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.
Interesting setting and a different narrator. Although this is a Hercule Poirot story, he has a secondary role in the story ( although, of course, he solves the murders ). Dame Agatha's interest in archeology is evident and adds authenticity to the story.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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
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
While this is one of my favorite Christie book, I didn’t enjoy the voice of Poirot by the narrator. It was really annoying. She did great on the other characters. My favorite narrator is Hugh Fraser. He’s amazing.
I liked the perspective of this book from the point of view of the nurse. I am trying to read all of the Poirot books, so I was not too disappointed that there was so little Poirot, he comes in late and is not as much the star of the show as normal. But I like the crime and its resolution.
But the narration, I have a very high tolerance for bad narration, but this was so bad that I almost had to stop, but the story kept me going. It was the accents they were bordering on being offensive, they very worst in stereotype.
The narrator mispronounces Chicago. It' s pronounced as if the first 2 letters were "sh"
intriguing story, though lacking many of the subtle clues of other Christie classics, but the narration was absolutely painfilul. Nurse sounded like an aged spinster, rather than the thirty-something professional woman she was. All the men had gutteral, vaguely Germanic accents and rather froggy voices. The only reason I forged through was for cookies are other stories - and in the veeeery end there was o be. So, yes. Decent boom made barely palatable by horrific narration.
This is classic Christie and early Poirot. Good performance by narrator. She has a very pleasant voice, though her accents were a little distracting sometimes. It's one of Christie's earlier works.