Black Coffee was Agatha Christie's first ever stage play written in 1930's. The play was recently adopted as a novel by Charles Osborne (author of 'Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie'). Though the novel is not actually penned by Christie, it comes as close to being one. After decades, Christie fans are presented with a Hercule Poirot novel that truly reads like authentic, vintage Christie.
Poirot is urgently summoned by scientist Sir Claud Amory to help him preserve and ship out his newly discovered formula (critical for British defense during the war). But before Poirot reaches Sir Amory's country estate, the scientist is mysteriously dead and his formula stolen. With Captain Hastings by his side, Poirot sets out solve the crime and save the more amiable members of the household from embarassment.
The description style clearly indicates that the story has been taken right out of a stage play. The plot is neither too complex nor is it too difficult to spot the villain. But still, it can definitely be reckoned as another one of Christie's classic mysteries.
This report prepared by Sriram Gopalan