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Monday, May 12, 2008

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized1 Comment

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Year: 1937 (Original); 2004 (my copy)
ISBN: 0425200469
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

It has been years since I’ve read an Agatha Christie novel but I’ve always remembered her books with fondness. Christie has such an amazing gift of words and the turning of mystery that makes it hard to figure things out. So many modern mysteries tend to forget the subtle twists and turns and instead hope to distract the reader with gruesome scenes of violence. Christie on the other hand is what I call a ‘cozy mystery.’ Yes, there is usually a death or two but they scenes are more subtly set and the idea is try to solve the mystery with the clues that are presented.

And in every death scene that she writes and in the events leading up to the death the clues are there. Subtlety woven into the text that you barely notice most of them until the lead detective, in this case Hercule Poirot, point them out to you. Unlike most of her books Death on the Nile is pretty long and so the lead up time to the actual death is pretty long. Christie really builds on each of the characters bringing them all to life in such amazing detail. The sort of detail that makes you think that you really know a character and could point them out if you run into him/her on the street.

Several times through the course of this read I could have sworn that I knew who did it. I was firm in my beliefs often for chapters at a time. When something would happen or a detail revealed and I would change my mind….moving on to the next suspect. Christie has a knack for keeping the reader guessing all the way up until the end. This is part of what I love and also hate about her. I love it when I am able to figure out a mystery and with the more modern forensic type ones I usually can…..and pretty early on too. But its always been more difficult with Christie. She is the queen of subtleties. In the end though, I think that is why I’ve always been drawn to her books. She is defiantly and author that I think any lover of mystery should read. Only then can a reader truly appreciate the skill of her work and the gloss that seems to dominate modern tales of mystery.

One Response to “Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie”

  1. Cindy B

    I love this one. Some really juicy characters in it. And a great beach read, as well. (*mumbles* not that I’d know!)