Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile


GoodreadsDeath on the Nile
Series: Hercule Poirot #16
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1937


Famed detective Hercule Poiret is approached by the young and beautiful socialite Linnet Doyle while on vacation in Aswan.  She wishes Poirot to stop her old friend Jacqueline de Bellefort from following her and her new husband Simon–previously Jacqueline’s fiance.  Poirot decides he can do nothing to stop Miss de Bellefort from appearing in the same public places as Linnet.  But then Linnet dies.

Star Divider


Death on the Nile is one of of Agatha Christie’s finest works, a masterpiece of characterization as well as a truly clever mystery.  Fans of the genre will delight in the plot’s intricacies and red herrings, its myriad of suspects and potential solutions.  Even though I had already seen the movie directed by Kenneth Branagh before reading the book, Christie’s incisive prose and compelling narration kept me engrossed to the very end.  A must read for every Christie fan!

Much of the fun of this book comes from the glamor and the atmosphere.  The setting seems practically dripping in diamonds, and I am not one to turn down a mystery set among the scandalously wealthy.  There is just something especially compelling about secrets kept by the upper classes, try as they might to maintain that they are superior to the rest of humankind.  And there is something especially poignant, of course, about a young life cut suddenly short–a life that seemed to everything before it.  Branagh’s luscious setting and slick production features are really the perfect fit for this story, if you are interested in watching the film (which does differ slightly from its source material).

The setting is spellbinding, but the characters are gripping, too.  Christie is a master at describing human nature, and she spares no one from her perceptive wit.  I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous and wealthy heiress, Linnet Doyle, but was eventually  absorbed by all the supporting cast, from the overbearing and haughty invalid woman to her downtrodden niece to the grumpy doctor.  Most of the people on board the ship have a secret, and it is always great fun disentangling them all when the investigation begins.  Who is guilty and who is guilty of…something else?

Altogether, I was delighted by this offering from Christie.  The prose, the characterization, the setting, and the puzzle all combine to make a thrilling mystery.  I have not read many Poirot stories, but this one assuredly has made me keen to read the rest!    

4 stars

6 thoughts on “Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

  1. DoingDewey says:

    Oh yay! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. I’ve had fun following your Miss Marple project, but Poirot is my favorite and this is one of my favorite books about Poirot. I’ve not yet seen the movie though, because I disliked how much darker Murder On the Orient Express felt to me compared to the book


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