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Death in the Clouds Hardcover – January 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam (1997)
  • ASIN: B003UWMEFY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 75 customer reviews
Agatha Christie knows how to write a great book, and this is one of her best.
Whirley's Literature
Even though I did guess the murderer close to the end, I was hanging onto the very last sentence to see how it all intertwined together.
Cozy Reader
He loves Agatha Christie, and he can't get enough of the Hercule Poirot stories.
Lynette M. Magallanes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Austin VINE VOICE on October 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The mid 1930s were some of the best years of the so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" in Britain. Most practitioners belonged to the Detection Club, they reviewed and promoted one another's books publically and privately they shared and re-worked one another's ideas. An example of this literary cross-fertilization may be seen when Freeman Wills Crofts' "The 12.30 From Croydon", 1934, and "Agatha Christie's "Death In the Clouds", 1935, are compared. Both books begin with a passenger plane flight across the English Channel. In the former novel, a passenger is found to be dead at the end of Chapter One when the plane touches down in Paris. In the latter, a passenger is found to be dead at the end of Chapter One when a plane touches down in London. Thereafter, and indeed in the titling of the two books, each writer develops the idea differently.
Agatha Christie devises a whodunit puzzle. Characters are displayed in terms of how they appear physically, in their dialogue, by reputation or hearsay. Clues and significant red herrings are tossed about so that the murderer might mislead everybody else, and the writer might mislead the reader. Just how misleading appearances might be, is cleverly contrived at one point in this book when a jury at an inquest into the passenger's death return a unanimous verdict of murder at the hands of another passenger, namely Hercule Poirot.
Agatha Christie, who lived to become the world's best-selling author, presents her puzzle in immensely readable but unsophisticated prose. The two dimensional characters are somehow easy to keep in mind as you strive to guess the murderer's identity and, of course, there is Hercule Poirot to unerringly point the finger.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A murder on an aircraft? Right, and within just a few feet of detective Hercule Poirot! I haven't read many books by Christie, but I knew this was going to be a good one...
And it was. It goes through a female passenger being murdered on a aircraft from Le Pinet, under everyone's noses unnoticed. Poirot is air-sick on the plane and is called upon the investigation. The mystery unfolds page by page, introducing new characters--suspects-- chapter by chapter. There were many varius suspects, and they never narrow down. There was a bit of a twist in the last few chapters of the story, well, for Poirot and another in the last chapter for the readers, yet it makes sense and draws in a nice ending. This is a definite page turner and a great read when you think you're bored, because with Christie's mysteries, you never know what's going to happen.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on September 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book (also published as "Death in the Air") is vintage Christie because of the way she has a murder committed in a roomful (in this case planeful) of people and yet no one can see this audacious murder being committed. Unfortunately for our killer, Hercule Poirot happens to be on board this flight from Paris to London!
The murder takes place during the serving of lunch and the victim is discovered to be a notorious blackmailer travelling under an assumed name. There is a melodramatic discovering of a poisoned dart containing a deadly South African snake venom nearby as well as a blow-pipe like the ones used by South American Indian tribes. But the astute Poirot utilizes his innate sense of order and method to wade through the many red herrings and unmasks the murderer through the evidence provided by luggage and pocket contents.
This mystery is notable for its well-defined characters. We become privvy to the lives of many of the passengers and learn to what extent they have been touched by the victim. A simple case of many with motive and opportunity, but only one will be unveiled by the master detective Poirot.
This is a light and fun read which enables you to match wits with Poirot and try to discover "whodunit" before he does.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my very first Agatha Christie book, so naturally, I was interested to know how she writes. It had a slow start, but once a women was found dead the story begins to unfold. It's interesting to read about the curious detective, Hercule Poirot, and his views on the case, which are extremly different from those of the police. His method of finding the killer is exactly opposite of what Inspecter Japp thinks: All people on the plane are guilty until proven inocent. Aided by his friends Jane Grey, the hairdresser, and Norman Gale, the dentist, and a colorful cast of characters, this book is definitly a must for mystery lovers!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on February 17, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Death in the Clouds" may be unique among Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot mysteries in that the famous Belgian sleuth finds himself a suspect in a murder. It is vexing to be a suspect but also to have had a murder happen within feet of you and remain oblivious to it. Such is the case with this fast-paced Christie thriller, a classic closed-room mystery, since someone onboard the "Prometheus" must be the killer.

On the afternoon flight from Paris to Croydon, Madame Giselle, a moneylender, is discovered dead. The cause of death almost too farfetched to believe - a poisoned dart shot from a blowpipe. Yet no passenger or steward saw anything unusual, Poirot among them. So when he finds himself the suspect, Poirot examines every possible offshot. Could such a farfetched crime actually happen or is the blowpipe, discovered in Poirot's seat, a blind? Who stands to profit from Madame Giselle's death? (As it turns out, quite a number of the plane's passengers.) Poirot enlists the help of two fellow passengers, Jane Grey and Norman Gale, to unravel the lies and mysteries shrouding this murder. With four possible suspects but no real evidence, Poirot must order his grey cells more than ever to solve the twist of this case.

As with any good Christie mystery, there is a unique twist at the end. Yet those who are familiar with other Christie novels may suspect or figure out what the twist is here. At times the novel is a little predictable, but the queen of mystery always manages to throw readers off track, if only through holding back things Poirot discovers that readers may have missed. "Death in the Clouds" is an enjoyable mystery featuring a large cast of likable characters with conflicting stories that are a pleasure to unravel.
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