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Summary

Amy Leatheran had never felt the lure of the mysterious East, but when she travels to an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert to nurse the wife of a celebrated archaeologist, events prove stranger than she could ever have imagined. Her patient's bizarre visions and nervous terror seem unfounded, but as the oppressive tension in the air thickens, events come to a terrible climax in murder. With one spot of blood as his only clue, Hercule Poirot must embark on a journey across the desert to unravel a mystery which taxes even his remarkable powers.
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©1936 Agatha Christie Mallowan (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic reviews

"Smooth, highly original, and completely absorbing." (New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 15-09-12

brilliant story - disappointing narration

I was really looking forward to this version as I thought Anna Massey was a good choice of narrator. However, her Poirot is really far off the mark - too gruff, rugged and garbled, and I'm afraid to say the accent is absolutely atrocious.



It quite simply doesn't match the adorably fastidious, self-important and precise character of Poirot that Christie created, and as such I found it an unwelcome distraction to the otherwise superbly-plotted and intriguing story.



Also, the tone of her voice is too strident. You either have to turn the volume down low, or risk getting a headache after half an hour's listening. And if I'm being honest I didn't take to her pronunciation of Hercule as 'Er-Cool' instead of 'Er-Kewel' - but I expect I'm just being really picky!



I'd suggest looking for this title with another narrator, or try the excellent dramatised version with John Moffatt.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • York, UK
  • 21-08-17

Poor narration

One of the few Christie books I've been unable to finish - Anna Massey's narration just didn't suit the book, and her voice for Poirot was dreadful. Give me Hugh Fraser any day, his are a joy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KI Girl
  • Kangaroo Island, Australia
  • 05-08-17

I understand why this title is read by a female, but....

This Poirot story is told from the perspective of one of the female characters. It makes perfect sense that the story is read on audible by a female.

Anna Massey does a good job of all the characters with one exception - Poirot himself. The wonderful portrails of the little Belgian detective by Hugh Fraser and David Suchet are sorely missed here. He doesn't appear in the story till perhaps halfway thru but I did find Massey's Poirot slightly off putting.


Having said that it is another of Christie's wonderful whodunnits and well worth a listen.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The actual book is fantastic.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anna Massey’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As always AC book was amazing, the narrator really spoilt it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Difficult to listen to.

I have many Agatha Christie books downloaded and thoroughly enjoy listening to them before bed. I am aware of the story already but found it very difficult to listen and follow this narration. I'm afraid that Anna Massey's accents are just awful. Half the time when it was supposed to be Poirot I thought it it was some German character. A waste of money as I will not be listening again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robyn
  • EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
  • 04-12-16

Horrible french accent!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Anna Massey?

Only if she didn't have to do any accents! She has a lovely voice when just reading straight though!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

dessert passion.

once again, an brain teaser and why do women narrators try to speak like an man ?.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Odd upper class voices used for characters

Narrator used odd upper class accents for most characters and it was quite distracting. I felt that it ruined the story in most places and would have been better if she used a more regular voice for them.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tab
  • uk
  • 05-06-18

Wow, I never knew that Poirot came from Jamaica!!

It's almost (but not quite) worth purchasing this audio book, just for the laugh of hearing Anna Massey murder Poirot's voice. Actually, her character accents are all pretty appalling. Who chose her for this book????

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story. Awkward Narration.

This is a classic Agatha Christie story and, as such, it’s entertaining - though probably not one of her best. However, the real problem with this edition for me is the narration. Unfortunately, Anna Massey attempts various accents throughout and almost all of them are rather clumsy and difficult to listen to. Poirot’s accent especially is so ‘fake French/Belgian’ it’s painful, especially when one is used to Hugh Fraser’s or David Suchet’s skilful narration. I would heartily recommend actually reading this one rather than listening to the audio book.