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Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie
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.