Classic Corner Review: The Poisoned Chocolates Case – Anthony Berkeley

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Felony & Mayhem (February 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934609447
ISBN-13: 978-1934609446
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Roger Sheringham – President of a Crimes Circle of Amateur Sleuths
Sir Charles Wildman – Lawyer
Mrs. Fielder-Flemming – Actress
Morton Harrogate Bradley – Author of Detective Novels
Alicia Dammers – Novelist
Ambrose Chitterwick – Amateur Detective

Sir Eustace Pennefather
Graham Bendix
Mrs. Bendix


The wife of Graham Bendix has been murdered. Mr. Bendix is accused of the crime. Chief Inspector Moseby of Scotland Yard approaches Roger Sheringham about the possibility of introducing the case to his amateur crime circle. How was Mrs. Bendix murdered? Who Murdered her? To find out, read The Poisoned Chocolates Case.


This was the most unusual mystery I’ve read. While I’m used to who done it’s, this didn’t fit that formula. In this story a group of 6 amateur sleuths are given the facts in the case. They must use their own skills to determine who the killer was and why. They are given a week, and then each night one of them presents their thoughts on the case.

I found this a unique way to unveil the details of the story. The Poisoned Chocolates Case is considered a classic in the mystery genre, and it’s understandable why that is. The plot is very well detailed. The characters each have their own distinct personalities, but seem a bit cookie cutter. However, I let that slide given that this is from the golden age of detective stories.

Overall I found it a very pleasant reading experience and for anyone who likes the classic mystery style I’d recommend it. Suitable for all ages, though it may be difficult for young readers to understand.

About the Author

Born in 1893, Anthony Berkeley (Anthony Berkeley Cox) was a British crime writer and a leading member of the genre’s Golden Age. Educated at Sherborne School and University College London, Berkeley served in the British army during WWI before becoming a journalist. His first novel, The Layton Court Murders, was published anonymously in 1925. It introduced Roger Sheringham, the amateur detective who features in many of the author’s novels including the classic Poisoned Chocolates Case.

In 1930, Berkeley founded the legendary Detection Club in London along with Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts and other established mystery writers. It was in 1938, under the pseudonym Francis Iles (which Berkeley also used for novels) that he took up work as a book reviewer for John O’London’s Weekly and The Daily Telegraph. He later wrote for The Sunday Times in the mid 1940s, and then for The Guardian from the mid 1950s until 1970. A key figure in the development of crime fiction, he died in 1971.

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