Title: Sad Cypress
Author: Agatha Christie
Series: Hercule Poirot
Beautiful young Elinor Carlisle stood serenely in the dock, accused of the murder of Mary Gerrard, her rival in love. The evidence was damning: only Elinor had the motive, the opportunity and the means to administer the fatal poison. Yet, inside the hostile courtroom, only one man still presumed Elinor was innocent until proven guilty: Hercule Poirot was all that stood between Elinor and the gallows…
There is nothing quite like a good Christie mystery. Just when you think you have her formula sussed she throws another curveball that changes your perceptions. This was a great set-up that had me hooked from page one, it was also unusual as it takes the form of a courtroom drama and reminiscence over a typical Who done it. The crime has already been committed, the ‘Murderer’ has been caught, but did she really do it?
The plot is immaculate. Elenor our main character seems guilty in every way and while reading it I really thought this would be the one Poirot couldn’t solve. Typical of the beloved Belgian he doesn’t show up until Act 2. In Act 1 we get the major players within the crime and the cast for this one is extremely small and tight nit but still Christie manages to seed those doubts in your mind, hiding Red Herrings everywhere and leaving you guessing as to what Poirot’s conclusion will be. The only hang up I have is that, typical of some of the Poirot novels, we as readers are kept in the dark on a few of the scenes till after the twist and reveal. So, we can’t easily guess who is the culprit as we aren’t given the whole picture due to Poirot obtaining that evidence off page.
The element of the courtroom drama and the summation of council being the final reveal added a real element of excitement. I love Christie’s Parlour scenes, but setting it in the Court just added an element of danger. There is a little bit of everything in this one from love triangles to poisonings. It’s just a fun read.