Book Review: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile is a Hercule Poirot mystery. The little Belgian sleuth with the big brain and dramatic mustache can’t catch a break – he’s supposed to be retired and on holiday, but murder seems to follow him around. This time, the murder takes place on a Nile riverboat and the victim is a young, wealthy, beautiful newlywed named Linnet Doyle.

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There’s nothing like a good mystery to keep your mind occupied. If you let yourself, you can become immersed in trying to figure out the puzzle, which is a nice break from worrying about other things. Death on the Nile, which is vintage Agatha Christie, did the trick for me. I read it as part of the 2020 Thoughtful Reading Challenge, which proves the challenge is good for your mental well-being.

Let’s start with a quick Death on the Nile summary:

Linnet (the victim) has made a few enemies in her short life and many of them seem to be on this boat, including the ex-friend she stole her new husband from (awkward!). Other passengers just seem to have a vested and mysterious interest in Linnet’s trust fund. There are a lot of characters and possible suspects – so many that I recommend jotting them down for easy reference. A couple of times I found myself wondering who a character was, and then remembered they were introduced 40 pages ago. That’s a pretty effective mystery writing technique – flood your readers with so many characters and possible motives that they’re bound to get confused about whodunit.

I had forgotten how good a character Poirot is. He has a touch of arrogance, but he’s also wise and compassionate. It was fun to see him in action as he interviewed the passengers and unraveled the mystery. Beyond that, though, he also freely dispenses his wisdom, in a mostly gentle way, to help people avoid life-altering mistakes. He has a very competent, reassuring manner. You just know he’s going to solve the mystery and, of course, he does just that.

I won’t talk about the plot much more because I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice it to say that it has the clever twists that characterize Agatha Christie’s best stories. Very satisfying!

I really enjoyed Death on the Nile and recommend it to any mystery lovers who haven’t read it yet. There’s a remake of the movie in the works, so this is a good time to read it.

Did you read a mystery this month? Tell us all about it! I need some good recommendations!

Reminder – April’s challenge is to read a Pulitzer Prize winner. Have you picked yours out yet?

16 thoughts on “Book Review: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

  1. This is such a great Christie mystery! I’ve read it more than once and love the movie from the 70’s. Really looking forward to the remake (hopefully) coming out later this year. Evil Under the Sun is another really good Poirot Christie book that was made into a movie featuring Peter Ustinov. I wonder if Kenneth Branagh has plans for that one, too. This probably is a really good time to revisit some of those old Christie classics when we need to decompress from the news. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stacy! I haven’t read Evil Under the Sun yet, so I think I know which Agatha Christie book I’m going to read next. Thanks for the recommendation! Fingers crossed they’ll be able to release the movie this year.


  2. So glad to hear from you, Michelle, and to hear that you and your family are safe and well. This is certainly a time for more reading! I read Death on the Nile as a teen, during my “Hercule Poirot Phase.” You are reminding me that now would be a very good time to revisit some of those wonderful classics. Books will get us through this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for posting, as always! Glad you’re doing okay in KC!! Question: Do you think this would be appropriate for Truman (soon to be 12)? It’s been a long time since I read it, and we’re looking for new books for him these days…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you’re doing well Michelle! I too read Death on the Nile and I am ashamed to say it, but this was my first ever Agatha Christie book. It did not disappoint! I have to agree that the number of characters introduced made it a bit of a challenge keeping straight who was who and what their possible grudge against the main character could be. Writing them down is a great suggestion. I also particularly enjoyed the old English style in which the book was written – many words to add to my SAT list, and phrases that are no longer common but entertaining to read. Quite fun! I also found it interesting that this book would not likely make it past the PC police in our current times which made it all the more refreshing. Poirot was an excellent character and I particularly enjoyed the banter back and forth between him, the Colonel, and the Doctor. Although this was my first Agatha Christie book, it will certainly not be my last! Okay, have to go – think my spot of tea is boiling in the kettle…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read the second of Ian Rankin’s Rebus books, “Hide and Seek”. Really good plot and engaging characters, plus the bonus of it all being set in Scotland, which is a favorite place of mine (that, thanks to all this world drama and our own financial changes, I won’t be able to see again a long time). I’m looking forward to the next in the series, although my library doesn’t have it. There are nineteen in this series! Guess it will keep me busy for a while. Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Karen! Good to hear from you! I’m not familiar with that series, but I do like the idea of Scotland as a setting and a complex main character. It’s now on my library wish list, along with 323 other books. *sigh* I have a bit of a wish list hoarding problem.

      PS – I love the art you’re producing right now. So beautiful and vibrant!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have the same problem with library holds (and too many books suddenly available at once when I finally get my turn). Thank you for the kind words about my art! I’ve gotten obsessed with gardening so I’m painting mostly flowers and plants lately.


  6. Stay well and hope all the smart people find a treatment soon! Thanks for bringing Agatha Christie back for a re-read before the movie remake. So timely! I look forward to revisiting both. I read a mystery – The Life We Bury by Eskins – and maybe you recommended it. I had gotten an Eskins recommendation and added him to my list. It was good. I think for my Pulitzer book I am going to get
    The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson described as:

    An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.

    The Pulitzer book I recommend, and I have read about half of the fiction winners over the last 10 years, is The Sympathizer, by Nguyen. Despite some very dark episodes, its overall tone of satire and humor is quite an accomplishment. A unique take on the Vietnam conflict, the United States role and an immigrant’s adjustment (or not) to the United States.
    I also like The Goldfinch and All the Light We Cannot See – both better known than Nguyen’s quite long book. Would not recommend The Road, Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic, survival journey in this time of Coronavirus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Deb! You always have such good recommendations! Thank you for sharing them!

      I did review The Life We Bury and seem to remember liking it pretty well. I’ll be curious to hear your opinion of The Orphan Master’s son because it’s on my long list of books to read. Definitely staying away from The Road, although my husband is currently reading it. He is fascinated by dystopian stories.


  7. I have collected a large shelf full of Agatha Christie books, because they are so great to go back and reread. I give so many of my books to our library used bookstore, but just can’t get myself to let go of those. (I am enjoying your blog! Brendan’s mom)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The 2021 Thoughtful Reading Challenge | Book Thoughts from Bed

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