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Agatha Christie known throughout the world as the queen of Crime fiction has 77 detective novels to her credit .She began writing at the end f the first World war , when she first created Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective with a passion for order. As the wife of an eminent archaeologist, Agatha Christie took part in several expeditions to the Middle East. Drawing upon this experience and exhaustive research, she has written several thrillers that had an eastern touch.She has written this mystery laid in Egypt 4000 years ago, based on her experiences in Egypt. The story is supposed to have taken place in the West bank of the River Nile at Thebes in Egypt. the inspiration of both characters and plot was derived from two or three Egyptian letters of XI dynasty found by Egyptian expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The story :-
The story in the audio begins with Renisenb, recently widowed , daughter of Imhotep, a rich and prosperous Ka priest( a respected priest taking care of the dead and their tombs), returning to her father's household with her little daughter Teti.She is finding solace in her childhood home but realises that things are not the same anymore .
Beneath the calm surface of the prosperous household lurks greed, lust and hate.The household consists of Renisenb's 2 brothers and their families and an unmarried brother, her wise old Grand mother Esa, who is able to perceive lot more than others inspite of her failing sight and her failing health.Then there is Henet the cringing, slippery old faithful? maid disliked by all and Hori, the scribe who had come to imhotep as a lad and was now part of the household and the only person who remained unchanged , calm and steady , and Renisenb trusted him completely and felt at peace while she was in his company.
Imhotep brings a young , beautiful and arrogant concubine Nofret into this household and all the under currants and passions that have been dormant explode in murder.Renisenb is not sure about anyone any more as each one seems different and takes on a different personality with the changing situation and murders ..She soon realises that there was a pattern to these murders and she too was one of the intended victims..
This is an unusual story set in Ancient Egypt - A detective story set in 2000BC, and the very idea itself is exciting and interesting.To imagine and come up with a story based in ancient times is a little difficult to imagine, but, Agatha Christie comes tops with this thriller, nowhere does your interest waver ..
Emilia Fox who has narrated many other Agatha Christie has done a wonderful job here in this audio book too.. It takes you back to those olden times when life was so amazingly different, the pace mellow and slow and the preferences quite different but with all that the human emotions , the greed , the hatred were as raw and the feelings same as they are now. Christie's descriptions about the everyday details of life in the rich household of Ka priest Imhotep is very imaginative and filled with interesting details and her usual brand of wry humour and wit.
When Imhotep grumbles to his mother Esa about the mounting expenses incurred for the many funeral ceremonies within his family, Esa tells him with grim humour " It would seem that the embalmers men are with us permanently, a blessing in disguise for Ipi and Montu the embalming firm, must be doing exceptionally well.They should give us a cut rate price for quantiy ". Agatha Christie refers to the Egyptian beliefs that existed during the old civilisation, where people firmly believed in life after death and made preparations for life after death and speak about it in a matter-of - fact manner- about how they need a good deal of equipments to amuse themselves in the other world and spared no expense to make it as comfortable as they can.It is amusing to hear about the many letters that are written to Imhotep's dead wife invoking her to use her influence in the departed world to help her brother(husband) who is facing difficulties in this world !
Some words of wisdom that Christie comes up with when old Esa observes ' I am old and sit much alone and my sight is dim and i walk with difficulty - then i realise that , there is a life within me as well that is my own, as a life without. And happiness is made up of small things strung together like beads on a string '.These words somehow make you think seriously about life and its progression. I like Christie's stories for these little details that she comes up with, regarding life and living.There is always a lot of humour but at the same time one cant help thinking deeply about the idea behind it. I remember her reference in one of her works about familiarity between people, where she warns saying that loving too much and expecting too much from the person you love is the heaviest burden you are placing on that person, which can easily turn into hate, it is always better to let go .
This is a very imaginative and highly interesting thriller.The story is magnificent, keeping you guessing right until the very end and has a fantastic ending , doesn't let you down.
Product details ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Audio: CD Publisher: Harper Collins Audio (1 Jan 2007) Language : English Read : Emilia Fox Series: Audio Editions Mystery Masters