Death on the Nile is one of Agatha Christie’s most fiendishly clever murder mysteries.
Jaqueline de Bellefort introduces her fiancé, Simon Doyle, to her best friend Linnet Ridgeway in the hope that Linnet will offer Simon a job. Linnet is a millionairess and appears to have everything – wealth, social status and beauty. Whatever she wants she can have; and she soon decides she wants Simon. And thus begins a chain of events that lead to heartbreak and tragedy.
In the exotic and somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere of the Nile steamer Karnak, tension increases and passions erupt leading to murder. And although at first it would appear to be an open and shut case, with a very obvious prime suspect, it soon becomes clear that things are by no means that simple.
There is a motley collection of passengers aboard the steamer, almost all of who have a grudge against the victim.
There are some great characters in Death on the Nile. Particularly enjoyable is Salome Otterbourne the authoress of several lurid romances. She affects a flamboyant eastern style of dress and is somewhat sex-obsessed (though possibly only vicariously through her novels.) Rosalie, her loyal, unhappy daughter, does her best to keep secret the knowledge that her mother has a certain ‘weakness’. The American Marie Van Schuyler is a preposterous snob, very impressed by a title but contemptuous of anyone without money or status. However, she, too, has a skeleton in her cupboard…
There is an avaricious lady’s maid, a card-carrying communist, and a dodgy American lawyer among others, and of course, the Great Man himself. For this is a Poirot mystery and one in which his unique powers are tested to the full. (We also meet with Colonel Race again.) Poirot feels that the tragic events that unfold are inevitable in view of the actions of a certain member of the party. He pleads with this person to stop, to leave, to go home. Without success. And so a most devious and ingenious murder is committed.
Death on the Nile is in my opinion one of Agatha Christie’s truly amazing puzzles and even if you have seen the film or TV version, do read it and follow her meticulous planning.
One of her best.
You can get hold of this Agatha Christie classic via the following links.Death on the Nile