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Death In The Clouds: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 6 2011 Hercule Poirot Mysteries
The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks. Poirot must solve a perplexing case of midair murder in Death in the Clouds when he discovers that the woman in seat two of the airborne aeroplane he’s traveling on is quite unexpectedly—and unnaturally—deceased.

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Review

“As a crime writer I quickly realized that I’d already learned a great deal from Agatha Christie, and even after four decades in the game, I feel I’m still learning.” (Reginald Hill, author of the Dalziel and Pascoe mysteries)

“It will be a very acute reader who does not receive a complete surprise at the end.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))

“[A] crime puzzle of the first order.” (New York Times)

From the Back Cover

From seat No. 9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No. 13, sat a countess with a poorly concealed cocaine habit; across the gangway in seat No. 8, a detective writer was being troubled by an aggressive wasp. What Poirot did not yet realize was that behind him, in seat No. 2, sat the slumped, lifeless body of a woman.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder at the hands of Hercule Poirot? Oct. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The mid 1930s were some of the best years of the so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" in Britain. Most practitioners belonged to the Detection Club, they reviewed and promoted one another's books publically and privately they shared and re-worked one another's ideas. An example of this literary cross-fertilization may be seen when Freeman Wills Crofts' "The 12.30 From Croydon", 1934, and "Agatha Christie's "Death In the Clouds", 1935, are compared. Both books begin with a passenger plane flight across the English Channel. In the former novel, a passenger is found to be dead at the end of Chapter One when the plane touches down in Paris. In the latter, a passenger is found to be dead at the end of Chapter One when a plane touches down in London. Thereafter, and indeed in the titling of the two books, each writer develops the idea differently.
Agatha Christie devises a whodunit puzzle. Characters are displayed in terms of how they appear physically, in their dialogue, by reputation or hearsay. Clues and significant red herrings are tossed about so that the murderer might mislead everybody else, and the writer might mislead the reader. Just how misleading appearances might be, is cleverly contrived at one point in this book when a jury at an inquest into the passenger's death return a unanimous verdict of murder at the hands of another passenger, namely Hercule Poirot.
Agatha Christie, who lived to become the world's best-selling author, presents her puzzle in immensely readable but unsophisticated prose. The two dimensional characters are somehow easy to keep in mind as you strive to guess the murderer's identity and, of course, there is Hercule Poirot to unerringly point the finger.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hercule Poirot Gets Angry July 7 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
... might have been the better title, but I wasn't there when she decided on the title. Oh well.
Air travel in its infancy was neither a preferred nor a classy mode of transportation. The infamous air-sickness was the major drawback of airplanes in the 1930s. But Poirot, desperate to go back to London, had no other choice, and had to board an airplane. All was well, except for a major air sickness in Poirot's part. When they touched down in London they realised that one of their passengers had died during the flight, and much to Poirot's anger, sat a few seats from him!
Agatha Christie was fine here, playing with Poirot's sense of pride that a murder had occured under his own nose and could have done nothing to stop it. And he had a premonition that another murder will happen unless he could unmask this killer...
Told with her usual wry humour, the solution won't make you jump in your seat, but rather you'll be, like, "Oh, so that's why it happens." You'll enjoy watching Poirot gets angry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Premise, Odd Conclusion July 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Agatha Christie was perhaps a little too clever in creating the premise for Death in the Clouds. A woman is killed in a plane with eleven other passengers and stewards around her and let us just say that a wasp, a blowpipe, a dart, and snake venom are all involved. It is an impossible crime (I know this because one character or another says so, frequently) and quite an intriquing one. Sadly, the conclusion does not live up to the anticipation and Hastings abscence as narrator is sorely missed. It is always a joy, though, to read Poirot regardless and the book is crammed with many red herrings and a little more romance than usual. Not top drawer Christie but still a minor pleasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sudden Twist April 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A murder on an aircraft? Right, and within just a few feet of detective Hercule Poirot! I haven't read many books by Christie, but I knew this was going to be a good one...
