Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie. 1933/2006. Black Dog & Leventhal. 272 pages.

It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria. Alongside the platform at Aleppo stood the train grandly designated in railway guides as the Taurus Express. It consisted of a kitchen and a dining car, a sleeping car and two local coaches.

Murder on the Orient Express is my second Agatha Christie. It stars Inspector Hercule Poirot. The murder occurs in the middle of a night on a train--as you probably know already. The train becomes snowbound, and it is up to Hercule Poirot, one of the passengers, to solve the crime. (The murderer has to still be on board.) After examining the crime scene for clues, he interviews each of the passengers one by one: Mary Debenham, Colonel Arbuthnot, Hector MacQueen, Antonio Foscarelli, Edward Henry Masterman, Cyrus Hardman, Princess Dragomiroff, Greta Ohlsson, Mrs. Hubbard, Hildegarde Schmidt, Count and Countess Andrenyi. What clues did the murderer leave behind him/her? Which passenger has the greatest motive for wanting M. Ratchett dead?

I really loved this one. It was so compelling, so suspenseful. I loved the way this one was told, loved the way we got to know the suspects. And, of course, I loved Hercule Poirot. I would definitely recommend this one.

"Madame," Poirot waved an airy hand, "detectives have to ask all sorts of questions. For instance, perhaps you will tell me the colour of your dressing gown?"
She stared at him. Then she laughed. "It is corn-coloured chiffon. Is that really important?"
"Very important, Madame."
She asked curiously: "Are you really a detective, then?"
"At your service, Madame."
"I thought there were no detectives on the train when it passed through Jugo-Slavia--not until one got to Italy."
"I am not a Jugo-Slavian detective, Madame. I am an international detective."
"You belong to the League of Nations?"
"I belong to the world, Madame." said Poirot dramatically. He went on: "I work mainly in London. You speak English?" he added in that language. (128)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Unknown said...

This review has really reminded me how much I loved Agatha Christie when I was younger. I definitely want to reread some of her works in the next coming year!

I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

Tricia said...

I just read this one recently--my first Agatha Christie! I loved it too and would definitely like to read more by her.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I loved this one too. The ending was brilliant!

Heidenkind said...

I enjoyed this one, too. I love Hercule Poirot!

NatalieSap said...

Ooh, this is definitely one I need to put on my Lifelong Reading list. I haven't read any Agatha Christie, but it seems everyone else has! Thanks for sharing an oldie but goodie. :)

Shirley said...

I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie and am so glad to read that you enjoyed this book too. Perhaps try Body in the Library, if you get a chance.

DesLily said...

have you ever seen the movie? I have to say the movie is excellent and chock full of stars! I have this book in my tbr mountain!

Katie Edwards said...

This is a great read, even though I already knew from the start whodunnit. They've finally got around to making this one with David Suchet (THE Poirot) which was shown over here on Christmas day - it was unusually dark for a Poirot. I believe it was shown in the US before the UK, too.

Chudex's said...

I hav hear Agatha Christie but not yet read her book. I think nice book

Bev Hankins said...

This is another of my all-time favorite Christies. I'm glad that you've enjoyed it. You've almost got your Golden Age Girls commitment out of the way, don't you?