Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot Series)

Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot Series)

by Agatha Christie


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Suspicious events at a Middle Eastern archaeological excavation site intrigue the great Hercule Poirot as he investigates Murder in Mesopotamia, a classic murder mystery from Agatha Christie.

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.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062073907
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Series: Hercule Poirot Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 47,288
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

What People are Saying About This

Elizabeth Peters

“I’ve been reading Agatha Christie for more years than I care to admit, and I am still rereading her.”

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Murder in Mesopotamia 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very excellent and unique whodunit set on a archeological site in the Middle East during the 1930's. The victim-a beautiful American woman with many secrets, a group of suspicious and unique suspects who may or may not have a motive for murder, a tragic second killing, and a surprising solution regarding how it was done, by whom, and why. Poirot solves the case with unsurpassing meticulousness and cleverness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Murder in Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie, is about a murder while on an archeological dig. Overall, this book deserves an eight out of ten. Though I thought the plot was the same as some of the Agatha Christie books I have read. There was a main murder, but also some other person or group doing something against the law. I liked the way that the murder was written from a nurse¿s point of view. Doing so really let readers know about the medical conditions of some of the key characters. She could tell you how long someone had been dead, and what kind of instrument was used to deliver the final blow. One of the things that I did like about the book is the way the murder was committed. The killer did a great job of covering up how he/she (I won¿t say!) did it. I also enjoyed how many different objects came into play when figuring out how the person was killed. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read a mystery novel, as it is a great collection to the many novels I have read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this story has a fresh new setting, which was enjoyable. Fantastic plot.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Great Christie novel
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of my personal favorites among the cases of Hercule Poirot, but still quite engaging. Told from the perspective of Amy Leatheran, a nurse hired by a Dr. Eric Leidner to take care of his wife Louise at an archaeolgical excavation out in the deserts of Iraq. The nurse arrives to find that there is a somewhat strained attitude among the members of the expedition, and most of that has to do with Mrs. Leidner. However, Mrs. Leidner is murdered, and it is established that the murderer could only have come from among the group. Enter Mr. Poirot, whose work is cut out for him when it seems that each and every member of the expedition has a motive for Mrs. Leidner's death. As I said, not one of my particular favorites, but it was still fun to see Poirot unraveling a rather twisted plot. The ending is a bit of a surprise, so it's well worth the ride. Recommended for those who are fans of Hercule Poirot, or of Agatha Christie, or for readers of British mysteries in general.
DirtPriest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These Christie mysteries are really neat. This one is a little too happenstance, having Poirot just happen to be passing through the town on his way to Baghdad, but hey-its fiction, right?
MusicMom41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was cited in Where God Was Born (Bruce Feilor) and the victim is patterned after the wife of an archeologist for whom Christie¿s 2nd husband worked, which added to the interest in the story. Christie met her husband when she visited the dig one summmer (he followed her back to England and wooed her). After they were married the wife would not allow her to be invited again. The victim was the most interesting thing about the book¿Christie got her revenge!
