Louise Leidner--"Lovely Louise," as she is known to the ex-pat communnity in Iraq--is a compelling woman. She is beautiful, intelligent, and confident--but she's also a quivering bundle of nerves. She hears tapping on her window, sees ghostly faces hovering outside, and receives threatening letters which may or may not be written by her supposedly dead former husband. Nurse Amy Leatheran--sensible, experienced, kind but tough, has been hired to be her companion, and acts as our narrator as well.
It's really no surprise when Louise is murdered early one afternoon. After all, this charismatic woman has been adored and reviled in equal measure--often by the same person!--by everyone on her husband's archaeological dig. All have a motive, all have the opportunity...and most have an alibi.
What's the local constabulary to do but call in Hercule Poirot, passing through on his way to Baghdad. Poirot, always up for an intriguing case, enlists Nurse as his assistant (scrub nurse to his surgeon, as she thinks of it), and together they suss out the facts. And the facts, of course, lead to a most surprising conclusion.
Thoroughly satisfying, Murder in Mesopotamia is charming, clever, and funny. A must read, particularly as M. Poirot, after his visit to Baghdad, is heading off on the Orient Express, where he will surely find himself embroiled in another baffling crime.