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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

on 13 October 2017
In the fabled Rose Red city of Petra the matriarch from hell Mrs Boynton is found dead. Hercule Poirot on holiday is asked by the authorities to determine whether a crime has been committed . With only 24hours to complete his investigations , Poirot soon discovers the victim was thoroughly hated by her family members and fellow travellers , so when murder is proved to have been the cause of death he is left with many suspects. This is a good novel but in my opinion not one of the Golden Age greats
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on 16 October 2017
Excellent read and certainly another masterpiece by Agatha Christie, I can certainly recommend it for any fan of Poirot or Christie
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on 23 September 2017
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on 17 October 2001
Christie's most successful and popular books hold a pattern. Her writing subtely encourages you to suspect everyone except the real murderer, who you ignore. Even when you know the rules of her writing and the tricks she plays, she is so brilliant as to still deceive you. Appointment With Death fits that pattern, and as such is a very pleasing read for fans of classic Agatha Christie. There are a limited number of suspects in an isolated area, and details of times and locations are added to muddy the waters. However, there in the middle of the situation is Poirot, quietly confident. As usual, if you have a mind like Poirot's and are really paying attention, you can work it out. For us mere mortals, there is always the answer at the end of the book, and very satisfying it is too.
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Mrs Boynton and her family are staying in the same hotel as Hercule Poirot and he soon forms his own opinion of this dysfunctional family. Mrs Boynton is a tyrant and keeps her adult children dependent on her for money and treats them like slaves. She doesn't allow them to go and enjoy themselves away from her or to lead their own lives. By the time I'd read a couple of chapters I would have happily murdered her myself!

When she is found dead at the beautiful city of Petra almost no one is surprised. Fortunately Hercule Poirot is around to delve into everyone's stories to find out who could have done the deed. I thought Mrs Boynton and her children were very well drawn and horribly convincing. The children all reacted in different ways to her tyranny. I also thought it was interesting how all the other people staying in the hotel and later on the trip to Petra reacted differently to the odd little family.

I really enjoyed this story and thought it was very well plotted. I loved the way Poirot set about investigating the case in his painstaking way. I enjoyed the background to the story as well and thought it was well described.
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The "Appointment with Death" production dates from 2001 and is again directed by Enyd Williams. The copy I have is the earlier format packaging that has CD track information that is very useful should you need to stop listening and then go back to a particular point on the CD. John Moffatt plays Poirot and the cast includes well known actresses Miriam Karlin (1925 to 2011; She was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1975. Miriam was the first woman to play the traditionally male lead in "The Caretaker" by Harold Pinter. She was devoted to welfare work and charitable causes, including Amnesty International) who here plays as Mrs Boynton and Jill Balcon (1925 to 2009; Daughter of Sir Michael Balcon. Married Cecil Day-Lewis in 1951. Children: Daniel Day-Lewis and Tamasin Day-Lewis) as Lady Westholme. Listen out also for John Woodnutt (1924 to 2006; A character actor with radio, television and stage experience, often cast in coldly authoritarian, military or aristocratic roles. Seen in four different instalments of 'Doctor Who', between 1970 and 1981) here playing Colonel Carbury. The action takes place a long way from London whilst Poirot is on holiday in Jerusalem. A cast of varied characters is brought to life in this 1 hour and 30 minute play that has atmosphere and some excellent sound effects. Good value price wise.
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on 15 April 2003
Once again, the BBC does a stellar job on an Agatha Christie book, one of my favorites no less! John Moffat is perfect as Poirot! My only complaint is the music that opens and closes this production. It's too modern a take on middle-eastern music. I'm sure it was done on a synthasizer. Otherwise- top notch.
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on 17 October 2011
Poirot is on holiday in Egypt (again/still) and once again murder catches him up. Travelling with him are an American family led by a domineering old woman who keeps the rest of the group under her thumbs, and when she's murdered, suspicion falls on almost everyone.

Once again Christie has produced an amusing and human tale - one that really makes you sympathise with all the suspects, spending a lot of time setting the situation up and developing the group more than in many of her novels. Poirot himself only has a couple of cameos in the first half, and is brought in later to investigate.

The investigation however falls back into what has become Poirot's typical style - interviewing each of the suspects and witnesses in turn and then plucking the solution seemingly out of thin air. I didn't find this as interesting as the first half, and perhaps that's why I completely failed to spot the right clues and had no idea who was going to turn out guilty.

Overall, another good quick read - the set-up is one of the best of the series that I've read, but the payoff weakened it.
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on 7 September 2000
This was my first Agatha Christie book and it has encouraged me to try another one on my latest excursion to Amazon.co.uk! It had a riveting plot which kept me reading throughout the book without wanting to put it down. I would recommend this to any age and anyone who likes crime novels or wants to start reading some.
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on 4 October 2011
I chose this book to take on holiday with me to Jordan. The murder takes place in the great lost city of Petra and there are passing mentions of Amman and Jerash too so I got a great deal out of reading the book in situ and imagining the characters at their camp in Petra.

However, I found this book lacking. It is my first Christie read, and I am sure she has done much, much better, but I couldn't help feeling she stuck to her tried and tested formula with this one. Murder takes place, many suspects, Poirot is brought in, he interviews everyone then gathers them all together to tell them whodunnit. Furthermore I couldn't relate to the characters. The victim is someone who we have little sympathy with and the suspects are not an inspiring bunch. There is some discussion early on as to whether a murder has indeed taken place and the police came close to letting this one go - the reader can't help but agree and is left wondering why they are bothering. Add to this a very unconvincing love story between a fiesty young doctor and a wet sap of a victim's son and we have a disappointing novel.

Poirot himself is full of self-confidence, bordering on arrogance, and perceptive as always, and that is how he is known and loved. But there is an irritating passage along the lines of "If I was a crime novel detective this is what I'd do" and then goes on to be exactly like the stereotypical crime novel detective, which is what he of course is! I found it neither clever nor funny and did not see the point.

So sorry, not one of her best, but I was pleased to read it in Petra.
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