Murder in Mesopotamia

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Life on an archaeological dig shouldn't involve murder, but for Amy Leatheran it does. Fortunately for her, Hercule Poirot is visiting, but will the great detective be in time to prevent a multiple murderer from striking again?

"Agatha Christie has a humorous, well-observed story amongst the ruins of Tell Yarimjah, and her latest method of murder, which got me guessing fruitlessly, has, as usual, more simplicity of a miracle than the complication of a conjuring trick."

The Observer, 1936


About this story

First released

November 1935 (serialised in The Saturday Evening Post, US)

Genre

  • Murder Mystery, 
  • Detective

Formats

  • Radio Play, 
  • Novel, 
  • TV, 
  • Graphic Novel

Recurring characters

  • Poirot, 
  • Prince Ali Yusef

Murder methods

Setting

  • Middle East

Full of rich detail from Christie’s own travels in the Middle East, Murder in Mesopotamia sees Poirot on an archaeological expedition, not unlike those his author attended. It isn’t long before a murder interrupts the progress of the dig and Nurse Leatheran requests Poirot’s assistance.

By 1936, Christie had frequently travelled with her husband Max Mallowan on his archaeological digs. The cast of characters in Murder in Mesopotamia is largely derived from the people she met, including the fierce and determined Katherine Woolley, who first introduced the couple, and whose tempestuous nature is likely to have inspired ...

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Full of rich detail from Christie’s own travels in the Middle East, Murder in Mesopotamia sees Poirot on an archaeological expedition, not unlike those his author attended. It isn’t long before a murder interrupts the progress of the dig and Nurse Leatheran requests Poirot’s assistance.

By 1936, Christie had frequently travelled with her husband Max Mallowan on his archaeological digs. The cast of characters in Murder in Mesopotamia is largely derived from the people she met, including the fierce and determined Katherine Woolley, who first introduced the couple, and whose tempestuous nature is likely to have inspired the victim in the novel. Robin Macartnay who acted as draughtsman on the Mallowan's own digs, illustrated the jacket for the Collins Crime Club edition.

A TV adaptation was broadcast in 2001 as part of the series starring David Suchet. Hastings was added to the story, played by Hugh Fraser, and becomes the uncle of one of the characters. The story was also dramatised for BBC Radio 4 in 2005, featuring John Moffatt as Poirot. It was published in English as a graphic novel in 2008, having been translated from the French edition of 2005, Meurtre en Mésopotamie.

"Don't start reading this if you've got something to do or want a book just for a quarter of an hour or so. Because you simply won't put it down til you've reached the last sentence."

Daily Mirror, 1936



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