Death Comes as the End
Death Comes as the End is a historical mystery novel by Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October 1944 and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in March of the following year. The US Edition retailed at $2.00 and the UK edition at seven shillings and sixpence (7/6).It is the only one of Christie's novels not to be set in the 20th century, and - unusually for her - also features no European characters. Instead, the novel is set in Thebes in 2000 BC, a setting for which Christie gained an appreciation whilst working with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan, in the Middle East. The novel is notable for its very high number of deaths and is comparable to And Then There Were None from this standpoint. It is also the first full-length novel combining historical fiction and the whodunit/detective story, a genre which would later come to be called the historical whodunit.The suggestion to base the story in ancient Egypt came from noted Egyptologist and family friend Stephen Glanville. He also assisted Christie with details of daily household life in Egypt 4000 years ago. In addition he made forceful suggestions to Christie to change the ending of the book. This she did but regretted the fact afterwards, feeling that her (unpublished) ending was better. The novel is based on real letters translated by egyptologist Battiscombe Gunn, from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom period, written by a man called Heqanakhte to his family, complaining about their behaviour and treatment of his concubine.It is one of only four Christie novels to have not received an adaptation of any kind, the others being Destination Unknown, Passenger to Frankfurt and Postern of Fate.
A BBC television adaptation for broadcast in 2021 has been announced.Christie uses a theme for her chapter titles, as she did for many of her novels, in this case the Egyptian agricultural calendar.
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