Death Comes As The End

Death Comes As The End- 

It's been listed s some people's least favourite book. But did anyone enjoy it apart from me? I think the idea to set it in Ancient Egypt was really original at that time. The details of everyday life at that time really enthralled me.


I've read that Agatha Christie changed the original ending and murder. But who was the original killer?  It was AC's friend who suggested it wasn't historical accurate for the original ending.

I think that Kait would have been a better murderer.  Despite the obvious ending I think that it's still a great book.


  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    MissQuin, I also like the book very much.  I think nobody expect a plot in Ancient Egypt, so maybe it's a bit disappointed to bump with something so different from we are accustomed to (in AC books).

    SPOILERS: I also think that Kay would be a better murderer. It would be shocking in a way and would become the book grim and more attractive.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    There are 3 reasons why his book isn't my least favourite Agatha Christie Novel

    1) I admire Agatha Christie's attempt at writing a book in a different era

    2) Passenger To Frankfurt

    3) Endless Night

    There is at first a "And Then There ere None" feel about it but SPOILER: The Murderer doesn't die, I have read it once, I won't be reading it again, my other comments are the same as with Passenger To Frankfurt

  • edited December 2013

    Death Comes As The End Spoilers!!!!!!

    Tudes- I'm again in agreement with you. I had read lot's of Christie and then I came to this book, it was so different. I felt alot of empathy for Reinseib. She and the women around, in some ways seemed very powerless in the society they lived in. Yet some of the female characters, Henet and Nofret. were able to gain power, mainly through manipulation. Odly enough there is also a show of sympathy towards the spiteful Nofret and the life she had to lead.  I think that the murder should have been committed by a female, to show that in some ways, women would use any means to gain control.

    Hori is a very omniscient and quite like Mr Quin in many ways. I think that crime detective fans may feel cheated as there's no detective. But I actually think that it's the reader who gets to do the working out.

    I love all of AC's mysteries set in Egypt, Death In The Nile, the Parker Pyne Death In The Nile, Death comes As The End and The Adventure Of The Egyptian Tomb. I've never been to Egypt, I'd love to. So perhaps on a personal note,  for me, this is the next best thing. 

    There is at first a "And Then There ere None" feel about it but SPOILER: The Murderer doesn't die, I have read it once, I won't be reading it again, my other comments are the same as with Passenger To Frankfurt

    I am completely mystified by this comment as in actual fact, the murderer in DCATE is killed with an arrow! 

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    My mistake, It had obviously bored me so much by then I had stopped reading it properly
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    edited December 2013
    MissQuin, this book is narrated by a woman. Everything is portrayed by the eyes of a woman that lives at home, living a private life(all the women in Ancient Egypt stayed at home almost all the time), without any contact with others, except with her family. So nothing happens, only repports of the every life ( a very private one). So, the plot has a strong female accent.
    In the other hand, and because of this (I think) the women have a very strong place in the plot. The whole story is told in a very female (and old fashioned, but accurated) manner. Everything implicates a woman in a way or another.
    In others words, I agree with you.  It makes more sense if the murder had been committed by a woman.

  • Thank you for those pieces of information. I don't know much about Ancient Egypt so that's provided me with a different insight.  
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    edited December 2013

    MissQuin said:
    Thank you for those pieces of information. I don't know much about Ancient Egypt so that's provided me with a different insight.  
    You're welcome. It's always a pleasure to share informations and talk about things you like. Thanks!
  • FrankFrank Queensland, Australia
    edited May 2014
    MissQuin. This was a very enjoyable novel. Setting the novel in Ancient Egypt was a very brave move on behalf of Agatha Christie and the amount of research she must have undertaken would have been extraordinary. The fine details regarding how they cooked their meat, the special things for special feasts, the type of rooms they would sleep in, the sort of houses they lived in etc etc made Death Comes As The End a very special novel. 

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    It s Unique just like And Then There Were None was Unique
  • For me personally, in the beginning the book was boring, all the time I thought that I will hate that book, but then the eight murders came and saved the situation :) Although I guessed correctly the killer after the second murder I totally enjoy the second half of the book.
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I think this book fits in the category of "the second time is much better", at least in my case. When I read for the second time I enjoyed much better than the first (I liked the first one).
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    It is one book I can't see me ever giving a second chance, perhaps If I was stranded on an Island and only had Sparkling Cyanide, Endless Night, Passenger To Frankfurt, Murder In Mesopotamia and Death Comes As The The End to read I would read this book rather than the other 4 but as This one has a redeeming quality it is set in a different era and I honestly don'tt think there is a good word do say about them, To me all 5 are boring and lifeless IMHO
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I agree with you in the case of Passenger to Frankfurt. I think it's the worst AC's book. I hated so much when I read that I just can't remember exactly the plot! And I refuse to reread this book to remember. The only thing that I remember is that I hated very much and I took more than two weeks to finish!
    I like Murder in Mesopotamia and Sparkling Cyanide. They are not masterpieces, but I enjoyed them. They are not bad at all. In fact, they're fine, at least in my opinion.
    I can't decide myself when it comes to Endless Night. I think it's a strange and boring book and I tried to reread it, but I it was impossible, although I think I should. But I didn't hate it. It's just... I don't know...too strange.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Passenger to Frankfurt was fine until he got of the Aeroplane and then it went down hill.
    Perhaps Agatha Christie got so wrapped up in saying we are all going to Hell in a Handcart she forgot to put in a plot and didn't think about Plot until very last Chapter. If there was a Non-series Book that would not have been harmed with the inclusion of a Reccurring Character it is Endless Night, DrHaydock could have appeared to give the book Body, I think a Recurring Character would have been lost in Passenger to Frankfurt
  • ....... I've never heard anyone say it's their least favorite!! How can they say that?! It's one of my MOST favorites!! I love the different/historical setting especially, it really gives the book an original tone and feel to it. Just the closed-off family drama is very exciting and kind of terrifying. 

