Sparkling Cyanide Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sparkling Cyanide

    Not to long ago, George Barton's wife Rosemary Barton had a birthday party where she committed suicide by drinking cyanide in front of some of her closest friends. The party included her husband George, her sister Iris, George's secretary; Ruth Lessing, Lady Alexandra Faraday, Stephen Faraday, and Anthony Browne. The clues all pointed to suicide; from the cyanide in her purse to depression after the flu, no one even considered anything but suicide. However that all changed when 6 months after her death George Barton began to receive anonymous letters saying that his wife had in fact been murdered and had not committed suicide. This sent George on a hunt for her killer.
Click here to see the rest of this review

   Becoming very suspicious now of everyone, George began to become very close with the members that were at the not so happy party. For George knew that whoever might have killed his wife had to have been one of the members at the table. Mr. Barton confided in Iris with his new theory of murder which frightened her and made her become very sickly. It worried her that George was taking the whole thing to far. He had bought a house near to the Faraday's and was always questioning Iris about Anthony Browne.
   Everyone at the table had a motive to kill Rosemary Barton. Stephen Faraday might have killed her to silence her about their affair and Sandra Faraday could have done it for revenge. Iris may have wanted her large sum of money that with Rosemary's death would all be given to her. Ruth Lessing had reason to kill her because of her secret love for George Browne. Finally Anthony Browne may have killed her after she found out his real identity.
   It seemed that George was coming close to finding the truth behind all the lies. He arranged to have a replica of the exact party that had happened a year previous with all the same guests. Unsure of what his intention for this uncomfortable party invitation, the guests decidedly all came. However as soon as George raised a toast to Rosemary he too died of cyanide poisoning. Knowing that this also was not suicide Colonel Race and Inspector Kemp now had the difficulty of solving the mystery of the poisoned drink which no one had seemed to have been near.
   This suspenseful mystery was easy to follow as the investigators lead you through the step by step process of what had occurred. Just like the other characters the reader too tries to learn who the murderer could possibly be. It seems impossible that anyone could have poisoned the two people, after interviewing all the characters and seeing that it was unlikely that any of the members of the party could have put anything in the drinks without being seen.
The review of this Book prepared by Abbey Fouratt

Rosemary Barton died a year ago committing suicÓde by poisoning herself while she was celebrating her anniversary with five guests in a restaurant. A few months later, her husband George, receives an anonymous letter suggesting that Rosemary was in fact murdered. He then decides to invite the same persons at the same restaurant hoping to discover who murdered his wife. Unfortunately, George is also poisoned before the end of the evening.

Colonel Race and Inspector Kemp are convinced that the murderer is one of the five guests left:

- Iris, Rosemary's poor sister, who inherits Rosemary's fortune;
- Anthony Browne whose past as a crook was discovered by Rosemary a few days before her death;
- Stephen Farraday, Rosemary's lover and well-known politician fearing for his reputation;
- His wife, Sandra Farraday, who had just discovered Stephen's infidelity;
- Ruth Lessing, George Barton's secretary, deeply and secretly in love with George.

As everyone had a good reason to get rid of Rosemary, Colonel Race's inquiry is not so easy.

The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Staebler

Chapter Analysis of Sparkling Cyanide

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   relative Murder of certain profession?    -   "All in the family" murder Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, British Any non-mystery subplot?    -   inheritance struggle Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   spy Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Sparkling Cyanide

Agatha Christie Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian