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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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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 few things you should know about 'Sad Cypress' April 8 2011
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. It doesn't have the sheer audacity of, say, 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', but as one of her more emotionally engaging books it's at least up there with 'Five Little Pigs' (another underrated story), or the beautiful 'A Murder is Announced'.

As the book opens, the main character Elinor Carlisle is on trial for her life. The courtroom setting doesn't really mean much one way or the other, it's merely Christie experimenting with a new kind of plot framing device. No, it is the mystery of Elinor's personality and her true motivations which keep the reader guessing continually throughout the book, and hungry to learn who really killed the poisoning victim, Mary Gerrard.

Agatha Christie is usually ignored by literary critics or dismissed as 'genre fiction', but she was actually a master at portraying a wide range of psychological types, and that (along with her cunning solutions) is probably the reason that she's still the bestselling novelist of all time. Although her psychological types can occasionally be a little unbelievable as flesh and blood characters, that certainly isn't the case here - 'Sad Cypress' contains some of her most memorable and vivid figures. It will definitely stick in your head for some time after you have read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Murder by poison! Love or greed ... or both? Feb. 8 2009
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 happily engaged. They both know they are living somewhat beyond their means but they take comfort in their expectation of the inheritance of a very sizable fortune from their elderly aunt, Laura Welman. When they receive an anonymous mean-spirited letter suggesting that someone is cozying up to their aunt and worming their way into her affections, Elinor suspects young Mary Gerrard, her aunt's lodge-keeper's daughter. Rationalizing with one another that they really ought to be making a greater effort to see their aunt more frequently, Elinor and Roddy quickly pack up for a visit to Mrs Welman with a concerned view to protecting their interests in the estate.

During the course of their visit, when Roddy's head is turned by Mary Gerrard's stunning good looks and he becomes hopelessly infatuated with her, Elinor breaks off their engagement. When Mary Gerrard is murdered by the administration of a fatal dose of morphine in a sandwich and, shortly afterward, Aunt Laura dies intestate leaving Elinor as the sole heir of the entire estate by virtue of being the only surviving blood relative, Elinor quickly finds herself in the dock for Mary's murder. As the only suspect with both the means and the motive to dispose of Mary Gerrard, her conviction is all but certain.

But "Sad Cypress" is a complex mystery with many motivational twists and turns. Roddy Welman's head wasn't the only head turned with new found love. Peter Lord, the Welman's family physician, has fallen behind over tea kettle into love with Elinor Carlisle.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 expect what will surface just as soon as you thought you had it all figured out. Here, although the great Dame herself claimed would not revert to using Freudian complexes, she used a few here, perhaps unintentionally. And when the end of book one, you can't help but thinking that only one person can commit the murder under those given circumstances. Read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars she did a good job...again May 2 2004
By ainil
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 with murder.but for the obvious reason(whodunnit),she is the most unlikely person to kill the victim...and the story goes on how hercule poirot investigates the murder to assist an innocent party....this book must be put on your upper shelf!!!
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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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Most recent customer reviews
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. 17 2003 by Kimberley Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars All motives of love - including passion for money
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... Read more
Published on May 1 2003 by Michele L. Worley
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly unusual Poirot
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. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2002 by Optimistix
"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
"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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