Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie

Murder in Mesopotamia

Dedicated to

My many archaeological friends

in Iraq and Syria


About Agatha Christie

The Agatha Christie Collection

Foreword by Giles Reilly, MD

1 Frontispiece

2 Introducing Amy Leatheran

3 Gossip

4 I Arrive in Hassanieh

5 Tell Yarimjah

6 First Evening

7 The Man at the Window

8 Night Alarm

9 Mrs Leidner’s Story

10 Saturday Afternoon

11 An Odd Business

12 ‘I Didn’t Believe…’

13 Hercule Poirot Arrives

14 One of Us?

15 Poirot Makes a Suggestion

16 The Suspects

17 The Stain by the Washstand

18 Tea at Dr Reilly’s

19 A New Suspicion

20 Miss Johnson, Mrs Mercado, Mr Reiter

21 Mr Mercado, Richard Carey

22 David Emmott, Father Lavigny and a Discovery

23 I Go Psychic

24 Murder is a Habit

25 Suicide or Murder

26 Next It Will Be Me!

27 Beginning of a Journey

28 Journey’s End

29 L’Envoi

About the Publisher


by Giles Reilly, MD

The events chronicled in this narrative took place some four years ago. Circumstances have rendered it necessary, in my opinion, that a straightforward account of them should be given to the public. There have been the wildest and most ridiculous rumours suggesting that important evidence was suppressed and other nonsense of that kind. Those misconstructions have appeared more especially in the American Press.

For obvious reasons it was desirable that the account should not come from the pen of one of the expedition staff, who might reasonably be supposed to be prejudiced.

I therefore suggested to Miss Amy Leatheran that she should undertake the task. She is obviously the person to do it. She had a professional character of the highest, she is not biased by having any previous connection with the University of Pittstown Expedition to Iraq and she was an observant and intellectual eye-witness.

It was not very easy to persuade Miss Leatheran to undertake this task—in fact, persuading her was one of the hardest jobs of my professional career—and even after it was completed she displayed a curious reluctance to let me see the manuscript. I discovered that this was partly due to some critical remarks she had made concerning my daughter Sheila. I soon disposed of that, assuring her that as children criticize their parents freely in print nowadays, parents are only too delighted when their offspring come in for their share of abuse! Her other objection was extreme modesty about her literary style. She hoped I would ‘put the grammar right and all that.’ I have, on the contrary, refused to alter so much as a single word. Miss Leatheran’s style in my opinion is vigorous, individual and entirely apposite. If she calls Hercule Poirot ‘Poirot’ in one paragraph and ‘Mr Poirot’ in the next, such a variation is both interesting and suggestive. At one moment she is, so to speak, ‘remembering her manners’ (and hospital nurses are great sticklers for etiquette) and at the next her interest in what she is telling is that of a pure human being—cap and cuffs forgotten!

The only thing I have done is to take the liberty of writing a first chapter—aided by a letter kindly supplied by one of Miss Leatheran’s friends. It is intended to be in the nature of a frontispiece—that is, it gives a rough sketch of the narrator.

Chapter 1


In the hall of the Tigris Palace Hotel in Baghdad a hospital nurse was finishing a letter. Her fountain-pen drove briskly over the paper.

…Well, dear, I think that’s really all my news. I must say it’s been nice to see a bit of the world—though England for me every time, thank you. The dirt and the mess in Baghdad you wouldn’t believe—and not romantic at all like you’d think from the Arabian Nights! Of course, it’s pretty just on the river, but the town itself is just awful—and no proper shops at all. Major Kelsey took me through the bazaars, and of course there’s no denying they’re quaint—but just a lot of rubbish and hammering away at copper pans till they make your headache—and not what I’d like to use myself unless I was sure about the cleaning. You’ve got to be so careful of verdigris with copper pans.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75

Categories: Christie, Agatha