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Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot #7)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  6,225 ratings  ·  349 reviews
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 P ...more
ebook, 100 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1961)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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BrokenTune
"‘George,’ he called, ‘please take my heavy tweed suit and my dinner jacket and trousers to the cleaners. I must have them back by Friday, as I am going to the Country for the Weekend.’ He made it sound like the Steppes of Central Asia and for a lifetime."
Tweed? No, I cannot....no to Poirot in tweeds.


I am all in favour of fan fiction, especially when it is done well. Unfortunately, Black Coffee fell flat on so many counts.
What is, in my opinion, even worse is that the book was authorised, even c
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A~lotus
Jun 16, 2012 A~lotus rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
Recommended to A~lotus by: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Carter
“The first Poirot novel in twenty years” says the blurb. Except it isn’t twenty years, since Christie’s contribution was done in 1930; and it isn’t a novel, it’s a novelisation. And it’s a novelisation done by someone without the courage (and perhaps the talent) to make changes to the play. When Christie turned The Hollow into a play she kicked Poirot out of it altogether because it made a better play. I’m not suggesting that Osborne should have removed Poirot, but he should have managed somehow ...more
Gary
I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie and have read virtually everything she ever wrote so I felt drawn to this book. Black Coffee was written as a play but Agatha Christie never actually turned it into a novel for whatever reason. This book was written as a novel several years after her death by Charles Osborne and I think it is plain to see. Although the plot is the same the Christie polish is missing.
This book does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as any of Agatha Christie's actual
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Barbara
For an avid Agatha Christie fan, I remember being so excited--a "new" book!

And then I read it. It was based on a play Christie wrote--an early play. Too many elements reminded me of other, better novels (actually written by Dame Agatha Christie herself). There were no surprises, no Christie prose; Poirot didn't sound or act like *my* Poirot, and Hastings wasn't Hastings. The language was terribly forced; putting stage directions into a paragraph does not a novel make.

Don't care if Osborne is an
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Bruna Prior
Abaixo da média do que eu considero um bom romance policial.
Embora se trate de uma adaptação de um texto que originalmente era uma peça, adaptação esta feita não por Agatha Christie, mas sim por seu biógrafo Charles Osborne, não acredito que meu desagrado decorra totalmente disto, pois não vi muitos prejuízos de linguagem e estilo em relação aos textos originais da Rainha do Crime. De fato, achei o texto ruim, entruncado e irregular, tendo bastantes momentos ruins de início, no qual se percebia
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Aimee
Agatha Christie did not write this book. She wrote it as a play and then 68 years later Charles Osborne, the foremost and in my opinion a very poor Christie 'expert', came along and turned it into this godawful mess of a novel. For someone who is supposed to be a Christie aficionado, he clearly has little to no knowledge of the basics of Christie's characters and their personal idiosyncrasies.

For example, at a key part of the story, Hercule Poirot's sidekick Captain Arthur Hastings eavesdrops o
...more
Anushka
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maija
Ehm. Okay. First things first: skip the first chapter. This is a novelization of Christie's play, and the first chapter is the only thing that is completely the novelization's author's creation. And boy, does it show! It doesn't match Christie's writing at all. Poirot says something as thoroughly British as: "I do beg your pardon, my dear George." It also refers to Poirot as a snob who is predisposed to like people who have lofty titles, when he always approaches people as people first, treating ...more
Stevie
I think this did not translate well from play to novel, there were some scenes that I thought would be fine on stage, but seemed weedy in text form. I also felt that it was very obviously not written by Christie (it was novelised by Charles Osbourne), Hastings in particular just seemed slightly "off" to me. As well as this, I did not find the mystery particularly captivating.

Annoyingly, on my edition (9780006511373) this is listed as being before Lord Edgware Dies, but Poirot refernces that case
...more
Ruth
This is a novelization of a play by Agatha Christie. The adapter, however, is not Agatha Christie and does not have her skills. The writing is clunky at best and the characters are stereotypes through and through. It's a testament to Christie's original plot though that this is essentially enjoyable if taken on its own terms as a simple, conventional English-country-house mystery.
Mary
Nov 08, 2012 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot and his friend and detecting partner Captain Arthur Hastings receive an urgent call for help from renowned physicist Sir Claud Amory. Sir Claud is absolutely convinced that a member of his own household is attempting to steal a secret formula created by Sir Claud, and destined for use by the Ministry of Defense. Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings travel to Sir Claud's sprawling mansion, only to discover that the famed physicist has been poisoned by his a ...more
Annie
This was kind of disappointing in that it was a novelization of one of AC's plays rather than a novel that she wrote (which I didn't realize until I had already gotten the book from the library. Also I accidentally got the large print version which was rather annoying and I could have read it from 3 room away, but that was no one's fault but my own). The story was decent, but as someone who has read a bunch of her books, I could tell it wasn't written by her. Most, if not all, of the books that ...more
Monique
Well I should definitely start a straight Queen Agatha shelf on here as she is definitely one of my favorites and I always know on a library crawl that ANY one of her books will be concise, entertaining and a three star read or better, this one was no exception..With the detective stylings of the incomparable Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Hastings this mystery involves what Agatha does best, introducing you to all the suspects then placing them in a situation where they are all suspects with a ...more
Riccardo
A very different type of Hercule Poirot book.

