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The Poisoned Chocolate...
Anthony Berkeley
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The Poisoned Chocolates Case (Roger Sheringham Cases #5)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  732 ratings  ·  74 reviews
When Joan makes a bet with her husband for a box of chocolates, no one imagines that winning will cost Joan her life. The seven she eats poison her and the two her husband eats nearly kill him. The Sheringham Crime Circle finds the case baffling, but its members eventually come up with some very interesting theories - which they then proceed to disprove one by one.
Paperback, Large Print, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Dales Large Print Books (first published 1929)
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Apr 05, 2014 Leslie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Leslie by: Poornima
4 stars. A terrific Golden Age mystery! Brief background (no spoilers, so don't worry!): Sir Eustace, a womanizing cad, received a box of chocolates at his club with a solicitation from the firm to test their new flavors. He didn't want them, so Mr. Bendix took them home for his wife. After eating some, Mr. Bendix was taken ill and Mrs. Bendix died. The police are stymied, so they don't object when Roger Sheringham proposed that his 'Crime Circle' try solving the case. Each of the 6 members work ...more
Death by chocolate!

Yes, really – let me explain!

Notorious womaniser Sir Eustace Pennefather was staying at his London club when he received a complimentary box of liqueur chocolates in the post. Sir Eustace was unimpressed.

Graham Bendix, another member of the club, needed a box of chocolates. He had lost a bet with his wife and the stake had been a box of chocolates.

And so Bendix took the chocolates home. He and his wife both tried them; he didn’t care for them, but his wife did. And a few hours
Ivonne Rovira
Sir Eustace Pennefather, a thorough Lothario, receives a sample of a new type of chocolates through the mail at his London club. Sir Eustace hands off the box to a fellow club member, Graham Bendix, to take to his wife. The chocolates turn out to have been injected with nitrobenzene, and Mrs. Bendix dies, while Mr. Bendix remains seriously ill in the hospital. Scotland Yard is baffled: When were the chocolates tampered with? Who is the murderer? And who was the intended victim?

Roger Sheringham h
The story has a very clever premise.
One Murder + Six amateur sleuths = Six possible solutions + Six suspects. Who is the real killer?

Mrs Bendix has been murdered with poisoned chocolates - chocolates which her husband Mr Bendix had taken from a certain infamous Sir Eustace. Scotland Yard was at a dead-end on the case. Roger Sheringham volunteers his Crimes Circle (a club of six intelligent, criminological geniuses) to pick up the case and try to solve it.

Each of the six members works independ
Oh, how I loved this book! And to think that its author is almost forgotten! Unforgivable. But this way I get to keep him all to myself, away from all the fuss and noise of public praise - my little secret box of chocolates. Nitrobenzene free, of course.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough; while the mystery itself is nothing to sneeze at, it was the wonderful humor that won me:

"'Dear me! You can't see it really? Nobody sees it?'
It seemed that nobody saw it.
'Well, well!' He arranged
I think this book ranks right up there with Roger Ackroyd and Orient Express with a twist. The detective work is done by a group of six people who bear some resemblance to the Detection Club. As can be expected, all members have a solution. The final summing up takes all previous solutions into consideration. Oh so very interesting.....

This book gets mentioned in several "best mystery" lists and deserves its place there. I hope I can find enough copies for our mystery discussion group because th
Dennis Fischman
Usually I prefer mysteries where character, atmosphere, theme, and environment are more important than plot: exactly the kind that The Poisoned Chocolates Case makes fun of several times. But this whodunit is a marvel.

Six different amateurs come up with six different theories about a murder the police have been unable to solve. Each one is convincing enough. You say to yourself, "All right, they're making assumptions about human nature here, but no more than later and more literary writers like
Nihal Vrana
This is a wonderful piece of genre deconstruction. It is a book about crime books while still being a crime book; think about it; it is not an easy feat.

What I enjoyed the most is its running commentary on how we extract information from reality and how easily our truths can be refuted because they are never really based on full information. In an average crime thriller you get one "Master explanation"; here you get 5 of them, all of them are brilliant at the same time, and all of them except on
A very well constructed period mystery. Six members of a sort of mystery club plus the police come up with a total of eight solutions to an unsolved murder. Each member of the club presents his or her solution over the course of a week. Five of those solutions each seem to nail it, until the next solution is presented.

