Appointment With Death, is probably my personal favourite from all the Poirot mysteries. The atmosphere to the story is claustrophobic and stifling, and the setting of Jerusalem and the red city of Petra is just perfect for a murder mystery. (As are all her books set in the middle east)
I first read this book four years ago, and even when i came to re-read it, the vile character of Mrs Boynton was still very much fresh and real in my mind. She is, in my opinion, one of the most memorable characters ever written. (By Agatha Christie or anyone else.)
As with all the best Poirot stories ("Cat Among the Pigeons", for example) the detective does not really appear until later on in the book. This way we get more aquainted the characters, and when Poirot takes centre stage, it is more dramatic. Rather like him beeing the dark stranger who sweeps in, solves the puzzle, catches the killer, and them leaves once more. Much more mysterious and enigmatic.
Sarah King is great, wonderful company to lead us into the first 100 pages, until the death.
Th puzzle is simple, yet one of Agatha Christie's best. It is tightly constructed, with, as ever, brilliantly accurate psychology. The solution is very unexpected. It may not have an astounding solution like And Then there were None, or Murder On the Orient Express, but it does have one that is very realistic, and that you COULD guess, but never will.
One of my very favourite Poirot novels, for the strength of its plot, the brilliance of it's psychology, and its solution.