Short summary - Sparkling Cyanide - Agatha Christie

British literature summaries - 2020

Short summary - Sparkling Cyanide
Agatha Christie

Book one. Rosemary

Seventeen-year-old Iris recalls the tragic events that occurred a year ago. She and her older sister Rosemary lost their parents early. A former mother fan left them a large inheritance, in which most belonged to Rosemary. The beautiful Rosemary, leading a secular lifestyle and constantly surrounded by men, married George, who was fifteen years older than her. Iris once found her sister, who had just suffered a serious illness, in tears. Rosemary wrote a will in which she left all her fortune to her sister. Rosemary soon died. Iris will be able to take advantage of her sister’s inheritance when she turns twenty-one. It is believed that Rosemary committed suicide, as a package of cyanide was found in her purse.

Her father’s sister, Lucilla Drake, who was ruined by her son Victor, came to patronize the girl and stayed in George’s house.

Six months after the death of Rosemary, Iris finds a letter from her sister, in which she confesses her love to a certain man. Rosemary was ready to leave her husband, but her lover broke up with her. Girl ponders who it might be. She suggests that this is either the deputy minister, the cold and arrogant Stefan Farradei, or the acquaintance of Rosemary, Anthony Brown.

Lucilla Drake takes Iris to the community, where she meets Anthony Brown. Young people start dating. Upon learning of this, George becomes indignant. He does not know anything about this man, and Iris is now rich.

Victor demands money from his mother. George helps the woman, because the relatives of his wife - and his relatives.

George admits Iris: it seemed to him that Rosemary was afraid of something. He is also interested in the relationship of his deceased wife with the Farradei family. Suddenly, he shows Iris an anonymous letter stating that Rosemary was killed. He asks Iris to remember everything that happened then.

That evening, George instructed his secretary, Ruth, who worked for many years, to transfer money to Victor Drake so that he would leave England and not ask Rosemary for help. Glancing at Ruth, Victor immediately realized that she was in love with George. It does not matter that he loves his wife, an intoxicating beauty with the brains of a rabbit. Rosemary does not deter a man. If something happens to her, George will immediately marry Ruth and never fall out of love with her.

Anthony Brown courted Rosemary. Once she said that she knew his secret: his real name is Tony Morelli. This was told to her by cousin Victor, who was in prison with Anthony. Since Victor is far away, Rosemary is the only person who knows his name. Anthony warned Rosemary to be silent.

Stefan Farradey, who grew up in a simple family, achieved everything in life himself. He married by calculation to the ugly shy daughter of the minister-coordinator and was quite pleased with his marriage until he met Rosemary. Between them began a stormy romance. When Rosemary insisted that he break up with his wife, Stefan decided to break up with her. If he loses his wife, faithful and devoted friend, his career will fail. Stefan decided to speak with Rosemary, but she unexpectedly died.

Alexandra Farradei knew that her husband did not have the same passion for her as she had for him. She knew about his affair with Rosemary and involuntarily wished her death.

George was in love with Rosemary. He knew that she did not love him, and guessed about her novels on the side. George decides to talk to Colonel Reis about everything.

The second book. All Saints' Day

Lucilla fears that the widowed George will marry Ruth, and her help in housekeeping will no longer be needed.

On All Saints Day, George invites guests to the restaurant to celebrate Iris's birthday. A year ago, guests gathered in the same restaurant and Rosemary died.

Iris meets Anthony, and they declare to each other in love. Iris invites Anthony to the restaurant for his birthday. George explains the situation to Colonel Reis. Dr. Rosemary believes that after such a serious illness, a woman could very well be depressed and commit suicide. She could get the cyanide when she was outside the city where the wasp nests were poisoned.

The flight studies the situation. The restaurant had spouses Farradei, Ruth, Anthony Brown, Iris and George with Rosemary. Rosemary drank champagne and fell dead. It is unlikely that a waiter working in a restaurant for many years could poison her. George decides to set up a trap for the killer. In the same restaurant, he will celebrate Iris's birthday. What will happen there, he does not yet tell.

A telegram comes from Victor, in which he reports that he is returning. Ruth finds out that he is accused of a scam. George would love to put him in jail, but for the sake of his mother he settles the problem, and Victor leaves.

