Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
My Mum is a mad Agatha Christie fan. She almost has the full collection of titles and reads and re-reads them often. As such, whenever we watch a crime show, she picks the killer within the first 10 minutes. I’ve never been much of a crime fiction fan myself, but after reading Death on the Nile I can see where my Mum’s crime-solving skills come from.
The book is both fun and very, very clever. In fact it’s probably one of the most classically clever books I have ever read. It is full of clues and red herrings and you really need to concentrate if you want to guess the killer. I didn’t.
The story follows a group of travelers embarking on a Nile cruise. They include a wealthy socialite and her somewhat simple new husband, a jilted lover, an archaeologist, a physician, a nurse, a romance novelist, an outspoken communist and of course, the famous detective Hercule Poirot. Naturally, one of the party is murdered and it is up to Poirot to work out who (apparently the killer thought it would be a great idea to commit murder with a detective nearby).
I think what I liked about this book was how funny it was. Everyone is so polite in the way they speak to each other. They talk about the murder like it is an everyday spot of bad luck. The banter and descriptions of these colourful characters are very, very amusing and it was just fun to read.
The mystery itself is a bit like solving a puzzle. It’s very different from a lot of modern crime fiction and to be honest I really wish some of the modern crime fiction would take a leaf out of Christie’s book. I would love to know how Christie comes up with these intricate puzzles.
All in all, I’d recommend this book for anyone who wants some escapism literature or anyone who’d just like to get better at solving TV crime shows.