Sparkling Cyanide

Agatha Christie

Illustrated by Michael Philip Dunbabin

A delectable collector’s edition of Agatha Christie’s Sparkling Cyanide joins the Folio Society crime library. With exquisite illustrations by Michael Philip Dunbabin.

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Sparkling Cyanide is the one ... which I should take with me to a desert island; for I find in it a seriousness and a psychological insight unparalleled in the author’s other works.’
  1. Times Literary Supplement

Murder is the unwanted dinner guest in the Agatha Christie classic, Sparkling Cyanide. Widely regarded as the queen of Golden Age crime, Christie brings all of her considerable skills to bear on this dark and passionate story of love, greed and obsession. With a cast of satisfyingly dubious suspects and a particularly spectacular death at its heart, Sparkling Cyanide’s meticulously plotted surprises will have readers racing to the end to discover the truth. The first-ever illustrated edition, this new title in the Folio Agatha Christie collection features seven full-colour images by artist Michael Philip Dunbabin and a splendidly illustrated binding. Val McDermid described Christie’s books as ‘the gateway drug to crime fiction’, and whether you are connoisseur of Golden Age mysteries or a new fan looking to build their library, Sparkling Cyanide is sure to prove irresistible.

Winner in A141 American Illustration, at the American Illustration and American Photography (AI-AP).

Three-quarter bound in blocked cloth, with a printed and blocked textured paper front board 

Set in Bell with Kabel as display 

248 pages 

Frontispiece plus 6 full-page colour illustrations 

Plain slipcase 

9˝ x 5¾˝

‘Christie is the gateway drug to crime fiction both for readers and for writers … Just one book is never enough.’
  1. Val McDermid

Beautiful and rich, with admirers at her beck and call, Rosemary Barton appeared to have it all. Yet a year ago, during her own birthday party at the exclusive Luxembourg restaurant, she drank a glass full of deadly poison, leaving friends, family and a string of illicit lovers reeling with shock. Did Rosemary truly decide to take her own life, or did one of the dinner guests want the glamorous socialite dead? To uncover the truth, Colonel Race must unpick a tangled web woven by a woman whose life was built on secrets and lies, and he must do it quickly, because as the anniversary of Rosemary’s tragic end draws near, the spectre of death is looming once more for her beloved younger sister.

With a colour palette that summons both the autumnal feel of the book and an eerie sense of unease, Michael Philip Dunbabin’s illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to such a lush and involving mystery. Particular care has been taken with the period fashions and the exquisitely designed fabrics depicted in his images; from the tiny blue flowers on Iris’s dress to the dark line of her nylons, the mid-forties period is almost a character in itself. Wallpaper, rugs, carpets, suits, upholstery and even marble tabletops are all given intent attention to detail, and just like Christie’s entrancing stories, a keen eye is often rewarded. A smart binding with the author’s name picked out in a stylish and eye-catching font completes this first illustrated edition.

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and is the author of over 80 works, including detective novels and short stories, 19 plays, and six novels published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in 1920 and introduced the world to Hercule Poirot, who would become one of the most popular fictional detectives since Sherlock Holmes (as would another of Christie’s sleuths, the amateur detective Miss Marple). In 1952 her play The Mousetrap premiered in London’s West End and has run continuously ever since. Christie’s books have sold more than two billion copies in over 100 languages (said to be outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare), and have been adapted many times for film and television. She was made a dame in 1971 and died in Oxfordshire in 1976. In 2013, she was voted the greatest crime writer of all time by the Crime Writers’ Association.

Michael Philip Dunbabin is an artist from the northwest of England. He grew up immersed in pop culture, with a special fondness for cinema, literature and music. Having initially studied fine art painting at Manchester Metropolitan University, he slowly started to move towards the world of digital illustration, bringing with him some of the techniques and textures from his painting background. His style is influenced by everything from comic books to Hugues Merle.


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