Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie, 1937
My favorite quote: “Love can be a very frightening thing. That is why most great love stories are tragedies.”
Notable characters: Hercule Poirot, the investigator; Linette (Rideway) Doyle, an heiress; Simon Doyle, her new husband; Jacqueline de Bellefort, Simon’s ex-lover; Colonel Race, Poirot’s friend; Miss Van Schuyler, a kleptomaniac; Salome Otterbourne, a romance novelist; Andrew Pennington, a greedy trustee
Most memorable scene: The big reveal — specifically, the how … which I can’t say anything about lest folks with twisted knickers hunt me down and shake their proverbial torches and pitchforks at me for giving spoilers away
Greatest strengths: For me — aside from the mystery, of course — it’s the great setting and lively dialogue
Standout achievements: This book features some of Christie’s most multidimensional characters
Fun Facts: In chapter 21, Poirot makes mention of a scarlet kimono he found in his luggage — a reference to a major plot point in the previously written, Murder on the Orient Express
Other media: The adaptations of this book include film, TV, radio, theater, graphic novel, and even a computer game, for Christ’s sake. Suffice it to say, I only have so many characters if I want to post this on Instagram (and I do) so, most notably among these are the 1978 film starring Maggie Smith, Simon MacCorkindale, Mia Farrow, and Bette Davis, and the upcoming 2022 follow-up to Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Kenneth Branagh
What it taught me: That when it comes to Christie, I may figure out the WHO but I will never, ever, EVER figure out the HOW. Dammit.
How it inspired me: Agatha Christie is the reason so much of my work contains elements of murder-mystery — even if that isn’t my primary genre (except in the case of Sleep Savannah Sleep.) Christie is the Queen of Mystery for a reason and I learn everything I can from her about the proper concealment of killers.
Additional thoughts: If only to see a drunken Angela Lansbury rubbing a statue and waxing romantic about its flaming nostrils, you MUST see the 1978 movie
Haunt me: alistaircross.com