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The Poisoned Chocolates Case

(Roger Sheringham Cases #5)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,110 ratings  ·  282 reviews

Reissue of one of the great puzzle mystery classics of England's Golden Age of crime fiction; plot involves a group of upper-crust amateur sleuths who set out to solve a murder that has baffled Scotland Yard; catnip for fans of Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham

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Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 1980 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 1929)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  2,110 ratings  ·  282 reviews


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Start your review of The Poisoned Chocolates Case (Roger Sheringham Cases, #5)
Carol
The Hook - After being quite delighted with my first Anthony Berkeley classic mystery, Trial and Error, I wondered if another would be as entertaining. Read on.

The Line - ”To make no bones about it, the Bendixes had apparently succeeded in achieving that eighth wonder of the modern world, a happy marriage.

The Sinker - In Berkeley’s short story The Avenging Chance a club member receives an anonymous sample box of chocolates, and in turn it is given to a friend who then dies from poisoning. In a
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Roman Clodia
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know that scene at the end of a Poirot mystery where he goes through the suspects and shows how they might have committed the crime before rounding on the real murderer? Well, Berkeley seems to take that scenario and turn it into an entire book. It's wonderfully done with wit and cleverness and works as a kind of homage to, as well as deconstruction of, the classic murder mystery.

Here a crime club gather to solve a mysterious murder by poisoned chocolates that has stumped the police: they a
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Piyangie
The Poisoned Chocolates Case is another differently structured Golden Age mystery. A lady had become a victim of poisoned chocolate. But, is she the intended victim, or had she paid the price of another? Scotland Yard is trying their best to unravel the puzzle, and a "crime circle" led by Roger Sheringham takes it upon them to assist the Yard with their deductive power and amateur sleuthing skills.

The story progresses with every member of the circle theorizing why the crime was committed and w
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Susan
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth Roger Sheringham book, but works well as a stand-alone mystery. Anthony Berkeley helps set up something very similar to his character's, 'Crime Circle,' and, indeed, Sheringham himself has other parallels to Anthony Berkeley.

In this mystery, Roger Sheringham's Crime Circle involves a famous lawyer, Sir Charles Wildman, a famous dramatist, Mrs Fielder-Flemming, a brilliant novelist, Alicia Dammers, a detective author, Percy Robinson, who published as Morton Harrogate Bradley (Ha
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Bettie
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: bbc radio listeners
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b097lnkn

Description: A woman has died from eating poisoned chocolates intended for somebody else. Can the amateur brains of Roger Sheringham's Crime Circle solve this intriguing crime that's stumped Scotland Yard over the past year?

From Wiki: The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929) is a detective novel by Anthony Berkeley set in 1920s London in which a group of armchair detectives, who have founded the "Crimes Circle", formulate theories on a recent murder case Scotla
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Leslie
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Leslie by: Poornima
4½ 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 wor ...more
Leah
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, crime
Poisoned chocolates??? Blasphemy!!!

When Joan Bendix dies of poisoning, it’s quickly clear that the weapon was a box of chocolate liqueurs given to her by her husband. A clear-cut case, it would appear, but on closer examination there are a couple of problems. Firstly, Graham and Joan Bendix were happily married, so what would Graham’s motive have been? Secondly, and more importantly, he had had no chance to poison the chocolates – he had been given them by a man at his club, Sir Eustace Pennefat
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Laura
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
From BBC radio 4 Extra:
A woman has died from eating poisoned chocolates intended for somebody else...

Can the amateur brains of Roger Sheringham's Crime Circle solve this intriguing crime that's stumped Scotland Yard over the past year?

Stars Neil Stacy as Roger Sheringham, Hilda Schroder as Mrs Fielder-Flamming, Conrad Phillips as Sir Charles Wildman, Victor Winding as Moresby, Michael Bilton as Chitterwick, Geoffrey Collins as Bradley, Jane Wenham as Alicia, William Eedle as Lockwood, Mark Strak
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Brenda
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a fun mystery. I liked the set up of the club and each member giving their solution to the crime. I was quite surprised at the ending and hadn’t expected that outcome.
Jane
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ivonne Rovira
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Susan in NC
3.5 stars - interesting, lots of humorous dialogue, but a lot of telling, not showing. I could only get hold of this in audiobook form, which was probably not the best way to read such a “chatty” mystery.

I can see why this is considered a classic academic mystery - a crime circle club, interested in “criminological matters”, dives into an unsolved poisoning case that has stumped Scotland Yard. This is subtitled as the fifth Roger Sheringham case - he was Berkeley’s mystery writer/amateur detecti
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Sharon Barrow Wilfong
This was such a fun read, I raced through it.

Sir Eustace is sent a sample box of chocolates to his club. He is disgusted anyone would send him something so trite, especially since he doesn't like chocolates. Next to him is Mr. Bendix. Mr. Bendix has lost a bet with his wife and owes her a box of chocolates. Might he nab the box and give it to her? Why not save a few pounds, he figures.

Sir Eustace gladly gives him the chocolates and Mr. Bendix takes them home and gives them to his wife who procee
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DeAnna Knippling
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A box of poisoned chocolates kills a woman. But was she even the intended victim? The police are out of leads and turn the case over to a local group of mystery writers and armchair detectives.

