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Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie

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Author: Agatha Christie / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    2 Reviews
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      05.09.2008 18:51
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      it all comes down to one thing

      this is another fantastic Agatha Christie classic! i have read it two or three times and watch the tv adaptation several times as well and never get bored with the clever, intricate and delicate story line. it is perfect for fans of other Agatha Christie novels, particuarly murder on the orient express.

      the story is set at an archeological site- known as the Hassanieh dig. a friend, Amy Letheran, of the famous detective Hercule Poirot is concerned about the goings on at the site and in particuarly the presence of Louise Leidner, wife of archeologist Dr Leidner. Amy invites her friend to visit the area but will he be to late?? As louise begins suffering from terrible hallucinations and the entire group begins to feel the pressure there is something clearly not right. then a gruesome murder pushes the already tender tension to braking point.

      during this novel you do find yourself wondering if Poirot will solve it in time...but you will have to read it and find out.

      enjoy and please rate.

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        23.08.2008 09:45
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        Definitely a must read for all Christie fans..

        BACKGROUND TO THE NOVEL

        As i have confessed earlier i am a die hard fan of Agatha Christie, The Grand dame of Mystery... i have been reading her novels over and over again since my school days....And i find it a pleasurable task to review any of her books..

        Agatha Christie accompanied her Husband , The archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan to all his Archaeological digs in the Middle East . This gave her the inside knowledge about the Arab culture and their way of life...She was inspired to write several novels set in the Middle East...notably among them are'They came to Baghdad,Death on the Nile ,Death comes as End , An appointment with Death and Murder in Mesopotamia....

        She developed a close and affectionate link with the Middle East. In fact, she put together some of her most popular whodunits while assisting at digs in Iraq and Syria...

        According to Christie's daughter, Rosalind Christie Hicks "She was very sympathetic to the Arabs and the people she was dealing with," ..Rosalind spent a season with Christie and Max Mallowan, at a dig in Syria in the 1930's. "She understood how they lived. She didn't try to interfere in their life in any way."...

        In Murder in Mesopotamia, Hercule Poirot solves homicides at a dig in Iraq...The dig, in southern Iraq, gave Christie the setting and several characters for Murder in Mesopotamia. ..

        THE STORY

        The story is told to us by Nurse AMY LEATHERAN, travelling in Iraq....

        In her own words...

        "I dont pretend to be an author or to know anything about writing,I am doing this simply because DR RILEY asked me to , and somehow when Dr.Riley asks you to do a thing you don't like to Refuse...
        "Oh, but Doctor", i said " I am not literary at all "

        " Nonsense" he said " treat it as case sheets if you like"

        Dr.Riley went on. He said that an unvarnished plain account of
        the TELL YARIMJAH business was badly needed...

        " If one of the interested party writes it, it won't carry conviction
        They'll say it's biased..."
        And of course that was true too...I was in it all. and yet an outsider.....so to speak "

        The story begins with Amy meeting Dr.Riley, who requests her to assist MR LEIDNER an American Swede ,Head of a Large American archeaological dig , who, with his team is excavating an ancient ASSYRIAN city at TEL YARIMJAH , close to the city of HASSANIEH,....It was a lonely spot , with just the expedition house which is a good distance away from the dig......

        There are other people who form the part of the Archaeological group and MRS LOUISE LEIDNER, Beautiful wife of Dr. Leidner....

        Louise is prone to 'nervous terrors' and needs a companion who can be with her when she is alone when the party leaves to the dig...At the request of Dr.Leidner nurse Amy accepts the position as companion to his wife Louise..

        Once settled in at the expedition house Nurse Amy gets to meet the various members living there,...MISS JOHNSON who is devoted to Leidner and has been a part of the team for several years, The Mysterious FATHER LAVIGNY, a Criptologist ,MR & MRS MERCADO assisting Dr Leidner,and RICHARD CAREY, who Louise seemed to iglore, but...... Nurse Amy gets to hear the different versions of the members , regarding Louise's fancies, as one of them terms it..

        She gets to hear Louise's own account of her fears, and a little about her past life..her first husband , who was a german spy, long dead, but , according to her returned now to haunt Louise.. Or could it be his younger brother who was avenging his memory?

        The threatening letters that she had been receiving and the the face at her window....Most of the dig members attribute this to a disturbed mind and a fanciful imagination...
        There was also a mysterious side to Louise ,when she seemed to avoid Nurse Amy's company while going for a walk towards the Tigris river...she seemed to have overcome her nerves and fear....

        But poor Louise is found murdered one afternoon inside her room
        with the door locked from inside ...

        On holiday in Iraq, Poirot visits the ancient site that his good friend Captain Hastings is helping excavate....and comes face to face with the murder of Louise...He decides to unravel the Mystery of Louise's Death..
        On hearing all the facts from Nurse Amy and others, he comes to the conclusion that there is every reason to believe that the threatening letters and her death are connected....
        As Poirots investigations progress, there is one more Murder, and the Mystery deepens....mysteries within mysteries among the quiet yet oddly troubled group ...

        Poirot sifts through the evidence and arrives at the only possible solution to the crime in his own inimitable way...

        PERSONAL OPINION

        This is an extremely compelling and absorbing novel..and once you begin to read it, it is difficult to put it down...

        The background of the Archaeological dig provides an unusual setting for this story ....and it has been expertly and entertainingly presented by Christie.. There is a lot of humor in Nurse Amy's observations of different personalities at the dig....sometimes her own prejudices against certain members, which she has put down in an enjoyable manner..

        Poirot is delightful as always, constantly irritating and perplexing Nurse Amy, who seriously begins to wonder whether he really has it in him to solve the mystery???

        Agatha Christie is an expert in building up her detective stories, to astonishing conclusions, and one wont be disappointed here...

        A FEW COMMENTS ON THE BOOK

        The Daily Mirror of July 9, 1936 said, "Don't start reading this if you've got something to do or want a book just for a quarter of an hour or so. Because you simply won't put it down til you've reached the last sentence." The review finished by saying, "Agatha Christie's grand. In this tale of peculiarly-placed murder she's given us another rattling good tale....

        The Times Literary Supplement of July 18, 1936 summarised in its review by Harry Pirie-Gordon the set-up of the plot and concluded, "The plot is ingenious and the first murder very cleverly contrived but some will doubt whether Mrs Leidner, as described, could have been so forgetful and unobservant as to render the principal preliminary conditions of the story possible....

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      • Product Details

        It was clear to Amy that something sinister was going on at the Hassaneih dig; something associated with the presence of Lovely Louise, wife of archaeologist, Dr Leidner. But with Louise suffering from terrifying hallucinations, Poirot might just be too late.