Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie
Contributed by Sharen Felty
Chapter 23
Summary

A close examination of the maid’s body reveals that she had been stabbed in the heart by the attackers. In her lifeless hand is a note which the detectives suspect she was using to blackmail the real murderers. Poirot and Colonel Race notice that the murders of Linnet and Louise are similar, as the murderer seems to be very courageous and carries out each one with haste. Dr. Bessner concludes that the attacker used a thin instrument, like a surgical knife, to kill the maid. However, the doctor is offended when asked by the detectives if any of his surgical knives are missing.

Poirot approaches Jackie and Rosalie in a cabin, observing the latter’s reaction upon breaking the news about the murder of Louise. He confronts Rosalie about her statement having seen nobody during the time of Linnet’s murder. Poirot further asks her about the pistol in her bag, which she vehemently denies and even gives to him to check. Upon insists to Rosalie that she is not revealing all that she knows, she becomes angry and reiterates not knowing anything about the murder.

Analysis

This chapter indicates how the case becomes more complicated as more murders have taken place despite the current investigations. It seems the murderer has great courage and is willing to go to any extent to silence anyone in his or her path, as evidenced by the death of Louise. It seems that Louise might have had some information as to who murdered Linnet, hence she had to be silenced. Dr. Bessner’s reaction is an indication that he has nothing to do with the murders. The use of a surgical knife for the murder shows that someone may be trying to frame Dr. Bessner. Also, the person who carried out the murder must have accessed Dr. Bessner’s room to get the surgical knife. While it appears as if Rosalie is hiding material evidence in the murder, it is also possible that Rosalie had disposed of the small pistol when the stewards were searching the ship.

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