Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee is frothy, mildly offensive (much like hyoscine), and formulaic. The miserly, inventive patriarch of the Amory family has called in Detective Poirot because he suspects someone in his family is attempting to steal a formula that is incredibly important. Poirot shows up, but not before the thief murders Sir Amory as well. There are xenophobic undertones, spy hijinks, bemused spinster aunts, and absolutely nothing of any note. Put together, the book’s parts are entirely underwhelming.
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