From: "The Agatha Christie Companion - The Complete Guide to Agatha Christie's Life and Work"
Given Agatha Christie's love for the theatre, it was only a matter of time before she tried her hand at stage writing. Eventually "Black Coffee" was pulled together and in 1930 opened in the West End and had a modest run. Poirot was protraid by Francis L. Sullivan.
Over a quarter of a century after her death, Christie remains the most popular mystery writer of all times. With the adaptation of "Black Coffee" by Charles Osborne, fans and newcomers alike were treated to another Christie novel. "Black Coffee" brings back the beloved detective Hercule Poirot to exercise his "little grey cells" one more deliciously deductive time...
An urgent call from physicist Sir Claud Amory sends famed detective Hercule Poirot rushing from London to a sprawling country estate. Sir Claud fears a member of his own household wants to steal a secret formula destined for the Ministry of Defence. But Poirot arrives too late. The formula is missing. Worse, Sir Claud has been poisoned by his after-dinner coffee. Poirot soon identifies a potent brew of despair, treachery, and decetpion amid the mansion's occupants. Now he must find the formula and the killer...while letting no poison slip 'twix his own lips.
You can never go wrong with an Agatha Christie and with the little gray cells of Hercule Poirot the killer will be ensnared without the tiniest details missed.
First penned as a stage production, Black Coffee has been rewritten by her grandson Michal Pritchard.
Set in the early 1930's, Sir Claud Amory, an atomic scientist, has invited Poirot to his estate to personally transport a formula back to London. Sir Claud realizes that the formula is missing and offers his family and guests one minute in total darkness to return the formula with no questions asked. Well, one minute is all it takes to murder Sir Claud. Upon his arrival, Hercule Poirot is enlisted into finding both the formula and the killer.
Of course Agatha gives us a whole room full of likely suspects, each with their own secrets and story, but with Captain Hastings at his side, Poirot makes quick work of this very captivating who-done-it.
After reading Charles Osborne's adaptation, I was less than thrilled, as the writing somehow missed the inimitable style of Agatha Christie herself. My recommendation is to stick to the original for a superior reading experience.
Adaptation by Charles Osborne of her play of the same title. A scientist places an urgent call to Poirot. It seems that a member of his household wants to steal a secret formula for advanced weaponry. On his arrival at the estate, Poirot finds that his client has been poisoned; the vehicle is his coffee. He takes it black; so were the results. He is as dead as a door nail. As in The Unexpected Guest, suspicion shifts among the members of the household scene by scene. So does the motive for whacking him. See if you can outwit Auntie Agatha.
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 after-dinner coffee. The formula is also missing.
Now, the renowned private detective must discover who among the mansion's occupants has become desperate enough to kill Sir Claud. Hercule Poirot uncovers a potent brew of despair, treachery, and deception as he tries to identify the murderer and locate the missing formula. Black Coffee by Agatha Christie was very good and I give it an A+! However, for the first time in reading an Agatha Christie mystery, I knew who the murderer was before I had finished reading the book. :)
Originally written as a stage play it amazes me how well Black Coffee has been adapted as a novel in which Hercule Poirot retains his personality as Christies most famous and beloved detective. The story takes place in the spring of 1934 when Poirot is urgently invited to the home of Sir Claud Armory. With a limited number of players it seems it would be easy for the reader to determine the outcome, but you will not be disappointed in this one. Agatha Christie has a special knack for keeping the reader guessing right to the end.
At the urgent call from physicist Sir Claud Amory sends famed detective Hercule Poirot rushing form London to a sprawling country estate. Sir Claud fears that a member of his own household wants to steal a secret formula destined for the Ministry of Defence. But Poirot arrives too late, the formula is missing. Worse, Sir Claud has been poisoned by his after dinner coffee. Poirot soon identifies a potent brew of despair, treachery and deception amid the mansion's occupants. Now he must find the formula and the killer ... while letting no poison slip 'twix his own lips.