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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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This is one of Christie's most enjoyable novels. Written from the point of view of Amy Leatheran, a competent and no-nonsense nurse, who travels to Baghdad with a mother and her infant and is due to return to England when she is offered another job. Dr Leidner is an archeologist and recently there has been a certain uncomfortable atmosphere at the dig where he is working. His beautiful wife Louise has 'fancies' and, as Amy is keen to see more of the country, she is engaged to look after her. Indeed, when Amy does reach the dig, she finds the group are a shade too formal with each other and it soon transpires that Louise is nervous for a reason, "I'm afraid of being killed..."

Of course, Christie's second husband was an archeologist and, as she accompanied him often, there is an air of authenticity about this novel which gives the book real flavour. Although I agree with other reviewers that it is almost impossible to solve the murder, it is best to simply sit back and enjoy this excellent novel. When murder does occur the local police call in an expert that is passing through - a certain M. Poirot. At first Amy thinks it is unlikely Poirot can help, finding him comical. However, by the end she realises how she has underestimated him and his chilling words, "murder becomes a habit" become prophetic. Overall, this is an excellent mystery and one of Poirot's most brilliant cases.
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on 22 September 2003
This is the first Agatha Christie I ever read and it was enough - I have since read every book and am a big fan. This is the story of a murder at an archeological dig - it's the classic Christie plot where it can only be one of a certain group who committed the murder and you get to know the whole group well through the book. There are the usual red herrings and when you reach the end you wonder how you could have missed the clues showing you who the murdered was - although as she often does there are a few held back until the very end. She misdirects you cleverly so,as usual, you miss what at the end seems obvious. I highly recommend this to all fans or those thinking of trying a Christie for the first time.
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on 21 July 2014
Being that I am an Agatha Christie fan, and that I did enjoy the story, it is perhaps odd that I should only rate this book 3-stars: It is simply because I listened to this book on CD, and the reader was not the best, to put it mildly. Unless the male character had a distinctive accent (and even then, sometimes), they all sounded alike. The female characters were slightly better read, but even they had a sameness to them.So, by all means, enjoy this book, but not by this reader.
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on 7 March 2013
Whilst not one of my favourite Christie novels, it is still very good and easy to read. Here we see the story told by Nurse Leatheran who is called in to look after an archeologists wife while he leads the dig in Mesopotamia. The lovely Louise seems outwardly to be a very nervey/ neurotic person who appears to have what her husbands colleagues call fancies and very few believe her. The group of people on this dig feels there is an atmosphere and blame it on Louise. Some days after Nurse Leatheran arrives, the lovely Louise is found dead. Just how much truth is there in these fancies of hers. If you like Agatha Christie, then read this book and find out. Would recommend.
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on 31 January 2013
Don't let the title fool you, this is a good read but it just doesn't have the same power that the earlier novels had. For instance, the writing is poor in parts (punctuation, wording and sentence structure).

On the whole it is an enjoyable read, just the odd part makes you wince with the way it's worded or how missed punctuation messes up the flow.

Still a very good story. However, this is one of those where Hercule Poirot does not make an appearance until a third of the way through. The story does not feel wholly slow because of this, like it did in the Blue Train.
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on 5 January 2015
(No spoilers here as regards outcome)

To me, this is far from Christie's best work. With a solution so convoluted that it defies credibility. And a murder method so not-guaranteed of success that it beggared belief. So much so that any murderer entertaining it for more than a moment would deserve the gallows for his halfwittedness alone.

The first third or so drags uncharacteristically. Written in the first-person by a minor character who is as much an onlooker as a participant in events, it's an unusual format too, but that didn't affect the story's quality. With this one I really do feel that Christie way-overreached the bounds of - everything really. The book itself has a number of typesetting errors, which I haven't noticed in others but those weren't sufficiently numerous to rankle overmuch.

An annoying feature of so many of these books is having a culprit who (at the finale-always-compulsory-assembly of all possible perpetrators) bows to the detective's sleuthing rather than just deny everything. So very many of them in Christie hoodunnits do just that, when outright denial would most likely mean that the reasoning used to work out the solution would in itself not prove a full suite of proof necessary to convict.

In this one, Poirot's reasoning was quite unbelievable and so in my mind Christie failed to carry things through in her usual way.
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on 28 November 2012
Murder in Mesopotamia.
Agatha Christie's work is second to none, especially the Poirot editions.
I am ask to review Agatha's work many times and the reviews hardly
ever vary. They show up some of todays top sellers ,that bad language is
not to be recommended and i would not give them any of my time.
It would pay for those authors to study Christie and Steinbeck, they might learn something'
Its a pity Agatha is no longer around. and i fully recommend her books to all Kindle readers.
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on 12 April 2001
This is one of the first Poirots I heard on tape, and it it truly enjoyable to listen to, as it is all brought to life. It can liven up a car journey or being alone in the house - whatever the occasion, I recommend this tape.
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on 5 February 2013
I bought this book because I understood the archeological setting was connected to Christie's own life experience (she herself was married to an archeologist). The language and evocation of a time and place were the chief interests here.
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on 14 June 2016
I hadn't read this book before. The detail of the archeological dig was so in-depth by Christie, it gave a real feel of Mesopotamia. So clever how the wife is portrayed as a neurotic, mad, unbalanced woman - don't be fooled. Didn't guess the ending.
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