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Hercule Poirot may be on vacation, but a killer isn't. The victim's a hateful tourist despised even by her own children. For the guests at the resort hotel, sympathies are with the murderer, which means a tough job for the Belgian detective.

Topics: Jerusalem, 1930s, Series, Suspenseful, Adventurous, Family, Revenge, The Middle East, Murder, Vacation, Mothers, 20th Century, Female Author, and British Author

Published: HarperCollins on Jan 25, 2005
ISBN: 9780061738005
List price: $5.99
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Once again murder disrupts Hercule Poirot's vacation. This time, he's in the Middle East. He first encounters the victim and several suspects in their Jerusalem hotel. Mrs. Boynton is more than just the stereotypical obnoxious American tourist. She's a tyrant who takes pleasure in manipulating the lives of her daughter and step-children. In some ways, it's not a surprise when Mrs. Boynton is murdered during an excursion to Petra. Did she push her children too far? Or could someone else in the party have had a motive for murdering the woman?While some of the plot elements are similar to her other books, Christie adds some different twists. Even though I had read the book before, I had forgotten the culprit's identity, and Christie fooled me this time. The book is full of suspects and red herrings, yet the significant clues were delivered in a way that didn't raise my suspicion. This is a characteristic I take for granted in Christie's mysteries, but it's something a lot of other mystery writers don't manage to do.read more
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You could look at Appointment with Death as either an appropriate read, or a totally wrong read for Mother’s Day as it deals with a monstrous mother whose chief joy in life is tormenting her children. In this offering by Agatha Christie we deal with the death of Mrs. Boynton, who along with her family is vacationing in the Middle East. Coincidentally, Hercule Poirot is also on vacation and is conveniently on hand to investigate firstly whether a murder did occur, and if so, who is the murderer.In typical Christie fashion, there’s plenty of suspects, the five remaining Boyntons, all interesting characters on their own, as well as other travellers in the party. A few red herrings help to keep you guessing, but overall, I wasn’t too surprised at the outcome. Perhaps not my favorite Agatha Christie mystery, but certainly an enjoyable read that gives us a fun look at upper class travellers in the 1930’s.read more
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One of my favorite Christies. An absolutely obnoxious victim, an old spider of a woman; an oddball family group to pull suspects from; the red city of Petra as a setting--who could ask for anything more in a relaxing mystery?read more
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Once again murder disrupts Hercule Poirot's vacation. This time, he's in the Middle East. He first encounters the victim and several suspects in their Jerusalem hotel. Mrs. Boynton is more than just the stereotypical obnoxious American tourist. She's a tyrant who takes pleasure in manipulating the lives of her daughter and step-children. In some ways, it's not a surprise when Mrs. Boynton is murdered during an excursion to Petra. Did she push her children too far? Or could someone else in the party have had a motive for murdering the woman?While some of the plot elements are similar to her other books, Christie adds some different twists. Even though I had read the book before, I had forgotten the culprit's identity, and Christie fooled me this time. The book is full of suspects and red herrings, yet the significant clues were delivered in a way that didn't raise my suspicion. This is a characteristic I take for granted in Christie's mysteries, but it's something a lot of other mystery writers don't manage to do.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
You could look at Appointment with Death as either an appropriate read, or a totally wrong read for Mother’s Day as it deals with a monstrous mother whose chief joy in life is tormenting her children. In this offering by Agatha Christie we deal with the death of Mrs. Boynton, who along with her family is vacationing in the Middle East. Coincidentally, Hercule Poirot is also on vacation and is conveniently on hand to investigate firstly whether a murder did occur, and if so, who is the murderer.In typical Christie fashion, there’s plenty of suspects, the five remaining Boyntons, all interesting characters on their own, as well as other travellers in the party. A few red herrings help to keep you guessing, but overall, I wasn’t too surprised at the outcome. Perhaps not my favorite Agatha Christie mystery, but certainly an enjoyable read that gives us a fun look at upper class travellers in the 1930’s.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
One of my favorite Christies. An absolutely obnoxious victim, an old spider of a woman; an oddball family group to pull suspects from; the red city of Petra as a setting--who could ask for anything more in a relaxing mystery?
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is one of my favourite Christie novels. I love the idea of setting the murder at Petra of all places and the victim, Mrs Boynton is one of Christie's most psychologically interesting characters and one who very definitely deserves to die.
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Mrs Boynton's American family are in thrall to her. She dominates their lives like a giant spider and saps their individual wills to rebel. Only one of her family are actually her own child. Three of the remaining are her step children and one of the women is married to her eldest step-son. They are all totally dependent on her for financial support, although they will all inherit a massive fortune equally at her death. " What a horror of a woman!" Old, swollen, bloated, sitting there immoveable in the midsts of them - a distorted old Buddha - a gross spider in the centre of a web!Onlookers can see the toll that attendance on their mother is taking on the younger members of the Boynton family. They are nervy, drained, and apparently exhausted. What should have been a holiday in Jerusalem and Petra is a constant battle of wills with their mother who controls where they go, what they see, and who they talk to.By the end of Part I, nearly half way through the novel, Mrs Boynton keeps her appointment with death while visiting Petra. Hercule Poirot had already observed the family in Jerusalem. Just now he is visiting Colonel Carbury in Amman with a letter of introduction from Colonel Race. Mrs Boynton's body is brought to Amman and Carbury invites Poirot to assist him in the investigation. Hercule Poirot ... the egg-shaped head, the gigantic moustaches, the dandyfied appearance and the suspicious blackness of his hair.Poirot is fresh from his success in DEATH ON THE NILE. Where Colonel Race was his confidante in that case, Colonel Carbury takes on that role in APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH. Poirot is pretty confident though thta he will be able to solve the puzzle fairly quickly. Carbury says that he is only able to detain the family members and fellow travellers for 24 hours, so Poirot has a limit to the time available to him.Poirot says he will succeed through ... methodical sifting of the evidence, by a process of reasoning.... And by a study of psychological possibilities.Carbury is very sceptical of Poirot's ability, but of course, in the end Poirot proves what he said at the beginning. I am gifted.... I know my own ability.This is once again an enjoyable read. What strikes you with these novels is that they are relatively short by today's standards. Christie seems to have the ability to put a small world under the microscope, and yet at the same time can supply us with a considerable amount of detail, enough to float a red herring or two.
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Appointment with Death hails from Christie's prime, i.e. the 1930s, and its exotic settings in the middle East are a big plus, too. Poirot is called to the scene -- Petra -- to investigate the suspicious death of a tyrannical matriarch, whose cowering stepchildren and natural daughter are all sympathetic but highly plausible suspects. Christie also brings in a couple of characters with medical/psychological background here, and they spend a great deal of the novel dissecting the likelihood that our suspects' deep-seated murderous urges simply grew too powerful to resist. This doesn't make for an action-packed story, but I never found it dull.Overall, then, this is a good standard Christie. It's not one of her very best, but it's still a delight to read.
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