The baby inside me has stolen all of my energy. As a result, I have become a reading machine (when awake). This book review is of Black Coffee, supposedly by Agatha Christie. That is, she wrote the stage-play, and an actor named Charles Osborne adapted the script into novel form. It seems to follow her style fairly well, although there are times it’s clear that the action was all designed to take place in one room, for one audience.
I chose this book after finishing The Maze Runner because my mind was blown, and I needed something with a plot that required very little thought or attention. I needed junk-food reading, in short. And Black Coffee was exactly what I was looking for.
I would describe Black Coffee as a “silly mystery” – an old-fashioned whodunit, set in the 1930’s, complete with poisoning, blackmail, nearly-fainting-women, and ridiculous mustaches. For most of the novel (and play, I presume), all fingers point to the Italian, because apparently poisoning someone is a very “Italian” thing to do. A Belgian sleuth discusses the ways of the English. An old spinster is horrified by jazz music. A safe is broken into. A knitting needle goes missing for the entirety of the story.
That pretty much sums it up. And while I would probably consider the story a comedy by today’s standards, the play was quite successful at the time, and the whole story follows Christie’s style to a tee. So if you’re looking for a silly mystery, pick up a copy. ♦