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Murder in Mesopotamia: A Hercule Poirot Mystery | [Agatha Christie]

Murder in Mesopotamia: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Nurse Amy Leatheran had never felt the lure of the "mysterious East", but she nonetheless accepts an assignment at Hassanieh, an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert, to care for the wife of a celebrated archaeologist. Mrs Leidner is suffering bizarre visions and nervous terror. "I'm afraid of being killed!" she admits to her nurse. Her terror, unfortunately, is anything but unfounded, and Nurse Leatheran is soon enough without a patient. The world's greatest detective happens to be in the vicinity, however....
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Publisher's Summary

Nurse Amy Leatheran had never felt the lure of the "mysterious East", but she nonetheless accepts an assignment at Hassanieh, an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert, to care for the wife of a celebrated archaeologist. Mrs Leidner is suffering bizarre visions and nervous terror.

"I'm afraid of being killed!" she admits to her nurse. Her terror, unfortunately, is anything but unfounded, and Nurse Leatheran is soon enough without a patient.

The world's greatest detective happens to be in the vicinity, however: having concluded an assignment in Syria, and curious about the dig at Hassanieh, Hercule Poirot arrives in time to lead a murder investigation that will tax even his remarkable powers - and in a part of the world that has seen more than its share of misadventure and foul play.

©1936 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

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4.3 (58 )
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4.3 (55 )
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  •  
    Jennifer 10-30-14
    Jennifer 10-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Odd to hear a Poirot case narrated by a female"

    This story was unique in the telling, from a first person point of view by a character on scene at the time of murder but unconnected with the group and who helps Poirot in his investigations (but who is not wholly above suspicion). I liked the perspective, as she lent her own practical and no-nonsense take of the people and events. And she distinguished herself from the few previous storytellers in the way she expressed herself, her calm evaluations, and I rather appreciated her conduct with the investigation and Poirot. Unlike Hastings, she didn't outwardly fall for red herrings or show Poirot some insight by way of grasping everything that was ultimately unimportant. She was on hand and helpful and gave useful info to him in just the manner of her profession, as she herself describes, a nurse there to help the attending doctor.

    As far as the whodunit, I had many surmises along the way, and new info on alibis and motives was still surfacing right up until the big reveal. I had my suspicions proved right about the monk, and I was partially right about Mr. Kerry, but hasn't figured him out entirely. I was greatly amused by Coleman, and as a reader of PG Wodehouse, I appreciated the reference and found it a wonderful comparison. But honestly, this case had me fogged for the most part, and I had not come close to guessing the solution that Poirot unveiled in the end.

    Appropriately, for this female-narrated volume, they chose a female narrator rather than the usual voice of Poirot I am accustomed to. She took a few chapters to get used to, but she was pretty good on the whole. Her weakness was in maintaining numerous male characters' voices, and some times their accents would blend into each other. It made a few dialogues a tad confusing, but on the whole didn't obfuscate the actions. What bothered me more was the fluctuation of her Poirot voice - it always held his "foreign" accent as the nurse put it, but at various times it sounded as if it was that accent applied to Emmott's tone or the husband's or the nurse herself, rather than a single consistent voice.

    An enjoyable journey. Interesting, chronologically this case takes places just prior to that of the murder on the Orient Express, though this volume is several books later in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DJDecca 07-11-14
    DJDecca 07-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poirot Goes Digging for a Killer"
    Would you listen to Murder in Mesopotamia again? Why?

    Yes, I would. It's a good mystery wonderfully performed by the amazing Anna Massey. Full of interesting characters and a non-typical setting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the nurse, Amy Leatheran. Her matter-of-fact personality and her interactions with Poirot were charming and very well written.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oh, the last scene definitely. It's always fun when Poirot gathers all the suspects and reveals the solution to the crime.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was, though I couldn't. I did get through it very fast, though, because I was nicely engaged.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 04-25-13
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2010

    I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Agatha is always a Fun Experience"

    It has been a very long time since my last Agatha Christie, and this was an excellent choice to revisit her. This book was full of suspicious characters, a wonderful exotic setting and intriguing mystery. I love it when Hercule Poirot brings everyone together in a room to review all the motives and reveal the murderer. I was surprised by the ending, but there were plenty of clues for me to figure it out.

    I only gave it 4 stars because I sometimes got lost in all the different characters. This is the main problem with audio books that you have to rewind over and over to get a feeling for each character and how they all fit together.

    Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marjorie 04-22-15
    marjorie 04-22-15
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    "Narrator has the worst accents ever"

    For the first time I am giving up on an Agatha Christie. My eight year old neighbor does a better Poirot. The prime suspect is done so poorly that I don't even have a guess as to where he is supposed to be from. From nowhere on earth. Sorry, Ms.Massey, this is not your niche.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daddy Shawn La Verne, CA, United States 02-16-15
    Daddy Shawn La Verne, CA, United States 02-16-15 Member Since 2011

    Writer & daddy.

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    "Poirot is a classic that holds up very well."
    Any additional comments?

    Another Hercule Poirot mystery and it's more of the same, which isn't all bad. A bit more predictable than some in the Poirot series but fine characters all. I know that some of this story sprung from Agatha Christie's true life adventures, and maybe that is why it felt a little less than fresh. I'm not sorry that I read Murder in Mesopotamia (I'm slowly going through all of her books) but it's not in the top 10.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leon Miller New Orleans, Louisiana 01-13-15
    Leon Miller New Orleans, Louisiana 01-13-15 Listener Since 2009
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    "Good setting, excellent narrator, insulting ending"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I believe this is the first Christie I’ve read since grade school. I picked this up for two reasons: first, it’s set on an archaeological dig. Christie’s husband was a renowned archaeologist and she spent twenty years living at digs, where she wrote many of her novels. I was therefore looking forward to an insider’s view of life in the archaeological field, and in that regard the book was very interesting.Second, I “read” the audio version and selected this because it was voiced by the great Anna Massey. She was wonderful and I’m glad I did, but even her skill could not salvage a murder the solution of which, in true Christie fashion, was absurd to the point of offending the reader’s intelligence. The book has an interesting setting, interesting characters, and a wonderful actress, but it’s all ruined at the end when you realize how ridiculous it was. I had the impression that even poor Anna Massey was embarrassed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Agatha Christie again?

    Well, of course. It's Christie, after all.


    What does Anna Massey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sophistication, wit, subtly, great humor, and the opportunity to experience one of the great British actresses. Anna Massey was a British national treasure and it is well worth listening to this just to experience her grace and style.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. It has been made into a BBC Poirot episode and I've seen that.


    Any additional comments?

    Very interesting all the way through to the end. The ridiculously unbelievable ending did hurt my overall enjoyment of the book, but I did tell myself that except for the ending, the rest of the audio book was well worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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