An heiress to a vast fortune is happily married to her former best friend’s fiancé. But when she is found murdered in her room on a cruise around Egypt, the suspicion naturally falls on the best friend, who had been harassing the couple. Hercule Poirot had only begun investigating the case when the plot thickens, and more suspects come to light where there had been none before.
I picked up this book on an impulse one afternoon and binge-read most of it the same day. Apart from And Then There Were None, most of the Agatha Christie books I’ve read haven’t worked for me because of the manner they are written in.
There are always more than a handful of characters (especially considering how short these books tend to be). Something about the writing makes it difficult for me to remain invested in the conversations that these characters are having. And sadly, that was true even for Death on the Nile.
The only thing that kept me flipping the pages is to confirm who the culprit is. It takes a while for the author to establish all these different characters and the tension brewing between them. So the murder doesn’t happen until quite later in the book (somewhere around the 40% mark).
There’s a very popular framework in murder mysteries. And that has become one of my go-tos when I’m trying to decipher the truth. And well, what do you know! I was right. The character that I strongly suspected of having committed the murder was in fact the culprit. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was how they had executed the whole thing.
Once Hercule Poirot begins investigating, the story picks up speed, and all relevant developments occur without much delay. Up until then, you are going to have to get through a lot of background information.
The characters aren’t all that likeable. That did not influence my rating or review of the book. They’ve all been painted in a dubious fashion. Some of them have highly skewed moral compasses, and others are blatantly greedy or have delusions of grandeur.
A couple of themes that are recurrent across the novel are the objectification of people and fraud.
I understand why Agatha Christie is called the Queen of Crime. There are several layers to the mysteries she has written owing to the involvement of other characters. I just don’t particularly enjoy reading these novels.
I have a couple more of her books on my bookshelves. I’ll probably get through those before deciding how much more of her work I want to be picking up.
I’m not too sure I’d recommend this book if you are looking for a mystery novel to read. You just might find far better recommendations on my blog.