And it was. It goes through a female passenger being murdered on a aircraft from Le Pinet, under everyone's noses unnoticed. Poirot is air-sick on the plane and is called upon the investigation. The mystery unfolds page by page, introducing new characters--suspects-- chapter by chapter. There were many varius suspects, and they never narrow down. There was a bit of a twist in the last few chapters of the story, well, for Poirot and another in the last chapter for the readers, yet it makes sense and draws in a nice ending. This is a definite page turner and a great read when you think you're bored, because with Christie's mysteries, you never know what's going to happen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars fun ride but she's done better Jan. 10 2003
By JR
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Aggie starts off the story with a bang (a memorable, highly charged murder location) then sort of finishes it off with some rather silly, almost implausible resolutions to back it up. Only the very astute reader could possibley figure out "who dun it", but at least, you won't be bored. This reminded me of her later work The Clocks, which also had an effective beginning and got even more complicated than it needed to by the time it was over. To make up for its flaws, Christie does, however, put characters together you really wouldn't think would get together. She always was brilliant playing with audience expectations. PS: Even if you can't see the killer before Poirot does, you may pick up on a few clues in the same clever way, so the story isn't a total bust.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Murder at the hands of Hercule Poirot? Oct. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The mid 1930s were some of the best years of the so-called “Golden Age of Detective Fiction” in Britain. Most practitioners belonged to the Detection Club, they reviewed and promoted one another’s books publically and privately they shared and re-worked one another’s ideas. An example of this literary cross-fertilization may be seen when Freeman Wills Crofts’ “The 12.30 From Croydon”, 1934, and Agatha Christie’s “Death In the Clouds”, 1935, are compared. Both books begin with a passenger plane flight across the English Channel. In the former novel, a passenger is found to be dead at the end of Chapter One when the plane touches down in Paris. In the latter, a passenger is found to be dead at the end of Chapter One when a plane touches down in London. Thereafter, and indeed in the titling of the two books, each writer develops the idea differently.
Agatha Christie devises a whodunit puzzle. Characters are displayed in terms of how they appear physically, in their dialogue, by reputation or hearsay. Clues and significant red herrings are tossed about so that the murderer might mislead everybody else, and the writer might mislead the reader. Just how misleading appearances might be, is cleverly contrived at one point in this book when a jury at an inquest into the passenger’s death return a unanimous verdict of murder at the hands of another passenger, namely Hercule Poirot.
Agatha Christie, who lived to become the world’s best-selling author, presents her puzzle in immensely readable but unsophisticated prose. The two dimensional characters are somehow easy to keep in mind as you strive to guess the murderer’s identity and, of course, there is Hercule Poirot to unerringly point the finger.
Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising....
Ah, fooled again. This is a classic Christie novel, very entertaining. A murder is commited on an air plane, right under Poirot's nose! Read more
Published on July 21 2002 by "parrotlegs90"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Christie's finest 1930s Novels
Although it was once considered one of Christie's best works, the fame of DEATH IN THE CLOUDS has been somewhat eclipsed over the years by other 1930s works such as AND THEN THERE... Read more
Published on April 6 2002 by Gary F. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice twists and turns
As a fan of Christie, I have already begun to make deductions on how the Ms Giselle, passenger occupying a seat in the last row on a plane, could have been killed by a poisoned... Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2002 by snowy
4.0 out of 5 stars When Poirot Travels, Murder is Always on Board
This book (also published as "Death in the Air") is vintage Christie because of the way she has a murder committed in a roomful (in this case planeful) of people and yet... Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2001 by Antoinette Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars POIROT RULES
Quality work by the Lady Dame yet again. This may be the best first chapter I have ever read in any genre. And believe it or not it only gets better from there. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by Jeffrey R. Bednar
5.0 out of 5 stars POIROT RULES
This is amazing work by Christie. The first chapter just takes off and it never slows down until the classic Poirot conclusion.
Published on Aug. 23 2001 by Jeffrey R. Bednar
5.0 out of 5 stars A puzzling mystery
This was my first Agatha Christie novel and I had heard a lot about her and I decided to try out one of her books. Read more
Published on June 16 2001
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