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Read an Extract from Death on the Nile

This year marks 100 years since Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot were introduced to readers. As we eagerly await the release of the 20th Century Studios film Death on the Nile starring Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, we share a few facts about the story and its adaptations, as well as a long extract for readers to download and enjoy.

  • According to Agatha Christie's notebooks, this mystery was originally planned to be written as a Miss Marple story.
  • Agatha Christie adapted this story for the stage, naming it Murder on the Nile and removing Poirot's character completely (as she was known to do in theatre adaptations).
  • The play Murder on the Nile was published in 1946, nine years after the book was first released.
  • Death on the Nile is one of Agatha Christie's best-loved and most famous works.
  • The historical and geographical detail of the novel derived from Christie's various trips to Egypt.
  • Agatha Christie spent three months in Cairo as a debutant in 1910, attending dances and meeting new people.
  • She returned to the country several times, including in 1933 when she journeyed up the Nile with Max Mallowan and her daughter, gaining inspiration for the novel.
  • The story contains references to other Christie works, namely The Mystery of the Blue Train, Murder in Mesopotamia and Murder on the Orient Express.
  • The classic 1978 film adaptation was Peter Ustinov's first outing as the Belgian detective.
  • Dame Maggie Smith, who starred in the 1978 film, would also go on to star in Evil Under the Sun in 1982.

This extract was originally published to celebrate World Book Night on 23rd April 2020

About World Book Night

World Book Night is a UK celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April every year. Up and down the country, everyone from libraries, local businesses, health organisations and many more celebrate the difference that reading makes to people’s lives. World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency, a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. Death on the Nile was chosen, alongside 25 other great titles, as an official World Book Night 2020 title

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