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Death on the Nile Read-Alikes

Book detective standing in front of pyramids

Jealousy is a strong and hypnotizing force – compelling people to commit otherwise unthinkable acts. Jealousy, combined with the dizzying Egyptian heat and bubbling champagne propel all of the action in Agatha Christie’s famous novel, Death on the Nile.

In the 1937 novel, the talented Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, plans on enjoying a peaceful holiday touring the Nile River on the Karnak steamship. However, shortly into his journey, he is approached by a wealthy socialite, Linette, to dissuade her former friend, Jacqueline from stalking her. Linnett had recently married Jacqueline’s ex-fiancé, Simon Doyle, which has made Jacqueline bitterly resentful and irrational.

While both women are the center of the story, Agatha Christie includes a large cast of eccentric characters in her novel who all fall suspect after Linette is found dead in her cabin after being shot in the head. Like an archaeologist digging to uncover an Egyptian artifact, Poirot methodically uses his skills as a detective to uncover the killer.

If this exotic historical mystery sounds like your cup of shay (Arabic for tea) then join us on Thursday, June 23 at 2:15 PM to watch the 2022 film version of Death on The Nile. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Annette Bening and other notable Hollywood actors, the film makes the sweeping desert vistas and majestic Giza pyramids come to life. The real star of the show, however, is the glamorous set design and wardrobes of the impeccably-dressed travelers.

Before watching the film, try reading one of these handpicked books available for checkout at the library. They are all set in ancient, historical, or modern-day Egypt and include themes of mystery, travel and romance. Selections are arranged chronologically by publication date.

The library will be showing the 2022 version of Death on the Nile on Thursday, June 23 at 2:15 pm. Seating is limited. Please follow this link to reserve your seat.

Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone (2021)

The Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous objects in the world, attracting millions of visitors to the British Museum every year, and yet most people don’t really know what it is. Discovered in a pile of rubble in 1799, this slab of stone proved to be the key to unlocking a lost language that baffled scholars for centuries. Carved in ancient Egypt, the Rosetta Stone carried the same message in different languages-in Greek using Greek letters, and in Egyptian using picture-writing called hieroglyphs. Until its discovery, no one in the world knew how to read hieroglyphs. Whoever was able to decipher the stone would solve that mystery and fling open a door that had been locked for two thousand years. Two brilliant rivals set out to win that prize. One was English, the other French. The Writing of the Gods chronicles this high-stakes intellectual race in which the winner would win glory for both himself and his nation.

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Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer (2020)

Well-heeled travelers from around the world flock to the Mena House Hotel – an exotic gem in the heart of Cairo where cocktails flow, adventure dispels the aftershocks of World War I, and deadly dangers wait in the shadows. Jane, a headstrong American, visits Mena House on a trip abroad and rubs shoulders with charming guests with mysterious pasts making her second-guess whom she trusts. Debut novel by a Milwaukee native!

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Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow (2018)

Alexandria, 47 BC. Cleopatra shares the throne with her brother Ptolemy under the auspices of Julius Caesar, by whom Cleopatra is heavily pregnant. A shipment of new coins meant to reset the shaky Egyptian economy has been stolen and the Queen’s Eye has been murdered, so Queen Cleopatra turns to childhood friend Tetisheri to find the missing shipment and bring the murderer to justice.

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The Last Watchman of Old Cairo: A Novel by Michael David Lukas (2018)

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary, and perhaps magical, Ezra Scroll. Follow Joseph on his journey as he unravels a centuries-old family mystery.

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A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (2017)

Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta in 1919. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city and soon is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency. Under tremendous pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets, Wyndham and his two new colleagues; Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee embark on an investigation that will take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.

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Nefertiti: A Novel by Michelle Moran (2009)

This fictionalized life of the notorious queen is told from the point of view of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet. In 1351 B.C., Prince Amunhotep secretly kills his older brother and becomes next in line to Egypt’s throne: he’s 17, and the 15-year-old Nefertiti soon becomes his chief wife. He already has a wife, but Kiya’s blood is not as royal, nor is she as bewitching as Nefertiti. As Mutnodjmet, two years younger than her sister, looks on (and falls in love), Amunhotep and the equally ambitious Nefertiti worship a different main god, displace the priests who control Egypt’s wealth and begin building a city that boasts the royal likenesses chiseled in stone. Things get tense when Kiya has sons and the popular Nefertiti has only daughters, and they come to a boil when the army is used to build temples to the pharaoh and his queen instead of protecting Egypt’s borders.

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Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile by Kristiana Gregory (1999)

This children’s chapter book will captivate readers of all-ages with an intimate look into the life of young Cleopatra. While her father is in hiding after attempts on his life, twelve-year-old Cleopatra records in her diary how she fears for her own safety and hopes to survive to become Queen of Egypt someday.

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Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (1937)

Read Death on the Nile as an eBook or listen to the Audiobook on Libby.  It may spoil the film’s ending, but you can have fun critiquing the adaptation and debating the age-old question: which was better? The book or the movie?!

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