Sparkling Cyanide (Colonel Race #4) – Agatha Christie

This is one of the most enjoyable murder mysteries by our queen of crimes. It is well written. From the very first chapter, the story held my interest with its mystic atmosphere and curious characters. The fact that the first murder was committed at the very beginning helped the story to get moving quickly and to create the surrounding mysterious ambiance.

I liked how the story flowed, beginning as reminiscences of six people who witnessed the death of Rosemary Barton. By devoting separate chapters to each reminiscence, Christie gives us a good understanding of the characters who could be the possible suspects. A second death occurs opening up a police investigation, and through this investigation, both mysteries are solved. The second crime plot I found to be quite ingenious. Only a clever crime author can come up with such imaginative ideas.

The story was methodically constructed. It reminded me of Christie’s early novels that I’ve liked. The clues were obscurely but surely set throughout the story giving the observant reader a fair opportunity to pick them up and work their case. Although I consider myself an observant reader and did manage to come near the truth, Christie still confused me from time to time through her twists and turns.

This Colonel Race mystery is the best of the series. In all others, Colonel Race plays an obscure secondary role, but in Sparkling Cyanide his role is prominent and dominant. I always enjoy a story best when the protagonist plays a prominent part. It was quite satisfying here. Out of the four books in the Colonel Race series, this is my favourite.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.

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