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Appointment with Death: A Hercule Poirot Mystery Paperback – Sep 27 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (Sept. 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062073923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062073921
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976.

From the Back Cover

Among the towering red cliffs of Petra, like somemonstrous swollen Buddha, sits the corpse of Mrs.Boynton. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist is the onlysign of the fatal injection that killed her.

With only twenty-four hours available to solve themystery, Hercule Poirot recalled a chance remark he’doverheard back in Jerusalem: “You see, don’t you, thatshe’s got to be killed?” Mrs. Boynton was, indeed, themost detestable woman he’d ever met. . . .

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hercule Poirot has decided to take a vacation to the Middle East. One his first night in Jerusalem he overhears a bit of conversation - "You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?" He assumes that he has heard two people collaborating on a book or play, smiles to himself as he muses that crime seems to follow him everywhere. Of course the conversation comes back to haunt him as he again crosses paths with the speakers.
This is another of Christie's dysfunctional families, this time the problem parent is the mother instead of her usual tyrannical father. The Boynton family consists of Mrs. Boynton, grossly overweight, in poor health and whose chief occupation is to torment her family. She has three adult step children, Lennox (married to Nadine), Raymond and Carol and her own daughter, Ginevra. While on an excursion to Petra Mrs. Boynton dies leaving the question of natural causes or murder as the cause. If it is murder was it committed by one of the family or another member of the group?
Poirot is consulted by a local offical to sort out the mess which of course he does but not without suffering the hardships of the desert - so hard on patent leather shoes!
This 1937 novel is one of Christie's 'psychological' mysteries where much time is spent on motive and character development. The result is that by the end of the novel the reader feels personally acquainted with many of the characters. Also this is set in the Middle East where Christie spent much time herself and gives the novel an insight on the area and travel in those times. It is an excellent mystery, all clues are fairly laid out for the reader to sort out and still quite enjoyable and challenging nearly 70 years later.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a GREAT fan of Agatha Christie, & this book started off with a wonderful plot. A lady obssessed with power, controls her whole family, in an almost uncanny way. They are unable to do what they want to do. This gives her an almost fiendish glee. Sarah King, a medical student, meets this american family on a trip abroad & is sickened by the power she(the step-mother) holds over them. She falls in love with Raymond Boynton (the young son of the family), but tries in vain to attract his attention. Dr. Gereard, an eminent pshycologist, has his own views about the state of the American family. The other members of the family hate her(their step-mother) with all their heart, but are powerless to do anything. "Why don't they just walk out??" is a question which haunted me, & Sarah King too, but it's impossible. And its even more impossible to believe that they've been so much hypnotised, that they're afraid to go against a single wish of their mothers. But till now, they've been living in seclusion & so were unable to see the unnatural life they were leading. Once they travelled & realised the horrible, prisoners life they were leading, their minds turned to rebel. On the day of Mrs Boynson's death, each one of them informed her that they had had enough, & were moving away to lead their own lives. Then... came the news of her death. A seemingly natural death caused due to heart failure. Or so they think!! 5 people...all with a motive for murder. But who was desperate ( or mad) enough to kill?? Hercule Poirot is at his very best!! The not-modest detective promises the truth within 24 hours... And the truth is what you'll get...but only after reading the book. For my part, I'll say its not a bad book, but I expected the ending to be something sensational, after the way the story was progressing..But well..I think I've said enough. Judge for yourself.
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It is not uncommon for a mystery writer to delve into the psychological study of a character. What makes "Appointment With Death" stand out is that Christie does a psychological study on an entire family. The emotionally unbalanced Boyntons consist of the cruelly sadistic Mrs. Boynton, the near-schizophrenic daughter Ginevra, stepchildren Raymond and Carol who are eager to escape the confines of their stepmother, an older stepson Lennox and his wife Nadine who remains alone in being undisturbed by the influence of the terrible matriarch.
The setting for this mystery is exotic Jerusalem where the Boyntons have come on holiday to visit the Holy Land. Christie excels in providing local color and this novel ranks among her best in that area.
Perhaps no reader will be shocked that Mrs. Boynton is murdered or that Hercule Poirot just happens to be on holiday in the same area and agrees to assist the local police in solving the crime. What will be intriguing is the long list of suspects, motives, and opportunities. Also, in typical Christie fashion, will be a surprising twist that leaves the reader saying "Now why didn't I see that coming?" A great read filled with red herrings and the type of descriptive writing that Agatha Christie excels in.
This book became popular with the release of the 1988 movie starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot and Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Boynton. Also in the cast were Carrie Fisher, David Soul, John Gielgud, Hayley Mills, and Piper Laurie.
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