View 1 comment. Aug 30, Richard Derus rated it really liked it. They earn the same rating. One of the ways couples reinforce their pair bond is shared entertainment. My Gentleman Caller and I read a lot; I'm a big mystery fan, where he is less interested in the genre. We both enjoy mystery movies a good deal, though, and the Poirot series especially.
Through the amazing and wonderful Internet, we can watch episodes together, discussing them in real time, or just canoodling in cyberspace. I think I'd go bonkers if I didn't have my fix of looking at his face this way. So this evening we watched two of the movies. First up was this very entertaining adaptation of Christie's novel of psychology. Ariadne Oliver, an author surrogate character for Mrs. Christie herself, makes her first filmed and literary appearance here. Oliver, being husky-voiced and of a distinctive and memorable appearance.
It's one of the pleasures of the films that the actors cast in Christie's roles are uniformly excellent craftspeople, and Wanamaker is no exception. In watching this adaptation, I felt a wee bit seasick. All the roles were there, just as in the book; but they had different names, unrecognizable motives, and switched-up personae.
Colonel Race, a recurring Christie character, is called something else although it's only his name that's different. Rhoda and Anne completely switch purposes, though I have no earthly notion why. It would, in fact, have been impossible for Christie to write it in and get the book published. The Superintendent is renamed and good gracious me how he is changed up!
I mean to tell you, Ma Christie would likely be apoplectic over this particular bit of modification. The victim, Mr. I hadn't recalled that the man was so very tall and so very lean. As Shaitana, a furriner and an ethnic in racist s London, he Siddig is perfectly chosen: He looks exotic and strange, skin of brown and eyes of green and wardrobe chosen to exaggerate the actor's dramatic silhouette. The mundane murder motive in the novel is considerably spicier in the film, and actually more fun for this modern audience of two.
The book presents a more complete Christieverse experience, drawing the four sleuths and one suspect from the well she reused freely. Each decision has its advantages; on the whole, I can't say that one of the media is preferable to the other. I, and certainly my Gentleman Caller, don't subscribe to the Purity Test for films. The source material will always be altered to suit the demands of the medium. That's the way it works, and more often than not has to; not infrequently the adapted film is superior to the source material, if rabid ardent nut-level fans would simply see it.
And of course there are reverse cases by the scores, it's not a one-way street by any means. This film, substantially altered from an excellent novel, finds a different and equal excellence. The spirit of the story is intact, and is well served by the changes made for film. And as always, the role of Poirot is complete and entire in David Suchet's hands.
Cards on the Table Summary
And mincing feet. And waxed mustache. The story, either medium, is delicious and savory and a treat not to be denied oneself. The BBC radio drama is excellent as well.
Cards On The Table
View all 6 comments. Sep 22, Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it Shelves: agatha-christie , mystery. Shaitana collects murderers who have committed the act and gotten away with it. So as a challenge to Poirot, he puts four of them around a table to play bridge: on another table are seated Poirot, Mrs. Oliver the mystery writer, Colonel Race and Superintendent Battle. However, the cat-and-mouse game goes very badly for Shaitana as he gets murdered during the evening. I don't know bridge it is somewhat similar to 56, which we used to play in college , but I know the basics - the key factor he Mr.
I don't know bridge it is somewhat similar to 56, which we used to play in college , but I know the basics - the key factor here is that during a hand, one player becomes "the dummy" whose hand is exposed and who cannot take part. During the evening, each of the four "murderers" have been dummies, leaving them free to walk around do the act. Now Poirot must dig into the past of each of the four suspects to come up with the solution. The beauty of this story is the very narrow field of suspects.
As the story progresses, we are forced to shift our suspicion from the one to the other. Of course, in a such story the murderer cannot be totally unexpected - but the suspense is just exquisite. I would have given this book four stars if only the end wasn't so rushed. I've always commended Agatha Christie's ability to create unique and innovative cases, and admire her approach via psychology.