A clever book, the Rashomon of golden-age mysteries. The book is basically a roast of the Detection Club, an actual group of writers that included Agatha Christie, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, Anthony Berkley (the author), and lots more. The funny thing is that this book came first, then the club; I co
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Tania
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really liked the premise of this one; six members of a detection club each come up with their own theories as to who is responsible for a box of poisoned chocolates which found their way to Mrs Bendix.

A very satisfying read.
tom bomp
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This book basically described is 6 people hear about an unsolved mystery and after time trying to solve it give their monologue explanation of what they think happened. Obviously it's not a plot focused book and the characterisations given to each of the characters are limited (although work pretty well to differentiate everyone) but the mechanical elements of the mystery are solid and well written. It's not something you can "solve" at... well, any point really. Because really it's more complic ...more
Cphe
Vintage crime mystery. A group of amateur sleuths meet on a regular basis to solve cases that are beyond even Scotland Yard. They are an interesting and diverse set of armchair sleuths.

Love the period depicted. A four star rating due to the ending which was unusual to say the least.

From the Guardian 1000 list.
Gigi
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love the Golden Age of detective fiction, but for some reason hadn't read Anthony Berkeley yet. What a unique and incredibly clever mystery. I'm off to find more Anthony Berkeley books. ...more
Sid Nuncius
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hugely enjoyable Golden Age mystery, in which Anthony Berkeley both produces an excellent puzzle and satirizes the very form he is using.

The set-up is that a group of six well-to-do amateur sleuths in 1930s London – authors, a barrister and so on – who have crime as a hobby, all attempt to solve a murder which Has The Police Baffled. The entire book is composed of an exposition of the crime and then the six attempts to identify the murderer, each one resembling the scene at the end of
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Kay
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
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Wash your hands.
This is more of a 3.5 than a 3, it's the last chapter of the book where the detective stands up in front of a drawing room full of suspects and waxes lyrical. Only this time it's a murder club and there are six sleuths trying to out do each other. My dad will like this one more than I did :)

What knocks of a star is the god awful fan fiction chapters at the end of the kindle version. The story was done, it was perfectly well done and acceptable. did not need other authors, no matter how well kno
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Iona
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
A 'crime circle' get together to try and solve a real case that Scotland Yard have been struggling with. Made up from a few novelists/dramatists and a barrister, the members of the circle take it in turns to present their view on the case, each coming up with a different murderer, method and motive.

A great idea for a mystery novel. However I found it incredibly verbose and quite a struggle to get through.
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Nicky
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
The members of the Crime Circle filed out of the room, leaving one figure sitting in the darkness on the edge of the scene. The figure was of indeterminate height, weight and sex; in fact, it would be impossible for anyone to explain what they looked like, and even Sheringham would have been unlikely to perceive them. Nonetheless, they had watched the entire proceedings.

“I have another suspect,” this figure said. The voice, too, was androgynous; like everyone and like no one. It was the voice, o
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Colin Garrow
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Graham and Joan Bendix apparently have a happy marriage, but when Graham is offered a box of chocolates at his club and passes them on to his wife, she ends up dead. Chief Inspector Moresby is perplexed by the murder and with no obvious suspects he turns to Roger Sheringham and a group of armchair detectives who agree to study the case.

Agatha Christie said of Anthony Berkeley that he was ‘the master of the final twist’, and I’d have to agree with her. Although much of the ‘action’ takes place i
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Swaroop
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
This is the first Anthony Berkeley book i have ever read, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am a fan of the cozy mystery, and the Golden Age of Crime novelists but somehow had not heard of Berkeley before, although I have at least heard of Francis Iles, one of the pseudonyms that he has used. Guess I have been missing out, because this was a very innovative story that piled on twist after twist to keep me totally engrossed.

The story revolves around a murder case which has baffled the police, and its ta
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Lorraine
May 24, 2018 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I attempted to read this book 4 times. I read to about page 55, but I kept putting the book down. Too much verbiage! I guess that I was not in the mood for this type of mystery, but it will be in my library so when I am ready to handle this type of mystery, I will know where to find it!
Jillian
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great concept and a lot of fun to read. A clever demonstration of the pitfalls of inductive and deductive approaches to detection when assumptions are not questioned, facts not meticulous verified and alternative explanations not canvassed. My only complaint is the ending. Even in in a pre-DNA evidence world, I think it’s weak. It’s a shame, because it was an entertaining and engaging read, well sustained until that point.
Adam Carson
Probably 3.5, to be fair and I may be being unkind.

A very different kind of detective story - 6 detectives get together to give their version of a murder that’s already happened. Of course they all come up with different murderers and motives, but that’s what makes the story.

It’s an extremely clever idea, and there’s definitely stuff here to like. My problem is that’s there’s all a bit much rumination and naval gazing. Some of the ‘detectives’ are truly annoying and the conclusion, well, a bit
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Pamela
Witty and clever Golden Age mystery. The death of Joan Bendix, poisoned by a box of chocolates that were intended for someone else, has puzzled the police and led to a dead end. Roger Sheringham gains permission to take the case to his Crimes Circle, a group of amateur detectives. One by one they outline their theories, edging closer to a solution and the unmasking of a killer.

This was intriguing and well written. Each sleuth gets just enough time to outline their solution and identify weaknesse
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Eric Tanafon
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best of the "multiple detectives come up with multiple serial solutions to a murder" sub-sub-genre. ...more
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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

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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