I would title this Agatha Christie novel, “Deaths On The Nile” since there is more than one murder. As always, it is fun to try to figure out whodunnit or in this case whodunthem.
The main premise is that Linnet Ridgeway, a wealthy, self-centered socialite, decides to steal away Simon Doyle, the fiancé of one of her old friends, Jacqueline de Bellefort. Withing three months Linnet and Simon are married and travel to Egypt for their honeymoon. Jacqueline inconveniently and mysteriously shows up everywhere they go. She threatens to kill them with the pistol she carries It is also unfortunate for our hero, Hercule Poirot, that he happens to be vacationing in Cairo where the threesome is staying. Then he also boards the same ship where the Deaths On The Nile mysteriously occur. Of course everyone has an alibi.
Along the way, we are introduced to many different characters, all with some hidden agenda. These include a closet alcoholic, a kleptomaniac, a jewel thief, a Socialist, an archaeologist, a medical doctor, an unsavory crew member, an erotica novelist and her dour daughter, a snobbish American who is accompanied by a nurse and a poor, but very sweet relative, Linnet’s maid Louise, and a mother and her son, who has no real employment but managed to treat his mother to this trip. Poirot is joined on the ship by his friend, Colonel Race, who is tracking a murderer that is one of the passengers, but whose identity is unknown. Several of the passengers carry weapons, which apparently was commonplace. In addition to the murders, two romances unexpectedly bloom. Things happen fast on this boat!
I must confess, I went down one of the rabbit trails and guessed incorrectly. I did see the movie back in 1978, but as typical for me, I had already forgotten it. It is a fun trip down the Nile watching Poirot figure it out like no one else can. Agatha Christie was at the top of her game with this novel!
The only thing that really bothered me in the book is the constant use of French phrases that are not translated into English. It seemed rather snobbish of the author to exclude readers who did not know French. Fortunately for the modern-day reader, it is easy to use an online translator.
5 Stars. Book Club Recommended (which is a good thing since it is my Book Club’s September 2019 selection).
If you are a member of Goodreads, I would appreciate it if you would Like My Review.
And Now for My Recipe Suggestion:
For an appetizer, I recommend Gebna Makelyah, which is an Egyptian oven fried cheese with pita bread.
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon flour
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 piece of pita bread, cut into six triangles
Preheat oven to 400°.
Place the cheese, flour, egg, and pepper in a bowl and mix well . Roll the mixture into six balls. If the mixture seems too loose add a little more flour.
Pour the olive oil into an ovenproof skillet. Roll the cheese balls in the oil, coating them thoroughly. Bake 5 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the balls over. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown.
Place on serving platter and sprinkle with juice from a lemon wedge. Serve warm with extra lemon wedges and triangles of pita bread.
Serves 6 Can be easily doubled or tripled, or the balls could be made smaller.