My mother owns every novel by Agatha Christie and that’s why I started reading them when I was young. When I saw four of Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels in a second-hand shop in Brighton I had to get them. Remembering how much I had enjoyed them, I wanted to read some of her work again.
Murder on the Orient Express has 347 pages.
“The famous Orient Express, thundering along on its three-day journey across Europe, came to a sudden stop in the night. Snowdrifts blocked the line at a desolate spot somewhere in the Balkans. Everything was deathly quiet. "Decidedly I suffer from the nerves," murmured Hercule Poirot, and fell asleep again. He awoke to find himself very much wanted. For in the night murder had been committed. Mr. Ratchett, an American millionaire, was found lying dead in his berth – stabbed. The untrodden snow around the train proved that the murderer was still on board. Poirot investigates. He lies back and thinks – with his little grey cells...”
The murdered man turns out to be the kidnapper and murderer of the child Daisy Armstrong, thereby killing her mother and father in their grief. As you might guess, a lot of people still bear grudges against him.
Christie follows a very simple format. In the first part of the novel, the victim gets murdered. The second part follows everyone on the train while they give their first interview to Poirot. In the third part Poirot gets more answers and he gives us and everyone involved in the mystery the solution.
It really is amazing how she can write a mystery that seems insoluble and is still able to give us a convincing and believable solution. And this solution will definitely surprise you.
It’s impossible to compare Christie to other writers. Her novels are unique and surprising but still fictional and entertaining.
This novel is exactly what you can expect from Christie, it is fast and easy, it has funny, exaggerated characters and an almost insoluble murder. I always enjoy an Agatha Christie novel.
The first day at work after a short holiday is always the hardest. Luckily I have a cure; tea and a book!