The book fails to get the full five ("it was amazing") stars because the characters seemed a little flat to me.
This title was on a recent list of the ten best mysteries of the British golden age. I greatly enjoyed Berkeley's prose style, which features abundant sly humor. There aren't any laugh-out-loud excerpts I can cite, but his subtle comments on the foibles of human nature in general and his characters in particular are great fun.
The only reason I gave it three rather than four stars was that the plot involves six people in a detective club trying to solve a murder the police have given up on. Each
Anthony Berkeley, being a contemporary of Agatha Christie and co-founder of the legendary Detection Club, is a quintessential author of the Golden Age of mystery writing. You can sense his self-assurance and absolute enjoyment of the game, and there are definitely laughs to be had throughout the novel. If you like Christie or ’20s literature or mysteries that aren’t heavy on the mutilated bodies and rape, then read Berkeley, and see if you can’t do a better job than me in sussing out the killer. ...more
Jan C
My first Roger Sheringwood story. It was a gathering of a crime club working to decipher a cold case. Scotland Yard is apparently stymied. I think they all take to work up their own conclusions and present them, one per night. It seems like each debunks the previous one, and all preceding ones, too. Finally, a Casper Milquetoast-type is the last person. And they are all certain he knows nothing. He knows plenty... he has been taking notes ... he has a chart.

I didn't get it.

(view spoiler)
Cine este criminalul? De ce a ucis? Cum de a scăpat neprins? Cine îl poate descoperi și ce să facă după ce îl află? Întrebări esențiale într-un roman polițist și Cutia cu bomboane otrăvite este un clasic al genului și unul dintre romanele atipice. Cea mai cunoscută carte a lui Anthony Berkeley este mai mult un roman filosofic, deductiv, roman de salon, în care predomină retorica, dialogul și în care acțiunea este pusă pe locul doi. Șase personaje (nu în căutarea unui autor, ca în Luigi Pirandel ...more
This novel is far more about detecting than about solving. It was mentioned in a recent WSJ article about novels from the classic era that have fallen under the radar today.

Six men and women of a mystery club sit around and discuss a murder. They each provide their suggested solution. Each latches on to one detail of the case and builds an argument upon it. As you can imagine, each member goes in a different direction. Each of their suspects is possible (even probable?), but of course only membe
Rick Urban
I read about this book somewhere and now can't remember the reference, but the writer made mention of the ever-more-elaborate solutions that the members of this Crimes Circle devise to explain the death of a upper-crust wife of an adulterous cad. And while the solutions are ingenious, and the book is filled with a disarmingly wry and subtle wit, I arrived at the end of the book a bit disappointed. Perhaps it was the fact that there are too many characters to keep track of (the final chapter even ...more
Una vecchia regola dice che niente deve essere trattato piu' seriamente delle cose futili. Vale per il gioco e vale anche per i gialli. Ignora la regola aurea questo libro molto vezzoso e molto inglese (anche la grande Agatha Christie non e' immune da questo "peccato") dove tutto e' leggero (o preso alla leggera), anche il delitto. Ma questa leggerezza, piu' o meno voluta, non permette alcun coinvolgimento con i personaggi, peraltro tratteggiati in maniera a dir poco schematica, il Sir, la Lady, ...more
A different kind of mystery book. Six people, a lawyer, a dramatist, a detective novel writer, a writer of modern fiction , our protagonist-a novelist and an ordinary man (nothing remarkable about him) join together to form a crime enthusiasts club. They take up a case that baffles the Scotland Yard. They allot a week for each of them to work on the case and then present their analysis one person a day. What ensues is looking at the crime from each individual's perspective, how their personality ...more
This is just perfect! >_<
I love the premise, a bunch of amateur criminologist (six, to be exact) trying to solve a case, a poisoning case resulting an unfortunate death of Mrs. Bendix.

The tragedy started at the Rainbow Club, in which Mr. Bendix was a member. About 10.30, Mr.Bendix arrived at the club, and then read his letters in the fireplace. A minute later another member, Sir Eustace Pennefather arrived, took his letters and a parcel and then proceed to the fireplace.

The parcel contai
E ancora una volta devo dire con amarezza che la serie dei Bassotti non fa per me, è inutile, continuo a sforzarmi ma non riesco a farmeli piacere sul serio; diciamola tutta, il genere non mi sconfinfera. Quest'ultimo esempio, Il caso dei cioccolatini avvelenati, non è neppure troppo malvagio, lascia trasparire una certa (auto)ironia verso i meccanismi classici del romanzo giallo (tutti i riferimenti divertiti ai dettagli che i detective dei romanzi notano perché in realtà sono gli autori che vo ...more
BOTTOM LINE: Anthony Berkeley's twisty tale of Roger Sheringham and his very own detection club puzzle - a classic, and deservedly so.

