Murder in Mesopotamia is another book that came out of Christie’s first-hand experience of working on archaeological sites with her husband. The setting of this book is the excavation a large Assyrian city about a day and a half’s journey from Baghdad. The book is narrated by Miss Amy Leatheran, a thirty-two year old nurse who had lately been employed by Dr. Leidner, the leader of the expedition.
Dr. Leidner had been worried for some time about his wife, Louise’s, health. She was suffering from ‘fancies’ as well as recurring nervous terrors and as a result the atmosphere at the dig was very tense. Nurse Leatheran was to keep an eye on Louise and help her to feel ‘safe.’
By the time Leatheran had been at the dig for about a week she had an uneasy sense that something really was wrong and that the sense of strain and constraint among the expedition team was genuine.
Hercule Poirot comes on the scene after a murder occurs. It looks like it must have been committed by a member of the expedition team and Poirot expects the murderer will strike again.
We find out much about the various characters’ backgrounds and their relationships with each other as Poirot conducts his investigations. A red herring is thrown in to confuse everything but eventually Poirot brings his investigation to a surprise conclusion.
Apart from the archaeological setting, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as some of her others, e.g. They Came to Baghdad. Nurse Leatheran was a pain, not to mention a lousy nurse – patronising and full of herself, with a bustling attitude of ‘Come, come, that’s enough of that.’ Followed up by a slap on the face. That didn’t endear me to her.
As usual, Christie included a nice little twist to reveal the suspect.
Even though this book is not one of my favourites, it held my interest throughout.
I just discovered the Read Christie Challenge 2022. This is a great website for all things Agatha. And if you haven’t yet read any of her books here are some suggestions: Nine Christie Novels for Newcomers. I’m reading through her books that have a Middle East/Archaeological setting.
Linking to the Cloak & Dagger 2022 Challenge.