One of my goals for the year is to read at least 1 classic book per month. My pick for January, when I was feeling like a mystery, was Murder on the Orient Express.
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .
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.
Murder on the Orient Express is my first book by Agatha Christie. How I went 32 years without reading her, work I do not know.
The story of the Murder on the Orient Express picked up quickly although the pace certainly was not one of a thriller. There is a large cast of characters and suspects. Some of the conclusions Poirot arrived at are a bit of a reach that he is insistent on despite evidence pointing elsewhere. It seemed unlikely, but I guess that is what makes him the great? And the twist is certainly a surprise. I do not think I ever would have guessed the ending. It does leave a lasting impression.
Often in a series, the author introduces the detective/protagonist in each book so it is easy to pick up any book in the series. However, I think Christie did an insufficient job. Characters mentioned Hercule Poirot’s reknown, but Poirot was never full introduced or developed. I think developing or introducing Poirot would have enriched the book and its experience.
If I may add another criticism, I found the dialogue difficult to follow at times. The way it was written it was sometimes hard to identify who was speaking.
Overall, I liked the tale of Murder on the Orient Express and will give Christie another shot. However, I am likely to recommend other books over this one.
Murder on the Orient Express
Mysteries & Thrillers
January 1, 1934