davidabrams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is always room for second chances in life. Case in point: Murder in Mesopotamia. The first time I read Agatha Christie's 1936 novel about murder and mayhem on an archeological dig in Iraq, I dismissed it as one of her lesser efforts. The murder scene (despite a typical Christie floor plan) was hard to figure out, the characters were stiff and dusty as mummified corpses, and the narrator-¿nurse Amy Leatheran-¿was a babbling idiot. That was four years ago. Time wounds all heels, I guess; and now, after a second reading, I realize I was unjustly unkind to the book. Oh, it's still not perfect¿-Christie's descriptions of the archeology compound can be quite tedious, and most of the bland characters blend into one another-¿but I found myself drawn in deeper this time around. I'll admit, my heart was even pounding with anticipation in the pages leading up to Hercule Poirot's Big Reveal in the next-to-last chapter. It appears I really did forget whodunit. I may have brain-blurred most of the book's details in the four-year interim between readings, but one thing I most certainly did not forget was the way in which the killer actually carried out the murder. Of course, I'm bound by personal oath not to reveal "how" or "who," but suffice to say Christie really cooked up an ingenious demise this time. There's no doubt this was a book written from her heart. Christie had a long-standing love affair with the Middle East, specifically Iraq and the digs near Ur and Nineveh. It was in Iraq in 1930 when she met and consequently fell in love with the man who would become her second husband, archeologist Max Mallowan. Christie's travels and impressions of the excavations and nearby cities invariably made their way onto the pages of her novels, but you can get an even better flavor of the area from her autobiography. Here, for instance, is a brief portrait she paints in that memoir: I fell in love with Ur, with its beauty in the evenings, the ziggurat standing up, faintly shadowed, and that wide sea of sand with its lovely pale colours of apricot, rose, blue and mauve, changing every minute. I enjoyed the workmen, the foremen, the little basket boys, the pick men¿-the whole technique and life. The lure of the past came up to grab me. And here is what Amy Leatheran records in the pages of Murder in Mesopotamia: It took us about four hours to get to Hassanieh, which, to my surprise, was quite a big place. Very pretty it looked, too, before we got there from the other side of the river¿-standing up quite white and fairy-like with minarets. If her description is not quite as effusive as Christie's, that's because 32-year-old Amy Leatheran is, for the most part, a woman who holds her emotions in check, only letting herself speak freely when someone questions her credibility. She's a reluctant narrator, having been urged to write the manuscript by Dr. Reilly, a friend who tells her the world needs "an unvarnished plain account of the Tell Yarimjah business." That "business" forms the basis for Murder in Mesopotamia and Nurse Leatheran, despite her initial qualms, is soon off and running as she relates how she was hired by archeologist Dr. Eric Leidner to look after his wife who has "fits of recurring nervous terrors." Louise Leidner has been receiving ominous, anonymous letters which threaten to dredge up a chapter from her past she'd rather forget. Then, too, she's been hearing things outside her room at night, and there have been ghastly faces appearing at the window. Her nervous fits have the whole household on edge out at the dig site and Dr. Leidner hopes that Nurse Leatheran can help restore a sense of peace and calm so the archeological work can continue without incident. Unfortunately, soon after Nurse Leatheran arrives, there is an incident-¿a deadly, gory incident¿-and poor Louise is found crumpled and lifeless on her bedroom floor. There's a spot of blood where her head's been bas
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nurse Amy Leatheran is at the Tigris Palace Hotel, about to return to London, when she is recommended by friend Dr Reilly to Dr Leidner who is heading an archaeological dig in Iraq. Leidner's wife is in need of a companion/nurse although the archaeologist is a bit reticent in his interview with Nurse Leatheran about what is actually wrong with his wife. Nurse Leatheran joins the party at the dig and learns that Mrs Leidner has been receiving threatening letters. Nurse Leatheran finds the whole atmosphere at the dig is quite uncomfortable and then, rather predictably, Mrs Leidner is murdered. It becomes obvious that the murderer has to be one of the party, but who? There are plenty of suspects.The investigating officer Captain Maitland learns that the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot will be travelling through Baghdad from Syria. Poirot is persuaded to assist in the investigation. He treats Nurse Leatheran as his confidante, and she becomes his "Hastings". It is her account of the investigation that we read.I really read this too close to watching the latest TV production with David Suchet as Poirot. (see the Youtube video embedded below)If you watched that television production, you will remember that Poirot visits the dig quite early in the story because his friend Captain Arthur Hastings is there. There is a "memorable" scene at dinner where Hastings makes an absolute mess of explaining the meaning of the word Mesopotamia.Well, it may not surprise you to find that Hastings is not actually in the original book.In actual fact in the book Poirot does not arrive until well over half way through the story. Mrs Leidner is already dead.I think that in MURDER IN MESOPOTAMIA Agatha Christie toyed with the concept of the unreliable narrator. You will remember that she had already done this previously in THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD.Nurse