14/10/2007

Murder in Mesopotamia (by Agatha Christie)

I'm not really a fan of crime fiction, but I do enjoy the occasional Agatha Christie book.

'Murder in Mesopotamia' is written from the point of view of Miss Letheran, who is a nurse. It's the account of her time looking after Mrs Leidner, a nervous woman who has seen strange things and has been threatened in anonymous letters.

Mrs Leidner is part of a party visiting an archaeological dig which her husband is leading. Amongst the party are some old friends of his, and also some newcomers. Each of them is different, although I had a hart time distinguishing some of them.

There's a very tense atmosphere and it's not surprising when someone is brutally murdered. Hercule Poirot just happens to be nearby, and is called in to help along with the local police, and a doctor. Poirot interviews everyone around, since it seems that one of the party must have committed the murder. There appear to be possible motivations for everyone.

I didn't guess who the murderer was, since as ever the trail was laid with red herring, and I was out of practise. The writing was very clever, albeit rather racist and classist in places without directly stating it. However as it was written in 1936 that's probably how many Brits were at the time.

Fast-moving and exciting - good light reading.

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