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on 25 June 2017
This is just what you'd expect from the queen of crime. Considering the age of the novel and the way in which language, culture and society has changed a reader might expect to get lost amongst the old-fashioned manners and social commentary, but this book excels at holding the reader fast and not letting them go until the revelation.
Agatha Christie is sensational at hitting you with the last person you expect to be the culprit. What makes these novels stand out is the murderer is usually one of the group we get to meet, and we speculate along with the narrator. Poirot and his revelations are just as much of a surprise to us as they are the other characters and the fact that this is the case nearly a century later is amazing and a testament to a brilliant author. First class.
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on 6 April 2011
This is a really refreshing different setting for a Hercule Poirot novel, set as it is at an archaeological dig, where the wife of the dig leader is found murdered. The book is narrated by one of the characters close to the events, the victim's nurse, and tells the story of her time at the dig and helping Poirot in his investigations.

It's certainly one of the most engaging of the series that I've read recently, and I think it's just the new setting that makes this difference. The cast of characters is as usual quite large and all of them are potential suspects - I must confess that I fell for some of the blatant red herrings and didn't see the solution coming.

Poirot is left a bit of a mystery himself in this - the narrator is not familiar with him or his ways and so his appearance is quite limited to selected scenes, and it seems a little coincidental that he is there at all. I feel that it would have worked without his inclusion with one of the other characters taking the lead investigative role. Generally my feeling is that a book in a series should justify itself as being a story that could not be told if it were not, and this novel fails that test.

However I did enjoy it, and feel that at this point in the Christie canon things seem to be picking up after a bit of a dry patch. Looking forward to reading more.
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on 11 June 2017
Very good, even though I had heard the story before, I still enjoyed reading again.
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on 10 May 2017
For the most part, a brilliant book. Very gripping narrative which holds you enthralled right to the end. The only disappointment was the revelation of the killer - but I guess I musn't give too much away.
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on 16 October 2017
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on 22 April 2017
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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 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 3 April 2013
Very good used book, added to my collection, to be read but can be sure it will be a good read
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on 14 October 2013
Bought as a gift for an Agatha Christie fan, so what could go wrong,...absolutely nothing. It made a lovely present.
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