    Probably my one complaint, if any, is that the book has a bit of a slow start. But after the first 80 pages when it starts to pick up the pace, boy does the suspense build!!!
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Someone likened it to ATTWN, Death Comes As The End Does have a slow start but after that people die like Flies but even that makes it one of my least favourite books after Passenger To Frankfurt and Endless Night Murder In Mesopotamia and Sparkling Cyanide. which all Tie for last place IMHO
  • SPOILER!! I loved DCATE. Somehow, psychologically it was right - the fact that people who weren't allowed to grow became twisted, and that the one character who couldn't express his frustration finally acted on it. Also, Renisenb's choice of Hori over Kameni seemed right - being with Kameni was going back, trying to recapture her younger self, while choosing Hori was going forward from where she was at that point. 
  • TuppenceBeresfordTuppenceBeresford Hertford, United Kingdom

    I didn't really enjoy this book but it was a very interesting idea. There was a strong sense of the characters, their way of life and the customs and beliefs of the time. 

    It didn't really 'feel' like a crime novel - there was no detective and Renisenb's attempts to work out who the murderer was seemed out of fear rather than curiosity. However I wouldn't say this makes it a bad book - I read a lot of books that aren't murder mysteries. Perhaps the problem was more that I was expecting a particular genre with particular conventions and didn't get one.

    I had a lot of sympathy for Henet and Nofret - they behaved very badly but were never treated well.

  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I liked this book more when I re-read it. I think the problem is that we expect a "classic A.C" and we find a quite different book. As you said,TuppenceBeresford, there isn't a detective in a classical way and it would be very odd if it had, because it took place in Ancient Egypt. When a novel took place in Ancient Egypt a lot of things that occur in detective novel just can't be done. The things happen in a quite different way, mainly because the story is told through the eyes of a woman (and the role of women in Ancient Egypt was very different from nowadays) and it's another time.
    So, I think it's so strange and far from we're accustomed to that sometimes it's difficult to enjoy, but, at least it happened to me, when I re-read I really enjoyed the book.
  • I liked reading Endless Night because the expereince kind of proved what I had thought that AC is always trying to get inside the mind of a sociopath. I am sure the kind of opportunism practised in this story was a not uncommon feature of the 1960s and 70s when class boundaries were starting to be broken down. I thought the TV adaptation was very good, with great casting. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I had never thought about the Murderer being a sociopath but now I do and the Murderer seems very real now but I still wouldn't read the book again, I thought The Adaptation is much better than the Book.
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I like the adaptation too. It's very well done.
    And I think in this case the murderer is a sociopath. He's colder than the others murderes (in general) and the reader can see his thoughts very clear. He seems very reflexive and that's why he's so dangerous.
  • I really liked DCATE. I think it is not completely correct that there is no detective - Hori is the unofficial detective, like Dr. Calgary in ordeal by innocence. And the consultation under the Sycamore tree is certainly a detecting activity.
  • CrookedQuinCrookedQuin California, United States
    I think that Henet or Esa was the original murderer and Christie killed the murderer off. Henet's motive was that possibly she was imhoteps second wife, and after he was done with her she stalked him in the home (the book never mentions the second wife's name) and Reinsenb was her daughter and as she wanted her to rise to the throne after Henet gained power through marriage through Imhotep. that would be historically inaccurate. 
    Or esa, as all the family members came to her for advice, she was surreptitiously manipulating them to kill each other off, and they were all different murderers with different motives. That too would fit the bill as to why she would change it. 
  • I have enjoyed Death comes as the end, and didn't find boring at all. The psychology of the characters and the the archeological knowledge of AC, have fully completed the scenery, which is brought to my mind so vivid and imaginable,the same as I would have lived in the ancient Egypt.
    I think that Hori was the original murderer, since he had both the motive ( benefits from Imophtep's properties) and the opportunities( strong, coldblooded and smart). May be Agatha changed the ending,giving more space of romance between him and Renisenb...
  • edited November 2016
  • In exerpts from AC's notebooks, here,
    there are mentions of other possible killers. Personally, I did like the way the book ended, but Hennet could have been a good choice as well, with a similar motivation - the downtrodden worm who finally turns. However, Hennet expresses her negativity through causing trouble all along the way, so she doesn't seem to have such a strong psychological need for agression as the murderer. 
  • @taliavishay-arbel ,
    Yes I definitely agree with you ( SPOILER) Hennet is too aggressive to be spoiled as the possible murderer... On the other hand, it was impossible for me to find any clues on the real murderer, even when I come to re-think on certain descriptions of him...
  • @Etleva, I agree. If being a downtrodden son is enough of a reason to commit murder, why didn't Alfred in "Hercule Poirot's Christmas" kill his father? He had an even worse time of it than Yahmose! Hori's explanation in the end is interesting - the idea of the one man who was downtrodden and didn't have a way to vent being the one who finally cracks - but there is no advance warning. AC was interested in the insane interior behind the sane and over-calm facade - compare the ending of DCATE to the ending of "Towards Zero". There two, the villian is a nice guy, a good sport, and...
  • EllesseEllesse Vancouver, Canada
    I LOVED "Death Comes as the End".  Not the title: but the book.  It was very intriguing.  And the "moment of truth" came at me like a nightmare.  This novel was satisfying, in every way.  I loved the main female character, and the man she eventually gives her heart to.  Altogether awesome: but change the title!  :smirk:
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