Maybe it had to be this way because it was a novel adapted from a play. In the play, obviously, the murderer's actions would be described so the actors could act - it was up to the audience to pick up on it. And I was the audience, and I DID pick up on it. But honestly, a die-hard Christie fan like myself HAS to read this book because so many beloved characters are there: Poirot, Hastings, Inspector Japp, etc. So reading the book is like going back to old friends that you thought you bid adieu. The 3 books Osborne adapted as novels are like the "lost Agatha Christie novels".
KnittyGritty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Go back to the 1940's & the elegant living of the upper class. Typical Agatha Christie/Hercule Poirot plot & attention to detail. As usual, the butler DIDN'T do it!
miss_scarlet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though not completely written by Agathie Christie herself, it is a faithful likeness to her writing. Just as good as any other novel of hers.
sgerbic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reviewed Nov 1999 How exciting to find a ¿new¿ Christie that I haven¿t read. How disappointing to find out that the stolen document was in the same place that a missing letter was in ¿The Mysterious Affair at Styles¿ and I knew it as soon as the fireplace spills were mentioned. Also disappointing was on page 49-50...¿turning his back to Lucia, the secretary took some tablets from his pocket and dropped them into the cup he was holding.¿ So from that point on I knew who the murderer was. i understand that Christie originally wrote this as a play so everything needed to be included. But did Osborne need to include it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the famous works of Agatha Christie, comes the novel that tops them all. In the famed novel Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, the story tells of murder and mischief, and the heartaches that come with it. The story says goodbye to all the things you thought you knew about murder. The novel turns you around in circles and leaves people wondering what will happen next. This is just one of the many greats done by Agatha Christie and keeps readers turning the page, and wanting more and more. The fiction novel Black Coffee by Agatha Christie is placed in the old countryside of England in 1934 where a famous scientist by the name of Sir Claud Amory who has come up with a formula that is considered deadly, but now he has got a rather devilish problem on his hands, which turns into a masterminded plot against him. He calls for the assistance of Hercule Poirot, a retired detective, and his old friend Hastings to work the case. After dinner one night everyone staying at the old victorian house agrees to have a cup of coffee, but the mood soon turns glum after Hercule Poirot arrives and finds that Sir Claud is dead by poisoning. He must now investigate all the witnesses to the crime, Sir Armory’s family. Along the story there are moving alibis and possible motives that shocked everyone even me. All in all the killer is someone who no one ever expected. Hercule Poirot is the main character of the story. “Ostensibly retired, he had been lured out of that retirement more than once when an especially interesting problem had been presented to him (pg 3 Black Coffee). He seems to put a funny twist to the situation like on page 4 and Hercule said, “You press admirably the trousers, George, but the imagination you posses is not.” These are the sorts of things that made me like this particular book so much, because of the weirds additions written into the plot and characters. Along with the others characters, Hercule weaves through evidence and the clues that will reveal the real murderer like a pro. The story is told through the eyes of Agatha Christie, and the decorative language used throughout the book is phenomenal. On page 143 Christie tells of how Poirot inspects the library, “Poirot exclaimed as he gingerly drew a finger along the shelf again, making a grimace as he did so.” It is words like these that show the real maturity of the author and her experience with writing. The overall theme of the book is there is a question behind every answer. In the book the important questions asked, reveal who the real killer is and their personality. The theme tells how everyone is curious about something, and how the questions they ask always come with a response that is never expected. The bottom line is Black Coffee is a book that weaves the reader through a maze of possibilities and fast ending motives. This is a book that tests you curiosity and imagination through the art of mystery. This novel book is for the people who love a good twist on plots and how the plot changes throughout the book. This is for the ones who wonder what happens next and the ones who were stunned from the paragraph they just read. Black Coffee is the type of book that mystery readers are craving for, the book puts all the keys of a good mystery into one story and tells it so magnificently, you can’t stop reading. Agatha Christie is known for great novels, but this one tops them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry to admit it, but this book was a bit of a disappointment. I kniw it was intended as a play, but it shoild have stayed that way. I can respect that Christie fans, like myself, love to have a new book of hers to read, but this really just didnt do it for me. I'll give a hundred star rating to any other book of hers, though.