In the restaurant, George seats guests. Colonel Reis is late, and the evening begins without him. They put out the lights, the guests dance, then return to the table. George raises his glass in memory of Rosemary, drinks and falls dead.

The third book. Iris

Colonel Reis tells the police inspector everything he knows. It is established that George also died from cyanide poisoning. The colonel came to the restaurant and sat at a distance to watch what was happening. Apart from the waiters and guests, no one came to the table. The inspector makes a list of all who could be involved in the crime.

The waiter reports that the best dishes and wines were ordered. As far as he knows, the empty space was intended for one young lady, who was supposed to come later. The waiter is sure that during the dance, none of the outsiders came to the table.

At the next table sat a traveling salesman from Mexico Pedro Morales. He liked Ruth; he looked at her all evening and saw nothing more.

The colonel goes to a visitor to the restaurant, sitting at a nearby table. The girl reports that a young waiter was running past the table. He picked up the bag that Iris dropped and laid it on the table.

Spouses Farradei and the Minister-Coordinator are interested in an early investigation, they do not want noise around their name. Colonel Reis reports that, according to George, Rosemary was killed and he made Iris a birthday to find out who the killer is. Spouses say that Rosemary and George were an exemplary couple, they can’t tell anything else.

Ruth tells Colonel Reis that George was worried about Victor. She says that going to a party a year ago, Rosemary forgot the pills, and Lady Farradei gave her hers.

Iris tells Lucilla that she is getting married to Anthony. Lucilla tries to protest, but Iris does not listen to her. She tells Colonel Reis that George wanted to evoke the spirit of Rosemary and therefore left an empty space for him. Iris believes that Rosemary committed suicide because of her love for Stephen Farrade. She shows the colonel a letter.

From a former maid of Rosemary, Colonel Reis learns that Anthony has threatened Rosemary.

Inspector finds a young woman Chloe West. She is the actress that George hired. Chloe was supposed to play the role of his deceased wife, but suddenly they called her and in a hoarse, non-masculine voice told her not to come.

Exhausted by interrogations, the spouses Farradei confess to each other in love and take an oath of allegiance.

Colonel Reis tells Anthony that he knows his real name. Having learned about George’s venture, Anthony laughs: the killer is not a hysterical young lady who will see Rosemary and confess. He advises the colonel to find out who wrote the anonymous letters. This unknown person knew that Rosemary was killed, and he will be the next victim.

Iris is dating Anthony. The girl is worried: a car almost ran over her, and under the table in the restaurant they found a package of cyanide. Remembering the events of the evening when Rosemary died, Iris opened her purse to take a handkerchief, and found there a package of cyanide. Frightened, the girl threw her under the table.

Anthony advises Iris to immediately tell everything to the police. They're about to leave, but Ruth comes in to get directions for the funeral. Anthony notices that Ruth behaves strangely.

Having told everything to the inspector, Iris returns home, and Anthony, Colonel Reis and the inspector consult. Colonel Reis believes that the killer is Iris, but Anthony suddenly realizes what the matter is. All three go home to Iris.

Iris is found in his room. The girl lies near a gas burner - a stream of gas hits her nose.

Anthony explains the course of his reasoning. Rosemary's death was not suicide. George, determined to get to the bottom of the truth, was also killed. Anthony suggests that in the glass of George, which was no different from other glasses, the poison was poured by mistake. A passing waiter put the fallen Iris handbag near another plate, and the guests switched places. The poison was for Iris.

After the death of Iris, her condition would be inherited by Lucilla, and therefore, Victor. No one except Anthony had ever seen Victor sitting at a nearby table under the name Pedro Morales. Who knows Victor has left? This was claimed only by Ruth, who was in love with him, and everyone believed her. Victor went out for a while, changed into a waiter, poured poison into a glass, and Ruth put a pack of cyanide in her purse, which threw Rosemary's poison in the same way. It was Ruth who sent anonymous letters to George. She was going to convince him that Iris killed her sister, and then committed suicide due to remorse. It was Ruth who tried to bring down Iris with a machine, and then poisoned with gas.

Victor is arrested, and Iris and Anthony make plans for their family life.