Death Comes as the End is by far the best standalone mystery that I’ve read by Agatha Christie. Its ancient setting, making it her only historical mystery, was fascinating to a history lover like me. Christie has done her research well to capture accurately the people and culture of ancient Egypt. I was well transported to the setting and enjoyed a few hours of tranquillity in the ancient city of Thebes near the river Nile. Of course, my peace was disturbed somewhat by the horrific murders that took place within the discordant family of Imhotep, nevertheless, the feeling of being in that setting was comforting.
Taken out from the historical context, the mystery had many similarities with her other works. This is not the first time to have come across dysfunctional families in her novels; I’ve encountered them a lot before. However, that didn’t diminish the quality of the work except for the uncomfortable thought that we’re not much different from those who lived thousands of years ago. 🙂 Also, the story’s structure and flow here reminded me of her much-admired work, And Then There Were None.
In any case, Death Comes as the End is quite an intriguing mystery. It arrested my attention from the very beginning and held it fast till the very end. I was in suspense throughout not knowing who the murderer’s arm will strike again. The identity of the murderer came as a shock, for I really liked the character at the beginning. I figured him out before he was unveiled by Christie, of course, but the very idea of having liked the criminal was not comforting. I truly need to watch my back! 🙂 The motive here was more psychological, and I thought that was a new phenomenon of Agatha Christie.
Apart from the mystery, what I enjoyed the most was its set of characters. I liked many of them, even the whining and impossible ones, but the best were Hori, Renisenb, and Esa. The latter to me was an ancient version of Miss Marple. 🙂
This historical mystery was quite a delightful read. Doubtless, it is one of Christie’s best works, one I enjoyed without any scruples.