Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Death on the Nile (Book Review and Discussion)

Background (Book Description):

"Linnet Doyle is young, beautiful, and rich. She's the girl who has everything—including the man her best friend loves. Linnet and her new husband take a cruise on the Nile, where they meet the brilliant detective Hercule Poirot. It should be an idyllic trip, yet Poirot has a vague, uneasy feeling that something is dangerously amiss..."

Thoughts on the Case (My Partial Review):

I am definitely intrigued by this case so far. Although I must say it's interesting that I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book, and the murder hasn't even happened yet! But as for introducing fascinating, pitiable, and various characters--Christie did a splendid job. Death on the Nile is my first foray into Agatha Christie's world of mystery novels, and I'm really enjoying it!

In the first part of the book ("England"), a wide cast of characters is introduced, all with interesting connections to one another and the couple of the hour: Simon and Linnet Doyle. Many motives are alluded to and brought into the light, but even a good way into the second part of the book ("Egypt") and 1/3 of the way through the whole story, there as yet is no crime to which these motives might have found fulfillment. I guess I'll just have to wait and see! A longer description of the book discusses the crime to be committed, so I already have an idea of what to expect, which makes me consider all the different characters in view of that.

But again, I've only seen the backdrop so far. I hope to read more soon, and I do apologize for not having finished the book in time for today's discussion! That being said, I beg of you (if you have read the book) not to tell me the conclusion! I want to wait and find it out for myself... ;)


Even though I haven't finished the book, I would still love to have a discussion based on what I've read so far. I've come up with questions regarding the pages I've read so far, some of which pertain to the plot and others of which are just general questions that people who haven't read the book can still respond to, so I do hope you'll participate!
  • When Hercule Poirot talks with Linnet about Jackie (the scorned lover who is following her ex-fiancee and Linnet everywhere) he references King David and the story that was told about David in terms of a rich man and a poor man, where the rich man took the poor man's one lamb. Do you think this is a good parallel for the situation between Jackie and Linnet? Why or why not? Do you have sympathy for both of these characters?
  • Near the beginning of the book, Poirot is at a restaurant observing the people there. He notes at one point, "How absurd to call youth the time of happiness--youth, the time of greatest vulnerability!" And later he thinks, "He was glad that he was no longer young." What do you think of Poirot's view of youth? How does it differ from the glamorous view of youth that seems to prevail in the media (etc.)?
  • When talking to Jackie about her unhealthy obsession with revenge, Poirot tells her, "Give up the past! Turn to the future! What is done is done. Bitterness will not undo it." And when Jackie protests her ability to let it go, he says, "No--for you could do it! There is always a moment!" Do you agree with Poirot? Is he being unsympathetic...or wise? And do you think he is right in saying that she can still make the choice to do the right thing?
(Cover image and book description from Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.)


Unknown said...

Death on the Nile is a CLASSIC! Good choice. :) I can't remember if we've discussed this, but there are 2 film versions of this story that are worth checking out - a early 1980s version w/ Peter Ustinov as Poirot, and a David Suchet version with JJ Feild in a guest starring role!

Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you! ;) And no, I don't think we've discussed the movie versions yet... There's one with David Suchet AND JJ Feild??? Ummm, if I was ever to see a movie version, I think that would be the one! ;)

Oh, and guess what? I ended up buying Poirot (Set 6; the latest season) at Costco yesterday! Good stuff!! :)


Angie said...

Oh, I love Death on the's one of my favorite Agatha Christie novels. I've also seen the 1980s film but don't think I've seen the other one. I might need to change that. ;) Happy Reading!

Amber Holcomb said...


Glad to hear it! :) I'm looking forward to finishing it!

What did you think of the film that you saw?

And happy reading to you, as well!


Renee said...

I haven't read this, but I know I've enjoyed movie versions of Hercule Poirot's adventures. I do love mysteries and romantic suspense. Just picked up some good ones for my Kindle! Blessings, Amber!

faith hope & cherrytea said...

nothing like an agatha! my solid 'go to' for excellent reads every time ~ enjoy!

Amber Holcomb said...

Renee Ann,

I've enjoyed the movie versions that I've seen, too! :) I've been immersed in mysteries the past few days, and I'm having a lot of fun wit it! ;)

Happy Kindle reading, and thanks so much for stopping by!


Amber Holcomb said...

Faith Hope & Cherrytea,

I haven't even finished one of her books yet, but I think I already see what you mean! She seems to be an excellent author. :)

Glad you could drop in!


Bluerose said...

My library doesn't have this one, but it does have Death on the Orient, so I'm going to be reading that one soon, hopefully! :)

Amber Holcomb said...


Awesome! :) I'm reading Murder on the Orient Express right now (I think that's the one you're talking about, right?). It's really good so far!


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

...and I've never read an Agatha Christie book! Do I live under a rock or what?! I never thought that I would like mystery but the few books that I've read that include a mystery I really love. Take for example Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey series, it's amazing! I think you might like it if you like a mystery with a bit of romance.

XOXO~ Renee C.

Amber Holcomb said...


Hahaha, well, this is my first time reading any of her books, so you're not alone! ;) The Lady Julia Grey series does sound quite intriguing! And if you're starting to like mysteries, I do suggest you give one of Christie's books a try. :)