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Sad Cypress: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 22 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. In her classic Sad Cypress, a woman damned by overwhelming evidence stands accused of murdering her romantic rival, and only Poirot stands between her and the gallows.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

This recording of Sad Cypress features Christie's super detective, Hercule Poirot (e.g., Murder on the Orient Exress, Audio Reviews, LJ 4/1/94), and a reading by David Suchet, who is well known for playing Poirot on BBC television. The story concerns Elinor Carlisle, accused of murdering another young woman while in a jealous rage. The evidence against Elinor is overwhelming, and she seems destined for prison until a friend and admirer engages Poirot. What follows is the usual Christie puzzle, which listeners are invited to help solve. Suchet reads superbly and provides each character, especially Poirot, with a distinct personality. While this is not Christie's best book, it is nonetheless entertaining. Recommended for mystery collections.
Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“What Agatha Christie taught me was all about the delicate placement of the red herring. She was the ultimate genius behind ‘by indirections shall we find directions out.’” (Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley novels)

“Poirot solves another exciting case.” (Daily Mail (London))

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5.0 out of 5 stars A poisoned love triangle May 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This 1939 novel has been compared to the 1930 STRONG POISON by Dorothy Sayers. Both novels begin with the courtroom observations of a young woman accused of murder by poisoning. Both young women are befriended by a young man who sets out to clear her of the crime and fall in love with her in the process. Christie's rescuer is named Peter Lord while Sayers' is, of course, Lord Peter. Even with these similarities the two stories, although both excellent, are vastly different.
Elinor Carlisle had an understanding with her cousin-by-marriage Roderick Welman, that one day they would wed, live happily in their mutual Aunt Laura's country house with her considerable fortune somehow split between them. The plan suited them all, Elinor, Roddy and Aunt Laura. Aunt Laura was now in failing health and was being cared for by nurses, her servants, a doctor and Mary, a young woman who had grown up on the estate and of whom Aunt Laura had always been quite fond...perhaps too fond for Elinor and Roddy's own good.
Aunt Laura died, not to anyone's surprise but had left no will, much to everyone's surprise. As her only living blood relative Elinor inherited everything - lucky Elinor! Except Mary was so lovely, and Roddy so smitten with her that the engagement was called off. Then Mary died, of poison and Elinor was the only one of could have committed the crime.
Dr. Lord made an impassioned plea to Hercule Poirot to prove Elinor innocent - if she was in fact innocent. Poirot reluctantly agrees and begins to sort through motives, love affairs and long buried secrets to arrive at the truth.
The opening is dramatic altough it causes the problem of making the most sympathetic character, Mary, known to the read as the victim. The questions remain, however, of who did it, why, and how for the reader to try to puzzle through before Poirot reveals all.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Come away, come away, death,
and in sad cypress let me be laid;
fly away, fly away breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid
- clown's song in Shakespeare's _Twelfth Night_, Act II, scene 4
Copyright 1939/1940. No narrator.
Unusual structure: the prologue is from the viewpoint of Elinor Carlisle, on trial for the murder of Mary Gerrard. Her defense counsel has a bad fright as she hesitates before pleading 'not guilty'. From her viewpoint, we can see only a frozen, numb detachment. Poirot is in court, watching her; she believes he's attempting to tell why she did it.
For all we know, she might have.
Part I, told in flashback from Elinor's viewpoint, begins at what Elinor considers the starting point - the arrival of an anonymous letter - and ending with Mary Gerrard's death; Poirot has no part to play here. (Occasionally the flashback slips a little, following Mary Gerrard through scenes where Elinor wasn't present; however, such scenes pull their weight in terms of character development, which also serves to bring the crime home to the reader, as we get to know the victim. Or do we?)
Poirot enters the tale properly in Part II, when Peter Lord, the local doctor who seems to have fallen for Elinor, asks Poirot to clear her - admitting flat out that he doesn't care about the truth. (Poirot, of course, doesn't take it on those terms, and Lord gives in, since no truth could make the case against Elinor any worse - as far as he can see). Part I is told in flashback from Elinor's viewpoint, though not in 1st person. Part II follows Poirot in 3rd person as do most non-Hastings Poirot stories.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly unusual Poirot Aug. 18 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book's quite well written, but i could guess the ending much earlier than the last few pages, so i can't really give it five stars.