This was even better in this book, because physical clues were almost next to nothing. Also, I liked how the official person involved, Superintendent Battle, was not a dim-wit or a lousy person, but actually contributed to the case. I loved Mrs. Oliver and she was written like what I imagine Agatha I would have given this book four stars if only the end wasn't so rushed. Oliver and she was written like what I imagine Agatha Christie herself was.
Cards on the Table, is my very first Agatha Christie novel and surely i made a fine choice, because the writing is excellent, the psychological games exquisite and i couldn't get enough of the tiny details and clues that were hiding in every page. Actually, crime-mystery isn't my favorite book genre, but i love the TV-series of that kind. I've seen so many different shows that now my eye is trained enough to find the killer almost immediately.
That didn't happen though in this book. I only ruled Cards on the Table, is my very first Agatha Christie novel and surely i made a fine choice, because the writing is excellent, the psychological games exquisite and i couldn't get enough of the tiny details and clues that were hiding in every page.
I only ruled out one person but the other three kept me guessing till the last moment. While the story unraveled and it got bigger, i couldn't keep my excitement in check. I just had to know, so i kept reading and reading for three straight hours and i was rewarded with a brilliant, classic mystery and a big surprise in the end. All in all i'm really glad that i tapped even just a little bit into this genre and i'm sure i will do it again. Agatha Christie is a marvelous author, a true expert in weaving and exploring personalities, motives and detailed psychological profiles for her characters and surely the best one for a novice like me.
But you might miss it while reading it the first time. Thank God i didn't do it. With a limited list of suspects, no clues, and a clear motive, this almost takes detective fiction to a meta level, especially as Mrs Oliver is herself a writer of crime novels. Can Poirot's analysis of the bridge score cards lead him to the solution? You bet! Feb 15, Phrynne rated it really liked it. This was one of the best Agatha Christie books I have yet read. Nine people at a bridge game, one murdered, four suspects and four above suspicion who investigate. I have to admit I picked the wrong person as the murderer and Christie gave me quite a surprise at the end.
I liked that though because the clues had all been there and I was just not detective enough to pick up on them. Another career that is not for me! It is one of the great, classic Agatha Christie mysteries. We have 4 suspects who allegedly all successfully got away with a former murder , all of whom could have committed the crime. View all 4 comments. Jun 01, Lindley Walter-smith rated it it was amazing. Agatha Christie is sometimes severely underrated as both an observational writer and as a comedian.
She's rarely underrated, though, for the perfection of her puzzles. Cards on the Table is one of my all-time favourite Christie novels, because in this one all three strengths shine. The setup is delicious - four successful murderers playing bridge at one table, four famous detectives at another.
At some point in the evening, while being dummy, one of the murderers wanders over and kills the ninth Agatha Christie is sometimes severely underrated as both an observational writer and as a comedian. At some point in the evening, while being dummy, one of the murderers wanders over and kills the ninth person in the room.
Detective-wise, Colonel Race is the odd-one-out here - I always quite like Race, but he seems put in here to make up the bridge table, so to speak, and doesn't have much chance to shine when luminaries like Poirot, Inspector Battle and Mrs Adriadne Oliver are there. In many ways, this is Mrs Oliver's book.
Cards on the Table - PDF Free Download
She is the best, most self-deprecating and hilarious self-insert in all detective novels, the polar opposite of Dorothy L. Sayer's self-aggrandizing and humourless Harriet Vane, and she steals the show over and over. I still giggle out loud over her. But Battle, too, is magnificent - and Poirot is always Poirot. My only quibble is that I don't think this particular solution would hold up in court, unless they had no laws against entrapment in those days. But for sheer enjoyment value and char, and devilish misleading of the reader, this books really sums up why I have a love for Christie that no other detective write will ever match.
Dec 01, Alaina rated it really liked it Shelves: thriller , mystery , fiction , classics , historical-fiction , december-challenge Card on the Table was a really fun and interesting read. It starts with Shaitana having a dinner party, where he invites 4 detectives and 4 suspected murderers. One of the detectives is obviously Poirot which means that there is going to be a murder.
