Book Review: Appointment With Death

Author: Agatha Christie

Publisher: Collins Crime Club, 1938

Genre: Mystery

My Rating: C+

From the publisher:

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

Hercule Poirot recalled a chance remark he’d overheard back in Jerusalem: “You see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?”

A short time later he met the person who made that statement. It was one of the sons of an extremely evil woman, Mrs. Boynton. The woman had total control over her children, all young adults. She controlled the money and their every move. Nearly everyone who knew her agreed her children would be better off if she were dead.

Mrs. Boynton was dead for quite a few hours before anyone noticed. The officials aren’t convinced her death was murder. A doctor who was a member of the traveling party noticed a missing syringe and thought that might have contributed to Mrs. Boynton’s death. The officials consult Hercule Poirot. He also believes it was murder. He is given twenty-four hours to figure it out.

Although I greatly admire the mental hijinks of the famous Belgian detective, the story was disappointing to me. Agatha Christie took one-third of the book just setting up how awful Mrs. Boynton was and why the world would be a better place without her. There was too much discussion about the psychology of the whole Boynton family. Written in the late 1930s, perhaps the author wanted to add crime psychology to her work. It just didn’t work for me. I only gave it a C+ rating. No need to apologize, Dame Agatha. You’ve given me so many highly rated books that I’ll excuse a couple of mediocre ones.

This is the 32nd book I’ve read in my perpetual challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels in publication order. Up next is The Listerdale Mystery, a collection of short story mysteries. For more information on the challenge, visit Mysteries In Paradise. (Click the button.)

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8 Responses to Book Review: Appointment With Death

  1. I’m kind of glad the story was disappointing so I won’t be tempted to pick it up. I really don’t like that title.

  2. Staci says:

    I have made a mental note not to get too bummed about this one when I finally get to it! You’re so right…she wrote so many awesome ones that there is bound to be a letdown once in a while! 😀

  3. Scoats says:

    I did the read all Agatha Christie’s project too. I agree it’s not her best but I quite liked it, especially the locations and their description.

  4. Beth F says:

    Well, I guess even the great ones have a miss every once in a while. I’m not familiar with this one.

  5. kaye says:

    that’s pretty good to read that many and only come across one that dissappoints

  6. That’s so funny — I just finished that book recently (I’m not doing the chronological challenge, just picking a book an Agatha a month from what Kindle has)….anyway I had the same feelings. Hated the lady of course, as I was meant to, but she could have spent less time getting to that point. Not one of her best but as you say highly forgivable.

  7. Nan says:

    I like the bad guys and gals to be killed off early in the book. :<)

  8. Pingback: Review: Appointment with Death, 1938 (Hercule Poirot #16) by Agatha Christie – A Crime is Afoot

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