Title: Murder on the Orient Express
Author: Agatha Christie
Pages: 212 pages (Bantam edition)
Source: Bought it
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stopped the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train was surprisingly full for the time of the year. But by the morning there was one passenger fewer. A passenger lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
Murder on the Orient Express is the classic “whodunit”. When you think you all have it figured out well you will be surprised how wrong you are. The book is divided into three parts: The murder/crime scene, the collection of evidence/interrogation, and the solution. Each of the evidence is laid out clearly, having a chapter for all the characters: evidence of the secretary, evidence of the American lady, evidence of the Italian man and so on. As I was reading the evidence that has been laid out, I found myself trying to piece all of it together and come to the conclusion on who did it; however, to no avail until probably 20 pages into the book when Poirot starts piecing everything together. My immediate guess was definitely far off. But that’s the thing that I loved about this book. As you read, Agatha Christie makes you feel like you are there, along with Hercule Poirot solving the case. Reading it from his perspective, I picked up pieces of the mystery just as he did (though I was still wrong), and in the end they all come together. And boy are you in for a surprise when you find out who really did it.
As far as the plot goes the beginning does start off really slow which I do think is necessary to establish the murder and the red herrings. However, as the investigation begins that’s when you’re really eager to read for more. I also love all the characters that Agatha Christie has created. There was a lot, which I did struggle remembering all of them in the first few chapters. Each of them come from different backgrounds, making them so unique and intriguing at the same time. Another thing that I love is the dialogue of the characters. As I was reading, I hear Poirot’s funny foreign voice, and each of the characters (a cast that includes Europeans and Americans) speak perfectly. (if that makes any sense)And despite the murder that has occured inside the express, Agatha Christie maintained a light atmosphere by making it sometimes humorous. I personally found Mrs. Hubbard (especially when she was being questioned) and M. Bouc quite funny.
Overall, this is probably one of the best mystery novels that I have read (definitely top 5). And Then There Were None is still my favorite of Agatha Christie’s, but I would definitely recommend this book as one of the first few books that you read of hers. The story itself was fascinating and I was so eager to find out who did it. The ending was not a disappointment and was wrapped up brilliantly with no loose ends. All the characters were likeable; they were well developed and seem very realistic. Poirot is well written and incredibly entertaining as well. And just to say, if you plan to commit murder and think you will never get away with it, you better hope that it’s not Hercule Poirot solving the case or better yet abandon the whole idea.