2008: 196. Appointment With Death

“You see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?”

Appointment With Death, Agatha Christie

Now this is a great Christie mystery.  From the opening lines (supra) which pull you right in, to the central mystery - who killed old Mrs. Boynton as she sat nodding in the sun in the rose red city of Petra?*  Mrs. Boynton isn’t an ordinary old woman, you see - she is a sadistic monster who has spent the past twenty years dominating and torturing her children (well, they are technically step children).  Finally bored with that - they have become so domineered as to no longer be fun - she decides to turn her attentions to the wider world, and takes them abroad.  But the plan backfires, a bit - the children start to realize just how emotionally retarded they are - how constrained their lives are.  And when Mrs. Boyton turns up dead (after Poirot has overheard one child make the intriguing statement with which the story starts), it naturally seems that one of them has finally snapped... 

Christie really does a nice job with Mrs. Boynton - one of the most thoroughly nasty (and yet believable) victims she has ever thought up.  The mystery is not only a good murder story, but a psychological “whodunnit” as well.  Great fun. 

*I think that is where the actual murder takes place.  Petra is mentioned, anyway, and that is the general vicinity of the story and if I keep looking things like that up I will never get this blog up to date...

Date/Place Completed: 11/24/08; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, Agatha Christie Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017