Author : Agatha Christie
Title : Murder on the Orient Express
Series : Hercule Poirot #10
Pages : 240
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : October 19, 2017 (first published in 1934)
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer. Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
Confession time. Deep breath. This is the very first time I’ve picked up a book by Agatha Christie. I know, as a crime fiction lover it’s an utter disgrace. And if it hadn’t been for the movie, it may still not have happened. Anyway, I have now corrected the error of my ways and I dare say this will not be the last Christie book I read.
We find ourselves on board the Orient Express when the train is forced to stop due to a snowdrift. When morning comes, one of the passengers is dead. Since nobody has boarded or left the train, the murderer is clearly still among the other passengers and it’s up to Hercule Poirot to figure out who the culprit is.
I thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace. While I do like my crime fiction a bit gruesome and full of gore sometimes, it’s nice to read something where the focus isn’t on the icky details but more on the investigation and interviews with potential suspects. And there are a lot of them here. Poirot obviously doesn’t have access to any nifty gadgets, google or databases but relies purely on his wit and powers of deduction.
It’s easy to see why Agatha Christie was, and still is, so popular. Or even why Hercule Poirot is the second most famous detective in the world. It seems to me that Christie was an excellent observer, based on the incredibly realistic and eccentric characters. This was a solid plot that had me guessing until the end. I couldn’t figure out at all whodunnit, nor even howdunnit. That’s totally a word, by the way. 😉
A short and quick read, this fabulous new edition of Murder on the Orient Express now stands proudly on my bookshelf and I know more will follow. I’m glad I finally got around to reading something by her.
Murder on the Orient Express was first published in 1934 and is available in various formats with various covers.