Skip to main content

Murder In Mesopotamia (A Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie


Publication Date: July 6, 1936

Length:  288 pages

My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆


Okay so I fully admit this reason is pretty pointless but I loved the title and the cover. That's the honest truth. Having read the first Elizabeth Peters book set in Egypt amid an archaeological dig site and loved it, I figured this book might have that same flavor. I wanted to read another Poirot mystery since my last review was Miss Marple. So when I saw this book for a great price I had to buy it! Some of Christie's books just don't appeal to me due to the setting and I'm pretty picky about which ones I will try. Also, this one doesn't seem to be super well known (at least I'd never heard of it) and I wanted to review a book not as renowned. 


Our story begins with a foreword written by a Dr. Reilly, M.D., which is designed to seem like an introduction to the actual story, written by the main character, Nurse Leatheran. At Dr. Reilly's prompting, Miss Leatheran has been asked to recount the events in Iraq on a University archaeological dig that led to the deaths of two people as he believes her to have "professional character of the highest." Amy Leatheran opens her story by explaining how she came to be in Iraq. She is asked by a Dr. Leidner to care for his wife, Louise, who seems to be a nervous sort. As Amy gets to know Louise's story she learns that she was previously married to a man named Frederick Bosner, who supposedly died in World War I and Louise is distraught because she inexplicably seems to be receiving death threats from him. 

We are introduced to the many colorful characters who are residing with the Leidners and are part of the dig. It is observed that they seem to be overly polite and tolerant with one another but as the story develops there is an obvious undercurrent of tension, seemingly caused by their direct relationships with Louise. She is not what she seems at first glance. When Louise turns up dead in her bedroom, struck by a heavy object, all are suspects, including Amy. Enter Poirot, who just happens to be in Iraq and is able to lend his services to investigate the murder. 

He begins with his usual wit and insight, noticing inconsistencies and unusual, behind the scenes details that most would miss. As more information comes to light about the threats to Louise's life and her husband's supposed death in the war, Poirot unravels a strange story of switched identities and and when a second death occurs, he has to find the cause quickly before anyone else falls victim.


I enjoyed this mystery because it really kept me guessing. I found myself completely stumped and when I finished the book I realized that the subtle details Christie adds throw you off track. You are steered in one direction only to pull back at the end and see that it wasn't that way at all. I thought the slow reveal of Louise as at first odd, then neurotic, scheming and seductive, and then finally, the victim was good character development. The narration of Amy as the outsider who witnesses it all was an interesting take. And then of course the funny little quips from Poirot are always good for a laugh. The ending was a little far fetched, but then, it is fiction.


I am getting used to Christie's style a little more. She is all about the detective side of the mystery story, not so much personal stories. So the part I didn't like is what I usually don't care for in her books.....its' very clinical and clues oriented. But now that I realize that I'm expecting it and so going in I knew that it would feel more like a puzzle than a tale. There is no involved plot with historical details and intricate, personal, back stories but that's okay because that is not the kind of novel she writes. So honestly, not a lot to complain about. Good setting, lots of twists, and a satisfying ending. 

RECOMMEND? OR NOT?   Yes, it is a good one. Especially if you are already a Poirot fan. I think the added touch of the location in the Middle East made it unique and different from some of her other books. 


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I thought the ending was far fetched too, but I found the book entertaining and Amy was an interesting narrator. If you liked the Middle East setting, They Came to Baghdad is another good one.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I thought the ending was far fetched too, but I found the book entertaining and Amy was a great narrator. If you liked the Middle East setting, They Came to Baghdad is another good one.

    1. I haven't heard of that one but yes, I will try it! I am going to read Hercule Poirot's Christmas for the Read Christie Challenge in December also.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Very English Murder by Verity Bright (A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery) Book One

  Publication Date: April 3, 2020 Length: 300 pages As a Mom of two very busy teens I mistakenly thought, "oh during summer I'm going to get so much reading and reviewing done!" Wrong! I'm so behind on the Historical Fiction Challenge I'm embarrassed but.....I also have found it has been great for me in a new way to feel like I'm not able to read constantly. And that silver lining is that I have discovered so many adorable, short, easy to read books, especially cozy fiction and cozy mysteries that I am enjoying these shorts bursts of reading when I can knock out a book or two in a relatively short amount of time. Normally I feel pressure to read either long books or deep, meaningful books but as I get older I'm realizing it's okay to read things that are fun and quick!  This book is a delight. It is like reading a mystery that takes place in Downton Abbey. And if you are familiar with the show you know that everyone loves Mr. Carson, the butler. In thi

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon

  Publication Date: November 23, 2021 Length: 928 pages Hello book lovers! This is my first blog and first review of a book so bear with me as I navigate my way through this new adventure. I have signed up to be a part of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2022 and have chosen the Level Ancient History which requires me to read 25 historical fiction books this year and post a review about each book somewhere online. I have chosen to start a blog because I'd like to have my reviews all in one place so that I can easily look back on them throughout the challenge. Thank you to Marg at The Intrepid Reader and Helen at She Reads Novels for creating and promoting the challenge.  WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: My first book to review is Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon. Full disclaimer...this book is 928 pages and I read it from November 23rd to January 2nd so technically I finished it in 2022 but started it in 2021. It is so long that I'm going to just pat myself on th

Lionheart by Ben Kane

Publication Date: September 15, 2020 Length: 400 pages  I have to admit that reading historical fiction written by men has always been hit or miss for me. No disrespect to men....I love men! But sometimes their writing can lack all romance or personal touches beyond dates and battles. So the cover for this book is what really hooked me into trying it, shallow I know but I'm a sucker for all things Crusades and Richard the First. This was a well written piece of historical fiction. The author plans to make this a three part series and I will definitely be reading the next two books. We open Lionheart with a fictional character named Rufus. This is not his real name but one given to him by his captors. Right away I liked the style of the book, written in first person and giving us a running glimpse into the character's thoughts. Rufus is an Irish boy who has been given as a hostage to the English after his father and kin rebelled against them. He is lonely and depressed and treat