Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie

16360It is clear to Amy Lateran that something sinister is going on at the Hassanieh dig in Iraq; something associated with the presence of “Lovely Louise,” wife of celebrated archaeologist Dr. Leidner.

In a few days’ time Hercules Poirot is due to drop in at the excavation site. But with Louise suffering from terrifying hallucinations, and tension within the group becoming almost unbearable, Poirot might just be too late… (description from the back of the book)

Rating: 7.5/10

This was the first Agatha Christie novel I have had the pleasure to read, and it was a genuine pleasure. I admired Christie’s ability to spin a fascinating and perfectly complex mystery that keeps her readers guessing all the way to the final reveal.

I think I flip-flopped between about four different characters before I gave up trying to figure out who did it and just went along for the ride. And it was a pretty great ride. I’m not normally a reader of mystery of novels since I tend to find the characters rather unrealistic and their motivations to be questionable at best. While these characters still weren’t totally fleshed out (I realize that they sometimes don’t have to be in mystery novels) I could understand their motivations. Both Nurse Leatheran and Hercule Poirot, who are the main detectives for this story, were able to identify a viable reason for most of the suspects to want to murder this woman. I have watched the news lately and know that people would kill for far less.

On top of all of this, all I could think of was this Doctor Who episode:

wasp

I couldn’t help but giggle when the big reveal at the end of the book felt exactly like the scene in this episode when Agatha Christie explains who the murder is, their motivations, and how they figured it out. This episode actually got me to finally pick up one of her books. And who says the TV ruins books? Well…at least BBC doesn’t.

Anyway, I believe that I have found a new “guilty pleasure” in the great mysteries written by the Queen of Mystery herself. Maybe I will be able to guess the end of one them, but some part of me doubts that, and oddly enough, I’m okay with that.

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