I mean, death seems to follow this guy all the god damn time - so of course when the host of this dinner party is found dead I wasn't really shocked. I, of course, ate this book up. I didn't even want to figure out who the murderer was until Poirot Card on the Table was a really fun and interesting read. I didn't even want to figure out who the murderer was until Poirot did.
I really liked how Poirot worked this case with the other detectives but then he was the one who figured out who had done the dead in the end. Christie of course tries to throw some details that would make you think it could have been one suspect or another - but ha! Nor did you get Poirot. However, I'm not going to tell you who killed Shaitana because that would spoil all of the fun of you reading and finding out for yourself.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I can totally see myself rereading this book again. This is one of the good murder-mysteries of the Poirot series; a one which reminds me of the brilliant early works in the series. The story is based on a very intelligent plot so much so that it was a difficult guessing game who the criminal was. I really enjoyed how the suspense was build up till finally our excellent detective, Poirot with his great analytical skill discovers who committed the murder. I'm happy to see that Poirot is back with his sharp analytical brain his little grey cells , This is one of the good murder-mysteries of the Poirot series; a one which reminds me of the brilliant early works in the series.
I'm happy to see that Poirot is back with his sharp analytical brain his little grey cells , his eccentric ways and his egotism. That was how Poirot was introduced to us. Later in the series, I felt Christie was making certain character changes in him. But in this particular installment, our old, dear, eccentric and egoistic Poirot was back.
It is quite refreshing to meet his old self again. Overall, it was an interesting story and an enjoyable read. Aug 14, Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore rated it really liked it Shelves: murder , ariadne-oliver , british , superintendent-battle , agatha-christie , hercule-poirot. Hercule Poirot is invited to dinner. Race connected with the Secret Service , and Ariadne Oliver, author of detective fiction. All four did leave the table at one or the other point in the game but there was no sound or other sign to indicate when the crime took place.
All the detectives begin to look into the matter, Battle handling the official investigation of course, but we essentially follow Battle, Mrs Oliver, and Poirot. Race operates off-screen so to speak and only contributes a little to the investigation. This made for a pretty exciting mystery with plenty of revelations and uncovering of secrets, right up to the denouement, where it is Poirot who solves the case, but not before another surprise twist just when you think you have the answer.
Battle, Mrs Oliver, and Col. Incidentally, in this book Poirot barely knows Mrs O. But a very good read nonetheless. Jan 12, Sophie Hannah rated it liked it. Very good, focused novel, with only four suspects. I'd have enjoyed it more if I had the first clue how to play bridge! Not one of my favourite Christies, but still hugely entertaining. Loved Poirot's insistence that he could only solve the murder once he'd found out the bridge-playing technique of each suspect! A clever locked room mystery Four murderers, one victim, four sleuths. I'm a fan of Christie and consider this one of her best.
Plus it's a second outing for one of my favourite Christie characters - Mrs Oliver the crime novelist with a refreshing view of her work that could be Christie herself speaking. A lovely mystery and a great finish. Sep 29, Girish rated it really liked it. The book starts with Agatha Christie's disclaimer that People expect the crime to be committed by the least likely suspect and not all murders are solved through clues.
And so here is a book where there are no physical clues to the murder and Poirot and co need to rely on psychological profiles of suspects to arrive at the killer. In one of the most interesting mysteries depends on your taste, of course , a murder is committed while a game of bridge is in progress. The 4 suspects in the room The book starts with Agatha Christie's disclaimer that People expect the crime to be committed by the least likely suspect and not all murders are solved through clues.
The 4 suspects in the room have all murdered before. Without preamble, the author presents the naked facts. Poirot and co have to dig into the pasts of the suspects, uncover the murder and figure out the psychological fit for the Modus Operandi. Not without drama and not without some unconventional investigation like the bridge scores, the handwriting and items in the room. Christie surreptitiously plants herself as Mrs. Oliver a crime novelist who likes apples and has a Foreign detective.
