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Black Coffee

Narrated by: John Moffatt
Series: Hercule Poirot, Book 7
Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
3.9 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sir Claud Amory has discovered the formula for a new powerful explosive, which is stolen by one of the large household of relatives and friends.

Locking everyone in the library, Sir Claud switches off the lights to allow the thief to replace the formula on the table, no questions asked.

When the lights come on, however, he is dead, and Hercule Poirot, with assistance from Hastings and Inspector Japp, has to unravel a tangle of family feuds, old flames, and suspicious foreigners to find the killer and prevent a global catastrophe.

©1998 Agatha Christie Limited, a Chorion Company. All rights reserved. Adapted as a novel by Charles Osborne. Charles Osborne asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work (P)1998 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, UK

Critic Reviews

"Christie biographer Osborne's adaptation of the grande dame's 1930 play has been blessed by the Christie estate and heartily endorsed by her grandson Michael Prichard. It's a classic 'someone in this room is the murderer' tale set in 1934." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Black Coffee

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Wonderful Christie writer - S. Hannah be blowed!

Why didn't Agatha Christie's evil money-hungry grandson hire a writer like Charles Osborne to write new Christie books, instead of selling his grandmother's soul to the devil (like he is doing left, right, front and center)?

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Not the version of black coffee I originally purchased

I cannot say how infuriating it is to purchase one version of a book only to have audible substitute a different version for it on my cloud library.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-11-2019

nothing new - do not waste your time on this

Without giving anything away, suffice to say that this was a draggy, poorly written mish mash of various Poirot stories. And the dialogue had the audacity to refer to the plot which this story plagrised!!! Could see the solution miles away. Only the beautiful voice acting of John Moffatt saved the day.

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  • Symonne
  • 01-02-2018

Everything you could ask for

Everything you could ask for in a reading of this lovely Agatha Christie story. Another pairing of Poirot and his loyal friend Captain Hastings.

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  • Rev. Kate
  • 09-07-2016

Fabulous!

I only wish those idiot Directors of the David Suchet Christie novels would just produce the real stories, instead of thinking they are better than Agatha, and creating those absurd movies. She is the Queen of crime fiction and Suchet would be so awesome portraying the little detective in the real stories she made internationally famous!
As always, a fabulous story!
Exceptionally written.
Excellently performed by John Moffatt.
Great entertainment!
Enjoy it!

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  • Stevo
  • 27-08-2014

Lukewarm Coffee!

If you’ve listened to books by Agatha Christie and Charles Osborne before, how does this one compare?

'Black Coffee' has some novelty value as a Hercule Poirot mystery, being a story that not every Hercule Poirot fan would be familiar with. However, for me this story is not as good as Agatha Christie's own Hercule Poirot novels.

Three of Agatha Christie's stage plays have been novelised by Charles Osborne so far (the other two being 'The Unexpected Guest' and 'Spider's Web') and of those three adaptations, 'Black Coffee' is my least favourite book. It's not actually a bad story, it's just that Charles Osborne's writing style differs from Agatha Christie's.

What about John Moffatt’s performance did you like?

This is a well narrated audiobook. John Moffatt does a good Hercule Poirot, of course, having played the role in the majority of the Hercule Poirot radio dramatisations produced by the BBC.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really!

Listening to Black Coffee I came to the conclusion that there was a reason that it was never adapted in to a novel by Agatha Christie herself... it was a meant to be performed on a stage and not read as a novel. Also, Agatha Christie had used part of the actual solution in one of her novels!

Any additional comments?

This isn't a proper Agatha Christie book. 'Black Coffee' was originally a play that has been adapted in to a novel... and it shows. Although for Agatha Christie fans this is an additional Hercule Poirot/Captain Hastings adventure that can just be enjoyed for what it is. A mildly entertaining mystery with a simple plot, but not classic Poirot by any means.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-02-2018

Black Coffee

Really enjoyed this with John Moffat 's narration it bought the text to life. If you like Christie's work then you should hopefully enjoy this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • R S
  • 22-01-2018

Not quite a true Poirot

I could tell this was not written by Agatha Christie, but having never seen the stage show, I cannot tell whether the repeated motifs from other stories were original to the play, or have been introduced by the adapter. John Moffat's usual suave performance as Poirot, which manages to stay just short of parody, but is still true to the eccentricity of the little Belgian with the egg shaped head.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-06-2017

Great Narration.

I enjoyed listening to it very much and how all the characters were bought to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Caronne Hope
  • 13-06-2017

Excellent

Another classic Poirot mystery, brought to life by the narrator. His character voices are well thought out, which makes the whole story most enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CaWa
  • 11-09-2016

Amazing narration

Agatha at her best, superbly performed by John Moffat. I thoroughly enjoyed this story during many of my dog walks!! You will not be disappointed...enjoy

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jaye Hardy
  • 02-05-2016

Black coffee

A scientific research project is complete results but the scientist believes that somrime soon something is going to happen to him or the formular can Poirot stop this?????

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-05-2020

Black Coffee

Unable to get out of book when finished! Either Audible or my tablet is playing up.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-2020

Good Story

Good Story, but a few small errors by the narrator. Narrator mistakenly says Richards Uncle instead of Father, which had me confused. Also had to constantly rewind to fully comprehend.

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  • I_DW
  • 09-01-2020

A great book ruined by an average narrator

I enjoyed the storyline of this book, a classic Poirot, but at times had to force myself to continue listening... not well narrated at all. I suggest you let Hugh Fraser read this book...Hugh has a feeling for Agatha Christie stories and is absolutely the best narrator for the job.

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  • Richard
  • 13-09-2018

Very good a great addition to the Piorot stories

Excellent naration from JM great voices and captivating hope others will enjoy this addition to the Piorot mysteries.