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Death In The Clouds: A Hercule Poirot Mystery Paperback – Jun 6 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (June 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073747
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Austin on 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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... 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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 NONE, THE ALPHABET MURDERS, and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS--but even so, it really should be ranked among her finest efforts.
In some respects, the novel resembles ORIENT EXPRESS, for it offers us the tale of a murder committed on an aircraft, a circumstance which gives the writer a very tightly drawn field of suspects. In this case, the victim is a French money lender of somewhat dubious repute and the murder occurs directly under the nose of an air-sick Hercule Poirot and seemingly in the most incredibly improbable manner imaginable.
In addition to one of Christie's most effective jaw-dropping plots, the book is extremely witty, sometimes almost to the point of parody. Christie frequently mocked mystery writers who found ridiculous ways in which to dispatch the victim, and here she not only presents us with an impossible murder, she offers us exactly such a novelist as one the primary suspects! But in typical Christie fashion all is not as it seems: there are numerous twists to the fast-paced tale--and only the most astute reader will be unsurprised by her solution. Extremely enjoyable, clever, lots of fun, and highly recommended.
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