Setting: A Club of the best sort, wherein several VIP fans of detection and puzzles meet weekly to solve mysteries proposed by members or invited guests.

Main Characters: Six members of the club, including founder Roger Sheringham, detective deluxe, in the Wimsey mode, all referential and witty, but also truly a bit of an ass at times. A renowned Lady Novelist (Mo
This is very much a book of its time, albeit a well-written one. Roger Sheringham and the five other members of his Crimes Circle each attempt to solve a murder which has stumped Scotland Yard. Sheringham had appeared as an amateur detective in previous Berkeley mysteries and the other participants were all suggestive of one or more prominent figures in contemporary English fiction and public life.

This reviewer found Berkeley’s prose style to be enjoyable. Each character had a different “voice”
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

En el prólogo de la edición inglesa de The floating admiral (1931), el presidente en la actualidad del Detection Club, Simon Brett, comenta a propósito de las novela negras en el momento presente que “they are certainly more psychologically credible than many of the works produced at that time. They are also more serious, sometimes even to the point of taking themselves too seriously. In crime fiction, noir is the new black”. Opinión generaliz
Come sempre, ho trovato un bel po’ di esagerazioni nelle recensioni lette al riguardo. Passino quelle scritte da coloro che, per dovere, debbono per forza “tirare acqua al loro mulino”. Ma gli altri? Perché sbrodolarsi in entusiastici commenti che, oggettivamente, non sono meritati?

L’idea di fondo non è male, il problema è che viene svolta in chiave prevalentemente umoristica. Ossia, il tono caricaturale che l’autore usa per delineare tutti i personaggi che mette in gioco li priva inevitabilment
Jun 12, 2009 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Golden Age detective stories
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: Top 100 list
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
How fun was this? Most of the book takes place around a table as the six members of the Crimes Circle Club put forth their individual solutions to a murder by chocolate. I thought I had the solution myself, but it turned out to be only the third from the last solution. Thoroughly enjoyed this as motives and suspects changed as each detective came up with a different solution ... and each solution made sense ... until it didn't. Anthony Berkeley was a master of the puzzle mystery during the Golde ...more
This is the best mystery I've ever read from the vantage point of ingenious plotting - and as an author of mysteries myself (my first book is coming out in spring, 2016) - I've read hundreds of them. The genius of this book is that there are six plausible solutions to the crime, each partially correct, each pointing to a different murderer, and all of which build on each other to the correct solution - which, of course, has a twist. Truly brilliant!
It's kind of a 3.5 star book, but the ending was a bit of a cop-out, so I went for the lower star rating. It's enjoyable fluff - the scenario is fun too: a crime club meets up every week, consisting of writers, lawyers and various folk interested in crime, who decide that they'll solve a murder that has stumped the police. They are given the "facts" and go away for a week and then each night, one of them will present their findings and their solution to the crime: 6 interpretation, 6 solutions, ...more
Basil D
Read this on the plane. For its concept it is fascinating, and the character interactions make it worthwhile for sure. Maybe I am being coloured by the tortuous experience of being on a plane for so many boring boring hours, but the book does drag on a bit. By the time you hit the halfway point, however, you're engrossed.
Bill Reinehr
Interesting premise. Pretty good story but too long by modern standards. Well written and clever but really a bit tedious. He was a co-founder (along with Christie and Sayers) of the Detection Club. His contributions to the development of mystery fiction are important but the material has not aged very well.
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Guardian Newspape...: April: The Poisoned Chocolates Case 12 21 Apr 26, 2014 07:22AM  
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Anthony Berkeley Cox was an English crime writer. He wrote under several pen-names, including Francis Iles, Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts. One of the founders of The Detection Club
More about Anthony Berkeley...

Other Books in the Series

Roger Sheringham Cases (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Layton Court Mystery (Roger Sheringham Cases, #1)
  • The Wychford Poisoning Case (Roger Sheringham Cases, #2)
  • Roger Sheringham and the Vane Mystery (Roger Sheringham Cases, #3)
  • The Silk Stocking Murders (Roger Sheringham Cases, #4)
  • The Second Shot (Roger Sheringham Cases, #6)
  • Top Storey Murder (Roger Sheringham Cases, #7)
  • Murder In The Basement (Roger Sheringham Cases, #8)
  • Jumping Jenny (Roger Sheringham Cases, #9)
  • Panic Party (Roger Sheringham Cases, #10)
  • The Avenging Chance and Other Mysteries from Roger Sheringham's Casebook (Roger Sheringham Cases, #11)

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