Cards On The Table Mass Market Paperback – Jul 5 2005
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“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. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Its quaint, and of its time, and its Hercule Poirot. You get the quality story and writing you expect from Agatha Christie. Read morePublished on April 10 2014 by Bootsy Bass
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 morePublished on Oct. 4 2013 by Kayou
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 morePublished on July 19 2004 by Shirley Schwartz
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 morePublished on May 2 2004 by ainil
Cards on the Table is classic Agatha Christie and one of her most memorable efforts. The victim, Mr. Read morePublished on June 16 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
This one contains three plot twists that had me grasping at straws. The end is a believable well done shocker. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2002 by Jeffrey R. Bednar
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 morePublished on Nov. 6 2001 by JR