With my latest fad of reading only books by Agatha Christie, I have come across another gem of a novel , Sparkling Cyanide!
By the time I reached the halfway point of the novel, I knew I had seen this story before. Yup!
Like any hard core Agatha Christie and her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot fan, I have watched the Hercule Poirot series of David Suchet. I love the man who brought Poirot to life and how! (I also admire the portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by Jeremy Brett and I don’t mind Benedict Cumberbach’s Sherlock either!)
And since I watched the Hercule Poirot series even before reading all of Agatha Christie’s works, I knew I had seen this one!
Rosemary dies amidst her birthday dinner party at Luxembourgh restaurant, by cyanide poisoning. There is no chance anyone could have slipped cyanide in her champagne. But is it really a suicide or is it a very clever murder?
A year after her death, her husband George begins to wonder if his wife had indeed been murdered and that suicide is very unlikely! (He receives anonymous letters) He discloses his doubts to Rosemary’s kid sister, Iris.
Iris knows some secrets which she wishes to hide, that Rosemary was indeed in love with someone other than her husband! Who is the mystery lover?
Who is Anthony Browne? Is he just another admirer of Rosemary or is he the mystery lover?
The efficient secretary of George,Ruth Lessing, who is in love with her boss, hates Rosemary. Does she have anything to do with her death?
Is the young and innocent Iris, really as innocent as she seems to be? Or did she kill her own sister to inherit the money?
While all these questions arise as we read, George decides to put an end to the mystery by calling another dinner party with all the same guests who attended it on the fateful night of Rosemary’s death!
He intends to find out who the killer was, but before he could succeed, George is dead, exactly the same way his wife died a year ago, cyanide poisoning at the very table!
How can anyone poison a glass of champagne without being noticed?
Who is so reckless to dare detection?
To find out who the killer is, one has to read the book. No use trying to come up with solution, because, that is going to be difficult.
The character of Colonel Race,a secret service agent, makes a second appearance here, after the Man in the Brown suit!
Colonel Race helps solve the mystery and no appearance is made by Hercule Poirot!(How disappointing! I prefer Poirot mysteries to Ms.Marple mysteries)
Although I had already seen the episode on the Hercule Poirot series, I was surprised to see that while the episode had Poirot, who solves the crime, the book showed Colonel Race involved in solving the crime!
Also, the culprit in both the book and the tv series were different!
That was when I decided to google. (If you want to solve a mystery, just google it! No need to run for Poirot!)
According to wikipedia, the tv series was developed from a short story, where Poirot plays the detective. But Agatha later changed the short story into a full fledged novel, there by changing the culprit as well. So the same premises , but different culprits and different detectives!
1. I have read two more novels of Agatha Christie and their reviews will be up soon.
2. Suggested pose for reading: If you are prone to back aches, then sitting on an exercise ball, while you read the book is a very good option. Of course, with a bowl of hot and spicy potato chips for company! (At least, thats what I did! 😛 )