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Appointment with Death: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Paperback – September 27, 2011
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About the Author
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.
From the Back Cover
Among the towering red cliffs of Petra, like somemonstrous swollen Buddha, sits the corpse of Mrs.Boynton. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist is the onlysign of the fatal injection that killed her.
With only twenty-four hours available to solve themystery, Hercule Poirot recalled a chance remark he’doverheard back in Jerusalem: “You see, don’t you, thatshe’s got to be killed?” Mrs. Boynton was, indeed, themost detestable woman he’d ever met. . . .
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Top Customer Reviews
The setting for this mystery is exotic Jerusalem where the Boyntons have come on holiday to visit the Holy Land. Christie excels in providing local color and this novel ranks among her best in that area.
Perhaps no reader will be shocked that Mrs. Boynton is murdered or that Hercule Poirot just happens to be on holiday in the same area and agrees to assist the local police in solving the crime. What will be intriguing is the long list of suspects, motives, and opportunities. Also, in typical Christie fashion, will be a surprising twist that leaves the reader saying "Now why didn't I see that coming?" A great read filled with red herrings and the type of descriptive writing that Agatha Christie excels in.
This book became popular with the release of the 1988 movie starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot and Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Boynton. Also in the cast were Carrie Fisher, David Soul, John Gielgud, Hayley Mills, and Piper Laurie.
This is another of Christie's dysfunctional families, this time the problem parent is the mother instead of her usual tyrannical father. The Boynton family consists of Mrs. Boynton, grossly overweight, in poor health and whose chief occupation is to torment her family. She has three adult step children, Lennox (married to Nadine), Raymond and Carol and her own daughter, Ginevra. While on an excursion to Petra Mrs. Boynton dies leaving the question of natural causes or murder as the cause. If it is murder was it committed by one of the family or another member of the group?
Poirot is consulted by a local offical to sort out the mess which of course he does but not without suffering the hardships of the desert - so hard on patent leather shoes!
This 1937 novel is one of Christie's 'psychological' mysteries where much time is spent on motive and character development. The result is that by the end of the novel the reader feels personally acquainted with many of the characters. Also this is set in the Middle East where Christie spent much time herself and gives the novel an insight on the area and travel in those times. It is an excellent mystery, all clues are fairly laid out for the reader to sort out and still quite enjoyable and challenging nearly 70 years later.
I first read this book four years ago, and even when i came to re-read it, the vile character of Mrs Boynton was still very much fresh and real in my mind. She is, in my opinion, one of the most memorable characters ever written. (By Agatha Christie or anyone else.)
As with all the best Poirot stories ("Cat Among the Pigeons", for example) the detective does not really appear until later on in the book. This way we get more aquainted the characters, and when Poirot takes centre stage, it is more dramatic. Rather like him beeing the dark stranger who sweeps in, solves the puzzle, catches the killer, and them leaves once more. Much more mysterious and enigmatic.
Sarah King is great, wonderful company to lead us into the first 100 pages, until the death.
Th puzzle is simple, yet one of Agatha Christie's best. It is tightly constructed, with, as ever, brilliantly accurate psychology. The solution is very unexpected. It may not have an astounding solution like And Then there were None, or Murder On the Orient Express, but it does have one that is very realistic, and that you COULD guess, but never will.
One of my very favourite Poirot novels, for the strength of its plot, the brilliance of it's psychology, and its solution.
Hercule Poirot overhears those words as he travels. They are spoken by a young man named Raymond Boynton to his sister Carol. "She" is their stepmother, a hideous old woman with a talent for mental sadism. She keeps her stepchildren (and natural daughter, who is a schizophrenic) dangling like puppets, doing whatever she says. Lennox, the oldest, has retreated into mute uncaring, and his wife is threatening to leave him. Raymond has fallen in love with the beautiful Sarah King, and lovely young Jinny is beginning to go over the edge.
Then Mrs. Boynton is killed. And Hercule Poirot must unravel not who would kill her, but who WOULDN'T kill her.
This is one of those mysteries where the murdered person is so loathsome that even if you don't approve of the murder, you DO cheer when it happens. The plot is tight and complex, the characters are excellent, and the ending will surprise, shock, and satisfy you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you have seen the PBS version, you will be surprised how much better the book is because it is completely different. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James L. Adcox
Adorable Hercule Poirot has 24 hours to solve the mystery and everyone is suspect.
Very good look at family dynamics. Nice epilogue.
I have to read the books that my children in High School chose. This is the only way I can help them with their book test. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Judy Ross
I love Agatha Christie and always will. Hercule is my 2nd favorite Christie detective. Miss Marple is my first.Published 4 months ago by AGinLA
Agatha Christie never fails to deliver. Her insights into human behavior are remarkable, her lead up to the murder always well presented, and her ability to give honest clues while... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Darrell Bryant