Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Appointment With Death

Appointment with Death. Agatha Christie. 1937/2007. Black Dog & Leventhal. 256 pages.

"You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" The question floated out into the still night air, seemed to hang there a moment and then drift away down into the darkness towards the Dead Sea. Hercule Poirot paused a minute with his hand on the window catch.

Hercule Poirot is vacationing in Jerusalem when he overhears a private conversation. A man and woman discussing murder quite matter-of-factly. Who are they wanting to murder? Their stepmother. Is their stepmother really wicked? Well, many fellow vacationers seem to think so! She's a mean bully. A cruel tyrant. A woman almost impossible to love, to pity. She "manages" her adult children through fear and manipulation. Though alive, they appear lifeless. This 'strange' American family catches the interest of several fellow travelers including Miss Sarah King and Dr. Theodore Gerard. The family inspires pity--for the most part--and discussion. In just a few short days, this family becomes THE topic of discussion wherever they go--first in Jerusalem, and later in Petra. But when this matriarch, Mrs. Boynton, dies Poirot recalls this conversation. And that, along with a puncture wound on the wrist, becomes enough to interrogate this family and investigate this death. Can he come to the truth in just 24 hours? Even if he discovers the truth, will there be enough evidence to bring to convict should it ever go to trial?

I didn't love this one. It was more like than love. I found it compelling enough to finish. I thought it got off to a nice start--with its reference to Anthony Trollope, it had me hooked actually. But it doesn't do that well when compared to the other Christie mysteries I've read so far. Still, I'm glad I've read it.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Kailana said...

You must really like her if you can read her one right after another like this!