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on 2 February 2017
One of Agatha Christie's most famous detective novels, Death On The Nile is a classic page-turner that will keep you guessing right up to the end.

Christie sets the stage perfectly in London by describing Hercule Poirot observing a young woman, Jacqueline de Bellefort partying exuberantly with her dashing fiancee Simon Doyle. Later in Egypt, Poirot meets Doyle with his new wife - a different woman - the wealthy heiress Linnet Ridgeway. Simon's ex-fiancee stalks the newlyweds, and Jacqueline tells Poirot she would like to kill Linnet.

They all end up on a Nile cruise, and Christie introduces a glittering cast of American and European characters - most of whom are suspects later in the story. Christie brings the tropical palm-tree fringed Nile and ancient monuments built to honour the pharaohs to life, and the reader can almost smell and touch the scenery as the action unfolds. A near miss with a large boulder is the first obvious threat to Simon and Linnet.

On the boat, in a late night drinking binge, someone is shot in the leg. Christie builds the drama to a crescendo the next day when another passenger is found dead in their cabin.

Enter the fabled detective Poirot - Christie weaves him in between the different characters testing their alibis and finding out crucial clues and information in a series of dramatic and at times confrontational interviews. The reader is drawn one way, then another - it is almost impossible to have a certain view as to who the culprit is. A second murder adds to the tension, and time becomes an issue for Poirot as he does not want the killer to strike again.

Poirot reveals that most of the passengers had a motive for the murders, but at the end he reveals his conclusion and the case is solved. Christie provides one last dramatic twist at the very end - the reader can take no more drama!
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This is a beautiful setting for a book – it is an escapist read. I found myself Googling locations mentioned in the book such as Abu Simbel (it is stunning).

One of the things I like about reading Agatha Christie’s books is that they give you an insight into life in the early 1900s (the book was published in November 1937). For example, a character says she bought a car for £15! It is clearly mechanically unreliable (as you might expect of a car from that era). In another part of the book, a boy is teasing a dog. A character tries to get him to stop. He doesn’t so she “whipped out a penknife and plunged it into him. There was the most awful row”. The former sentence is remarkable and then you read the latter – as if it was indecent for anyone to complain about stabbing a child. The book never mentions a prosecution – it sounds as if a row was the end of it.

Agatha Christie’s husband was an archaeologist and she accompanied him to digs in Syria as well as travelling in Egypt for pleasure. It gave her the knowledge and experience to write the book.

The author starts the book by introducing the characters, so you realise why they will all end up in Egypt in chapter 2.

As in a number of her books, Christie traps her characters (in this case, on a romantic river steamer, the “Karnak”) to limit the number of suspects.

As ever, the fun is in trying to work out who the murderer is. Before anyone was murdered, I did even wonder who the victim would be – there is an obvious candidate but until it happens, you can’t be sure.

All I will say (as I do not wish to spoil anything) is that the plot is a good one. The beauty of it is that, though you might work out the likely suspect (for once, I did), I couldn’t for the life of me (no pun intended) work out how the murder was carried out - I still desperately needed the “grand reveal”.

You do not need to read any other Agatha Christie books before this – it is a “standalone” book (like all of her books save “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”).

This is a great whodunnit mixed with a travel book. It is helped by the exotic setting of an old river steamer on the Nile, surrounded by the incredible sights of ancient Egypt. It could be an expensive book to buy – it has made me want to go on a Nile cruise. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 15 April 2015
Because I had seen film versions and TV versions and read the book many years ago, I hesitated to buy this but it was very cheap for the Kindle so thought it would be a useful standby.
It was so much more than a standby, it is outstanding - I am so glad I bought it because the book is so much better than film or even TV versions; also, because it was so long since I'd read it, it came across as fresh. It shows why Agatha Christie is so far above all the would-be imitators - interesting characters, complex interactions and relationships, red herrings that for a time throw even Poirot on the wrong track but then all explained.
Buy this and remind yourself how good she is.
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on 22 June 2015
A wonderful mystery set on a cruise boat of eccentric travellers from around the world as it journeys down the Nile in the humid haze of an Egyptian summer.

