BBC Radio Four: Sparkling Cyanide

Sparkling Cyanide is the tempting title for the most recent Agatha Christie novel that has been adapted for BBC Radio Four by Joy Wilkinson. The thriller is another top hit on the murder mystery radio scene.

Sparking Cyanide tells the tale of Rosemary, a rich-by-inheritance, young, attractive women (they always are) who is married but having romantic liaisons all over the shop. The drama is split into three half-hour parts. In the first one we get to know Rosemary, her lovers and haters and the events leading up to her death, as well as the death itself – from drinking poisoned champagne at her birthday meal. At first it is deemed a suicide and everyone kind of forgets what happened.

The second part follows Rosemary’s husband George, who receive notes telling him it was not suicide but, you guessed it, murder! He re-invites all of the people who were at the party – because if it was murder, it had to have been one of them – a year later for a birthday meal and, you will never believe it, when they all drink their champagne in remembrance of Rosemary (which to me seems a bit dark, seeing as it is how she died) George dies. Yes you guessed it, there was cyanide in his champagne glass.

Now not to spoil the end or the ‘who dunnit’ aspect, the third part covers Iris and her beau’s search for the truth. Inevitably they find it, but at what cost? You will need to listen in to find out.

Now I love murder mysteries, I practically breathe them in, and I love that these dramatisations are being done, or in this case being re-aired after they were first broadcast – this one is over 13 years old. I feel that actors in it are on point: they take you to the scene and make you believe you are there. Now they aren’t for ever’yone, and I get that, but for any murder mystery lovers, this free download is a must.

Image: Quinn Dombrowski

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