Interesting story set in Egypt. The father of the family brings home a beautiful concubine. The impact on the family is unexpected. Two married sons and their wives, the single son, the widowed daughter, the grandmother, and the 'faithful' servant learn more about evil then they could ever expect. Agatha Christie does an excellent job at surprising you as to who is murdered next.
What Ms. Christie says in her Author's Note is true: the setting of this novel (Ancient Egypt) is entirely incidental to the story. This is not a mystery you read for the atmosphere, despite all the historically accurate details Christie carefully provides; it is a mystery you read for the puzzle, and as far as Christie puzzles go it is rather middle of the road. I guessed the murderer immediately after the second murder (which happens very quickly, making up for the fact that first murder doesn't occur until nearly a third of the way into the book) and only wavered once, briefly (but then, this is the 80th Christie novel I've read, so I'm well-trained). I was a little disappointed in its heroine -- she is probably the most weak-spirited heroine Christie has ever produced, which makes her romance (which gets more play than romance gets in many Christie novels) a little boring. Still, while I wouldn't recommend it as one of Christie's best, it satisfies in the same way every Christie novel does.
This was not as easy a read as most of Agatha Christie's books, but once into it, I was entralled by the story.
It is 2000 B.C. in Egypt and Imhotep the Ka-Priest brings home his beautiful young concubine Nofret. However not all the members of his family welcome her and when she is found dead it is Imhotep's daughter Renisenb who suspects it might not have been an accident.
This death unleashes the greed and hate that have been building up within the family and the horrific events that follow tear it apart. With few allies she can confide in, even Renisenb has to constantly look over her shoulder.
I am a huge Agatha Christie fan, with my favorite being Poirot. This was a pleasant diversion from my usual Christie books. Well written and easy to follow. I was pleased with the ending. Good suggestion for Christie fans.
This book was a DNF for me - I got as far as the middle and couldn't go on. I feel bad about it because Agatha Christie is one of my favorite writers - but this is not her usual murder mystery. No nosy middle aged heroine or vain, foreign detective hero. It is set in ancient Egypt for one thing. And the murder dosn't happen for quite a bit into the story. Just not the same as her much loved mysteries. sigh - I picked this particular book because it was on a "100 best Mystery" type list I found online. I will cross this book off and find another great mystery to read. ;D
Another great mystery by Agatha Christie!
Many years ago I would not read mystery novels. But after having read most of the world's great literature and exhausted all of my favorite fiction writers I picked up a book by the biggest name in mysteries and got hooked. It wasn't until I read all of Ms. Christie's works and began to read other, better mystery writers such as Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, Robert Barnard, and Americans like John D. MacDonald and Ross MacDonald that I realized Ms. Christie's body of work was highly overrated and offered at best maybe 8 or 10 novels that were worth the time to read them.
"Death Comes as the End" is my favorite and one of the very few of hers that left a lasting impression. It's atypical of her usual repetitive, formulaic and often silly stories.
She was way ahead of her time with this one, and accidently hit a previously unexplored vein, the historical mystery which many years later has been used to such grand effect by Ellis Peters, Lindsey Davis, Lauren Haney, Michael Jecks, Steven Saylor, Leonard Tourney and many others. This is the book that started it all and its definitely one of Christies best.