Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie
A woman is killed by a poisoned dart in the enclosed confines of a commercial passeneger plane…
From seat No.9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No.13, sat a Countess with a poorly-concealed cocaine habit; across the gangway in seat No.8, a detective writer was being troubled by an aggressive wasp.
What Poirot did not yet realize was that behind him, in seat No.2, sat the slumped, lifeless body of a woman.
On a plane returning from France to Croydon airport, Poirot gives up his seat in order that two women can sit together and settles down to try to sleep. However, before the plane lands a woman is discovered to be dead. At first it seems like it might have been an allergic reaction to a wasp sting, but Poirot knows differently when he discovers a dart. It soon turns out that there is a suspect, and it's Poirot himself! It seems that in the act of kindness in giving up his seat, he has put himself under suspicion. Luckily for Poirot, Inspector Japp has been assigned to the case, and he and Poirot, with some unlikely help in the shape of a crime writer who was also on the fated journey, investigate the murder – which can only have been carried out by one of those travelling on the plane…
As usual, there are plenty of twists and turns in the story, and the usual red herrings. We didn't solve this one before Poirot (that's only happened a couple of times!) and the reveal, when it came, was very clever. We're taking a break from listening to Poirot books – but I'm sure we'll find our way back to them before too long!
The paperback edition is 272 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. It was first published in 1935. The ISBN is 9780008129538.
4/5 (I enjoyed it)
(Finished 30 April 2017)