Episode 79: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie


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This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts explore the popular Agatha Christie mystery novel, Death on the Nile. This discussion will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read or listened to the book yet, stop this episode! But before we get to the book chat, we want to announce that our brand new The Well Read Poem podcast is now live! Also, head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to check out the Winter Webinar Series and Kelly Cumbee’s class on King Lear.

Angelina, Cindy and Thomas begin the book discussion with a comparison of the authors known as the “Queens of Crime.” They also talk about the form of detective novels and how Christie in particular plays with the form to keep readers on their toes. Thomas notes the similarities between Death on the Nile with Henry James’ novel The Wings of the Dove. In addition to covering the plot of the story, our hosts walk us through the ways in which Christie writes in order to keep us guessing.

If you haven’t heard it before, please go and listen to Episode 3: The Importance of the Detective Novel.

Commonplace Quotes:

The sacrifices of friendship were beautiful in her eyes as long as she was not asked to make them.

Saki (pen name of H. H. Munro)

Pious worshipers, whether or mortal or immortal artists, do their deities little honor by treating their incarnations as something too sacred for rough handling. They only succeed in betraying a fear lest the structure should prove flimsy or false.

Dorothy Sayers

“Once I went professionally to an archæological 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. That is what I have been seeking to do–clear away the extraneous matter so that we can see the truth–the naked shining truth.”

Hercule Poirot, Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie When We First Met

by Robert Bridges

When first we met, we did not guess That Love would prove so hard a master; Of more than common friendliness When first we met we did not guess. Who could foretell the sore distress, This irretrievable disaster, When first we met? -- We did not guess That Love would prove so hard a master.

Book List:

Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki (H. H. Munro)

The Toys of Peace by Saki

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Ngaio Marsh

Margery Allingham

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

Leave It to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse

Tim Powers

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Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

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