Death in a Desert Land

Written by Andrew Wilson
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

Author Agatha Christie meets with Mr. Davison of the British Secret Intelligence Service to discuss the mysterious death of Gertrude Bell in Baghdad, which occurred two years earlier, in 1926. Letters have been discovered, written by Ms. Bell to her father, where she expressed fear for her life. Agatha agrees to travel to Iraq and then to the archeological site in Ur where Ms. Bell once worked.

Upon arriving at Ur, Christie mingles with the archeological staff and questions everyone as to their relationship with Ms. Bell. Later, a young woman celebrates her birthday at a local ziggurat, and the young lady is then found murdered.

The author has used impeccable research in describing the ancient city of Ur. The mystery surrounding the death of Ms. Bell and the young woman at the site is not solved until the final chapter. Agatha Christie does not appear as a know-it-all sleuth like Sherlock Holmes; instead, she goes about piecing together both crimes and solving them by examining the facts and then presenting the evidence. Her ability to get along with the other characters in the story helps her in solving the crimes.