Monday, October 31, 2011

The Poisoned Chocolate Case by Anthony Berkeley

Sir Eustace is a playboy who changes mistresses like ordinary people change clothes. He is not reticent about his lifestyle and over a course of time has made more enemies then Saddam Hussein. Somebody sends him a box of liquor chocolates which he passes to someone else and who in turn passes them unto his wife. The wife is found dead after consuming the chocolates; it is discovered that the chocolates had each contained a lethal poison.
The Crime remains unsolved. Who sent the poisoned chocolates? Becomes an obscure question for the Scotland Yard. Enter the Crime Club, A club of 6 criminologists; each member is an expert and well-known name in their fields. The Crime Club takes this puzzle as a challenge and all the six members start there independent investigations into the case and then each one provides a solution to the murder mystery. The club meets every evening for six consecutive days so that each member may provide their solution to this intriguing case.
Mr. Berkeley debuts on my humble little blog and boy what a debut! This is one of the best books and not just a mystery book that I have read for a long time. The Language in the book is very clean, there is no racism or digs at any community. Also the language it is so very pure, I got to learn a new word on almost every third page. My vocabulary is not bad but after reading this one I feel like I must have learnt 40 new words. The book is full of humor, I had many laugh out loud moments in the book which frankly speaking you are not expecting out of a murder mystery. The writer I felt was totally in command everything worked for him from the humor to the mystery and the depth of the characters.
About the characters: they are so well written and so life like (I know it’s a clique but so true in this case) that I feel like I know them in real life. The six members or other characters in the book are so vividly described that you connect with them instantly.
The mystery in itself is simple its murder by poisoning, it is not an Impossible crime. But the identity of the murderer is not simple and as each member of the club comes up with their solution of the crime and the identity of the murderer the case becomes more and more mysterious and funny. Each member when concludes their dictum you feel that this one is correct and the mystery is solved but it obviously isn’t. Till the time the last speaker concludes we get probably one of the most shocking twists in the history of detective fiction. This is six mysteries packed in one, buy your copy today.

Where can you buy this? It is in print and available at all book stores like FlipKart, Infibeam, Landmark and Om Book Shop for less than Rs 500.


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