Series: Hercule Poirot #7
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on 15th September 1999
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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.
Black Coffee was one of the audiobooks that I needed to finish before I read The Murder on the Orient Express – it’s one of the films on the in-flight entertainment on my Disney Honeymoon – and I have a weird compulsion that I can’t watch something without reading it first. I wasn’t aware when I started this book, that it was a novelisation of a play that Christie had written, and I think that’s why I didn’t score it as high as the others.
The narration in this seemed to be jilted and I struggled my way through it and I found myself glazing over in some parts of it. I did enjoy the crime though and also the way everything worked out in the end. I really didn’t see the ending coming, something that is definitely becoming a pattern with the Poirot books and something that is really appreciated. These books have redefined the crime genre for me and I think the standard has been set extremely high.
Black Coffee has such a great collection of characters, some of which really made me laugh and smile. There was definitely quite a few red herrings and some that I really thought was the solution to the murder. I think my favourite character was definitely the Aunt, she was hilarious and I thought her oblivious nature was some of the best parts of the book.
I do think that this wasn’t the best of the books, and it will probably be one of the least favourites of the books. The prose wasn’t as smooth and I definitely think there’s a huge difference between this and the books that were actually written by Agatha Christie. I just think this spelt things out more than the others, whereas Christie manages to show what’s happening in the books without having to talk through everything.
I’m glad I finished it because it’s in the series and I have that weird thing where I can’t read only a few books in a series and they have to be in the right order. So it’s another one to tick off the list. And onto the next one!
I don’t think I would recommend this one, it’s one that has left no real impression on me and although I enjoyed listening to it, I’m not going to be rushing back to read it again.
Is there a series that you like to read in order and won’t miss one? Let me know in the comments.
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