Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie
Contributed by Sharen Felty
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Section 1

The scene is set at Malton-Under-Wode. Linnet Ridgeway has just stepped out of a Rolls-Royce, and people are admiring her beauty, shape and wealth. Two men are discussing her. She has just purchased a property which she is turning into a hotel with a swimming pool and Italian gardens. Linnet is American. One of the men says it is too much for a lady to be beautiful and yet have all that money.

Chapter 1 Section 2

An extract from a popular newspaper, the Daily Blague, describes Linnet as having been at a famous restaurant, Chez Ma Tante, in the company of Joanna Southwood, Lord Windlesham, and Toby Bryce. Linnet’s father is Melhuish Ridgeway, and she has acquired a great fortune from her grandfather, Leopold Hartz. Linnet and Lord Windlesham are about to get engaged.

Chapter 1 Section 3

Joanna Southwood and Linnet Ridgeway are spending time together and discussing Linnet’s property. Joanna, who admires Linnet’s pearls and how she has everything, begs to let her wear the pearls until dinner time. While Linnet expresses her uncertainty about her marriage to Lord Windlesham, she receives a call from JackieJackie de Bellefort. She describes to Joanna how Jackie’s parents lost their money, and has a bad temper. Meanwhile, Joanna’s maid, Marie, comes in crying because the man she was to marry already had a wife and three children, as discovered by Linnet.

Chapter 1 Section 4

Lord Windlesham thinks about Linnet and her refusal to marry him. He loves her and is willing to marry her even if she was penniless. He thinks about his future with Linnet.

Chapter 1 Section 5

Jackie arrives at Linnet's place, where she is introduced to Lord Windlesham. She asks Linnet if that is the man she will marry, to which Linnet responds by saying she has not made up her mind. Jackie says she is engaged to Simon Doyle, and that he is poor and needs a job. She wonders if he can be Linnet’s land agent, since she has just bought a new place. Linnet agrees to Jackie’s request and asks her to bring Simon so that she can assess him.

Chapter 1 Section 6

Mr. Blondin, the owner of Chez Ma Tante, welcomes Hercule Poirot to his restaurant and promises him a good dinner with wine. Poirot explains to Mr. Blondin that he will travel to Egypt. He then looks around as the band plays, and notices a young couple that seems happy. He feels that the lady loves too much, and it is not safe. Poirot then overhears the lady telling the man that Linnet will not let them down. They discuss having a honeymoon in Egypt. Finally, Poirot overhears the man calling the lady Jackie.

Chapter 1 Section 7

Joanna and Linnet are discussing Simon’s job offer. Linnet, a businesswoman, is currently pulling down some cottages to pave the way for a swimming pool and resort. Lord Windlesham walks in and asks Linnet whether she has decided to settle at Wode Hall. Linnet does not like the thought of her being the Countess of Windlesham. Jackie arrives with Simon, and immediately Linnet becomes attracted to him.

Chapter 1 Section 8

The author introduces Tim Allerton and his mother, Mrs. Allerton. They are in Majorca. Tim expresses that he would like to visit Egypt. Mrs. Allerton is skeptical because she feels Egypt is expensive. Tim says he will pay for the trip. He had earlier received a letter from Joanna, whom his mother does not like. Joanna’s letter expresses many things, among them that Windlesham returned to Canada after Linnet rejected his marriage proposal, and she is to marry her new land agent, Simon. Finally, Mrs. Allerton wants Tim to take one of her friends, Mrs. Leech, to the police station as her ring was stolen.

Chapter 1 Section 9

The scene is set in New York. Cornelia Robson is excited, as she is going to Egypt with her cousin, Marie Van Schuyler — who also says Miss Bowers, her nurse, must accompany her.

Chapter 1 Section 10

The author introduces Mr. Pennington in his office. His partner, Rockford, comes in and tells him that Linnet Ridgeway is married. Mr. Pennington seems shocked. The two men begin to wonder what they will do about the situation, being Linnet’s marriage. Mr. Pennington’s partner suggests that one of them follows Linnet to Egypt where she will have her honeymoon, so that they take care of unfinished business. Mr. Pennington ends up taking the trip due to the crucial nature of the situation, and that they need to “pull it off”.

Chapter 1 Section 11

The author continues to introduce other characters. Here, William Carmichael summons Jim Fanthorp, his nephew. William reads a letter from Linnet, who is surprised that her trustee, Andrew Pennington, is on the same trip to Egypt as she is. William, therefore, sends Jim to Egypt to make sure Linnet is okay.

Chapter 1 Section 12

In the final section, the author introduces Mrs. Otterbourne and her daughter, Rosalie. Mrs. Otterbourne wants a trip to Egypt as she is tired of Jerusalem. Rosalie is reading a newspaper excerpt describing Linnet and Simon’s honeymoon to Egypt. They subsequently decide to go to Egypt.


Chapter One is made up of twelve sections. The author sets the stage for the rest of the book by introducing the various characters and setting the plot for the murder mystery, and prepares the reader for the conflict ahead, building a sense of suspense and intrigue.

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