Floating down the river

Death on the Nile is classic Christie. Written in 1937, during one of Agatha Christie's best writing periods, and in a setting that she loved and was very familiar with, this is one of her great crime novels. It's not perfect, there are a couple of holes in the plot, but the basic crime is cleverly plotted, and there's a great cast of secondary characters. In fact, although it's not set in a country house, this is your archetypal Cluedo mystery.

The setting is fabulous, a luxury cruise down the Nile, with the great and not-so-good of the between war years. It wouldn't be too difficult to update the novel either, there is a very twenty-first century crooked financier, and social mores are perhaps not as dramatically changed as you might expect. It's probably one of her cleverest novels in terms of how alibis are constructed and how the quickness of the author's hand deceives the reader's eye - proving that it's not just magicians that can do this. It's also a great relaxing fun read - just perfect for when you're down with the flu and incapable of doing anything much else....


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