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The Poisoned Chocolates Case

(Roger Sheringham Cases #5)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,657 ratings  ·  200 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

Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 1980 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 1929)
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3.73  · 
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 ·  1,657 ratings  ·  200 reviews

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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
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: bbc radio listeners
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura

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
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2018
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
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
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
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
tom bomp
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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
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.
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
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
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
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
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!
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.
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.
Lou Robinson
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still loving these crime classics. This one no exception, good twist at the end. Wonder if it's ever been made into a film...first published in 1929.
Dennis Fischman
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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
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
Rick Urban
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Learnin Curve
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
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan C
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, mystery
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)
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
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.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Fun Golden Age (1920s) read from the founder of the Detection Club, in which six members of a criminologists circle use inductive and deductive reasoning to arrive at six suspects with six motives for murdering through poisoned chocolates.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: murder-mystery
I can see why this book is considered a classic whodunnit, sporting a blurb from Agatha Christie herself!

I loved the structure of the mystery and the way Berkeley pokes fun at the detective protagonists and the mystery genre in general. This is a must-read for anyone who devours mysteries like I do.

My only complaint isn't with the original text at all. There are two additional sections of the book tacked on at the end written by authors who wrote forwards for the original novel--two new 'soluti
Pauline Wharton
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book belongs to the same period as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, and not surprisingly, it's about the same social class that they wrote about. However, it's an unusual and cleverly constructed book, quite different from any other I've read. It's wordy in places, though I must say I thought that was partly a reflection of the character of participants, as well as a reflection of writing style at the time.
It's also laced with gentle humour. My only real criticism was the abrupt ending
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Guardian Newspape...: April: The Poisoned Chocolates Case 12 32 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

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)
“There is a curious mental stimulus to a good but stupid woman in a bad man’s badness. If she has a touch of the reformer in her, as most good women have, she soon becomes obsessed with the futile desire to save him from himself. And in seven cases out of ten her first step in doing so is to descend to his level. “Not” 0 likes
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