Saturday, January 28, 2023

Black Coffee - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Black Coffee by Agatha Christie and Charles Osborne

Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)
Source:  Publisher

Description:  Inventor Sir Claude Amory feels a bitter taste in the mouth, when the new formula for explosive material stolen by someone in the household.

In order to quickly remedy the situation, Sir Claude locks the door and turns off the light, giving the thief a chance to return the formula without being detected. But darkness brings death and Hercule Poirot has to untangle family strife, love and suspicious visitors tangle in order to clarify the murderer and prevent disaster.
Genre: Mystery - Classic

My Impression:  This book is actually a play written by Agatha Christie fairly early in her career that was turned into a novel by Charles Osborne after her death.  The structure of this story is Christie at her best and uses a number of familiar Christie plot devices.  There's a murder at a country house, a missing formula with national defense implications, and a number of suspects who all have possible motives to do away with the victim.  Poirot and Hastings are back with Chief Inspector Japp.

What kept this book from being a winner is that it is clearly a play turned into a novel.  The descriptions frequently read like stage directions and the dialogue can be over the top in detail which works in a play but not so much in a novel.  I would love to see this story preformed as a play but it lacks a bit as a novel.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Of course!  While this isn't the best Agatha Christie it was still a fun read.  

Would I Recommend this Book?  Unless you're already a big Christie fan this probably isn't the book to start with.


  1. This is interesting that it was a play turned into a novel. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Glad that you still enjoyed the book although it read very differently than her other books.

  3. Still interesting to sample I bet.

  4. I'm not sure I read this one, but I'll have to check it out.

  5. I didn't know that she wrote any plays. Very interesting!