Death On The Nile
By: Agatha Christie
Opening Line: “”Linnet Ridgeway! That’s her!”, said Mr. Burnaby, the landlord of The Three Crowns.“
Overall: Linnet Ridgeway was a ridiculously wealthy, charming, intelligent woman with great elegance and beauty. In other words, she had it all. Except a husband. Not that she was looking for one. Except that one of her best friends had a handsome boyfriend named Simon, and Linnet decided to steal him away from her. Her poor friend Jacqueline just could not compete with all that Linnet had to offer. So, Linnet and Simon Doyle were married quickly thereafter. Then they set out on their Honeymoon to Egypt. Interestingly, a few people seem to , “very coincidentally” have also happened to show-up for this honeymoon in Egypt. The first of which is Simon’s jilted ex-girlfriend, Jacqueline, who has decided to show-up everywhere the couple goes, just to make them feel guilty and miserable for what they did to her. Then there is Linnet’s American lawyer, who just happens to be on the same vacation as the honeymooners. Last, but certainly not least, Hercule Poirot, the world’s most famous detective, is also there on a vacation. Much to the dismay of several people with less than honorable intentions who are very unhappy to find him here amongst them. All those people and many others set sail along the Nile River as they sight-see through Egypt. I obviously can’t give too much away, but during the interesting and complex plot, an expensive object is stolen, someone is blackmailed, there are two attempted murders, and several people are actually murdered. There is a lot going on all at once! There are numerous suspects who all have various motives for committing these crimes. Luckily, Hercule Poirot is also on this trip and uses his “little grey cells” to deduce by logic and clues exactly what happened and why. He knows that everything has to make perfect sense for the crime to be solved. If everything he knows does not fit exactly into his solution, he starts over and thinks about everything a different way, until eventually they all do, and he solves the crimes.
Ovations: I like that in this Agatha Christie book, we get to know some of the characters first, before any crimes start happening. We learn a bit about their backstory first, instead of being introduced to them as suspects after a crime is already committed. The setting of this book is lovely too. People vacationing in Egypt, seeing the sights before this interesting variation of a “locked room mystery” begins. The variation being that they are all trapped together on this boat cruise together along the Nile River when the crimes start being discovered. So, all these crimes start happening and the group of suspects are all forced to stay on the boat together until Hercule Poirot can figure out who all the guilty people are and why they committed the crimes. I also like how the plot is so complex, yet never confusing. There are so many intertwining crimes happening amongst the passengers. There is not just one murder to solve here. Several crimes have been committed. It is also interesting that many of the passengers know eachother and have things to hide. There are so many entertaining things happening and so many clues and suspects, you really stay interested in the book and it keeps you wanting to read-on to find out what happens next.
Oh Well: There really are no negatives to this book, but just some things to know. Agatha Christie books are often slow-burn books that have an intricate plot with lots of characters and motives and crimes. They are not fast paced or super suspenseful. I would say they are much more mental than emotional. Another thing to know about Christie novels is that there are usually a lot of characters in her books. She likes to have lots of choices in her suspect pools to keep the reader guessing. Also, remember that her books were written a long time ago, and may sometimes use words that we do not use anymore.
Opinion: I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea how it would end. I had no idea who committed any of the crimes or why. I love how the reveals in Agatha Christie’s books are always logical, but you can rarely figure them out ahead of time. The solutions are never the obvious ones, the answers are always more complex than that. They are not so simple that you have the killer figured out half-way through the book. But, they are also not outrageous where the answer is so convoluted that it is not even reasonable. I love how Poirot always explains the whole thing at the end so we all can understand what happened and piece things together to tie-up all the loose ends and questions we have in our minds as we read the book. I have read this book before, but re-read it again because the movie they made of this book is out now and I wanted to read the book again before I watched the new film. I hope the movie is as good as the book, but my hopes are not high, because movies are rarely as good as the books are. Rating for this book is 9 out of 10.