Death on the Nile – Book Ending Explained

You’ve settled in for the long flight to Egypt, hoping to relax with a good mystery. What better choice than Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, one of her most popular Hercule Poirot tales. As your plane glides over the Egyptian desert, you dive into the story of love and murder set against the backdrop of the ancient Nile River.

The wealthy and beautiful Linnet Ridgeway has it all—youth, looks, and money. While honeymooning in Egypt, she crosses paths with her old friend Jacqueline de Bellefort, who is still brooding over Linnet stealing her fiancé, Simon Doyle. Tensions rise and tempers flare, leading to threats of violence. When Linnet is found shot dead in her cabin, there’s no shortage of suspects with motive and opportunity.

Luckily, the famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is also travelling down the Nile. With his signature moustache and “little grey cells”, Poirot works to unravel the mystery of who killed Linnet. As you follow Poirot’s investigation, you’ll encounter shady characters, red herrings, and plot twists galore before a final dramatic reveal of the murderer. Get ready for a deliciously entertaining tale of betrayal, deception and murder as you sail down the Nile with Hercule Poirot. The game is afoot!

The Setting: A Luxury Steamer Cruise Down the Nile River

The setting of Murder on the Nile is a luxurious steamer cruise down the Nile River in Egypt during the 1930s. As a passenger, you’ll experience the exotic wonder of ancient Egypt with visits to historic temples and tombs along the riverbank. By night, you’ll dine, drink and dance under the stars to the sounds of a live band.

Amid this glamorous backdrop, however, a dark mystery unfolds. The wealthy heiress Linnet Ridgeway has stolen the fiancé of her best friend Jacqueline. Jacqueline is out for revenge and follows the couple onto the cruise, brooding with anger and jealousy.

Tensions rise and relationships fray as the steamer navigates its way down the winding Nile. The confined setting of the ship means the characters are in constant close quarters with each other, unable to escape the drama and intrigue.

Clues and red herrings abound, all leading to a shocking murder in the dead of night. With many suspects in the mix but little means of escape, renowned detective Hercule Poirot must navigate the web of lies and deception to find the killer.

Using lavish descriptions of the steamer and Egypt’s ancient wonders, Christie transports you back in time to experience the thrill and ultimate solution of the mystery. The glamour and adventure of the setting provide a vivid backdrop for her signature style of cunning crimes and clever twists. For any lover of mysteries or armchair travel, Death on the Nile is sure to delight.

Who are the Suspects? An Eccentric Cast of Characters

An array of intriguing characters are on board, any one of whom could have wanted the victim dead.

First up is Simon Doyle, the victim’s new husband. Young, handsome and charming, but is he all that he seems? His new wife, Linnet Ridgeway, is a wealthy heiress who just inherited her father’s fortune. Perhaps Simon married her for the money and not love.

Then there’s Linnet’s former best friend, Jacqueline de Bellefort. Jacqueline was once engaged to Simon herself before Linnet stole him away. Is she seeking revenge?

Andrew Pennington, Linnet’s cousin and solicitor, stands to gain from Linnet’s death. As her only living relative, her fortune would pass to him.

Miss Van Schuyler and her companion, Cornelia Robson, are a pair of gossipy spinsters with secrets of their own. And what about the exotic Dr. Bessner or the socialist Mr. Ferguson?

With jealousy, greed, and resentment simmering below the surface, it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes. But which of these suspicious characters has murder on their mind? That’s for you to deduce, detective! Read on to uncover clues and follow Poirot as he questions the suspects to find the culprit in this classic whodunit.

What are the Plot Twists?

Red herrings abound, leading Poirot and the reader down winding paths that ultimately end up at dead ends. The means and method of the murder itself also provide clues. How was the victim killed without anyone noticing during the short timeframe of the crime? The killer had to act quickly and quietly without raising suspicion. The method points to someone strong, clever and intimately familiar with the boat’s layout. Poirot himself observes, “The obvious is that which is never seen until someone else has pointed it out.”

The gun that was used to kill Linnet is found on the ocean floor wrapped in her godmother Marie Van Schuyler’s scarf. Marie insists she is innocent. Then, Linnet’s missing necklace is found in Bouc’s mother Euphemia’s room. Later it’s revealed that Poirot is on the boat on Euphemia’s request to investigate his son’s girlfriend. 

Lousie, Linnet’s maid, is found dead – Poirot concludes she was killed because she saw who killed Linnet. Later, Poirot steers his attention towards Bouc who was responsible for stealing the necklace. However, Bouc is also shot dead because he saw who killed Louise. 

Eventually, Poirot locks everyone in a room and confronts everybody one by one. He speaks with Linnet’s lawyer and finds out he attempted to murder Linnet with a falling boulder. Piecing together all the pieces of evidence – in an unexpected twist, Poirot rules everybody as a suspect.

The murderer is the last person you would suspect—and that is precisely why they got away with the crime. Until Hercule Poirot came along, that is.

Who was Linnet’s Killer?

Who killed Linnet if not the people with clear reasons to want her dead and a direct link to her murder? Let’s roll back a bit, on the night of her murder.

Simon was shot by Jacqueline in the leg. What everyone thought was an angry lady’s act of revenge was actually a carefully laid out plan. Yes, that was a fake shot, and Jacqueline deliberately missed it. However, Simon bluffed people with the help of red paint and some serious acting skills. When everybody rushed out to get help, he rushed to kill Linnet in her bed, and then returned to the same spot and shot himself in the same leg for real.

Then, you might question if he was incapacitated, who killed Lousie and Bouc? Well, it was his lover Jacqueline who did the last leg of the job in a bid to ensure truth dies with the death of the witnesses. 

Simon never loved Linnet, he was just after her wealth. He very carefully made the guest list for his wedding party, inviting only people who held a grudge against Linnet. Jaqueline and Simon are arrested, but the former wasn’t ready to part ways with her lover yet. She shot him and herself with one bullet while hugging him, escaping the gallows and ensuring a meeting in hell. 

What do you think of Agatha Christie’s classic novel? Let us know in the comments below.

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