Leatheran prides herself as being an excellent judge of character, she says nurses generally are, and so there are times when we need to take her conclusions with a pinch of salt. In fact Poirot does come to recognise that because Nurse Leatheran is so observant she may also be in real danger from the murderer.Several aspects of the way that Poirot works are highlighted for us: the way he encourages people to "gossip" with him; the way he whittles down the list of suspects; his romantic streak; his liking for young women.After I learnt that the novel had originally been published in serial form, I looked for signs of fragmentation, perhaps discontinuity from one part to another, but I didn't find any.It is quite a detailed novel, showing how much Christie undestands about life on an archaeological dig, and a number of side stories run simultaneously with the main murder mystery.
lizzybeans11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having only read a few of Agatha Christie's works I appreciate that she tried something new, writing the book as one of the characters in the story. Nurse Leatheran is called to a dig in Iraq to care for the wife of the head archaeologist. Mrs Leidner is afraid she will be murdered and eventually she is. Poirot happens to be in the Middle East and is brought on to the case. After a few days he's gotten everyone in the dig crew to spill their secrets and of course solve the case.I did enjoy the last few passages that wrap-up what happened to everyone in the crew. Poirot is said to have be traveling home via the Orient Express and had to solve another case. I thought it was nice tie-in to one of Christie's more famous novels.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Louise Leidner--"Lovely Louise," as she is known to the ex-pat communnity in Iraq--is a compelling woman. She is beautiful, intelligent, and confident--but she's also a quivering bundle of nerves. She hears tapping on her window, sees ghostly faces hovering outside, and receives threatening letters which may or may not be written by her supposedly dead former husband. Nurse Amy Leatheran--sensible, experienced, kind but tough, has been hired to be her companion, and acts as our narrator as well.It's really no surprise when Louise is murdered early one afternoon. After all, this charismatic woman has been adored and reviled in equal measure--often by the same person!--by everyone on her husband's archaeological dig. All have a motive, all have the opportunity...and most have an alibi. What's the local constabulary to do but call in Hercule Poirot, passing through on his way to Baghdad. Poirot, always up for an intriguing case, enlists Nurse as his assistant (scrub nurse to his surgeon, as she thinks of it), and together they suss out the facts. And the facts, of course, lead to a most surprising conclusion.Thoroughly satisfying, Murder in Mesopotamia is charming, clever, and funny. A must read, particularly as M. Poirot, after his visit to Baghdad, is heading off on the Orient Express, where he will surely find himself embroiled in another baffling crime.
dk_phoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, as usual¿ Agatha Christie never disappoints, especially with a Poirot. I loved that this novel was narrated by someone else (a nurse on the dig) and thought that gave a fun & often amusing perspective on Poirot and the people around him.A fun, comfortable read.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An archaeological dig in Iraq provides the setting for this "locked room" mystery. The circumstances are baffling to the local authorities, so when they learn that Hercule Poirot is vacationing in the vicinity they're more than happy to ask for his assistance in solving the murder. Since Poirot is traveling alone, the role of "sidekick" is filled by Amy Leatheran, the victim's nurse. Nurse Leatheran is also the first-person narrator, writing her account of the events a few years after the fact. (The events take place about a week prior to Poirot's trip on the Orient Express.) It was fun to read her first impressions of Poirot, and to see how her opinion of him changed as the investigation progressed. I also enjoyed the references to popular literature of the era. For instance, one character was described as having stepped out of the pages of a Wodehouse novel. This is classic Christie. Recommended to all fans of the Golden Age of detective fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Agatha Christie writes the best and the most interesting novels in the world. This story was so suspenseful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another Christie success. Having the nurse give a Hastings-style role/viewpoint was an interesting touch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this format. The size and shape is perfect for carrying everywhere, and I ALWAYS have a book in my purse. Also love the cover art and of course Agatha Christie is classic murder mystery. I highly recommend this.
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another good AC / HP mystery in an exotic setting.
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