Ashford details a trip taken by Agatha Christie on the famed Orient Express in when she attempted to escape from a bad marriage. I decided to make Murder in Mesopotamia featuring Hercule Poirot my first Christie read of this calendar year to see how much of an influence the region had on her writing. Nurse Amy Leatheran is approached by a Dr. Leidner to care for his wife Louise on site at his archeological dig in Mesopotamia. In a biblical region overlooking the Tigris River, Dr.
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During her initial days, Amy learns that Louise was married before to a German named Frederick Bosner. Fifteen years ago, during the Great War , Bosner was arrested for being a spy within the US State Department , and sentenced to death; he escaped his sentence, but died later in a train crash. Louise reveals that Bosner had a younger brother-in-law, and that she received letters from him whenever she became attracted to other men; these stopped when she married Leidner three years ago, until recently.
The initial investigation by the police, led by Captain Maitland, is unable to find the murder weapon, yet he assumes the murder was committed by someone on the dig. Reilly learns that his friend Hercule Poirot is travelling in Iraq, and so contacts him for help.
When Poirot arrives, he notes that the bedroom has only one point of entry, that the only window in the room was shut and barred, and that a rug near a washstand has blood on it. Anne Johnson, a colleague of Leidner, claims she heard a cry, yet is unsure about it. Poirot takes interest in the story Louise told Nurse Leatheran about her first husband; he wonders if Bosner or his brother-in-law are among the team.
Poirot is also intrigued to find that the letters Louise received were in her handwriting. That night, Miss Johnson unwittingly drinks a glass of hydrochloric acid.
It had been substituted for her usual glass of water on her nightstand. Amy comes across her, and hears her mention "window" before she dies.
The nurse does not believe Miss Johnson has committed suicide, and wonders if she was hinting to how the acid was switched for the water. After spending a day sending telegrams, Poirot brings everyone together and reveals that both women were murdered by Dr Erich Leidner, who is in reality Frederick Bosner. The real Leidner died in the train crash 15 years ago - when Bosner came across his body and found his face disfigured, he switched their identities so as to escape the authorities.
Bosner was deeply possessive of Louise. To discourage her from forming relationships with other men, he sent her letters which he carefully wrote out in her handwriting. The letters stopped after he married her twelve years later, when she no longer recognised him. When Louise became attracted to his friend Richard Carey, Bosner decided to murder her to ensure no-one else could have her.
On the day of the murder, Bosner, on the rooftop, attracted her to the window with a mask he had used to scare her on previous nights.
Once she stuck her head out to investigate, he dropped a quern on her, which he then pulled back to the roof via a rope he had tied to it. On the pretence of checking on her, he shut the bedroom window, while moving the body and the rug beneath it to where they were later found. He then used Amy as part of his alibi to divert suspicion from himself.
Miss Johnson was murdered because she realised how Louise was killed. In the aftermath of his investigations, the police arrest two men at Beyrouth , whom Poirot discovered had been stealing precious artifacts from the dig: Raoul Menier, disguised as Father Lavigny, a well-reputed epigraphist who was not well known by the archaeologists; and Ali Yusuf, a known associate of Menier.
Menier was replacing the stolen artifacts with near-perfect copies. Characters[ edit ] Hercule Poirot — Renowned Belgian detective. Involved in the case, while on a trip to the Middle East. Amy Leatheran — A professional nurse, attending the dig of Erich Leidner to care for his wife Louise. She is the narrator of the story. Captain Maitland — British policeman in charge of the murder investigation.
Louise Leidner — First victim of the case. A beautiful, intelligent American woman, and wife of Dr Erich Leidner for two years. Widowed from a brief marriage in the Great War, 15 years earlier. Anne Johnson — Second victim of the case. A longtime colleague of Dr Leidner from Yorkshire. Eric Leidner — The killer of the case. Head of the dig at Tell Yarimjah near Hassanieh for five years, sponsored by the University of Pittstown a fictional university in the United States.
Richard Carey — A handsome man, and longtime colleague of Dr. Alleged to be having an affair with Louise. Sheila Reilly — Outspoken daughter of Dr Reilly. Joseph Mercado — Archaeological colleague of Leidner, having assisted on his dig for the past two years. Noted for being often fatigued and subject to violent shaking of the hands. Marie Mercado — Young devoted wife of Joseph. Noted for being at times strangely hostile to Mrs.
Leidner, Nurse Leatheran and Hercule Poirot. David Emmott — Quiet young American man, and worker on the dig. He is currently on his second year with the dig team, and is calm and self-possessed. Bill Coleman — Young man working on the dig. Despite this being his first dig, has no particular interest in archaeology and a self-professed skill for forgery.
Carl Reiter — A young American from Chicago. Spending his first year on the dig as a photographer, and noted for being frequently subjected to ridicule by Mrs. Father Lavigny Raoul Menier — French cleric, new to the team. A specialist in epigraphy, old languages. Literary significance and reception[ edit ] The Times Literary Supplement of 18 July , summarised in its review by Harry Pirie-Gordon the setup of the plot and concluded, "The plot is ingenious and the first murder very cleverly contrived but some will doubt whether Mrs Leidner, as described, could have been so forgetful and unobservant as to render the principal preliminary conditions of the story possible.
The story here is told by a trained nurse — as has been done by other eminent mystery novelists. Nurse Leatheran holds her own with them all. This latest Christie opus is a smooth, highly original and completely absorbing tale". Poirot as a man is quite as delightful as ever, and Poirot as a detective not only perplexes the pleasant and not too intelligent hospital nurse, whose duty it is to tell the story, but, again as usual, the intelligent reader as well. The trouble is that he also perplexes the unprejudiced in a way most unusual to him: I for one cannot understand why he has allowed Agatha Christie to make him party to a crime whose integrity stands or falls by a central situation which, though most ingenious, is next door to impossible.
The point at issue, which it would be grossly unfair to specify, between Mrs Christie and the reader is one which would provide a really interesting silly season correspondence. Wife-victim surely based on Katherine Woolley, and very well done. Narrated by nurse, a temporary Hastings-substitute—soon she found she could do without such a figure altogether. It is when he returns from Mesopotamia that Poirot travels on the Orient Express and solves the murder that takes place aboard it.
He muses: "Once I went professionally to an archaeological expedition—and I learnt something there. In the course of an excavation, when something comes up out of the ground, everything is cleared away very carefully all around it. You take away the loose earth, and you scrape here and there with a knife until finally your object is there, all alone, ready to be drawn and photographed with no extraneous matter confusing it.
This is what I have been seeking to do—clear away the extraneous matter so that we can see the truth While it remained faithful to the main plot elements of the novel, including the murder, the motive, and the denouement, the adaptation made a number of changes: The characters of Dr Giles Reilly, Mr Reiter and David Emmott, are omitted.
Poirot is in Iraq mainly to meet with Countess Vera Rossakoff, after receiving a telegram from her asking for his help; she has already left by the time he arrives, and he is only made aware of this via a telephone message he receives when the case is solved. Poirot visits the archaeological dig when he arrives, and so meets with Louise when she is alive - as a result, he learns about her first marriage and the letters she received from her directly, and not through Amy.
Raoul Menier and Ali Yusuf are not identified when the theft of artefacts is exposed. Both men are also not arrested; Poirot mainly informs Captain Maitland to have the border posts keep a look out for them.
Asesinato en Mesopotamia
ASESINATO EN MESOPOTAMIA
Murder in Mesopotamia