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Murder in Mesopotamia: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Paperback – September 27, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“I’ve been reading Agatha Christie for more years than I care to admit, and I am still rereading her.” (Elizabeth Peters, New York Times bestselling author of the Amelia Peabody novels)

“As good as anything Mrs. Christie has yet given us.” (Daily Mail (London))

From the Inside Flap

Agatha Christie's genius for detective fiction is unparalleled. Her worldwide popularity is phenomenal, her characters engaging, her plots spellbinding. No one knows the human heart--or the dark passions that can stop it--better than Agatha Christie. She is truly the one and only Queen of Crime.

Amy Leatheram has never felt the lure of the mysterious East, but when she travels to an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert to nurse the wife of a celebrated archaeologist, events prove stranger than she could ever have imagined. Her patient's bizarre visions and nervous terror seem unfounded, but as the oppressive tension in the air thickens, events come to a terrible climax--in murder.

With one spot of blood as his only clue, Hercule Poirot must embark on a journey not just across the desert, but into the darkest crevices of the human soul to unravel a mystery which taxes even his remarkable powers.

This gripping dramatization from the BBC features John Moffatt as Hercule Poirot heading a distinguished cast. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hercule Poirot Mysteries (Book 14)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073907
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on January 23, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This fabulous mystery by Agatha Christie has long been a favorite of mine. It outshines many of her other mysteries due to some wonderful atmosphere and a very likable heroine in Amy Leatheren. Hercule Poirot, though a major force in solving the mystery, plays second fiddle in this most entertaining murder mystery.

Murder in Mesopotamia is an adventure set in an exotic land where a murder occurs. The first half of the book almost has the feel of an M.M. Kaye mystery. Though one could not put Christie in the same class with Kaye in regards to romantic description of a time and place, there is certainly atmosphere to spare, and it is only when Hercule Poirot is introduced into the story that we see the classic elements of mystery fiction Agatha Christie invented come to the forefront.

Amy Leatheren is a young nurse asked to accompany an archaelogical expedition to the Middle East to look after Louise Leidner, the wife of the man heading the dig. Louise is a beautiful but frightened woman capable of both sweetness and offhand cruelty. What she is frightened of is quite vague but may be connected to tensions on the dig. On the suface it is friendly and familiar, but a dangerous unrest lies just beneath the surface.

Amy discovers answers to questions too late to prevent a particularly brutal murder and Christie's famous detective, Hercule Poirot, must solve the baffling puzzle of how the murder occurred. Amy has been asked to put on pen and paper her account of the events which transpired and this is her narrative. Soon she is acting as Poirot's helper and, to her delight and embarrassment, having the time of her life. There are both secret relationships and secret identities, and before too long, another murder.

Christie creates a wonderful atmosphere here.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on February 18, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
Before the Murder on the Orient Express, there was the Murder in Mesopotamia. In fact, the Mesopotamian murder mystery occurred just before Hercule Poirot traveled to Istanbul and caught the Orient Express. As a team of archaeologists labors away at an ancient Tell, the leader's wife has her head smashed in a room which no one else could have entered or left. The local constabulary is mystified, and Hercule Poirot, who just happens to be traveling in the area, is called in to consult. After some preliminary investigation to get the lay of the land, Poirot decides that everyone on the dig, with the exception of the husband and a recently retained nurse, is a suspect. He then begins his methodical quest to make some sense out of the available evidence and solve the "locked room" mystery of the wife's death. During the course of the investigation the reader comes to suspect every single member of the team, and by the time the mystery is solved, the reader has been thoroughly bewildered by the bizarre turns of events. The solution is both logical and satisfying, and it accounts for all the loose ends quite nicely. Unfortunately, it is so highly improbable as to be near ludicrous. Whoever ultimately prosecuted the case should have thanked his lucky stars that the murderer confessed when confronted by Poirot. Poirot's solution was a work of sheer logic without, as Poirot admitted, a shred of evidence to back it up. Poirot followed Sherlock Holmes' formula of eliminating the impossible. What he was left with, although improbable in the extreme, was what must have happened.
Christie entertains throughout, but I have two quibbles:
1. She deliberately misleads the reader in two particulars as the story unfolds, so that the solution becomes all the more surprising.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on June 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
since his trip to the Middle East seems to keep him working.
This 1935 novel is set in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) at an archeological dig, a setting that Christie came to know quite well after her marriage to an archeologist. A nurse, Amy Leatheran, has been engaged to care for the wife of the leader of an archeological expedition. She was told that the woman was suffering from 'nerves' only and that there was no real problem. Unfortunately for the patient her concerns turned out to be not imaginary after all, she was murdered. Hercule Poirot who was traveling through the area was brought into the case and of course solved the mystery.
MURDER IN MESPOTAMIA is part of a series of book that covers Poirot's Middle Eastern 'holiday' (APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS also chronicle this trip). It is unusual in that the story is narrated by Amy Leatheran who also acts as Poirot's assistant when he enters the story about 1/3 of the way through the story.
Although this is fairly laid out, as all of Christie's works, and has an intriguing and clever plot I found it difficult to really get into this one. Many of the characters were rather one dimensional and not very interesting. Still one of Christie's lesser works is still better than most other writer's best efforts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aurelas on May 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I enjoyed the setting of Murder in Mesopotamia (an archaeological dig), I found this book to be rather hackneyed and commonplace, definitely not up to Agatha Christie's standards. Somehow the characters seemed to be 2 dimensional...the only character who interested me was the young man who reminded the narrator of a Wodehouse character. In fact, after reading this book, I sallied forth to the library and checked out a book by P.G. Wodehouse, just so I could see what Ms. Christie was talking about. I highly recommend the works of Mr. Wodehouse, but not Murder in Mesopotamia. While I admit that the identity of the killer surprised me, by the time the murderer was unmasked, I was indifferent to the whole case. If you want to read a great Agatha Christie, read Death Comes as the End or And Then There Were None or Hallowe'en Party....they're all much better than Murder in Mesopotamia.
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