In one of the fun parts, she takes a dig at herself where she says almost all the books have the same plot and how she gets angry letters from Finns while Poirot is Belgian on how she has got it wrong about their people. An unconventional cards on the table mystery. You either like it or you don't type of mystery. Luckily I liked it. The first was that it was a part of our Agatha Christie book club read and even though I was a little late in getting that across the way, I still wanted to give it a try.
The second was that I really wanted to try out a Hercule Poirot mystery. So when my book club decided to give it a go, I made sure that I would definitely check it out, even if I am late. I was, actually, by a month. Yes, you got that right. He has a collection like that. And who are those murderers? Poirot is as intrigued as us. Hence, when Shaitana invites him to his party to show him his collection, he instantly agrees.
Fast forward to the party: There are eight guests. Everyone is having fun and playing bridge. Now everything would have been fine, except that by the end of the night, Shaitana somehow ends up murdered and no one in the room is none the wiser. There are four sleuths, and four murder suspects. Who is it? That is what this book is mainly about. The reason why I loved this book is because it is a lot more active that the last Agatha Christie book I read. It was such an interesting book and it kept me guessing till the last page.
In fact, from the three books by Agatha Christie that I have read so far, this was the second book that made me go on a binge. But then, I guess, mystery rules! Jun 10, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: top-author , favourite-series. Another top mystery featuring Hercule Poirot. It's a mystery with three bonus mysteries entwined I know how good is that?!
Really enjoyed this one. Dec 09, Wsm rated it liked it Shelves: christie. Four sleuths start off proceedings,but inevitably Poirot is the star of the show. There is a little bit of Christie herself in the book in the character of Mrs. Oliver,the detective story writer. There are quite a few twists and turns towards the end which take the reader by surprise. I enjoy reading Agatha Christie novels on occasion. Especially those where Hercule Poirot is the protagonist. They transport me to a different time and place.
Cards on the Table was published in It seems like just about everyone had a butler, cook, parlor maid, or chambermaid. Sometimes all of the above. Regardless of occupation. Even widows on fixed incomes. It must have been nice. Mr Shaitana is a collector a I enjoy reading Agatha Christie novels on occasion. Mr Shaitana is a collector and apparently his collection includes murderers. He invites Poirot to dinner. The guests at the dinner include four detectives After dinner the guests break into two groups for games of bridge.
The detectives play together in one room. The other four are playing in a different room. Mr Shaitana settles into an armchair in front of a fireplace in the same room as Roberts, Despard, Lorrimer, and Meredith. No one has entered or left the room except the butler to bring drinks. Obviously the murderer must be either Roberts, Despard, Lorrimer, or Meredith. But who? I don't think this is a spoiler if I say here that in this case the butler didn't do it. During dinner Shaitana had made a veiled statement of accusation but it is not clear who the accusation was directed at.
Poirot, Superintendent Battle, Colonel Race, and Ariadne Oliver begin looking into the background of the four suspects. It appears that all four have skeletons in the closet. The reader is left guessing who the murderer is until the very end. I had actually guessed correctly while reading but was often left second guessing as Christie seems to lead the reader into believing any one of the four suspects was the guilty person. This wasn't one of my favorite Christie novels but it was still an enjoyable read and in typical Christie style the reader is left guessing until the very end when Poirot gathers everyone together to reveal the identity of the murder.
If possible I would have given this 3. In Cards on the Table there are some references to other Christie novels. Incidentally, in The A. Murders Poirot told Hastings his vision of an ideal murder case which is the basis for Cards on the Table. Later in the book Poirot is showing another character a knife and mentions his work in Murder on the Orient Express Feb 16, Bruce Beckham rated it really liked it.
The reader is charged to deduce which of four guests at a bridge party murders their host - in plain sight of the other three. There are also some similarities between Lombard and Major Despard, as they are both explorers who love living dangerously. They are also both involved in romance subplots, though this ends fatally for Lombard.
He deliberately attempted a Mephistophelian effect. He is a collector of people in this case, people who have committed murder and have gone undetected…. During my re-reading of this book it came more and more apparent to me that Mr Shaitana and Hercule Poirot can be read as doubles in Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of way maybe?
