Death in the Air (aka Death in the Clouds)
When an airplane steward finds a dead woman shortly after takeoff, Hercule Poirot, aboard the same flight, discovers a poison dart pushed behind his seat. Instead of being stung by a wasp, the woman has been murdered, and Poirot becomes the suspect. David Timson skillfully portrays diverse multinational characters and excels in bringing Poirot and his clever antics to life as he unravels the web of deceit surrounding the dead woman.
This one starts out with a real poser of a murder; Poirot is even implicated to a point. Thus, he must prove the innocence of all who are such; that will reveal the killer. His progress is methodical (per usual) as he pursues every avenue. This helps to make this one of his more interesting cases. That is, until the end when he exposes the true killer in a melodrama without proof, but worthy of a Perry Mason trial in which the guilty party makes a slip of the tongue, or blurts out I DID IT! Now it becomes just another mindless read.
Perfectly acceptable Christie mystery, but nothing spectacular. No Hastings, only a little Japp and only a passing reference to Giraud despite half of the story taking place in France. Fairly usual plucky girl with two men to choose from, both of whom are suspects. Poirot, of course, does some matchmaking. All in all nothing objectionable about it, but nothing exceptional either.
Tom J. reviewed Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot, Bk 11) (aka Death in the Air) (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 17 more book reviews
I must have enjoyed it somewhat, as I sat up until midnight to finish it! I had recently watched a television adaptation of this novel with David Suchet as Poirot, and yet, couldn't remember who the killrr was until the "denoument!" I was sure it was someone else.
A 1934/35 novel - evocative of the times - wish air travel was that civilized nowadays! Mrs. Christie doesn't disappoint here, great characterizations, gret detail in plotting, just enough humor and romance!