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Cards On The Table [Mass Market Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 5 2005 Poirot (Book 14)
Poirot is invited to a dinner party held by Mr. Shaitana, a strange old man who informs him that four of his fellow guests are murderers who have pulled off their crime without getting caught. After dinner the criminals assemble to play bridge in a separate room with their host, and Shaitana is promptly killed. It's up to Poirot to ensure that the murderer doesn't get off a second time.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Review

“When you think it’s Colonel Mustard in the basement with the crescent wrench, you owe the fun to Dame Christie.” (William Dietrich, New York Times bestselling author of the Ethan Gage Adventures)

“The finest murder story of her career….Mrs. Christie has never been more ingenious.” (Daily Mail (London)) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Mr. Shaitana is famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he is a man of whom everybody is a little afraid. So when he boasts to Hercule Poirot that he considers murder an art form, the detective has some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s “private collection.”

Indeed, what begins as an absorbing evening of bridge is to turn into a more dangerous game altogether.…

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
"MY dear Monsieur Poirot!" It was a soft purring voice used deliberately as an instrument-nothing impulsive or unpremeditated about it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Murder during Bridge Feb. 10 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Shaitana, an acquaintance of Poirot's, invited him to a party to meet four people who he though got away with murder. An Inspector from the Scotland Yard, a British Secret Service and a murder fiction writer were also invited to the party. Mr. Shaitana challenged the investigators to figure out what murders the suspects had committed. The suspects, Dr. Roberts, Major Despard, Mrs. Lorrimer, and Miss Meredith, all were in the room playing bridge when Mr. Shaitana was murdered. The four investigators began working on clues using their own techniques to solve the crime. Which one of the suspects murdered Mr. Shaitana in fear of Mr. Shaitana telling the police about their crime and were they all crime that Mr. Shaitana thought? I would rate this book a 5 out of 5. All four suspects seem to be guilty and them seemed to be innocent. You don't know who did it until the end. I've always like Agatha Christie books since I saw the remake of Murder on the Orient Express on TV. Since then I've read about 13 Agatha Christie books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Agatha Christie creates a delightful set-up for mystery fans. It is a dinner party with eight guests and a host. Four people who may have gotten away with murder in one room playing bridge and four detectives playing bridge in the another room, including the always clever Hercule Poirot and the wacky mystery writer Mrs. Ariadne Oliver. By evening's end the host and organizer of this odd dinner party is dead and only one of the four possible murderers could have done it. The author and the four detectives, and thus the reader, have a lot of fun with this conceit. The book spills its tale quickly and makes for a rapid, wonderful read, even if the denoument becomes a little tangled and far-fetched. It is a crazy ride worth taking for a few hours.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Ariadne Oliver May 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While at an art gallery opening Hercule Poirot makes the aquaintance of Mr. Shaitana, an eccentric collector of art and curiosities. Among his curiosities Mr. Shaitana includes a few murderers who have managed not to be caught, or even be seriously under suspicion. Shaitana decides that he would like to have a dinner party to show off his collection and to that end, he invites four murderers and four detectives. During the dinner he drops a few not so subtle hints about what he knows and sits back to watch the 'fun'. The fun takes an unexpected turn during the after dinner bridge games, the host is murdered.
The detectives on the case are Poirot, Col. Race from the Foreign Office, Sgt. Battle (THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS and THE SEVEN DIALS MYSTERY) and Ariadne Oliver, mystery writer (DEAD MAN'S FOLLY and THE PALE HORSE). The murderers include Dr. Roberts, who may have killed a patient; Col. Despard, who may have killed the husband of the woman he loved; Mrs. Lorrimar, whose husband died under 'usual circumstances' and Miss Meredith whose former employer died of an accidental poisoning.
The detectives decide to try to uncover the murderer themselves, each has their own ideas about who did it and why and each goes about the investigation in their own way. The plot takes many interesting twists and turns. Just when it appears that all has been revealed Christie gives one of her characteristic twists .
The main reason that I feel that this is a four, not a five star novel is the emphasis placed on the bridge game. As a non-bridge player I felt that there was a vital clue that I was missing even though it was right there in front of me. In fairness it is possible to solve the crime without the bridge game clues but it was still frustrating while reading the story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What Agatha Does Best--- Jan. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
--is plot. Fiendish plots. Labyrinth plots. Impenetrable plots. In "Cards on the Table," she has exceeded herself. It is a whodunit lovers delight.
To make such a puzzle work, the circumstances have to be fairly contrived. So you will just have to accept that four of the best sleuths alive all have consented to be guests of a repellent billionaire who claims the other four guests are successful murderers. Why the four accused murderers would also accept is unimportant. The entertainment will be contract bridge with the idea that by knowing a person's bridge game, you will see the inner man (or woman as the case may be.) Actually, this is not true. Some very nice people become gargoyles at the bridge table then instantly revert to their nice selves once the game is over, but we will let this pass.
The sleuths are Hercule Poirot, the observer from hell; Supt. Battle, the plodder but tenacious; Colonel Race, pragmatist and gentleman; and Ariadne Oliver, penner of detective novels and rather silly. Why Dame Agatha didn't substitute Jane Marple in Ms. Oliver's place, I do not know. Perhaps Jane didn't play bridge.
The guests are stock Christie characters: the Doctor, the Ingénue, the Stern Upper class Lady, and the Military Man. The sleuths play together in one room, the guests play 3+ rubbers in the other room (the reader is supplied with a tally). Sometime during the play, the host is murdered in the same room as the guests with no one the wiser except the murderer, of course. This is an embarrassing state of affairs for the sleuths, having the murder happen almost right under their noses, and they pool their skills to unearth the murderer. We gradually find out more and more about the guests. Each, of course, had an excellent motive for doing the host in.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 1 month ago by sheila
4.0 out of 5 stars Its Agatha Christie
Its quaint, and of its time, and its Hercule Poirot. You get the quality story and writing you expect from Agatha Christie. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bootsy Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, great Characters, great humour
One of my favorite Christies of all time. Even if you have seen the made for tv version. Ariadne Oliver appears in this novel. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Masterfully Done!
We already know that Agatha Christie is the queen of the Crime story. Her books are timeless, and are as enjoyable now as when they were written in the 30's and 40's. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by S. Schwartz
5.0 out of 5 stars again,and again a good book...
the mystery book that has an established 'brand' name of agatha christie is rare to dissapoint you as the possibility of good mystery book written by her is high... Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by ainil
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic locked room mystery
Cards on the Table is classic Agatha Christie and one of her most memorable efforts. The victim, Mr. Read more
Published on June 16 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
5.0 out of 5 stars POIROT IS SIMPLY THE BEST
This one contains three plot twists that had me grasping at straws. The end is a believable well done shocker. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2002 by Jeffrey R. Bednar
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and entertaining
The clever use of 4 sleuths and 4 possible murderers in one setting is inspiring, and while delving into one of the suspect's pasts, there is a crime involving death by anthrax! Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2001 by JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Detectives, Four Potential Murderers, and One Corpse
Mr. Shaitana, a wealthy collector of objets d'art, has an unusual idea for a dinner party after a chance meeting with Hercule Poirot in an art gallery. Read more
Published on April 27 2001 by Antoinette Klein
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