Book Review: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Linnet Ridgeway has everything. Millions inherited from her late father. An enviable mansion. Respect. Beauty. Her choice of men. At least until she’s murdered.

It’s up to Hercule Poirot to determine who the murderer is, which is no easy game with this book’s bevy of questionable characters, all living in close quarters on the ship Karnac traveling down the Nile River.

Who ended young Linnet’s perfect life too soon? You’ll have to read the story to find out.

Agatha Christie’s called The Queen of Mystery, and it’s a well-deserved title. She knows how to keep you on your toes, reading into the wee hours of the morning.

Her writing is quick and clear and carried by dialogue and very unlike Hemingway, which makes me happy. If I had to choose one author to distract me from whatever stress I’m dealing with on a particular day, Ms. Christie stands a high chance of being chosen.

So how did I feel about Death on the Nile?

Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile

I hate Egypt.

Well, hate may be a strong word. Can you hate a place if you’ve never been? My idea of Egypt (and that whole area of western North Africa) is a harsh land filled with people who speak a harsher language.

The opinion’s entirely unwarranted, I’m sure, but when you don’t like the setting of a story, you can only like the rest of it so much.

But my wife feels the exact opposite. I love stories that feature a tightly knit town or a lush countryside. She loves stories that feature sand. Those like Hidalgo and The Mummy and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (which is admittedly great).

If you ask her to rate Death on the Nile, she’ll give it 5 stars. Me? I give it 3. I’m sure my dislike for the setting plays a role, but there are other reasons, too.

The story’s a bit slow – for her. Christie usually does a fantastic job of making your heart stop and causing you to audibly gasp in surprise within the first 50 pages. Death on the Nile took more than 100.

Granted: 100 Christie pages take about the same time to read as 25 Scott Fitzgerald or Truman Capote pages.

Christie’s attention to detail and her ability to make the detective Poirot a perfect combination of relatable and larger than life are wonderful. That’s still true for this book. The way she works every piece together without giving away who-done-it is nothing short of magical.

One tip to reading an Agatha Christie book: Don’t try to figure out who-done-it. It’s far better to read the story and learn at the end “so that’s how it happened!”

Would I read Death on the Nile again? Gladly. But I give it 3 stars, because I think her other stories have better dialogue, character development, and plot.

Curious if you’ll agree with my review of Death on the Nile? Click here to get a copy.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

    1. Do it! Grab a bunch of her books (maybe 3, maybe 17), and read them whenever you need a break from work or life or whatever’s going on.

      Liked by 1 person

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