June 2014 Book of the Month: Death Comes as the End

TuppenceTuppence City of London, United Kingdom
Jealousy, death and betrayal in Ancient Egypt when a man brings home his concubine and the family take an instant dislike to her.

For many readers, Agatha Christie’s novels conjure images of nostalgic post-war England; beautiful country houses, grand estates and jealous families fighting over inheritance. But Christie’s experiences travelling through the Middle East with her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan, inspired her to write mysteries set in an environment far from the cosy villages of Britain.

What did you think of the novel?

Leave your thoughts, queries and questions here.


  • StathisZavitsanosStathisZavitsanos Attiki, Greece
    It was a very exquisite. I liked to read a book whose plot is dramatized so many centuries ago. It was very interesting to read about Egyptians' habits.It was an easy mystery. I could solve it.However, I have heard that Agatha Christie changed the end of the book. The real murderer's identity and his\her  motive will be a mystery forever. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    It was very brave o set a book not in the 20th Century, but I found it boring and didn't like the Characters
  • Not sure how I have never read this one - I am excited to get into it.
  • FrankFrank Queensland, Australia

    I enjoyed Death Comes as the End and the fact that Agatha Christie gained an appreciation for Egypt while working with her archaeologist husband Sir Max Mallowan is evident. I read somewhere that Death Comes as the End was the first full-length novel combining historical fiction and the whodunit story, a genre which has since been used by many authors and is still popular today.

  • FrankFrank Queensland, Australia
    StathisZavitsanos comment about an alternative ending to Death Comes as the End very interesting. I was wondering if anybody knows any more details about the alternative ending.
  • edited June 2014
    I love Death Comes As The End for various reasons. One is that I've always had an interest in Ancient Egypt. Another is that I find all of the character so interesting. What's remarkable is that Christie managed to make the characters so identifiable, despite the fact they lived in age so different to our own.
    Nofret's character is surprisingly sympathetic at times, despite the nastiness she inflicts on others.   In 2014 we can read murder mysteries set in any period of time. There is a modern author who I believe specializes in Ancient Egypt mysteries.  But DCATE must have been something out of the ordinary when it was first published.. 

    I've also heard there's a different ending. SPOILERS!! When I read the book, I enjoyed it alot. But I found the murderer to easy to work out. I read somewhere that AC's friend said that the original killer wasn't fitting in with the time period. So she altered it. I can't figure out who or what reason this was. I think that Kait should have been the killer, she was the most unlikely candidate. But maybe it would have been difficult for her to carry out some of the killings?  But it would have worked if she'd have had an accomplice. 
  • StathisZavitsanosStathisZavitsanos Attiki, Greece
    @MissQuin I also found it too easy to find out the murderer, 


    When I heard it I also thought that Kait was the real murderer. She was indeed the most unlikely candidate, but don't forget Reniseb! She was also unlikely to be the murderer!
  • I had not read this one before (not sure how it got by me.)  I was not sure I was going to like it, but it was a very fast read and I found that I could not put it down once I started.  I liked the pace of the story, the many murders, and it wasn't until the last 15 pages or so, that I figured out who the murderer was.  Even though it wasn't that had to figure out once I thought about it.

    Overall, not one of my favorites, but a very pleasant surprise.  Glad I read it.  And really had no idea of AC's grasp of that time period.  Very impressed. 

    Looking forward to reading other people's comments about this book.

  • I hadn't read it before and I really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of mysteries set in ancient times. Having one by Agatha Christie is wonderful. As always, it's a book that I can re-read even knowing the murderer's identity because the characters are so well developed and the setting is so realistic. And, of course, the story is great.
  • DCATE , is a favorite of mine. The plot is a spine chiller not so much for the action as for the psychological revelations. The act of murder and the victim is predictable; what makes it so eerie is the gradual unfolding of the element of evil that has permeated the entire backdrop. Renisenb's character is a study of innocence and ignorance that grows into wisdom and acceptance .Her innocence had been naiveté and childishness- now she retains the innocence but grows in maturity. There is no conflict or paradox in this combination and Renisenb grows from 'the child woman' to a ' mature adult'. And what fascinates me is the backdrop of the Nile. AC uses the river as a witness to the human drama and she accentuates the permanence of the Nile to highlight the puniness of human greed, jealousy and hatred. And what she establishes is that the strength of love is the only element that is as enduring as the Nile. So the poignant humanity of the novel together with the suspense and drama and the time and setting of the novel; its authenticity as a period piece makes it one of AC's very 'complete' novels.
  • anskovanskov Izmir, Turkey
    Here are my thoughts on Death Comes as the End recorded in my Christie video blog.
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