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  • Writer's picturealisonkilian

What I'm Reading Now: Agatha Christie's 'Death on the Nile'

The classic by the Queen of Mystery is still one of my favorite puzzles.

Agatha Christie is widely known as the Queen of Mystery. She even had a bit of mystery in her own life when she went vanished for 11 days in December of 1926 (the circumstances still aren't 100% clear).

She created some memorable detectives, notably Miss Marple and—even more famed—Hercule Poirot. I'm currently reading likely the most famous Poirot book, Death on the Nile, for the second time—and it's just as entertaining as it was the first. Christie, renowned for painstakingly plotting her works, plants plenty of clues, real and fake, to keep the reader guessing. Even if you know the answer to the "whodunnit," like I do, rereading is a fun chance to watch the author plant her red herrings. It never gets boring.

I recently decided to reread Christie's work after watching the Knives Out and Glass Onion movies. The quirky detective seems to be a nod to the great detectives like Poirot. All great detectives are known for some flaw—Holmes as his heroin, Miss Marple her old age, and Poirot his vanity. In Glass Onion, Daniel Craig's detective has a tame but relatable—and surprising—flaw: He's terrible at murder-mystery games. He's so terrible at them, that he hates them as a result (who can't relate).

For me, these are the kinds of details that make Christie's books—any books—worth a read. Anyone can write a murder mystery. Truly. There are plot formulas you can use to map out the entire narrative—add a fake clue here, a real clue here, a suspect here. But to stand apart from the rest, a lovable (or love-to-hate-able) character is a must. And that's where Christie delivers, again and again.

My person favorite? Salome Otterbourne. A renowned, eccentric romance novel author who floats around in caftans and lives off her writing, she's everything I aspire to be in my fantasy world. Realistic? No. Fun to read about? Absolutely.

Thank you for reading my blog! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.

NOW that that's done... I'd love to hear from you about this blog post in the comments!

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