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If there was ever any doubt about Agatha Christie's status at the top of the crime fiction pantheon, this book lays those doubts to rest.
In a departure from her usual country-manor mysteries, Agatha Christie sets a story in Ancient Egypt. Imhotep, a mortuary priest, creates tensions among his family when he brings home a concubine named Nofret. They resent her coming and go out of their way to make her feel unwelcome, but she plays the situation to her own advantage and tattles to Imhotep. When he returns, he makes her the prime beneficiary of the family fortune and disinherits his sons and their family. Sounds like an excellent motive for murder, and indeed, when Nofret is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, there is little doubt that she was murdered (even if everyone says aloud that it was an accident).
With Nofret gone, you would think that the family would be at peace; however, other family members start to die. The big question: is it someone alive committing these murders, or is the ghost of Nofret back to haunt them?
This was an excellent book. The originality of the plot kept me going, waiting to see who would die next. I really don't have much else to say, except that it was an interesting read and worthy of inclusion on any Top 100 crime novels list. It was also a great way to come back to Agatha Christie's work after having been away from it for a while.
I love love love me some Agatha Christie. The narrator the audiobook did a fantastic job, I enjoyed listening to Death Comes as the End. I enjoyed all the characters, especially the grandmother. Renisenb was not my favourite MC, I found her musings and thoughts to be dull and annoying at times. The twists and turns in this book are shocking, and I did not suspect the ending. The climax was beautifully done and overall it was a great read/listen.
A historical fiction mystery by the master of mysteries herself. Set in ancient Egypt, a priest brings home a beautiful concubine who is not welcome in his family. When she is killed, members of the family being to suspect her death was not an accident. When other family members begin to die, they must discover if the spirit of the concubine seeks vengeance or if there is another killer in their midst.
Historical fiction + a murder mystery = my favorite sort of novel. And apparently, well, at least according to Wikipedia, this was the first full-length historical whodunit novel. Lots of family drama and fascinating family relationships to tease out too.
After reading and really enjoying Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None a few years ago, I was pretty excited to read more by her. I picked up Death Comes as the End not long after I finished And Then There Were None as this is supposedly the book that has the most murders. It's also set in Ancient Egypt which is something that very much interests me. While I wasn't really counting, I did feel as though there weren't that many murders but I could have just missed something somewhere.
I do have to say that it took me a little bit to get used to the names. They're all Egyptian names so it took me a little bit to figure out who was who but once I did I found myself quite enjoying the book. This book is interesting as it has a personal/ kind of romance element to it, which I really wasn't expecting. There are a few times where it is discussed who Renisenb should marry. I honestly didn't think that part was too interesting to me as I was more interested in the mystery aspect.
There are so many suspects in this book that I really didn't manage to guess who the murderer was. So it was quite a surprise once it had been revealed who it was. I did have one theory that I thought to be a pretty good one, but unfortunately it wasn't that.
I thought that Death Comes as the End was quite interesting but it just wasn't on the same level as And Then There Were None. That being said, it was a good mystery in itself. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Agatha Christie's books and I think that my next choice will be either a Poirot or Miss Marple mystery.
Apparently, Death Comes as the End is the only one of Agatha Christie’s novels to have an historical setting. It is set in Egypt – on the West Bank of the River Nile at Thebes, to be precise – in 2000BC, ‘where death gives meaning to life’. The novel begins with a widow named Renisenb, who has returned to her childhood home with her child, Teti.
From the very beginning, Christie sets out the familial relationship within Renisenb’s home rather well. Unlike some of her other novels, the murder in Death Comes as the End does not come to the fore until around a third of the way in. Instead, the sense of place and the building of the characters have been focused upon. Whilst the setting has been well considered, the novel does not feel as though it has been entirely fixed in time. Parts of it seem suspended without any real, concrete details, and could quite easily relate to a different time period entirely. Nothing really made it feel as though it was fixed within Ancient Egypt, as I was expecting it to.
Whilst the plot of Death Comes at the End was rather clever, I must admit that I did guess it whilst it was still quite a way from the end. It is not my favourite of Christie’s works by any means, but it was interesting to see how an historical setting both inspired and affected her work.
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