The book features Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The novel is set at murder in Mesopotamia PDF archaeological excavation in Iraq, and descriptive details derive from the author’s visit to the Royal Cemetery at Ur where she met her husband, Sir Max Mallowan, and other British archaeologists.
An expedition to excavate the ruins of an ancient city is halted by a grisly murder. Mrs Leidner, wife of the famous archaeologist, had been warning about death threats, but everyone knows how the heat plays tricks on the mind. Now, on the edge of the beautiful River Tigris, the open desert becomes the claustrophobic setting for an exotic investigation…
Nurse Amy Leatheran arrives at an archaeological dig near Hassanieh, Iraq, to assist the Swedish-American archaeologist, Dr Eric Leidner, in caring for his wife Louise. During her initial days, Amy learns that Louise was married before to a German named Frederick Bosner. The initial investigation by the police, led by Captain Maitland, is unable to find the murder weapon, yet he assumes the murder was committed by someone on the dig. Reilly learns that his friend Hercule Poirot is travelling in Iraq, and so contacts him for help.
When Poirot arrives, he notes that the bedroom has only one point of entry, that the only window in the room was shut and barred, and that a rug near a washstand has blood on it. That night, Miss Johnson unwittingly drinks a glass of hydrochloric acid. It had been substituted for her usual glass of water on her nightstand. Amy comes across her, and hears her mention « window » before she dies. Bosner was deeply possessive of Louise. To discourage her from forming relationships with other men, he sent her letters which he carefully wrote out in her handwriting. The letters stopped after he married her twelve years later, when she no longer recognised him.
When Louise became attracted to his friend Richard Carey, Bosner decided to murder her to ensure no-one else could have her. Ali Yusuf, a known associate of Menier. Menier was replacing the stolen artifacts with near-perfect copies. Involved in the case, while on a trip to the Middle East.
A professional nurse, attending the dig of Erich Leidner to care for his wife Louise. She is the narrator of the story. British policeman in charge of the murder investigation. A beautiful, intelligent American woman, and wife of Dr Erich Leidner for two years. Widowed from a brief marriage in the Great War, 15 years earlier.