Skip to main content

Welcome to Monday Murder Mystery where we gather each week to talk about mysteries.  Discussion of all mysteries is welcome, not just those involving murder; and all genres of mysteries are welcome, be they the coziest of the cozy style or the most cold blooded of the police procedurals.  

Diarists are invited to share any book, series, author or mystery genre.  If you would like to contribute, please include your subject and date in the comments, or send a private message to Susan from 29.

Because it is hard to discuss a mystery without revealing the ending, please use the comment section for that discussion, with the word "Spoiler" prominent in the topic line.  Those who don't want to know the ending can set their Comment Preference to SHRINK and individually expand those comments without the warning.

Death on the Nile


I can’t think of Agatha Christie without some Art Deco image coming immediately to mind.  It may be as a result of the era she wrote about and in, or it may simply be the style of the covers that I remember from my youth.  

She will always, for me, bring to mind elegant elongated women in fur or feathered boas and turbans, and draped with long strands of pearls in flapper skirts posed with cigarettes in extended holders.  And the men will always have side-parted, slicked back, black hair and be dressed in white dinner jackets while holding clear martini glasses with one olive.  With music by Scott Joplin.

Death on the Nile is filled with such people.

The Cast

Linnet Ridgeway Doyle the beautiful, charming heiress to a great American fortune living in England and appearing to enjoy the best of everything.

Joanna Southwood, “a tall thin young woman of twenty-seven, with a long clever face and freakishly plucked eyebrows,” apparent friend to Linnet.

Jacqueline de Bellefort (Jackie), a friend of Linnet’s from their days together at school.  Her father lost the family money during the 1929 crash, leaving her in reduced financial circumstances.

Simon Doyle, an Englishman, the love of Jackie’s life and her fiancee, who goes to work for Linnet as a land agent and within three months becomes her husband.  (He is blond, but I’m willing to bet he wears his hair parted and slicked back.)

Mrs. Allerton, a cousin of Joanna Southwood, of whom she disapproves, and her son, Tim, who appears enjoy Joanna’s correspondence more than her company, and is devoted to his mother.

Mrs Otterbourne, who writes erotic novels and wears dreadful turbans and her daughter, Rosalie, repeatedly described as being sulky although pretty.

Andrew Pennington, Linnet’s American trustee who races to Egypt to meet Linnet when he hears of her marriage.

Louise Borgett, Linnet’s maid,

Signor Guido Richett, Italian archeologist

Miss Van Schuyler, wealthy American snob, her young poor relative and traveling companion Cornelia Robson, and her nurse, Miss Bowers.

Jim Fanthorp, nephew of Linnet’s English solicitor, although unknown to her personally, he is sent to Egypt when his uncle learns of the presence of Pennington.

Mr. Fergusson, a rather outspoken, shabbily dressed anti-capitalist.

Dr. Bessner a German physician travelling on the Karnak.

Colonel Race, "a man of unadvertised goings and comings. He was usually to be found in one of the outposts of Empire where trouble was brewing."  He joins the Karnak at the Second Cataract.

The Story

Agatha Christie is at her usual best, weaving multiple sub-plots in and out of the murder mystery that drives the novel.  Although her books have never been character studies, the people are drawn with just enough depth to make them appear real, if slightly stereotypical.

Seeming to already have everything, but lacking a love of her own, Linnet Ridgeway steals her friend Jackie's fiancee, Simon Doyle.  Deciding to honeymoon in Egypt, they are followed everywhere by Jackie de Bellefort.  Always polite and never directly threatening, Jackie even appears on the Karnak for the Nile cruise.

Hercule Poirot is on the same ship as part of his planned vacation and encounters the Doyles and the other characters (except Joanne Southwood, who is the only one not on board). Before sailing he has a chance, at Linnet's request, to try to disuade Jackie from stalking the Doyles.  During their conversation, she indicates that she would very much like to shoot Linnet in the head and shows Hercule the small handgun she carries in her purse.

While onboard the Karnak, Linnet Doyle is shot in the head exactly as Jacqueline de Bellefort described.  But Jackie was in her cabin supervised by Miss Van Schuyler’s nurse, Miss Bowers, at the time of the murder, having just shot her ex-fiancee, Simon Doyle, in the leg during a quarrel.

So, who killed Linnet Doyle?  And what secrets do the others hide?

Further discussion below in the comments.

My Favorite Quote


“There’s no reason why women shouldn’t behave like rational beings,” Simon asserted stolidly.
Poirot said dryly: “Quite frequently they do. That is even more upsetting!”

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by DKOMA and Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site