The story : Elinor Carlisle is accused of poisoning Mary Gerrard, with the case against her apparently watertight. But Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective, is not at all convinced. He undertakes the commission of finding out the truth, as opposed to defending Elinor ..........
What's unusual about this as a Hercule Poirot story is that he doesn't dominate the book, and other characters have equally big roles to play. He's more like the 'usual' detective in that he comes every now and then to make inquiries - but of course in his powers of reasoning and analysis he's far from 'usual'.
The various characters are well-etched, and the mystery unfolds nicely. However, it's possible for even the slightly alert reader to guess the ending well in advance, which to me is a drawback in this sort of a book.
All in all, a very well written murder mystery, well worth a read - but Agatha Christie (even if not many others!) has done better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB READING OF AN ABSORBING STORY Aug. 5 2002
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
"Sad Cypress" is often referred to as one of the most outstanding of Christie's classic titles. To my mind, that's a bit like trying to say which flawless diamond shines the brightest. Nonetheless, this absorbing story is set in an English country house.
As for Hercule Poirot - who else but David Suchet? He is acclaimed by many as the quintessential Poirot. Those who have seen his PBS performances will readily agree. His voice treatment of this tale brings to vivid reality all the nuances and eccentricities of the characters involved.
"Sad Cypress" presents Elinor Carlisle as a woman blessed with beauty and brains reinforced by wealth - she also finds herself on trial for murder. She stands accused of killing her rival, Mary Gerrard, by poison. Poirot is the only one who believes in her innocence. He needs to prove she is not guilty or Elinor will be hung.
As with other Christie mysteries clues are liberally sprinkled throughout the tale. What fun to try to find them!
- Gail Cooke
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A few things you should know about 'Sad Cypress'
With a beautiful title taken from Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night', 'Sad Cypress' is one of my favourite Agatha Christie books, and also one of the best to feature Poirot. Read more
Published on April 8 2011
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder by poison! Love or greed ... or both?
Elinor Carlisle, a sensible, well educated young woman, and her distant cousin, Roddy Welman, a somewhat less well focused amiable gentleman - perhaps even a bit of a dandy - are... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2009 by Paul Weiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Decidedly a neglected classic; amongst Christie's best.
Sure, there is always Ten Little Indians (also the best!!!) and Cards on the Table. But this one is very neatly plotted that - as it was with every other Christie - you can never... Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by "madonluv"
5.0 out of 5 stars she did a good job...again
Before i read this book,little i know that this book could be a fast moving mystery book.the book is about a mystery surrounding one family of a poor woman who has been convicted... Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by ainil
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done
Sad Cypress is a Hercule Poirot story that even many Christie fans don't remember which is a pity because it contains two unusual features. Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2003 by Kimberley Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining ditty
The outcome of the whodunit pales next to the very well drawn characters although it's best to remember that everyone Poirot interviews is, in their own way, lying to him. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2002 by JR
"Sad Cypress" is often referred to as one of the most outstanding of Christie's classic titles. To my mind, that's a bit like trying to say which flawless diamond shines the... Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2002 by Gail Cooke
4.0 out of 5 stars Lacks credible suspects
This is a very very good legal/coutroom thriller. The scenes of Elinor Carlisles trial are excellent, and show yet another aspect of Christie's talent. Read more
Published on July 11 2002 by RachelWalker
5.0 out of 5 stars A Neglected Classic
Agatha Christie is reknowned for creating apparently simple murder mysteries that unexpectedly twist for completely unexpected conclusions--and no where is this better seen than in... Read more
Published on April 23 2002 by Gary F. Taylor
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