A few years ago, whilst waiting at the airport terminal in Bulglaria, I found a small bookshop that, with a little apprehension, I decided to investigate in hope of finding a good read for my journey home. To my surprise, the vast majority of the books I found there were English and, of these books, the one that seemed to jump out of the shelves at me was an Agatha Christie book with an orange cover.
This book was Death on the Nile and, whilst waiting for my flight to board, I sat down and began pouring in to my very first experience with Agatha Christie…
And it is there that my story stops.
Once I had boarded the plane, tiredness overcame me and I ended up sleeping for most of the flight back. The book, with all its promise, returned with me to England and, for the next five years, spent its time being transferred from bookshelf to bookshelf.
That is until a few weeks ago when I finally went back to it and began reading from the beginning. And, as my first experience of Agatha Christie, it didn’t disappoint.
Set mainly on a cruise vessel that is travelling up and down the River, Death on the Nile was the seventeenth outing of Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot. When a rich heiress, Linnett Rigeway, is murdered on the boat following her wedding to Simon Doyle, suspicion naturally falls on Doyle’s former fiancé, who has been stalking and intimidating her halfway across Europe and Africa. But with an unshakable alibi in her defence, the fiancé is clearly not the murderer and it is left to Poirot to pick his way through bitter rivalries, dirty schemes and mysterious thefts to find the true murderer before more people are killed.
From the first page I was gripped by this story. Although the number of characters is large and their relations to the story are varied, Christie manages to expertly pull you through the tangled web until we arrive at the solution to the crime. Each character is described impeccably and the location could not be more vividly described.
Not only did I plough my way through this story but, having finished it, I immediately picked up what is arguably one of Christie’s best novels, And Then There Were None, and read that is well – more on that in a later post.
If you have never read a Christie story, this is a great one to start with.