Hercule Poirot. And this is perhaps where the two character begin to diverge, as tortuous can refer to complexity, but also to deviousness. Both characters employ similar skills yet for different ends. Mr Shaitana is said to be:. It amuses him to experiment — to probe gently in the course of apparently aimless conversation — he is alert to notice a wince, a reservation, a desire to turn the conversation. A topic which often comes up when this book is discussed is whether Mr Shaitana is portrayed in a racist manner. With comments such as these it does make you wonder:. There is more going on with Mr Shaitana than is first seen.
In some ways Mr Shaitana brings out the worst in people. And it is in such a scenario that Christie can of course play with our assumptions and ideas and turn them upside down, such as our attitudes towards young female characters. Finally, looking back at Mr Shaitana, is he really as awful as some of the characters make out? It might — it might be something cruel… something oriental!
But he was not the devil. An aspect of this story which I loved was the inclusion of Mrs Oliver and Superintendent Battle, Colonel Race has never been a character who has stuck in my mind much , as I enjoyed seeing the different ways the sleuths worked. Mrs Oliver has always entertained me and in this book is not to be taken too seriously, though Christie being Christie does allow Mrs Oliver to get the last laugh. Her more intuitive and flamboyant approach to detecting is a delight to read as she hops from idea to idea, never resting on one suspect for long:.
My instincts never lie. I also liked how she interjects a game-like element into their work, which I think the reader catches as they do try to decide which out of the four did the murder. This is also a story where Christie humorously vents some of frustration of writing a detective series, through the character of Mrs Oliver.
Interesting, to me at any rate, is that in this story Mrs Oliver is said to have written a detective novel named The Body in the Library and 6 years later Christie goes on to do likewise, with her second Miss Marple novel. And Then There Were None is a brilliant book for relaying the claustrophobic tension the characters feel as they get killed one by one and I think it would be hard to say Cards on the Table managed something similar.
Yet in this latter novel I still think Christie creates tension and suspense, which is heightened by the enclosed domestic space within which the murder occurs. Due to their only being four suspects, tension is generated by these characters as they begin to ponder which of them did it and to a degree they do turn on each other. The last 20 or so pages are also superb at conveying tension and suspense as the twists are piled on one of which I forgot about during my re-read and there is definitely a race against time feel.
I think an uncontrollable human element, which creeps in with the character of Mrs Lorrimer, adds to this atmosphere as you wonder whether Poirot and legal justice will be thwarted. I love the idea of Poirot and Shaitana as doubles, brilliant. Like Liked by 1 person. Thankfully no understanding of bridge is required to enjoy this book, as I literally know nothing about bridge whatsoever, but it is clever what Poirot deduces from it.
Like Like. Also, to end this increasingly-lengthening comment, interesting to note that she mentions The Body in the Library here and then in The Body in the Library makes mention of…Agatha Christie. Like Liked by 2 people. Yes your beautiful paraphrase of the ending is true in terms of getting the killer to confess guilt, though Poirot has already used psychological deductions earlier on to deduce that guilt in the first place, which is explained afterwards.
I liked the ending but I can see how it might annoy some readers. I can see some areas of Cards on the Table which could have done with some expanding as the last 2o or so pages has brilliant twists but they come at quite a pace. Your promise of brilliant twists has me slightly more interested in rereading, though.
In addition, there is no detective per se in ATTWN, except that the survivors act as detectives throughout. It shows how brilliantly Christie could throw the same pieces in the air, mix them around, and come up with something completely different. He senses a similarity between them just as Holmes respects Moriarty as an intellectual equal.
Both are foreign and therefore despised, and both know how to manipulate people to discover the truth. He must have cultivated each one and played them brilliantly in order to unearth their stories. Poirot does the exact same thing. He reads people well initially but excels at unmasking them through conversation. Thus, he can read Rhoda quickly as someone who would love to hear about his cases AND as a potential mate for Despard. He can see what a woman like Mrs. Lorrimer would do for a girl like Meredith. His trick with the stockings is brilliantly conceived and tells him much of what he needs to know about Meredith, too.