Plot summary[ edit ] One year earlier on 2 November, seven people sat down to dinner at the restaurant "Luxembourg". One, Rosemary Barton, never got up. The coroner ruled her death suicide due to post-flu depression. Six months later, her husband George receives anonymous letters saying that Rosemary was murdered. George investigates and decides to repeat the dinner at the same restaurant, with the same guests, plus an actress who looks like his late wife meant to arrive late and startle out a confession. The actress does not arrive and George dies at the table — poisoned, like his wife, by cyanide in his champagne.
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Edit One year ago on 2 November, six people sat down to dinner at the restaurant "Luxembourg". One of them, Rosemary Barton, never got up. She was thought to have committed suicide due to post-flu depression. Her husband, George Barton, received anonymous letters saying that Rosemary did not kill herself but was murdered.
George started to investigate and decided to reconstruct the dinner at the same restaurant, inviting the same people as well as an actress that looked like his late wife.
The actress did not arrive and that night George died at the table - poisoned, like his wife, by cyanide in his glass. His death would have been dismissed as suicide as well if not for the investigation of his friend Colonel Race. If Iris had died at the table as intended the money in turn would have passed to her aunt Mrs. Drake is very much at the mercy of her lazy son Victor, who often threatens to commit suicide when he needs money from his mother. The plan failed because when the group went to dance Iris dropped her bag and the waiter that retrieved it placed it a seat away from where she was before she went to dance.
When this failed, Ruth then attempted to run down Iris with a car. The anonymous letters to George were sent by Ruth in order to convince him to re-stage the dinner at Luxembourg so that Victor and Ruth could try to kill Iris. She was killed one year before this story. Colonel Race : Investigator and friend of George Barton. Iris: Sister of Rosemary, now wealthy, and the intended victim of a second poisoning attempt at the dinner.
Anthony Browne: Boyfriend of Iris, who works to solve the many attempts to kill her. Victor Drake: Son of Lucilla Drake, a man with desire to get money without work. Ruth Lessing: Secretary to George who falls for Victor, and schemes and murders to gain the inherited wealth by killing all those in the list before Victor.
Note that Christie used a pun for this ruthless female conspirator. Fans, I guarantee will be quite happy with Sparkling Cyanide, a high income group double murder, first of wayward smarty Rosemary, second of dull husband George at his lunatic reconstruction-of-the-crime party. It is too forced to rank with her best Number One form, but the suspect race is up to scratch and readability is high.
Making allowances for six years of spam and cataclysm, quite a credible performance. While this mystery lacks Hercule Poirot, it should nevertheless please all Agatha Christie fans, especially those who like the murders in the fast, sophisticated set.
Upper-class tart gets her come-uppance in smart London restaurant, and husband later suffers the same fate. But the solution takes more swallowing than cyanided champagne. This adaptation did not feature Colonel Race. Catherine Kendall. Publication history Dust-jacket illustration of the US true first edition. The novel was first serialised, heavily abridged, in the UK in the Daily Express starting on Monday, 9 July and running for eighteen instalments until Saturday, 28 July.
The first instalment carried an uncredited illustration.
Agatha Christie's 'Sparkling Cyanide'