Day: May 19, 2019
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Sad Cypress is the 21st book in the Hercule Poirot series written by Agatha Christie. The book was published in 1940, but this series can be read out of order. I chose this book with my friend Medhat as a buddy read this month. I’ve seen several film and tv adaptations of Christie’s books, but I’ve never caught this one. I’m on a kick to read them all in the next year.
Sad Cypress is your classic tale. An elderly woman dies of seemingly natural causes. She was about to change her will, possibly naming a local girl who visited her from time to time as her beneficiary. She might have still included her niece and nephew by marriage, but we’re uncertain. Then, the local girl ends up dead even if she didn’t get to inherit any money because the original will was never finished. What’s going on? Who wanted the money? And how does everyone fit together? Throw in two nurses, a housekeeper, a gardener, a doctor, and the niece and nephew… and those are all your suspects. Christie isn’t usually someone to bring in a random at the end, so we are fairly certain it’s one of these folks.
What a clever tale! I was immediately drawn into the plot from the beginning. We divided it into thirds so we could read over three days. I actually had to read it early in the morning because I wanted to get back to it quickly each day. While there was a bit of repetition during the deduction phase, Poirot always makes you laugh, so it’s easily ignored. Christie makes you believe her characters are telling the truth only to shock you later with a lie and a twist. It always makes sense, and you wonder how the truth could hide in plain sight. Of course, it’s a little over-the-top, but that’s this style in general. I love it, so I’m not complaining — just pointing it out for others, so they know what they’re getting themselves into. It’s over 75 years old!
How does Poirot figure it out! He has a few off-screen conversations and relays them to us later, which is helpful. The imagery is powerful, and the concept of the cypress is simple but strong. The dialog is strong even for being formatted differently than modern readers are used to. It’s full of fantastic suspense and drama moments, urging you to keep reading until you stop. While not in her top 5 for me, it’s certainly a compelling story with a lot of meandering paths that lead back to a conclusion. 4.5 stars. I think I want to read Mouse Trap next, as I’ve not seen the play or read the story.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.