Book Review: Death on the Nile

In Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie takes three of her familiar tropes - a locked-room mystery (the murder of the beautiful and wealthy heiress Linnet Ridgeway abode a cruise ship sailing on the Nile), a love triangle and a holidaying Poirot (two plot devices she unsatisfactorily explored in her previous work Triangle at Rhodes*) - and gives it such a convincing twist, even seasoned readers of her works will be surprised. The reveal, as is the case with every other Hercule Poirot mystery, takes place in front of a closed circle of suspects ("I like an audience, I must confess. I am vain, you see. I am puffed up with conceit. I like to say: 'See how clever is Hercule Poirot!'," says the Belgian) and is deftly conceived all the while leading us astray with classic distractions and red-herrings, even if Poirot frustratingly plays his cards close to his chest until the very end. But if there is one thing you cannot find fault with, it's Agatha Christie's skillful construction of the circumstances surrounding the murder and the joy she seems to take in unravelling the identity of the killer.

*Both Murder in the Mews and Death on the Nile were published within months of each other in 1937, the former in March and the latter in November.