Death in a Desert Land by Andrew Wilson

In the ancient city of Ur, Agatha Christie investigates the suspicious death of a prominent archeologist. When a visitor to the site is murdered, Agatha finds herself trying to unravel past secrets in an effort to find the culprit, and protect the innocent.

This is a book that keeps you enthralled from beginning to end. The plot is intricate and gripping. Vivid descriptions of the archeologic site, encampment, and surrounding desert provide a setting that is almost claustrophobic; evoking a dark menace and tension that is almost palpable.

I love the way Mr. Wilson interweaves a murder mystery with actual events from the life of Agatha Christie, in this case her first trip to the archeologic dig at Ur and her initial meeting with Leonard and Katherine Woolley. From an historic perspective their relationship and especially Katherine Woolley’s persona lend themselves perfectly to the story. It makes it seem so plausible that the events of this book inspired mysteries that Christie was to write. Murder in Mesopotamia is obvious, but also Murder on the Orient Express, and Ten Little Indians come to mind. 

The characters are fascinating. I have always been a fan of Agatha Christie, and this characterization makes her all the more endearing. She is charming, intelligent, and shy; unaware of just how capable she really is. Davison has developed into a wonderful character and a true partner for Agatha. The secondary characters are not just walk-ons, but very well developed.

I highly recommend this book. You don’t have to be a Christie fan to love this one!

My thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the advance reader copy made available for my review.

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