Book Review: Cards on The Table by Agatha Christie

Author: 
Aadya Kaushik

Aadya Kaushik, age 13, is a student of class VIII at National Public School, Bengaluru.

She has written two short stories and she loves reading books. She loves books by mystery author Agatha Christie, especially those featuring the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.

About the book

Cards on The Table by Agatha Christie

Title: Cards on The Table
Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication: 2003 (First edition published 1936)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0008164898
Pages: 272 (Paperback)
Price: Rs. 215

Description
One of Agatha Christie’s most enticing Hercule Poirot books. ‘Cards on The Table’ keeps the reader on the edge of one’s chair till the end.

The book starts with the mysterious but famous flamboyant party host – Mr. Shaitana inviting Mr. Poirot to view Mr. Shaitana’s private collection of people who have gotten away with murder. Poirot’s bourgeois attitude to murder led him to accept the invite for dinner and a game of bridge.

 

Author

Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English writer known for her mystery books including her sixty-six detective novels and fourteen short stories. Her most famous characters are the detectives – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She also wrote the world’s longest running play ‘The Mousetrap’.

 

Book Review

What begins as an absorbing game of bridge turns into a dangerous game altogether with the death of the host of the party, Mr. Shaitana. Among the eight guests, four play the detectives – Hercule Poirot, secret agent Colonel Race, mystery writer Ariadne Oliver, and Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard – as they were in another room at the time of death. The other four guests are suspects as they were present in the room at the time of murder, although none of them heard anything.

 
Cards on The Table (2005 movie)

A picture of all the characters from the 2005 movie based on the book.

 

What is even more suspicious is that all four are connected to murders in the past – the cheerful, confident yet slightly twisted Dr. Roberts connected to the death of his patient Mrs. Craddock who died due to a blood infection when abroad; the tall, lean, young, handsome Major Despard who was guiding a botanist, named Luxmore, through the amazon when he suddenly died from a fever; the well dressed, assertive, impractical Mrs. Lorrimer whose husband was poisoned; and the shy, pretty, young Mrs. Meredith whose elderly employer died of accidental poisoning while she was working there.

The psychology suggests that the killer could be Dr. Roberts or Mrs. Lorrimer due to their tactical skills but as the plot develops further, we find out some dark secrets which makes Mrs. Meredith and Major Despard viable suspects too.This leads to many more twists and turns in the plot and a few more deaths which may or may not have been committed by the same person.

During the investigation, we notice that Poirot seems to be particularly interested in the game of bridge which happened prior to the murder.

This is a book that keeps you on your toes till the very end with major plot twists and exceptional details.

Overall, this book is a must read for all mystery lovers!

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