Past Meetup

Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

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Every 3rd Saturday of the month

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This is the only one of Agatha Christie's novels to take us outside the 20th century. In Death Comes As the End, Dame Agatha transports us back to ancient Egypt 2000 B.C. where a priest’s daughter, investigating a suspicious death, uncovers an asp’s nest of jealousy, betrayal, and serial murder.

Egypt in 2000 BC. At the foot of a cliff lies the broken, twisted body of Nofret, concubine to a ka-priest. Young, beautiful, and venomous, most agree that it was fate - she deserved to die like a snake! But at her father's house on the banks of the Nile, the priest's daughter Renisenb believes that the woman's death is suspicious. Increasingly, she becomes convinced that the source of evil lurks within their household - and watches helplessly as the family's passions explode in murder ...

The suggestion to base the story in ancient Egypt came from noted Egyptologist and family friend Stephen Glanville. He also assisted Christie with details of daily household life in Egypt 4000 years ago. In addition he made forceful suggestions to Christie to change the ending of the book. This she did but regretted the fact afterwards, feeling that her (unpublished) ending was better. The novel is based on some real letters from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom period from a man called Heganakhte to his family, complaining about their behaviour and treatment of his concubine.

Christie uses a theme for her chapter titles, as she did for many of her novels, in this case the Egyptian agricultural calendar.

Cleveland Public library has copies in multiple formats, book, large print, and e-book, and Cuyahoga Public Library also has the book in multiple formats.