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I completed reading Agatha Christie's 'Death comes as the end' and while going through the wiki page of the novel I read that Author had changed the ending by suggestion of a friend and she later regretted the change, instead preferring the original one.

I tried to find the original ending but was not successful. Does anyone here know what the original ending was or point me where I can find it?

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Have just been reading the autobiography of Agatha Christie's husband, Max Mallowan, in which he mentions this:

[Stephen Glanville] was the only man ever to have persuaded Agatha to alter the end of a book, against—as she maintains—her better judgement. Her own ending would have been more dramatic. It was the one that was concerned with Ancient Egypt, Death Comes as the End.

I would be surprised if she had changed the murderer though as she re-cycles the idea in Sleeping Murder. I think, because of circumstances, this may have actually been written earlier than Death Comes as the End though published later, which would also suggest that it was Christie's own idea. Perhaps it's just the romantic ending that was changed, or possibly, and chillingly, the murderer triumphed? The latter would be in the spirit of darker Christies such as And Then There Were None...

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I think it’s quite possible that the story, as presented, is close to what Christie intended. However, she may have been influenced into omitting an epilogue that unmasked the actual killer. Let’s suppose that hundreds of years have passed and a present day expedition unearths a written confession in which the real killer explains what really happened. Logically, the only written confession could come from Hori, the scribe.

Being ambitious, clever and more resourceful than any of Imhotep’s family, Hori could have manipulated the weak Yahmose into committing the murders for him. Hori killed Yahmose in order to cover his own tracks and to save the unsuspecting Renisenb. What better a way to influence the now broken Imhotep than by marrying his only surviving daughter and inheriting the holdings of the Ka priest. They all probably did live happily ever after!

Of course, this is pure conjecture, but it would be in keeping with other Christie “surprise endings”: for example, the confessions at the end of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and And Then There Were None. Again, can’t prove it, but it would seem to be in Christie’s style to employ a similar ending...

  • @GarethRees I haven't read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, so I'm hoping it's not too spoilery to mention that there is a confession at the end specifically? It seems relevant to say that much at least, if possible without identifying the character. – Rand al'Thor Sep 22 at 16:19
  • @GarethRees I already skimmed the summary on Wikipedia; the only reason I mentioned not having read the book was to make clear that I'm not well equipped to know what's spoilery or not, not to avoid spoilers myself. Feel free to roll back my edit, of course. – Rand al'Thor Sep 22 at 17:21

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