Friday, March 27, 2009

Cannonball Read #19: Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

As I mentioned while reviewing And Then There Were None, I had no idea Agatha Christie was so GOOD. I kind of thought of her as some cheesy "Masterpiece Theater" dreck that is enjoyed mainly by old British ladies. Turns out I was SO wrong.

Sparkling Cyanide is another murder mystery, which is centered around the alleged suicide of cheerful party-girl Rosemary Barton. Rosemary apparently took cyanide and died in the middle of dinner party. The drama begins when her stodgy husband George begins receiving letters implying that Rosemary didn't kill herself--she was murdered! The storm begins to whirl around the cast of characters: Rosemary's dishwater younger sister Iris, Iris's boyfriend Anthony who isn't who he says he is, Ruth, George's (overly?) devoted secretary, George, and Mr. and Mrs. Farraday, a couple who are dictionary definition of "cold." George starts making inquiries, and then things get REALLY difficult.

The book moves along quickly, hopping back and forth between the characters. There are many clues scattered through the book, but I was still surprised by the ending. Christie does a good job in drawing her characters, as well as setting a scene. In general, it's a fast, easy, entertaining read that I would recommend.

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