Book Review: Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie

Wealthy, beautiful, and much envied Linnet Doyle travels to Egypt with her husband Simon for their honeymoon. They are mercilessly stalked by the woman Simon jilted to be with Linnet, Jacqueline De Bellefort, who was also Linnet’s dear friend. Jacqueline’s seething anger towards Linnet and her persistent adoration of Simon quickly set the stage for potential violence. But as one might expect, Christie has peopled the ship they are sailing down the Nile on with many other colorful – and suspicious – characters. Including the famed detective Hercule Poirot.

 

My introduction to mysteries long ago came with Arthur Conan Doyle and the tales of Sherlock Holmes, a character who evolved into such a hero of mine that I deliberately avoided the works of other writers of detective fiction and mysteries, including Agatha Christie. In my mid-40s, and I have finally read a Poirot mystery. Regrettable that I waited so long. Not just so because of the pleasure I could have had reading Christie’s works years ago, but because at this point in my life, having read and seen so many mysteries inspired by Dame Agatha, I can’t help but feel that Death on the Nile was very formulaic. I would likely have enjoyed it much more some 20 years ago, before this approach to mysteries became so overdone and trite. Yet on that account – seeing this as an innovative and even ingenious work for its time – I highly recommend it.

 

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