The murder is this time narrated in third person and, rather than us arriving with Poirot and Hasting as per usual, we actually witness the murder as it happens.
But that doesn't mean that it is clear who the murderer is!

A fine mystery, with a rather cosy and mysterious atmosphere; yet the plot in itself was a little easier to disentangle.
Catherine Ryan
Although some people do not like this book, since it isn't really by Christie - it's a novelization from a stage play written by Charles Osbourne - I thought it was a really good adaptation. It had a flavour of Christie to it. I admit there were some scenes and quotes which were more or less taken from Agatha's first ever novel (Mysterious Affair at Styles) but I really enjoyed it.
Amber
Within the first several pages, I recognized a difference in style from the other Agatha Christie books I have read: namely, after several pages, I was not yet engrossed in the story. A closer look at the title page gave me my answer. This is not an Agatha Christie novel. It is an Agatha Christie play that has been adapted into a novel. Personally, I would much rather read it as a play. As it is, in many places it reads almost as stage directions, so clearly that I found it painfully awkward.

The
...more
Angela
The novel Black Coffee is an adaptation of the play Black Coffee written by Agatha Christie. I'd highly recommend first time readers of Mrs. Christie not pick this one up first. And that's what I've got to say about that.
Kelsey
Don't get me wrong, I love Agatha Christie novels. I enjoy Hercule Poirot books especially.

THIS BOOK WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE A NOVEL.

It was written as a play, and reads more like a play than a classical Christie novel. The dialogue is lacking and description is less rich- obviously the actors are supposed to bring life to the emotions rather than having a clear picture in our minds as most of Agatha Christie's novels inspire one to imagine. This book was published after Christie's death with an e
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Nikita
This was the first time I'd read Christie, and I did enjoy it. It was interesting, and I found the characters very engaging. I hope to read more Agatha Christie soon :)
brian dean
Another one I have trouble justifying the number of stars I gave it. The plot devices and tropes probably weren't cliche' when the story was written.

Still, this was a simple book that in another's hands would not be merely so simple. The key points and plot requirements are effortlessly set up so the murderer (somewhat of a surprise) could be caught.

The one problem with the shortness of the book is that the murderer's backstory was not filled in enough. I read the book quickly but not quickly en
...more
Luc Williams
Disappointing. While it's great to get another Christie tale; and a nice chance to experience some of her lesser known work (since many of us will never get an opportunity to catch a production of the play), the effort here falls flat -- very flat. Three main beefs. (1) The author chosen to translate the play to the page, Charles Osborn, made no real effort to capture Christie's novel voice. What we have here is essentially the stage play, including stage instructions, strung together in paragra ...more
Kristi Richardson
This is a novelization of a play written by Agatha Christie updated by Charles Osborne in 1998. If you appreciate Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective than you should be happy with this work.

The story revolves around Sir Claud Amory asking Mr. Poirot to visit him as he believes someone in his family has stolen his formula for a dangerous weapon he has been working on. Richard Amory, his son who can't seem to earn money and his new wife Lucia Amory, a beautiful Italian orphan girl who is hiding
...more
April
In my desperation for new Hercule Poirot stories, I discovered this novelization of an Agatha Christie play starring her Belgium detective. In terms of story, it was almost everything I've come to love from our dear Agatha, although, as the title implies, coffee instead of tea. But this is, literally, a classic example of a British drawing room mystery (as all the action takes place in just such a room). However, despite our wonderful old friends and a suitably clever mystery, the novelization i ...more
Jules Goud
First off, I would just like to say that this novel is a little bit different from Christie's other novels. It was written as a play and then Charles Osborne made it into a novel so there were some differences.

I was getting the play vibe from this novel. The setting was pretty much in one room in the house so as I was reading "Black Coffee", I was picturing a stage with the room and where all of the characters would come off and on.

Because Osborne adapted this as a novel, his interpretations of
...more
Amanda Marshall
I hate to give a Christie book only two stars but I didn't particularily enjoy this book. I believe it was because this was originally written as a play which means there is only one room involved & its overall rather simpilistic. The ending was rather mellowdramtic and almost like a cheesy comedy (I kept thinking of scenes from "The Princess Bride"). On a good note, as always I can appreciate Christie's clean, crisp writing & the ever intelligant Poirot.
Astraia
I am sure that this was a New York Times bestseller because the publisher knew that another Hercule Poirot novel would have huge sales. What a disappointment. The novel was written by Charles Osborne (adapted from a play by Agatha Christie) and he clearly does not get the elegance or wit of Hercule Poirot. If you like Hercule Poirot you will not like this.
Donna
This was actually a novelization of one of Christie's plays, written by her biographer, Charles Osborne. It was quite short, 4.5 hours in audiobook form. It had all the bones of a great Christie story but lacked a lot of the depth. Good for a quick taste of Poirot though, and I can never get enough of the little Belgian.

Well narrated by John Moffatt.
Saniya Huseini
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
...more
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 43 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
  • Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot, #11)
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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“Poirot thought it not quite professional to begin a routine working day before ten.” 7 likes
“the truth is never horrible, only interesting.” 2 likes
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