I read this one a long time ago, so, on re-reading it recently, what I thought was my stellar intuition figuring out who the murderer was... was actually my memory…

But it is undoubtedly a masterpiece! There are not one but three murders, the latter of which is spectacularly dramatic, with a gun protruding through a curtain behind Poirot’s back!!! I challenge you to try work this one out!

Ultimately, the criminal or criminals in question... take absolutely everything into account, bar one very, VERY important factor … Hercule Poirot.
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on 25 January 2015
Having booked a cruise on the Nile I had to reread Agatha Christie's novel before departing. Christie has been a favourite from my early teenage years and she doesn't disappoint as I age. Of course the novels are dated, but in the most pleasing way as in this case the Nile, while a backdrop to tempestuous love (of people, money and power) is as beguiling in fiction as reality. Christie referred to this novel as one of her best "foreign travel" ones. It is well plotted and does not suffer from any suspicion that perhaps anyone could have done it. Secondary characters and story lines are fine contributions to Christie's deft handling of human failings as well as raising possibilities about the murder.
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on 11 June 2013
This is one of my favourite Hercule Poirot novels. I've read it loads of times and every time I'm disappointed when there are no more pages to read. Having been to Egypt and done a cruise down the Nile for my honeymoon I can picture what Christie is writing and describing and also this is why this novel is extra special to me.

Here we see Lynette marry her best friends boyfriend. Lynette and her husband, Simon are followed around by the scorned woman, Jackie. They end up on the Karnak cruise ship going down the Nile. Poirot is also on the Karnak and witnesses the goings on between Lynette, Simon and Jackie and finds his sleuthing skills called upon when Lynette is found dead in her bed.

Lots of other things are going on at the same time such as a fraudulent trustee, kleptomania and blackmail, and this novel will hold your attention throughout. Can't recommend enough.
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on 18 May 2015
My favourite Agatha Christie novel. I especially like Poirot's own analogy of solving a murder with how an archeologist carefully treats a find: "I have been seeking to [...] clear away the extraneous matter so that we can see the truth – the naked shining truth." Like Colonel Race I sometimes become a little impatient with the extraneous matter, eager to get to the reveal, but Poirot, and Christie, know best!
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on 4 August 2011
Christie states in the introduction to my copy of Death on the Nile that she considers it the best of Poirot's overseas adventures, and so I started reading prepared to hold her to this claim. I was not disappointed.

There are a lot of characters to get your head round, which paints a large and realistic picture of the Nile holiday. This story contains one of the biggest build-ups I think I've read in a crime novel - the first half of the text being background and set-up, but it pays off.

My one criticism of this otherwise excellent book is that I worked it out straight away, although I must confess I did miss one detail which formed part of the final explanation. As much as Christie's later narrative tried to throw me off the scent, I found it a little disappointing that I wasn't challenged more. Given that this is the first time this has happened though, it might just be a fluke!

Certainly one of Christie's best novels and one I would recommend to anyone wanting a sample of her work (rather than wanting to read the entire canon like me!).
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VINE VOICEon 29 June 2010
Agatha Christie's novels are often attacked for featuring two-dimensional characters and, to a lesser extent, for being formulaic. That she wrote so many novels tends to support this claim. Certainly, similar upper and middle class types populate her stories, while she usually gives us a body in the first thirty pages. 'Death On The Nile' then is markedly different, as Christie chooses to ratchet up the suspense long before she gives us a crime. In doing so, we get to know the characters more intimately through their conflicts and hang ups. What is never in doubt about Christie however is her plotting ability. No other crime author I've read is her equal when it comes to the whodunnit element. Christie plots are sharp and watertight where those of her rivals are often clumsy or vague. 'Death On The Nile' delivers on all fronts and its claustrophobic cruiser setting enhances the atmosphere. I first read it nearly forty years ago and revisiting it recently gave me just as much pleasure.
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on 17 May 2016
In my view this is one of the best Agatha Christie books. We chose it for our book club and we all read it and got the answer right but not the method, This is the norm for her books, you guess who but you never seem to be able to guess how! Brilliant read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a good murder without too much gory details.
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