Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

A peaceful cruise along the Nile turns into a puzzle for Poirot, when it is found that the young, beautiful and wealthy Linnet Ridgeway has been murdered by someone aboard the cruise ship.  There are several potential murderers and motives – will Hercule Poirot be able to unpick the clues and untangle the web of lies to solve this heinous crime?

I’m a big fan of Hercule Poirot – both the novels and the TV adaptations starring David Suchet as the little Belgian detective.  I find that the novels (those that I’ve read) are extremely well plotted, and that I’m usually unable to solve the riddle presented in each.  With Death on the Nile, this wasn’t quite the case.  In this instance, I had worked out the who and the why before the denouement.  Did this make me enjoy it any less?  Well, maybe a little.  I think I like the shock of an unexpected ending – the “I never saw that coming!” moment.  That said, it’s still an enjoyable journey even if you have figured out “whodunnit”.

Death on the Nile features quite an extensive cast of characters, and I did struggle to keep them apart at the outset of the novel.  I’m not sure if this was due to my inattention, or if it was too much delivered in a short space of time, so that it took a while to start to distinguish between them.  Reading Christie’s novels today, I find that some characters are a little clichéd, yet I believe that this is because Christie herself created many of the clichés that we see today in modern crime fiction.  And Hercule Poirot is, of course, an iconic figure.

I don’t think that this is one of Christie’s best, although I did enjoy it, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys the classic English whodunnit.

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