Murder on the Orient Express
By: Agatha Christie
# of pages: 274
Series: The Hercule Poirot Mysteries (#10)
Challenge: Monthly Motif (November)
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.
Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…
My opinion: This is the second Christie novel I read in a week. Just before this I read Hallowe’en Party and didn’t enjoy it very much. I’m pleased to say I really liked The Murder on the Orient Express! It was mainly on my list because of the movie that was just released that I’d like to see.
Hercule Poirot is returning from solving a mystery in Syria and is able to secure a berth on the unusually crowded Orient Express on his way to Paris (and eventually to London.) As the train begins its journey, Poirot studies the other passengers. Little does he know, his observations will come in handy after the train becomes stuck in a snowdrift the night before a man’s body is discovered. The man, Ratchett, was a wealthy and mysterious traveler with what the other passengers describe as a frightening countenance. In spite of the bad vibes Poirot received from the murder victim, he decides to help his friend who works for the railway and investigate the murder.
The investigation includes interviewing all of the passengers and analyzing the evidence. Poirot calmly listens to everyone and even though he seems confused at times, he’s also very determined to find explanations for the inconsistencies that cropped up in the search of the crime scene and the interviews.
I appreciated Poirot much more in this book than I did in Hallowe’en Party. He’s super clever and competent and I liked how he handled the case at the end when he presents his theory. The reader can tell how logical and driven he is to discover the truth, but at the same time, he allows his emotions to briefly show at the end. He’s just the man I’d want to help me solve a mystery!
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Unique plot, still a relevant story over 80 years after publication.